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

Happy Bling #Easter

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Jane Eyre may spend this Sunday dyeing hard-boiled eggs the old-fashioned way, without vinegar, and with a lot of onion skins, plants and whatnot. Dorian Gray, her fellow character in the novel Jane Eyre Gets Real, prefers a more decadent approach. These are his picks for a most extravagant Easter holiday:

Have the $2000 “Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata” at Norma’s in New York City’s Parker Meridien Hotel. Made with an entire lobster, six fresh eggs and chives, and served over a bed of Yukon gold potatoes, it’s really the 10 ounces of Sevruga caviar that makes the dish so costly.

Carry the world’s most expensive handbag: the new Easter egg-shaped design art piece designed by Debbie Wingham. The clasp is a pair of Cartier earrings, the base is 24-carat gold decorated with a mixture of pink and white diamonds. Though some of the materials which fashion the bag have been upcycled, such as the Hermes silk scarf lining, it still costs $6.7 million.

Invest in a Faberge egg–if you can find one. About 69 eggs were originally created by jeweler Peter Carl Faberge for the Russian Imperial family, of which 57 examples are known to exist. As whimsical as they are lavish, each egg contained “a surprise” upon opening; for instance, an early version in white enamel had a golden yolk inside which contained a golden hen which opened to a pendant. If you can’t afford the typical price, upwards of $10 million, per egg, either discover one of the unaccounted for examples–finder’s keepers–or just watch The Romanoffs on Netflix.

Eat an egg. The most expensive non-jeweled chocolate egg ever to be manufactured was sold at auction in 2012, for–bad news–over $11,000. Good news: a Godiva Easter basket will only set you back $100.

Here’s to finding the goose that laid the golden egg! Happiest of holidays, from Dorian Gray and the others at Jane Eyre Gets Real.

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Victorian Lamb #Cake for #Easter

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

Cakes in the shape of a lamb are an adorable Easter tradition in many parts of Europe, including Italy and Poland. Jane, the lead character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, always bakes one for Easter. She has shared this post with you on other holidays but is doing so again for new readers. (TIP: for Halloween, bake a red velvet version of this cake–blood of the lamb–and take its head off before you serve.)

First, get a lamb mold (online or at an Italian bakery). Second, follow this receipt:

LAMB CAKE RECIPE 2 cups all purpose flour 3 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 1/8 cups sugar 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 3/4 cup milk Grease pan front and back thoroughly and dust lightly with flour. Or, mix together a paste of 2 tablespoons flour and 1 tablespoon shortening; then use to grease…

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Unicorns: They Don’t Get No Respect

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Dorian Gray, of Jane Eyre Gets Real fame, knows only too well what it’s like to be judged by appearances. It was his creator, Oscar Wilde, who coined the phrase “Life imitates Art”. This is true of how we view the unicorn. Once a noble animal, revered as an image of Christ in disguise, the unicorn was woven into tapestries which graced princely halls. This was during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance when people took themselves seriously. If they didn’t they risked going to hell.

In our science-influenced times, mythical beings are given short shrift. It’s true that millennials have revived the unicorn’s popularity, but they have made the one-horned beast a figure of fun, symbolizing nothing. He is merely a product; there are unicorn shower curtains, t-shirts, jewelry, party hats, frappes, cookies, a candy called unicorn poop as well as unicorn poop slime! Innocence, one of the unicorn’s ancient attributes, is no longer honored, slaughtered then mourned; rather, the unicorn is now celebrated for its colors which are baked into a cupcake or churned into a shake, as befits our greedy, hungry, commerce-driven age.

The theme of March’s blogs have been whimsical, as befits the weather: unicorns, cotton candy and rainbows. Below are the answers to last week’s rainbow quiz:

1. Thomas Pynchon 2. Kermit the Frog 3. Harold Arlen 4. Moonbow 5. I Am  A  Rainbow  6. Alexander’s Band 7. Confetti 8. Light & Water


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Rainbows Keep Fallin’ On My Head


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Alice of Wonderland fame, and a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, lived in a time when children were expected to be fanciful AND studious. Though she loved legends like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, she also was tutored in mathematics by her father’s friend Charles Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll, as well as learning natural science, home economics and literature. In this spirit, she has devised the following quiz. See how many answers you can get without googling (if you are too lazy to google, answers will appear in next week’s blog).

  1. Who wrote the novel Gravity’s Rainbow?
  2. What muppet character is famous for singing The Rainbow Connection?
  3. Who composed Somewhere Over the Rainbow?
  4. What is a rainbow formed by moonlight called?
  5. What is the full title of the Dolly Parton children’s book that ends with the word Rainbow?
  6. The region in between multiple rainbows is known by what term?
  7. What do you call a cake that has rainbow sprinkles baked into the batter?
  8. A rainbow is formed when two essential components meet in the atmosphere. Name them.

Good luck and remember this old Irish blessing:

” May God give you…

For every storm, a rainbow,

For every tear, a smile,

For every care, a promise,

And a blessing in each trial.”

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Catch the Cotton Candy Bouquet

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Madame Emma Bovary is now a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy. She started life as the beautiful but doomed creation of Gustave Flaubert. In a poignant scene early in Flaubert’s novel, Emma enters her new home as a bride, only to find the withered wedding bouquet of her predecessor, the first and now-deceased Madame Bovary, lying around on the bedroom mantelpiece. She makes her/their husband, Charles, get rid of it. Emma, a very disappointed wife, will ultimately throw her own dried-up floral bouquet into the fire.

