Round-Up ~ All Things Austen

This week is mostly about books….!

Jane Odiwe tells of her new book:  a sequel to S&S, Mr. Willoughby Returns: (see her blog for more info)

When Marianne Dashwood weds Colonel Brandon both are aware of the other’s past attachments; Marianne’s grand passion for the charming but ruthless John Willoughby and Brandon’s tragic amour for his lost love Eliza. Three years on Marianne is living with her husband and child at Delaford Park, deeply in love and contented for the most part, although Marianne’s passionate, impulsive and sometimes jealous behaviour is an impediment to her true happiness. News that John Willoughby and his wife have returned to the West Country brings back painful memories for Marianne and with the demise of Mrs Smith of Allenham Court comes the possibility of Mr Willoughby and his wife returning to live near Barton and the surrounding area of Devon and Dorset, a circumstance which triggers a set of increasingly challenging, yet often amusing perplexities for Marianne and the families who live round about.


 Alert Janeite Nancy M. has posted about The Lost Years of Jane Austen, by Barbara Ker Wilson [Ulysses Press, Nov. 2008]

“Thanks to her meticulous diaries and frequent letters, Jane Austen’s life is well documented. Except for a mysterious period in her early 20s , when, for unknown reasons, her sister Cassandra burned all of Jane’s personal writings.”

A fantasy of what could have happened in the lost years.
Australia and Wentworth are mentioned [but as Laurel Ann proposes, is the a book written in 1984 titled Jane in Australia ?]


 Peter Ackroyd, author of many a British literary tome – novels and all manner of non-fiction, has a new book,  The Thames: A Biography [Nan Talese, 2008] to follow his London: A Biography of 2000. Published last year in the U.K. under the title Thames: Sacred River, and now available in the US, this is a must for my London collection!  Here is a review from Publisher’s Weekly:

 For a river with such a famous history, England’s Thames measures only 215 miles. Acclaimed novelist and biographer Ackroyd (Hawksmoor; Shakespeare) invites readers on an eclectic, sprawling and delightful cruise of this important waterway. The Thames has been a highway, a frontier and an attack route; it has been a playground and a sewer, a source of water and a source of power, writes Ackroyd. Historians believe the river may have been important for transport and commerce as early as the Neolithic Age. The ancient Egyptian goddess Isis has a long association with the Thames, which was used for baptisms, both pagan and Christian, during the Roman Empire. The British tribes tried to use the Thames as a defense against Julius Caesar’s invasion, and the Normans built the Tower of London and Windsor Castle on the Thames as symbols of military preeminence. The royal waterway carried Anne Boleyn to both her coronation and her beheading, and famously served as inspiration for paintings by Turner and Monet and for Handel’s Water Music, commissioned to associate the German-born George I with a potent source of English power. Elegant and erudite, Ackroyd’s gathering of rich treats does the famed tributary proud. Illus., maps. (Nov. 4)
See this LA Times review 







Lavolta Press has published this French book from 1820: 

The Lady’s Stratagem: A Repository of 1820s Directions for the Toilet, Mantua-Making, Stay-Making, Millinery & Etiquette

Edited, translated, and with additional material by Frances Grimble
Publication date: November 3, 2008
755 pages; 98 line drawings, 36 halftones
Glossary, bibliography, and index
ISBN: 978-0-9636517-7-8
Cover price: $75.00

Lavolta Press
20 Meadowbrook Drive
San Francisco, California 94132

and also see this review at




 The Books Please blog reviews Georgette Heyer’s Friday’s Child.  [Margeret has created a very thoughtful reading blog and is one you should visit often…] for this, her first Heyer read, she links to the Georgette Heyer Reading Challenge Blog.  I confess to just starting MY first Heyer, Faro’s Daughter, and will post a review soon.





And finally a visit to Austenprose for her November booklist… [some duplicates I fear, but we are always looking for the same thing!]

For those of you interested in textiles, visit R. John Howe’s blog on Textiles and Text  where he reports on the recent textile symposium in Washington DC… many lovely photographs to view!

 And for those of you who are hungry, Regency Reader Blog writes about the typical Regency breakfast; and while you are there, look at the other recent posts on Bath, Tattersall’s, and various historical Regency novels that have been reviewed. 

And finally for a bit of end-of- the-week humor (or maybe not…), take a quick look at the results of the contest on redesigning covers of literary classics for a “dumbed-down” age.  Dickens had the most entries it seems, but as you can see, Jane made the list!











Happy reading!


One thought on “Round-Up ~ All Things Austen

  1. I just love some of the new the cover art – no, not the US flag one for P&P (give me a break!), but the beautiful young damsels on the likes of the Wilson and the Heyer.

    Was intrigued by the Wilson — and indeed (see and PGW) her Jane ventured to Australia, thanks to poor Aunt Leigh-Perrot and her “theft” of some lace. So it must be the same book. Terrible when a press is so secretive about reprinting a book and giving it a new title. Why doesn’t the copyright page note that it’s a reprint???


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