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Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!


With Miss Austen's birthday this weekend, we thought we'd revisit the unfailing legacy of Austen and her literature. She's become as intriguing as her heroines!

...then enter in our giveaway of the two Austen in Austin volumes--now available in ebook BOXED SETS at 99cents each!  You can certainly buy them here: (Buy separately or the set at $1.98!)

or you can play along and enter our random drawing, below! 

It involves pie.





(reposted)
In today’s publishing world, readers and reviewers might not be kind to Miss Austen. Literature wants a grittier underbelly. Popular fiction wants sweaty passion, blood and corruption. Romance needs a cute meet by page three.  After a couple of decades of writing and finding her style, Jane Austen’s family helped her find a publisher. Books were uncommonly expensive at the time, and although she wrote under a pseudonym, “By a Lady”, some readers in the upper crust of society knew of her name. Sense and Sensibility was published in 1811, Pride and Prejudice in 1813, Mansfield Park 1814, and Emma in 1815.
First issue of the Quarterly Review

Austen by her sister Cassandra (wikipedia)
During that time, a novel might merit no more than a mention--title and date of publishing—in a newspaper. Jane Austen’s writing did manage to get a few reviews, most focusing on ‘the moral lessons’ (according to Wikipedia). I’ve been unable to find them myself. Emma, being the later one, received the most interest and was reviewed in 1816 in The Quarterly Review by Sir Walter Scott. He included her ability to “give a correct and striking representation of that which is daily taking place around him.” Later in his private journal he wrote, “What a pity such a gifted creature died so early.”

Jane Austen put her final touch on two more novels for publication, Northanger Abbey 1817 and Persuasion 1817 before her death (published posthumously). Afterward, the Quarterly Review’s Richard Whately penned a glowing review of all her work. It was around this time that her family wrote a biography, and by the 1830s, her fame had grown along with a new appetite for her fiction. From that time on, her books have never been out of print. Despite her nephew’s (new) biography of her in 1870, Victorians went crazy for Dickens, Gaskell and their compatriots. Some criticized Austen’s work as lacking what I might call ‘tooth’. Popular fiction at the time showed all the warts of society—Dickens being the chief purveyor of it. Austen, they claimed, played down the dark side as if unable or uninterested. Consider my much loved Bronte sisters!
Chawton House (wikipedia)
Of course that criticism too fell away. By the late 19th century Jane Austen was again looked on as a champion, even a feminist, for her focus on the limited choices of women tied only to the fortune of a caretaker or husband. Novelist Margaret Oliphant called her “full of subtle power, keenness, finesse, and self-restraint.” Austen became a window into women’s minds that had been left shadowed by male authors.  By the 20th century, Austen readers considered themselves a class above the readers of cheap fiction, and universities around the world began Austen studies. Adding to the discussion, popular novelist Mark Twain held her work in disdain, claiming a private library could be made better simply by excluding her books!

In 1913, Austen descendants again published a thorough family biography including as many letters and articles as could be found. Her books always sold, plays were created and by 1940 the first solid production of her work came about in the visual medium. 

We now have over a thousand fan fiction books and over sixty television and theater presentations.  Thank you and Happy Birthday, Miss Austen!




IT's PARTY TIME

 If you already own one or both of these boxed sets, you can still enter, and we will GIFT YOUR FAVORITE AUSTEN FAN with one instead! Or just play along for fun. Because who doesn't have a favorite Austen villain?  TWO RANDOM WINNERS courtesy of Anita Mae Draper and Niki Turner.

1) First,  use this link and"Visit" (like, follow) INKWELL INSPIRATIONS FACEBOOK page. When twelve authors are producing books, this is the best place to keep up with us! (And allows us to contact you if you are a winner in our drawing! no need to leave emails!)


2) Answer this question in the comments: Which Austen character would you most like to be the recipient of a pie-in-the-face?  And why? oh, and what kind of pie? ha ha. If you don't have a character in mind, ask us to suggest one!






The giveaway ends  12/23 . Remember, to enter, give us an answer in your comment and visit the Inkwell Facebook page, so we can contact you!

Comments

  1. We know you are all busy with that 'last weekend' before Christmas sort of feeling. (Yes, I know we technically have another one, but...) So we give you a week to visit this very un-Regency-like post, enjoy some pie, and take out your shopping frustrations by slapstick comedy.

    I think I'd like to smash pie in the face of... Caroline Bingley. Today. I might change my mind tomorrow. There are just TOO many annoying characters and downright nasty ones to choose from!

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  2. Hmmm....I would gladly volunteer to throw a very messy pie in the face of Mary Crawford of Mansfield Park. Yep, most definitely. Or Elizabeth Elliott of Persuasion....choices, choices... ;)

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    1. Oh, such good choices. It's very difficult to go with just one pie! Thanks Raechel!

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  3. My pie goes to Caroline Bingley.
    She is mean-spirited, arrogant and stupid.

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    1. Elin, your vote puts Caroline in the lead! Thank you so much for commenting, and for visiting the Inkwell Facebook page!

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  4. Caroline Bingley is not very nice, is she? You know who isn't annoying but deserves a pie in the face at the end? Mr. Wickham. And Frank Churchill. They are such manipulators. They could also benefit from having their perfect hairdos ruined in a dunk tank.

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  5. I'm biased, but Elisabeth Elliot in Persuasion is a wretched human. I'd say she deserves a cow pie in the face... and now that I'm thinking of it, that would have been a perfect addition to my Fully Persuaded story! #toolate

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    1. @Susie - dunk tank is a delightful image!

      @Niki - She certainly is the most shallow and dull. and . Cow Pie. Yes...

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  6. I think Mrs. Bennet deserves a pie. She is so whiny and always fussing!

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  7. Wickham without a doubt. And Caroline. And here's one not many will say, Emma Woodhouse. She was SO mean to poor Miss Bates, and she had Johnny Lee Miller AND Alan Rickman for the asking and was too stupid to see it. So a big lemon cream pie for each of them!

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    1. Ooops, that wasn't Emma with Alan Rickman, that was Marianne in S&S. D'oh!

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    2. Frank Churchill was rather dashing, and Mr. Knightley so long suffering. I agree (okay and I'm picturing Gwyneth over Romala as most pie-worthy). :)

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  8. I would put a very messy cream pie, maybe coconut in Mrs Bennett’s face. She’s so annoying.

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    1. sighs at the thought. Possibly my favorite pie (next to apricot), but it would make the best mess! Thanks Paula!!

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  9. I would love to see the look on Lady Catherine de Bourgh's face if she was the recipient of a pie. Something nice and creamy and messy. :-)

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    1. Perhaps a nice tart lemon creme pie would be the choice. I loved Judi Dench's portrayal of Lady Catherine! thanks for commenting, Phyllis!

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  10. Caroline Bingley with a cherry pie.

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