Note to my readers: As part of the Jane Austen Birthday Soiree, hosted by Maria Grazia at My Jane Austen Book Club and Katherine Cox at November’s Autumn, I’ve joined some 30 Austen bloggers and authors for a special birthday celebration. We are delivering our “gifts” to Jane and as a gift to you, offering wonderful prizes on our blog. Simply visit one of the sites listed below and comment for a chance to win. I’m offering a signed copy of The Unexpected Miss Bennet.
Here is my gift to Jane:
Dear Miss Austen,
Because you are a great reader, I wanted to pass along the books that have given me great pleasure over the years. I am sure that you would have loved them too, had you been able to live as long as your own books have.
Not long after your death, if I may speak of so sad an event on this anniversary of your birth, a writer called Charles Dickens took the world by storm. You would have LOVED him. Your concerns were the same, even though his world was darker and coarser. But civility, society, and how we look upon people without prejudice and do our best to do right by even the poorest, would have surely captivated you.
The Bronte sisters. Everyone thinks you were so sheltered but I don’t think so. You wouldn’t have been scandalized by Wuthering Heights. I bet you would have liked Jane Eyre better though. It is the better book.
The United States was a fledgling nation during your life, but we produced some pretty good writers in the past 250 years. Mark Twain for one. Huckleberry Finn is his masterpiece, and rightfully so, but he also wrote numerous short stories, and his book about his travels in Europe in Innocents Abroad would have probably amused you and Cassandra and Fanny.
I think you would have admired Louisa May Alcott as well, and would have seen your influence in her novels.
What would you have thought of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky? I am sure that you would have preferred War & Peace to Anna Karennina and Crime & Punishment to The Brothers Karamazov, if only because you understood the importance of a well-placed ampersand in good title.
I have probably given myself an impossible task — how to provide a survey of world literature in a single blog post. I’m not that well-read and I’m leaving out a lot of my cherished books. Maybe my readers can help me out in the comments — what books do you think Jane Austen would have liked?
I will say that the Nora Roberts’ body of work would have probably appealed to you. I don’t know about science fiction and fantasy –you just missed Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and I doubt that Lord of the Rings or I, Robot or the Dragonriders of Pern would have fascinated you.
But mysteries! Ah, there’s a genre for you! Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers would have probably been favorites, and I can see you enjoying the Sherlock Holmes books too. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has fans that are almost as rabid as us Janeites, did you know that?
Happy birthday dear Jane Austen. Thank you for some of the best literature in the world.
To my readers: What books do you think Jane would have liked? Make your suggestions in the comments and be entered for a chance to win a copy of The Unexpected Miss Bennet. And don’t forget to visit the other bloggers! Thanks for visiting!
Here is a list of participating sites:
Giveaway : Miss Darcy Falls in Love
Giveaway: Letters of Love & Deception
Laurel Ann Nattress
Giveaway: signed copy of Jane Austen Made Me Do It
C. Allyn Pierson
Giveaway: Mr Darcy Little Sister (open worldwide)
Giveaway: a signed copy of “My Jane Austen Summer” and a package of Lily Berry’s Pink Rose Tea by Bingley’s, Ltd.
Giveaway: I was Jane Austen Best Friend by Cora Harrison
Giveaway : A canvas ACCORDING TO JANE tote bag and a pair of A SUMMER IN EUROPE luggage tags.
Giveaway : Anna Elliot’s “Georgiana Darcy” (Kindle book)
Giveaway : a set of Potter-Style Pride and Prejudice notecards
Giveaway: Jane Austen’s Little Instruction Book (Charming Petites) By Jane Austen, Edited by Sophia Bedford-Pierce, Illustrated by Mullen & Katz, Introduction by Barbara Paulding
Giveaway: 2 Jane Austen Candles and 2 signed DNMD books plus drink coasters and tea!
Giveaway: An autographed copy of “Christmas at Pemberley “
Giveaway: Jane Austen Action figure
Giveaway: JASNA 2012 calendars from the Wisconsin JASNA Region
Laura Hile, Susan Kaye, Pamela Aidan, and Barbara Cornthwaite
• One copy of Young Master Darcy: A Lesson in Honour by Pamela Aidan
• One set of Frederick Wentworth, Captain (Books 1 and 2) by Susan Kaye
• Two copies of Mercy’s Embrace: So Rough a Course (Book 1) by Laura Hile
• George Kinghtley, Gentleman (Books 1 and 2) by Barbara Cornthwaite
Giveaway: a copy of “Persuade Me” and one of “The Importance of Being Emma”
Giveaway: a copy of “Intimations of Austen” and Sense & Sensibility (Marvel Illustrated)
Giveaway: a copy of Northanger Abbey DVD starring Felicity Jones and JJ Feild (The winner will choose region 1 or 2 DVD)
Sitio Jane Austen
Giveaway: – Spanish edition of Sense and Sensibility for the 200th Anniversary + A DVD package with adaptations of Jane Austen
(It’s only zone 2, but it’s in Spanish and English ) + blu-ray of the BBC’s Emma with Romola Garai
Giveaway: “A Modern Day Persuasion”
Giveaway: selection of Austenesque Reads
Giveaway: DVD – Sense and Sensibility (1995) – English / Portuguese subtitles
Giveaway: a mug with one of Jane Odiwe’s illustrations and a copy of her “Mr Darcy’s Secret”
Giveaway: Noble Satyr by Lucinda Brant (Regency Romance)
Giveaway: An ebook of the Personages of Pride and Prejudice Collection, which contains all of my Austenesque works: Charlotte Collins, “Maria Lucas,” and Caroline Bingley. The giveaway will be open internationally.
Giveaway: a copy of Vera Nazarian’s gift hardcover edition of her inspirational calendar and diary, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
Giveaway: a signed copy of “Mr. Darcy’s Undoing”
Giveaway: Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester
Giveaway :$10 B&N Gift-card (US only)
Giveaway : A selection of Austenesque reads