Imagine Classic Literary Characters living in the Modern World. Read Jane Eyre Gets Real, a Novel by Annabelle Troy, available on Amazon!


In popular mythology, goats are often represented as wicked–agents of the devil or even directly possessed by Satan. There is now an “Evil Goat” game online where kids can use an arrow to guide a goat along a maze, trapping children along the way. Heidi, the little Swiss girl immortalized by Johanna Spyri and a major character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, wants to set the record straight. She ain’t afraid of no goats!

Aside from cavorting with goats all over the Alps, as well as consuming products made out of their milk such as cheese & soap, Heidi was raised on the following 16th century story:

A man is struggling to build a bridge across the Ruess River which cascades between sheer cliffs. Suddenly the devil appears before him and says, “I will build the bridge for you but in exchange I want the first soul to cross it.” The man agrees; a stone bridge appears; now the devil wants payback. As he is greedily awaiting a human, a goat comes traipsing across the bridge and the devil must take its soul instead. The bridge remains standing to this day. However, the huge boulder the devil threw down in his anger has been moved due to highway construction. Heidi hopes the goat’s soul has been taken from Satan and placed in heaven, as a reward for his valiant sacrifice.




She Glues Seashells

If Jane Eyre had ever gone to the seaside she’d be the kind of lady who’d make shell art. This was a popular pastime in the Victorian era, as it involved patience, dexterity, ingenuity and the use of found (free!) objects. Of course, a lady could always cheat a bit and buy shells; for instance at Mrs. Robinson’s shop on Grosvenor Square they were available by the packet, complete with patterns for mirrors, boxes, and picture frames.

Though making all kinds of things with shells became a trend in the 1800s, rather like adult coloring books are now, shells-as-decoration actually started with Royalty then trickled down to the bourgeoisie. Did you know that Louis XVI commissioned a cottage made entirely of shells for Marie Antoinette? Back in England the posh 18th-century furniture maker Thomas Chippendale was known for carving shell motifs onto chairs and cabinets. Across Europe noble estates boasted faux grottoes, copied from ancient Rome, and positively smothered in seashells.

Humble objects, especially those created by women, are achieving more attention in the art world. Embroidery, patchwork, needlepoint and beading are all being viewed with a fresh eye as to their importance. Former President Obama’s portrait was even recently done in Legos, by the artist known as Brixel (admittedly a man). Can we look forward to the first critically acclaimed seashell artist? To a replica of the Mona Lisa rendered in scallops perhaps or, a la Picasso, women descending a spiral staircase made from the curvy helix? With shells all things are possible!



Tiny Dancer

GIFS BEAUTIFUL: music boxes with ballerinas found on the web

If you miss the twirling ballerina on top of your childhood music box you’re in luck!

Read The Grace of the Hunchback (the story of 19th century ballerina Marie Taglioni) by Annabelle Troy free on Amazon from Aug 3-7. It will make you feel like you can twirl again!


Very Victorian Painter Problems

Dorian Gray, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real who is best known for his portrait, recently saw the film #Gaugin: Voyage to Tahiti. He found that it committed the transgression of being boring whilst being beautiful. However, it did inspire Dorian to the following insights on the problems of Victorian painters:

1. Can’t Find a Naked Woman Anywhere

2. Favorite Green Paint Contains Arsenic

3. Hard to Paint in the Fog

4. Cat Keeps Eating Your Models

5. Sudden Urge to Exhume Dead Wife (see infamous case of Dante Gabriel Rossetti,  the Pre-Raphaelite painter & poet; he dug up former wife/favorite model Lizzie Siddall, to retrieve some manuscripts he’d placed in her coffin)

The Rossetti/Siddal grave

6. Absinthe is legal



Are Dolphins Players?


Image result for pictures of dolphins from etruscan

Emma Bovary, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, was infamous in her time for being a housewife on the prowl. Bored with her dull husband, she sought adventures in love with a series of unworthy men, most notably a self-absorbed aristocrat and an immature if handsome bank clerk. Well, pickings were slim in 19th century France, even for a beauty.

