Mr. Darcy on “Love & Friendship”

Love & Friendship, the recently released film directed by Whit Stillman, is based on the novella entitled Lady Susan, written by Jane Austen when she was just fourteen. Because the novella itself has a deliberately satirical style (it is meant not to be a comedy of manners so much as to parody one), it’s a delightful choice for a frothy movie.  Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco) lives up to all the syllables of his name, with expert and adult direction. Kate Beckinsale, beautiful as a full-blown rose, plays Lady Susan–no blushing maiden, but a woman of … Continue reading Mr. Darcy on “Love & Friendship”

Honey, I’m Home

It’s no mystery that, at the age of 49, Sherlock Holmes retired to the Sussex Downs, gave up being a detective, and devoted himself to beekeeping. What we don’t know is what he did with all that honey? The enigmatic Mr. Holmes is unlikely to ever divulge the answer, though he did let slip some of it went in little pots to the house of Dr. Watson, as Christmas presents for the doctor and his wife. Sherlock himself was surprised to learn that honey can be used as a form of expression. Dorian Gray told Holmes about the artist Blake … Continue reading Honey, I’m Home

Let Me Call You Sweet Tart

Recently David Copperfield, one of Charles Dicken’s most famous characters, was in the village of Bakewell, UK. Dickens once stayed in Bakewell, at the Rutland Arms, whilst writing his long-forgotten short story called “The Warilows of Wellland”; this same hotel also hosted Jane Austen, Lord Byron, and Coleridge–though never, of course, at the same time. David Copperfield just stopped by for the Bakewell Tart. This pastry, available in cardboard boxes throughout English supermarkets, is virtually unknown in the States. A pity, because the freshly made version is scrumptious. It is concocted from a shortcrust pastry shell embellished with layers of … Continue reading Let Me Call You Sweet Tart

“I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud”

“I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.” Above is the first verse of William Wordsworth’s famous poem, written in 1807. Recently Alice in Wonderland visited Wordworth’s house in Cumberland, England, part of the serene Lake District.  She was impressed by the house’s graceful beauty and careful restoration. The whole place had a most pleasant air. William was born there on April 7, 1770; his father was a lawyer. … Continue reading “I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud”

Which Fairy Tale Are You?

Maybe you have asked yourself this question for a long time…or maybe not. In either case, the answer can be revealed by taking the quiz below: Alice in Wonderland, Heidi, and the whole gang from Jane Eyre Gets Real are eagerly awaiting your result. Please let us know what you got! Also, be sure to read Hansel and Gretel: Inside the House of Candy. It is free on Amazon Feb.3-Feb. 7. Remember, fairy tales can come true.   Continue reading Which Fairy Tale Are You?

Mr. Darcy Reflects: “The Jane Austen Industry”

In life, like any good woman, Miss Austen preferred to keep herself private. Damn you Americans–and Brits, too! Poor Miss Austen must be blushing in her grave to see her name, her words, and her blameless image bandied about on everything from pillows to what you Yanks call “band-aids.” The other day I started to make a list of commercial products that contain some trace of her. After a scant ten minutes I already had these items: Sparkle t-shirt with quote: “It is a truth universally acknowledged that every single man in possession of a fortune must be in want … Continue reading Mr. Darcy Reflects: “The Jane Austen Industry”

Was Jack the Ripper A Tormented Poet?

Sherlock Holmes is reading A Cure for Cecily by Annabelle Troy. It’s a dark Victorian tale of romance, insanity and passion. Cecily, a young artist, is locked away in an asylum by her wealthy husband; she rebels by running away with a sympathetic doctor–but at what price? The book is available for free on Amazon Nov. 13-17: Now back to Jack. For obvious reasons, Sherlock has had a lifelong fascination with this case. There’s even a movie called Murder by Decree, in which Christopher Plummer plays Holmes tracking down the Ripper, who turns out to be the son of … Continue reading Was Jack the Ripper A Tormented Poet?