tirsdag den 14. februar 2017



200 years of Jane Austen


2017 is another amazing year, not only because it has been 200 years since the world lost a wonderful authoress, but also because of this year’s busy schedule of regency events around the globe.
This spring will be very busy for me as well; starting university college, manage my travels to participate in Jane Austen events around Europe, and also find time for family, friends and maybe even find romance.

The early spring will see myself in company with friends and my regency sister, in Edinburgh in Scotland. Another city I’m eager to investigate, especially in the best company. Not only to have fun at a regency ball which also will see Stuart Marsden attending from the rumours I have heard, but also to celebrate a certain sister’s birthday while in Edinburgh 🎉🎁🍾🍸

Edinburgh can boast of being the home to several movie locations as I was informed of; Harry Potter, Outlander and others – but the city also holds an amazing rich history; from war ridden Celtic area to the Scottish home of the Queen and Prince/duke Phillip of Edinburgh. I do wonder if I am the only one who was surprised at knowing that Prince Phillip had Danish roots? But then again all the Royals can more or less be traced back to one Danish King, the man known as ‘All of Europe’s father-in-law’ King Christian IX of Denmark Hahah yeah guilty as charged I’m a history nerd 🤓

The 200th anniversary of Austen’s death is this year and I already know of more than twenty different balls, not only in Europe but also in America and Australia. There is the Alton week in early June, a summer picnic (though Victorian more than regency) in Brighton in July, Malta in the coming month (February), then the American Austen festival in Kentucky if my memory doesn’t fail me, the famous Jane Austen festival in Bath (UK), the Austen festival in Canberra in April, a ball in Berlin in May (the same one I attended last November if my dear readers remember 😊) and again in November and several smaller events in Holland, Belgium , France , Germany , Canada , Switzerland , Belarus and many other places, – for more accurate dates check: Regency Dances

So it has been 200 years since Jane died, but readers have enjoyed her beloved characters for more than 205 years; Darcy, Bingley, Elizabeth, Jane, Edward, Elinor, Marianne, Colonel Brandon, Captain Wentworth, Anne, Edmund, Fanny, Catherine, Henry, Emma and Mr. Knightly. 

(I know some of the pictures are not Austen characters but it was the best I could do 😁)

Many generations have read her famous words. “It’s a truth universally acknowledged truth that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” And many other beautifully crafted lines which are memorable, including; the heartfelt letter from Captain Wentworth to Anne. “A word, a look will be enough…”

And so many people around the globe 🌎 celebrates her works annually in every corner of the world – and hopefully will continue to love her works for many generations to come.

onsdag den 23. november 2016

In Berlin with Jane Austen


The weekend in Berlin went too quickly, with plenty of laughter, sunshine and silliness. Friday was a busy day with arrival of my friends and I to Berlin, dance practice, concert in the concerthaus and to end the evening, out on the town at a speak-easy look alike bar, where my friends and I were dressed up in 1920’s clothes and stayed out until the early morning hours, hehe 😂
 
Saturday and Sunday was equally busy days, with several important sights in Berlin, including; TV tower, Alexander platz, Altes Museum, Holocaust Memorial, the Red City hall, the parliament building which was heavily damaged during WWII, Berliner Dom, Brandenburger Tor, the memorial of the book burning of ’33, the Wall Museum and Check Point Charlie where I had my official passport stamped with; two Check Point Charlie stamps, British, French, German and DDR stamps which was very neat.

 Brandenburger Tor
Berliner Dom with my friends

Impromptu fencing match


Tv Tower on Alexander Platz


Memorial of Book Burning in '33
Check Point Charlie


Check Point Charlie, American Zone

Germany during WWII

The Wall, or what's left of it



 Amazing to think that it has only been 26 years ago that the wall was torn down! It was a revelation to see it. Plenty of pictures were taken, sights visited and listed for more exploration in future. 

Saturday evening was it the long awaited Ball!!!
The ball at Schloss Fredrichsfelde was well attended, including Her Majesty Queen Louise of Prussia and the dowager Queen.