Perhaps she might have fared better if she’d forgotten orange blossoms, daisies, or roses altogether and made a more unconventional choice. Today’s bolder brides are replacing flowers with materials including pinecones, seashells, succulents, paper butterflies, balls of yarn, and cotton candy–yes, candy cotton! What a sweet idea, to carry a big puff of pink (or blue) spun sugar, resplendent on a stick, down the aisle. Your bridesmaids can each have one too.

And let’s not forget the 2018 brainchild of Villa Italian Kitchen: the pizza bouquet. One lucky winner received an edible arrangement comprised of dough, tomatoes, mozzarella, and pepperoni–hold the anchovies. The groom got to wear, and eventually eat, a mini-pizza boutonniere:

All of this makes origami, once a questionable choice, seem pretty tame by comparison. Let Emma know: would YOU carry an unconventional bouquet? If so, what would you like it to be made of?

Ode to #Choupette, World’s Richest #Cat

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There once was a cat named Choupette

who never had to worry about debt.

She modeled for cars and for beauty,

Purina couldn’t license her booty;

the designer who owned her

thought victuals too vulgar

no cat chow ads for the lovely Choupette.


Now she lives in a mansion

with a bank account and a pension,

silver fur brushed daily by maids,

her cushion trimmed with golden braid.

She never has to eat mice;

they are not nearly as nice

as caviar from a spoon made of jade.


Only one thing this cat lacks;

mere wealth can’t bring her papa back.

Every night she looks for Karl,

sees only darkness and gives a snarl.

She curls up with a sigh, tries not to cry.

To say she loves wealth would not be a lie

but poor Choupette really misses her Karl.


The poem above is courtesy of Dorian Gray, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, who realizes beauty is not always how it appears and is often tinged with sorrow.

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Victorian Bon Mots

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Bon mots are like small candies eager to be enjoyed. If you’ve eaten up all of your Valentine’s Day chocolates, never mind–let these bon mots from the characters of  Jane Eyre Gets Real sweeten your palate.

Jane Eyre: Gloves are like swans; they mate for life.

Dorian Gray: If you don’t like what you see in the mirror stop seeking your reflection.

Mr. Darcy: Never tell a single woman you have a fortune unless you expect to marry her.

Hester Prynne: Children born of adultery are twice as cunning.

HeidiMake fondue, not war.

Sherlock Holmes: Perhaps Jack the Ripper was never caught because, unlike most criminals, he did not wish to be.

Madame Bovary: Poor people are just as unhappy as rich people except they don’t have any money to comfort themselves.

Alice in Wonderland: No matter how fast you run you can never outrun yourself.

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Let It #Snow Globe

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Heidi was “conceived” in 1880 just in time for the snow globe craze.  The first snow globe probably appeared at the 1878 Paris Universal Exposition; a local glassware company took the paperweight one step further with an objects like “paper weights of hollow balls filled with water, containing a man with an umbrella.” When you shook this ‘paperweight’ white powder fell in imitation of snow. What fun!

Austrian inventor Erwin Perzy is, however, considered the father of the snow globe. Trying to perfect the lightbulb–make a brighter version to be used in medical surgeries–he happened upon a better way to build a snow globe. He used semolina flakes as his snow and in 1900 patented the first Schneekugel. By 1905 his firm was turning out dozens of these delightful handmade objects; in 1908 Perzy was officially honored by Emperor Franz Joseph I. for his contribution to Viennese knickknacks.

However, by the middle of the 1900s, Americans were ruling the snow globe industry.  Practical Yanks manufactured them by the thousands using injection molding and plastic snow called “flitter.” Brands commandeered them for advertising purposes; Walt Disney got on the bandwagon in 1959 with a snow globe containing a tiny Bambi. Hollywood loved them, too. Remember Citizen Kane? Well, the globe Kane was holding at movie’s end, which shattered on the ground when he died, was made by none other than Erwin Perzy.

This pretty combo of figurine and toy continues to be popular. Only problem: the souvenir cannot now be taken on airplanes (because of liquid content). So when Heidi goes from NYC to the Swiss Alps to visit Grandfather, she may have to bring another kind of gift: maybe medical marijuana?

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Vinegar #Valentines

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Jane Eyre may have received one–if not from Mr. Rochester than from her horrid cousins. Called “vinegar valentines” or “penny dreadfuls”, these alternative Valentine’s Day cards were mailed to people of whom you disapproved, reminding them of their flaws and/or rejecting their love. Starting to appear in the 1840s and continuing well into the 1970s, they became as popular as the “real” penny Valentines being sent left and right on February 14th. Well before the Internet, these comically cruel cards were a reminder that human nature demands the sour with the sweet. Like the messages of today’s internet trolls, they were sent anonymously and, to make matters worse, with postage due.

Here are some examples:

vinegar valentine: “To my valentine, Tis a lemon I hand to you  And bid you now Skidoo  Because I love another  There is no chance for you.”

Lot of 4 Victorian Vinegar Valentines Don't Charles Howard Ladies Gambler 9.5"

A vinegar valentine for spurning advances.


Valentine to a suffragette.

You get the idea. Perhaps the closest modern day equivalent is the annoying “glitter card”:

At any rate, this February 14th be sure to open all packages with care. The characters of Jane Eyre Gets Real wish you the happiest of Valentine’s Days.

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