THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO THE BELOVED AUTHOR JANE AUSTEN AND HER FANS IN SOUTH TEXAS. IT INCLUDES JANE AUSTEN RELATED EVENTS, BOOK AND FILM REVIEWS, RECIPES, AND MORE.
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Jane Austen Tidbits for Blog
Pop Culture Advisory: Welcome to Sanditon
Q&A: Jay Bushman, Co-Creator of Welcome to Sanditon
Austenland by Shannon Hale Movie Trailer
http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/watch-2-clips-from-sundance-film-austenland-starring-keri-russell-20130124 (Sept in the UK, and Jan in the US)
Harkness Roses Co.
This is the UK seller of the new Pride & Prejudice Rose developed for 2013.
On the website, if you click on New For 2013 you will find info on the rose.
Right now they sell only potted roses in the UK mainland, and bare roots in
the UK and European mainland. I emailed the company asking they would
ever be selling them to the US. The reply said they hadn’t heard anything
about this yet, but they would keep me posted. So if you know anyone in
the UK who could send you the bare roots, you might think about it. J
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Jane Austen: Game Theorist by Michael Chwe
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SEE JANE’S REPLY
By Ferris Jabr | April 25, 2013 |
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Oh, Emma. How I love you, and yet, how you frustrate and annoy me. Even Jane Austen wrote that she had created a heroine “whom no one but myself will much like.” So there you have it. Emma Woodhouse is unique among Jane Austen’s heroines because she’s rich and doesn’t need to worry about finding herself a good husband. However, this means that she’s got lots of time on her hands, so she’s basically a busybody and decides to match up all of her unmarried friends. Unfortunately, she’s also an insufferable snob, and thinks she knows who’s best for everyone. This eventually backfires when she realizes she may have messed up her own chances with the one man she really loves. In true Austen fashion, all ends well, though not exactly as first expected.
The first time I read this, I was so frustrated by Emma’s character that I wanted to throw the book across the room (heretical behavior for a bibliophile!). But this is just proof that Emma is so believeable and her character is so well-developed. Jane Austen makes her come to life. And the other characters, such as the chatterbox Miss Bates and the obnoxious Mrs. Elton, are so real I wanted to yell at them too. However, I will say that Emma, likeDavid Copperfield, could have used a little editing. Some of the passages just seem to go on and on. That’s probably why it’s Jane Austen’s longest book.
This time around I actually read very little of the print version, and mostly listened to the excellent audiobook narrated by Juliet Stevenson (on Naxos Audiobooks). If you’ve seen the 1996 film adaptation starring Gwyneth Paltrow, you might remember that Stevenson played the obnoxious and insufferable Mrs. Elton. This audiobook is absolutely wonderful and her narration is spot-on, making all the characters distinct. I even forgot that it was a woman narrating the men’s parts as well, which I think is one sign of great audiobook narrator. If it wasn’t so darned expensive I’d buy my own copy, but it’s more than $80 plus shipping for the set of 13 CDs and $45 for the digital download. Still, if you can get it from your library, it’s worth a listen.
Some people think that listening to an audiobook is somehow cheating — The New York Times published a really interestingarticle on this very subject. Personally, I don’t think so, as long as it’s an unabridged version — it’s not as if you’re reading the Cliffs Notes. I think the audio forces me to slow down and pay more attention — sometimes I get so caught up in the plot of a book that I rush through to find out what’s going to happen next. Also, some readers like Ms. Stevenson are so talented, they bring all the characters and situations to life, which makes it so much more memorable and enjoyable; but of course, some narrators can potentially ruin a book altogether. Also, didn’t the oral tradition of storytelling precede written narration? It’s an ancient tradition. I don’t think it’s “cheating” the same way that watching a movie adaptation is. And I am a pushover for an Austen adaptation. I think I’ve seen them all, several times. I’m just waiting for the newest Emma adaptation, coming to PBS in January. I’ll be sure and post my thoughts on that as well.
Note: A version of this review originally appeared on my other blog, Karensbooksandchocolate.blogspot.com.
Of course, if you really want to be historically accurate, you could get a copy of The Jane Austen Cookbook, researched and written by a food historian and a Jane Austen scholar; or even Jane Austen and Food, by Maggie Lane. It’s unfortunately out of print, but used copies are easily found on the Internet. Alibris is a good source. Since I’m fascinated by all things Jane, I had to buy both. According to Jane Austen and Food, Mrs. Austen did “send biscuits to some grandsons at Winchester College” (p. 17), and the book also refers to biscuits mentioned in both Emma andMansfield Park, which I believe were like the beaten biscuits made in the south before the invention of baking powder, not like the lovely fluffy kind we eat now. At any rate, here’s one of my favorite scone recipes, adapted from The New York Times Cookbook:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
5 TB unsalted butter, chilled (Use UNSALTED butter — otherwise, you’ll have salty scones)
about 2/3 cup whole milk
1 egg, beaten
Additional 1 egg, for glazing, and additional white sugar for topping.
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees — if your oven runs hot like mine, adjust it back to 400.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk (the recipe says to sift them, but I’ve never bothered. Whisking will do, honestly.)
3. Cut the butter into small pieces and add them to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, or two butter knives, keep cutting the butter into smaller and smaller pieces, while coating with the flour, until it looks like wet sand. If you want to add currents or other mix-ins, now is the time. I’m not fond of raisins and such but dried cranberries are nice (also nice if you add a little grated orange rind). Chocolate chunks are decadent, and not traditional, but wonderful. I’ve also eaten wonderful scones with chopped fresh rosemary. It sounds odd but they were delicious (not with jam, of course).
4. Beat the egg, add it to the dry ingredients and add most of the milk — hold a little bit back, just in case. Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, until a soft dough is formed — don’t let it get too sticky. Knead it about 15 times until it holds together, and is smooth, but be gentle since overworking the dough makes it tough.
5. Sprinkle some flour on your work surface, and divide the dough into two balls. Flatten each ball into a 1/2 inch circle and cut into 8 wedges, like a pie. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment, brush them with the extra beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar. 6. Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.
These are delicious served plain or with your favorite jam. Devonshire cream is traditional, but hard to come by here in the states, and rather expensive. Whipped cream or butter are also nice — if y0u can find Kerrygold Irish butter, it is worth every penny. Or my favorite, lemon curd, a delicious lemony custard similar to pie filling.
Note: this recipe was previously posted on my book review blog,Books and Chocolate.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2009
The Jane Austen Book Group is meeting Saturday, November 14 at 11 a.m. at theSemmes branch of the San Antonio Public Library, 15060 Judson Rd., San Antonio, TX. We’ll be watching Clueless, a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. Potluck refreshments will be served. This event is open to the public — we hope to see you there!
Welcome to the new blog for Jane Austen fans in San Antonio, Texas! I am a longtime fan of the works of Jane Austen, and a new member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. I’m neither an expert nor an academic, just an “amatuer” fan. On this blog I hope to inform and update other Janeites about any activities in the San Antonio area, plus I’ll include book and film reviews, recipes, and all sorts of great links. I welcome comments, suggestions, and contributions. Enjoy!