After you have entered Schloss Fredrichsfelde and left your cloak in the cloak room, gone up the ancient but elegant staircase, you hand your card to the Master of Ceremonies, he goes in, – you wait nervous and anxiously for him to announce you – you finally walk into this amazing room, the ceiling like a summer blue sky, people dressed in proper 1816 clothes and jewels all around – and there in the middle of the room sits the royals; Queen Louise of Prussia and the dowager Queen, you walk up and drop into an elegant court curtsy and nearly drops your tiara, and you feel the heat of your blush from the cleavage of your dress to the very roots of your hair! Amazing, horrible and interesting to say the least. You back away and end up next to your friends while you try to regain your composure.

The court introduction felt like it must have felt like 200 years ago when you are a new debutant! Nervous, excited, hoping you will not be a wall flower, scared of embarrassing yourself – which I accidentally did!
Queen Louise of Prussia


But the dances were familiar and well trained thanks to Martin from the Jane Austen Center in Bath, and other dance teachers. The dances included, The Duke of Kent, a dance my friends and I are very familiar with from our visits to Bath during the annual Jane Austen Festival. The men and women who attended was in most cases beautifully dressed, the food was good and the company the best with my dear friends! So I felt like Lydia Bennet and danced nearly every dance during the evening!
During a dance
Me in my new ball gown and emeralds

Christin, my regency sister in cream and diamonds




































The ball looked like a movie set, and we the guests actors, dressed to the nines in regency clothes, jewels and titles. It was well organized and the music matched the beautiful surroundings! Schloss Fredrichsfelde is the only castle I know in the world which is located within a zoologist park.
The ball in full swing

Just before another dance

Another dance

The Queen and two lovely guests in regency

Look at that ceiling, is that beautiful or what?
 The ball was like taken straight out of a Jane Austen book, Schloss Fredrichsfelde was even more beautiful than any Austen location I have ever visited! With the painted ceiling, the fantastic acoustics and the amazing portraits, it felt like I had stepped through the looking glass and straight into the world Austen described in minute details in her books.

So I am definitely coming back to Schloss Fredrichsfelde sooner rather than later. So will I see any other Austen lovers there in May, maybe for the next Queen Louise Ball?

As the last official energizing dance was danced, before a good friend started to play waltz music, and many couples took to the floor and twirled around to the waltz. There were many talented dancers, even I was given a chance to learn a few more tricks to be able to dance a waltz.
Piano music 🎶 followed, though very talented my friend did not conquer the technical details and the many years another guest managed to display on the piano. The few remaining guests who listened were spellbound!
A very talented dancer and pianist

My friend Ciaran playing, me enjoying the music

The talented pianist, and me enjoying the performance 

 Soon after that, I was called upon to perform to the best of my singing abilities, and without music, music sheets and with a small audience I sang to my hearts content! The song came from the musical “The Sound of Music”, it was ‘Edelweiss’ which I performed, and I have NEVER heard better acoustics than in that ball room!! Among the audience was my dear friends; Eva, Vera and her beau, Ciaran, and my regency sister Christin, another female guest and Her Majesty Queen Louise! I was afterwards on a high from the amazing feeling of success and a loud applause for my performance 🎶🎉🍸

The whole visit ended on a rather stressful if lucky ending! I was in the airport with 5 minutes to go until my flight was boarding!! I made it home after an amazingly funny weekend with my good friends.

I personally hope we can repeat it in the coming year.

NEW BLOG

Dear Readers and followers,

As many may have noted, I do not update this blog that much anymore - but there is a good reason I can assure you! It is simply because I have another blog I am writing on these days, which is easier to manage. If you will kindly look it up;  www.interestsofajaneaustengirl.wordpress.com
There is articles, book reviews, interviews and of course my Austen adventures!
It has been a very busy autumn, and apparently the new year is going to be just as busy, with Austen adventures and university.

So please dear readers, look up the new blog and I shall try and update here once in a while :D

Cheers

lørdag den 15. oktober 2016

Austen in Germany



After this year’s festival in Bath, I have kept in contact with several people who live in Germany; including my regency sister Christin. Well I saw there would be a ball in Berlin, since several friends is to attend – and within days these wonderful friends had persuaded me to go with them… okay okay more or less begged me to go.