It is with a mixture of interest and revulsion that Emma has come to learn of the free- spirited antics of male dolphins. In the 1960s, an era generally known for its experimental attitude, Margaret Lovatt lived in a converted house with “Peter” the dolphin (he was confined to a built-in sea pool). Though Margaret tried hard in many ways to communicate with Peter, he seemed to be chiefly interested in her anatomy. He’d rub himself on her knee or foot or hand and often stared at her bare legs and up her skirt, apparently with longing and ardor.

Scientific studies show that human women give off pheromones very similar to those of a female dolphin. In the Amazon boto dolphins are known as shapeshifters, or encantados, who can mate and reproduce with human women. No word on what those offspring are called but they are believed to have existed. So, if you are totally disillusioned with the dating scene this summer, remember that your only choice may not be the lifeguard…LOL.

Image result for pictures of dolphins from etruscan

#Trump, #Tudors and #Queens, Oh My!

As President Trump is set to pay an official visit to the UK on July 12th, many people will be thinking about #Brexit. However, Hester Prynne, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real who first appeared in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, is thinking of Henry the VIII. Though Trump is only on his third wife, something about his bearing reminds her of Henry. Born in England in the mid 16th century, Hester would have learned all about the notorious Tudor monarch, even if he died 100 years before her own birth.

Hester reflects that the princesses who now get all the attention, #KateMiddleton and #MeghanMarkle, remind her of two of his queens. With her sweet expression and thoughtful, traditional ways, as well as her ability to produce male heirs, Kate reminds Hester of Jane Seymour. Seymour was Henry the VIII.’s third wife, a beloved, beautiful if slightly dull woman who beamed with the kind of serene radiance later exuded by air hostesses. Meghan Markle, though she has caused no marital upset, is a bit more like Anne Boleyn: a hot brunette who raises eyebrows and pushes at social boundaries, wherever she goes. Luckily for these two ladies, beheading has gone out of style. Hester will keep #Melania in her prayers.



What Do #Fireworks & #JaneEyre Have In Common?

They’re both dazzling!

Read Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, free on Amazon, July 3-7. It’s as much fun as sparklers–and it won’t blow your hand off!

Happy #fourthofJuly from Jane and her friends, including #Mr.Darcy, #SherlockHolmes, Alice, Hester, David and Heidi.

Very Victorian #Vacation Problems

As vacation time beckons, the cast of Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy is delighted to present you with these holiday reflections, as relevant today as they were over a century ago:


Flying Is So Cramped These Days & The Passenger Next To You Never Shuts Up

Even With Nothing In It Your Luggage Exceeds the Weight Requirements

You Attract Swimsuit Envy At Your Own Peril

Doing Nothing Is Never As Much Fun As You Think It’s Going To Be

There Had Better Be Hot Chocolate At The Top

You Got On The Bloody Thing–Now How Are You Going To Get Off?

Don’t Worry, #Bee Happy



After Alice in Wonderland, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, falls down the rabbit hole she keeps trying to recite “How Doth the Little Busy Bee” (a Victorian childhood favorite) but it keeps coming out as “How Doth the Little Crocodile.” That’s when she knows she’s in trouble! Refine your own bee knowledge by taking the quiz below:

A Collection of hives is called

a. an aviary b. an apiary c. a honeycomb

The typical Queen Bee’s life span is

a. 1 year  b. 3 years  c. 6 months

Victorians often kept bees in an upturned straw basket known as

a. skip  b. skep   c. trug

Honey bees will typically stop flying when the temp. drops below (in Fahrenheit)

a. 30 degrees b. 50 degrees c.  60 degrees

The wooden hive, with moveable frames and “space” for bees, was invented in

a. Ireland  b. USA  c.  ancient Egypt

Mesopotamian civilization recorded the harvesting of honey as early as

a. 1000 BC  b. 2400 BC  c. 600 BC

To get your colony off to a good start feed your bees

a. honey from a jar  b. white sugar  c.  brown sugar

When Sherlock Holmes retires he keeps bees in

a. Wessex  b.  Sussex  c.  Essex

Nectar is changed into honey because of natural chemicals in the bee’s

a. stinger  b. head glands  c. thorax

Science has shown that honeybees can recognize

a. human voices b. human faces c. the human alphabet

Per year Americans consume how many pounds of honey?

a. 11 million  b. 285 million pounds c. 350 thousand

If you answered b to all of the above, you are correct! You have earned a pot of honey!















Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: