We’ve yet to meet a true-bleu Jane Austen fan whose sole exposure to her canon is Pride and Prejudice, but it is a truth universally acknowledged that Austen’s most famous novel usually tops the list as the most quotable. In honor of Pride and Prejudice’s upcoming 205th birthday (observed by Bas Bleu on January 28, the anniversary of its 1813 publication), we collected twenty-one of our favorite quotations, exchanges, observations, bon mots—even one or two epic burns—from Austen’s literary masterpiece. (Your fave didn’t make the cut? Share it with us in the comments below!)
On July 18, 1817, Jane Austen died in Winchester, England. In declining health for more than a year, Austen was just forty-one years old when she passed away. Her cause of death is still under speculation: What Austen downplayed as rheumatism may in fact have been Addison’s Disease (an endocrine disorder) or complications from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Other scholars suspect tuberculosis. Recently, a new theory suggested arsenic poisoning. What we do know, however, is that even death couldn’t dim her brilliant literary star. And this week, on the 200th anniversary of her death, fans on both sides of the Pond are celebrating the great writer’s life and work. Continue reading
Every year, Bas Bleu’s editors travel to book and gift trade shows, meeting with publishers and merchandise vendors to see their latest and greatest offerings, so that we can select the best of the best for our customers. For the past few years, editor AG has attended the annual London Book Fair to check out the British publishing scene…and to do a little sightseeing. This year’s trip turned into a bit of a literary tour! She recently returned from her adventure across the pond and agreed to share some of the highlights with us in the Bluestocking Salon. Continue reading
Those of us with an affinity for Jane Austen’s novels—the sly wit, the razor-sharp social commentary, the forgiving empire-waist dresses—also have a soft spot for Austen’s leading men. But while these half-dozen gentlemen all share a strong sense of honor and an affinity for bright, independent-minded women, they aren’t interchangeable. So which Austen hero is right for you? Continue reading
Last month, the big-screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan landed in theaters, under the title Love & Friendship. Just in case our fellow bluestockings might be on the fence about it, one of our reviewers volunteered to check out the movie and report back to the rest of the Bas Bleu team. Here’s what she had to say:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a reader in search of Jane Austen must be in want of a copy of Pride and Prejudice. While Persuasion is my favorite of Austen’s novels, like so many bluestockings my exposure to the great author’s canon has been largely limited to her long-form works. It wasn’t until I came to Bas Bleu that I was introduced to Austen’s youthful writings. (Her History of England is a precocious and comical must!) And it wasn’t until I heard about Whit Stillman’s film adaptation of Austen’s short epistolary novel Lady Susan that I finally sat down and read the source material. Continue reading
Back in August, we thought it might be fun to imagine some of our favorite literary characters venturing into the world of online dating. Well, our experiment was such a hit with Bas Bleu’s readers that we’re back at it! After perusing our bookshelves (and sorting through your recommendations), we’ve penned personal ads for eight more of our fictional favorites. Continue reading
As part of Bas Bleu’s 2015 Book a Month program, each month we’re offering discussion questions, author interviews, or other bonus materials to enrich your reading experience—for book clubs as well as thoughtful individuals. (We’ll do our best to avoid plot spoilers, but you should proceed with caution!)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen never goes out of style. Thankfully, corsets and dowries are passé, but Austen’s keen eye for social absurdity, the complicated relationships between the sexes, and hearty appreciation for a good joke is timeless. In this month’s Book a Month selection, The Family Fortune, novelist Laurie Horowitz restages Persuasion in post-9/11 Boston, where a bookish young woman (aptly named Jane) struggles to find her path in the wake of regret. Continue reading
January 28 marks the anniversary of Pride and Prejudice’s publication in 1813, a cultural milestone that almost never was thanks to a dismissive publisher who rejected Jane Austen’s manuscript First Impressions in 1797. Sixteen years later, Thomas Egerton bought the rights to Pride and Prejudice for just £110…and the rest, as they say, is literary history. So today, the twenty-eighth day of January, in honor of P&P’s birthday, Bas Bleu is sharing our list of twenty-eight life lessons we learned from Miss Austen, Lizzie Bennet, Mr. Darcy, and, yes, even Mr. Wickham. Continue reading
Look lively, Austen-ites: The Darcys are coming to a TV screen near you! On October 26, the good folks at Masterpiece—home to Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Upstairs Downstairs, and Miss Marple—will premiere a new mystery for American audiences: an adaptation of P.D. James’s courtroom drama Death Comes to Pemberley. Continue reading
We’re making a break for it.
We’ve got stacks of books to read for our Summer issue, the Southern sunshine is beckoning us outside into the long-awaited spring, and the plumbers downstairs are making one helluva racket. (Plus our boss is out of town; you won’t tell on us, right?) But just because we’re itching to play hooky doesn’t mean we’re going to leave you high and dry. This week in the Bluestocking Salon we’ve collected several news items from the reading world, teasers for what’s headed your way in the coming weeks, and some advice on spring cleaning those bookshelves.