So therefore I am going to Berlin for the first official time, and on top I am to attend another regency event, which will make it 3 times this year! I am quite looking forward to visiting Berlin, especially in the company of friends, go dancing and have fun.

So are you coming to Berlin?

For myself I did know there were regency balls in Europe, but in Berlin? I had no idea! So now maybe a new dress is in order? It would work wonders with the jewellery I bought in Bath at Guildhall.

I am only happy that I am going with friends, and I am looking forward to seeing Berlin, maybe visiting a few museums and historical points; including what is left of the Berlin Wall. Mostly I am to see how the world have changed as my generation knows little about the Cold War, as our grandparents remembers WWII and our parents knows some about the wall and the time around it.

But all in all looking forward to meeting up with friends again, and of course meeting new interesting people.

Interview with Cassandra Grafton & Ada Bright

Thank you ladies for being here on my blog! It is a pleasure!

So what made you both decide to write your book?

We’ve always enjoyed writing together, pretty much since we first met 14 years ago, whether it is fan fiction, blog posts or just joking around on a Forum. We’ve wanted to take that energy and turn it towards writing a novel together for years. Then one day an idea presented itself, and all we had to do was wait for the perfect timing for both of us to get to work on it!

Why Bath? How did you decide on Bath?

Ada: When co-writing, in particular co-writing with someone who lives half way across the globe from you, it is essential to have some sort of common experience to draw upon. In our case, we had been together in Bath for Cass’s birthday one year (we even stayed in the Royal Crescent).
Bath is such a distinctive city and small enough that I could really get a feel for it even in a short time.  Cass had been many times, of course, so she could take point on what neighborhoods we wanted to deal with and things like that, but I could add my own true impressions and feelings about the city because we’d spent time there together.
Cass: Also, the idea for the story arose during a visit to Bath and was closely linked to Jane Austen and her residency in 4 Sydney Place, so it was a no-brainer in the end!
When it came to getting together to hammer out the plot and define our characters (the only time we did meet up in person during the whole writing of the book), we initially debated the pros and cons of my flying to LA or Ada coming to Switzerland. In the end, it just had to be Bath!

How did you decide on the ‘magical’ charm? Your Austen knowledge?

Cass: Most Jane Austen fans are familiar with the few items of jewellery known to have belonged to Jane and in particular the story behind the topaz crosses given to Cassandra and Jane by their brother, Charles. It seemed the obvious choice to create something inspired by these!
our-charm58photo-8-with-the-cover-on-the-crescent
As a sailor, Charles had sailed to many far off places, and it felt fitting that the ‘magical charm’ had been placed on it in one of these!

I cannot help but ask, as I am sure I am not the only one who want to know, but any scoop on who inspired Dr. T?

Both: That would be telling! We want the readers to be able to form their own picture of what they think he looks like!
The thing is, you see, as a reader you use your imagination to picture characters based on the hints the writer gives you (if any! Jane Austen was notorious for giving very little).
Writers use all sorts of ways to picture the characters in books, but when you are co-writing, you both have to be able to picture the same thing! As a result, on this occasion, we decided we would pick actors who looked how we wanted our four leads to look. This was based just on how the actors look, we would stress, and not on any particular character they had played.
It helped us to be consistent if we referred to anything about their physical appearance, be it height, hair color or otherwise. It also meant we got to spend a very enjoyable afternoon in Bath ogling… er, carefully researching on Google Images!!

The book was clearly inspired by the Jane Austen festival but was Morgan by any chance inspired by Ada, since she is from California?

Ada: Morgan is actually the personification of all the ways I have felt culturally different from the Brits in my friendships and encounters in the country. I love the British people, and they have been consistently lovely to me, so it cracks me up when something about the way I am (which is so normal for me in California) tickles their fancy.
There is no end to the joy it gives me to share my earthquake stories or – more often – how weird it is that their every thought in design or building isn’t first and foremost about earthquake preparedness. Crazy as it is, I actually crafted Morgan after one of my favorite actors who, ironically enough, is British.

How did Jane become the co-heroine alongside Rose?

Ada: Ha! Well – unintentionally is the word that that comes to mind! We had a lot of discussions about how difficult and intimidating it might be to write Jane and decided we should steer far clear of it. But she just wouldn’t cooperate.
Cass: Yes! We blame Jane! She was meant to be in the background, but a bit like the character Baby in Dirty Dancing, we found out nobody puts Jane Austen in a corner!

How many times have you and Ada visited Chawton? Both for research and pleasure?

Cass: I’ve been many times, usually for pleasure, and one of the best was when Ada and I went there for her first visit this summer! She and her husband came over for our launch party for the book’s release in Bath, and our first stop after meeting them at Heathrow was to travel to Hampshire!
As for research, let’s just say that might be next!

Luxury Lettings and James… Is he inspired by husbands/boyfriends or maybe even a best friend?

Ada: If Morgan is the symbol of the cultural things that make Californians Californians, James is the counterpoint – he’s my vision of how British people respond to me… I mean obviously they don’t all fall in love with me, but they are, sometimes against their will, usually pretty entertained by me!
Cass: Choosing a holiday lettings company happened pretty naturally, simply because I stay in holiday apartments in Bath so often (several times a year). Of course, any experience I have is from a client’s perspective, and I’m pretty certain our interpretation of how it works from the office was a tad exaggerated!
There were definitely a few small elements of James’s personality at work that came from a former boss of mine, but I’m not saying which!

Can we as readers expect adventures in the 19th century with Jane?

Ada: *cough* Hey – look at that bird over there! I wonder what that bird’s name is. Like, not his species, but literally, what do his friends call him?
Cass: What an intriguing question! I can’t imagine why you might think that could happen…

And lastly can we expect a Happily Ever After Ending for the main characters?

Ada: I certainly hope so!
Cass: Wait! You don’t think we gave them one?! Ada, seems we still have work to do!!

Review of The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen


This lovely story sets in Bath on a early September morning, only days before the start of the next Jane Austen festival.

Rose Wallace, this story’s heroine is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her friend and the start of the festival, though a recently arrived guest will turn Roses world on its head.

What would you do if your whole life disappeared because Austen never wrote her famous books? As a lover of Austen’s works this idea seemed intriguing to me, but also got me thinking about how Austen and her works have influenced my own life.

With a displaced 200 year old author, a necklace and hints from the past; can Rose save the most beloved stories of all time? And also turn her own life around both professionally and romantically?
This story also caught me since it’s setting is Bath, and many of the mentioned places, I have walked, stayed at, visited or just seen while being in the Georgian city. It felt like being there through Roses eyes, even if I was sitting 42000 feet above ground reading this exciting, lovely and nerve wracking book.

You are definitely being forced through a lot of emotions, while reading, which I see as one of the best achievements an author/authoress can accomplish.
Therefore a big cheer for Cass Grafton and Ada Bright!

Review of Searching for Captain Wentworth


Set in Modern Bath, finds Sophie Elliot trying to write her first novel. Her great aunt offers her one of the appartements in the family’s old townhouse in Bath. Here weird things and sights show themselves to her, and a new neighbor shows up; a VERY charming and good looking one at that.
Yet again reading my favourite Persuasion inspired book, and completely lost in the story, and happy to once again walk through lovely Georgian Bath through the eyes of Sophie! It is obvious that Jane Odiwe knows Bath very very well, and she manages to catch her reader within a few pages!

Now things start to happen, meeting Jane Austen in Regency Bath and her family, including her charming sailor brother Charles. Times shifts several times for our young heroine, mistaken notions and identities, a missing white glove and a blooming romance between two characters.

The setting changes to Lyme Regis, after a nasty fall a lot like Louisa Musgrave in ‘Persuasion’ Sophie wakes up to find herself in Lyme with no memory of how she ended there. A partly broken heart with time shifts and confusion about Josh Strafford- and one reality as sure and certain as the other in Jane Odiwe’s own words.

Luckily after many tears, Sophie is united with her very own Captain Wentworth, ‘Anne was all tenderness, and she had the full worth of it in Captain Wentworth’s affections.’ And of course a happy ending.

A Persuasion inspired read which will leave you with your feelings in a mess after this wonderful romance. I suggest a box of tissues for the end.