June 27, 2011 § 2 Comments

Doro is my nickname for Dorothy Wordsworth, whom I’m really fond of. Not only was she waaaay cooler than her dull brother, yep, that Wordsworth, she wrote a travel memoir that is so perfectly in the Picturesque style that it puts Gilpin to shame. Not that he shouldn’t be ashamed anyway, so atrocious is his prose.

I’m always book hunting and recently found this suuuuper cute Oxford University Press 1958 edition of some of her journals. It includes the Grasmere Journals that I’ve mentioned before.

It’s pocket! And mint green! And a super cute picture on the front! It has “Purchased at Wordsworth’s Cottage Grasmere” stamped on the flyleaf. Sweeeet!

I’ll do a little write up about it when I’ve finished reading. Right now I have to get back to Doro’s slanting woods of an unvarying brown and the half dead sound of the near sheep-bell. O Doro!





Georgian: great era for nicknames

March 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Athenian Stuart…Single Speech Hamilton…Capability Brown

March’s Literary Review goes in for a little of one of my favorite topics – Capability Brown. In her atrociously titled piece, “The Earth Moved for Him”, Amanda Foreman reviews Jane Brown’s biography of the über influential master landscape gardener, The Omnipotent Magician: Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown 1716-1783, likewise absurdly titled.

But I’m indebted to Foreman’s otherwise cracking piece for putting me on the track of art historian Dorothy Stroud’s 1950 biography, a work I hadn’t heard of and will now endeavor to find.

Ooh pretty!

March 4, 2011 § 2 Comments

It’s entirely possible that I have an addiction problem when it comes to books. Not only is my apartment full of them but I also have a storage unit full of them, my old bedroom in my mum’s house is full of them and I cannot spend less than an hour in my favorite second hand bookshop, nor can I come away empty handed.

Even though I would not want to pass this affliction onto others, I cannot help but enthuse about particular editions when they pique my interest. One of my favorite publishers, Dover, is well known for publishing important material in affordable editions but they often do special editions too, and I love this relaunch of a classic edition of Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. This new volume is a reissue of the 1894 edition of London publisher George Allen, with the perhaps not entirely true to era but lovely original illustrations of Victorian artist Chris Hammond.

Sense and Sensibility featuring 1899 illustrations by Chris Hammond

Sense and Sensibility featuring 1899 illustrations by Chris Hammond

Sense and Sensibility 2010 Dover Publications, featuring the 1899 illustrations of Chris Hammond

Jane Austen educatin’ the kids

March 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

As some of you may know, one of my majors at university is Medieval Studies, and yesterday Jane Austen popped up on campus in the most unlikely of places – my Europe in the Middle Ages history class. Yesterday’s lecture dealt primarily with a comparison between English Common Law and the Laws of Cuenca, one of the pertinent points being that facets of English primogeniture, such as the entail, were already in use in the 12th century.

And on this point our professor commented, “And anybody who’s seen Pride and Prejudice knows what an entail is. All those daughters left without estate or income because the property is legally entailed away from the squire’s natural children in favor of a male heir.” And a murmur of understanding rippled throughout the lecture hall. Nice one, Austen.

The 18th Century Buoys up in 2010

January 21, 2011 § 2 Comments

Once again, 18th century and Regency novels do well on Valancourt Books‘ Top 10 Sellers for the past year:

#3 Six Gothic Dramas by Joanna Baillie

#4 The Witch of Ravensworth by George Brewer 1808

#5 The Necromancer; or, The Tale of the Black Forest by "Lawrence Flammenberg" (pseud. of Karl Friedrich Kahlert) 1794

#8 The Castle of Wolfenbach by Eliza Parsons 1793

#9 The Old English Baron: A Gothic Story by Clara Reeve 1777 with Edmond, Orphan of the Castle John Broster

The Cenci by Percy Bysshe Shelley 1819

I’m so thrilled that of all the excellent editions offered by Valancourt Books, 18th century titles are doing so well, including the two titles from the Northanger Canon; The Castle of Wolfenbach and The Necromancer.

graphic pride

November 29, 2010 § 2 Comments

Just had to share another awesome graphic novel from Self Made Hero. This time Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has gotten the Hero treatment. Fab.


June 19, 2010 § 2 Comments

For the first time in my life I’ve won a prize. Okay, I won an Easter raffle in elementary school. But this one’s actually based on merit. I am the winner of the 2009/2010 essay contest held by the literature department at my university. Sweet action.

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