Christmas Fairy Tales

In an all-too literal world, Alice in Wonderland–appearing courtesy of #LewisCarroll in the novel Jane Eyre Gets Real–recommends the following old-fashioned diversions: The Cricket on the Hearth: A Fairy Tale of Home by Charles Dickens: an early Dickens novel where a chirping cricket acts as a young family’s guardian angel. Set during #Christmas, it was a Victorian sentimental favorite and was produced several times on the stage, both in England and Russia. Grimm’s Fairy Tales: Get a complete edition of the original stories (there should be over 200 tales), preferably in a leather-bound, gilt-edged edition. #Disney adaptations notwithstanding, these are … Continue reading Christmas Fairy Tales

Mustaches in #Quarantine

A quarantine trend of 2020, men growing fancy mustaches to go with their beards, is a topic not unknown by David Copperfield. Copperfield, a character in the novel Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, was invented by #CharlesDickens, himself no stranger to facial hair. Modern men see mustache-growing as a sign of self-determination in a powerless time. Victorian men may have simply done it to gain an extra layer of warmth in grim winters! Regardless of the reason here are some classic types of stache, for anyone seeking inspiration: Known for its upturned curves, this will make you look … Continue reading Mustaches in #Quarantine

Snow Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

David Copperfield appears as a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy. Some people say that Copperfield’s original creator, Charles Dickens, popularized the idea of a white Christmas–having written A Christmas Carol during a particularly stormy winter. Being then something of an expert on the subject, David gives us three variations of Victorian snow-related themes: 1. The #Snow Baby: a miniature figurine, in the shape of an infant or small child, engaged in some winter activity. The figure’s snowsuit is often covered in tiny pieces of crushed bisque which appear to glitter like snowflakes. The first snow babies were … Continue reading Snow Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

A Tale of Two #Turkeys

David Copperfield, orphan boy grown into earnest young man, appears in Jane Eyre Gets Real. The character was, of course, created by Charles Dickens, also famous for A Tale of Two Cities, his novel about the French Revolution. Jane Eyre Gets Real is all about mashups–and that includes mashed potatoes. Below, David combines not Paris and London, but #Thanksgiving main courses with Thanksgiving themes for dessert. Turkey #1 is a dense, savory cake made of all the ingredients you would normally use for your entrees. It contains sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce as well as sausage stuffing, garlic and more. Try it … Continue reading A Tale of Two #Turkeys

Uptown Ghouls

  David Copperfield, created by Charles Dickens and appearing in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, has always relied on the good fellowship of mankind. This may seem in short supply today; but, somewhat ironically in a holiday devoted to the dead, the living shine on October 31st. In some of the best neighborhoods in the USA and England, the spirit of Halloween is alive and well. Decorations are lavishly demonic and candy is democratically given to all. New York’s Upper East Side Boston’s Beacon Hill Philadelphia Los Angeles, California Kensington, London Wherever you are trick or treating, have a safe … Continue reading Uptown Ghouls

What’s on YOUR #Christmas Card?

Mild-mannered David Copperfield, featured in Jane Eyre Gets Real, was originally created by Charles Dickens, aka “the man who invented Christmas”.  That may well be–but he didn’t invent the Christmas card. That honor goes to Henry Cole, credited with sending out the first card in 1843. It featured a controversial image–of children, along with adults, imbibing spirits–and it was sent for just one cent via the new “Penny Post”. Victorians may not have been fans of drunken children but they did love a good picture. As the century evolved so did two popular motifs: dead birds and killer frogs. Though robins … Continue reading What’s on YOUR #Christmas Card?

“My Father Is A Catholic Priest”

  David Copperfield, originally created by Charles Dickens and now a character in Annabelle Troy’s Jane Eyre Gets Real, is no stranger to daddy issues. Raised by a cruel stepfather, he would later find a kindly if impecunious father figure in the eccentric optimist Mr. Micawber. David greatly enjoyed reading “Priestdaddy”, the memoir written by Patricia Lockwood about her own father, who was/is a Catholic priest. (Because he was ordained after he was married and had children, he was allowed by the Church to retain his marital status and his family.) “Priestdaddy” is an entertaining, sometimes solemn, account of growing up … Continue reading “My Father Is A Catholic Priest”

19th Century Daddy Issues

David Copperfield, who appears in Jane Eyre Gets Real, also “starred” in his own novel, written by the great Charles Dickens. In this classic, Copperfield’s father dies when David is very young and his stepfather is cruel, even brutal. As #FathersDay Sunday, June 17 approaches, David reflects on the children of his literary creator. Charles Dickens and his wife Kate had 10 children. A few of them including son Charley were alcoholics with gambling addictions. Frank stuttered and walked in his sleep. Katey, the eldest daughter, would grow up to marry Charles Alston Collins, a painter and the brother of author … Continue reading 19th Century Daddy Issues

Fictional Characters Need Presents Too!

In Jane Eyre Gets Real, by Annabelle Troy, nine characters from classic literature find themselves whisked from their books and placed on a reality TV show set in contemporary NYC. As Christmas is fast approaching, they divulge what they each want most from their Secret Santa (each gift must be $25 or under) Alice in Wonderland: Game of Phones, a scavenger hunt-type board game designed with tween girls in mind. Now all she needs is an i-phone. Heidi: Goats Adult Coloring Book by Jennifer E. Garza–a coloring book filled with “stress relieving goat designs.” Though made with grown-ups in mind, there is no … Continue reading Fictional Characters Need Presents Too!

Wrenboys: or how to spend the time btw Xmas & New Year’s

  December 26th has always been a problem. What is to be done with a day that is so anti-climatic? Nineteenth century England had boxing day, as David Copperfield, a character created by Dickens and appearing in Jane Eyre Gets Real by Annabelle Troy, well remembers. Servants, who had to work on Christmas, were given a box full of food, some money, perhaps castoff clothing from their employers, and allowed to take the day off to visit their families. Though still a legal holiday in the UK, it hardly packs the same punch now. Throughout Europe, especially Ireland, Dec. 26th is … Continue reading Wrenboys: or how to spend the time btw Xmas & New Year’s

Summer Tea-sers

Tea is not just for winter. The nine characters in the novel Jane Eyre Gets Real share their favorite way to enjoy this classic beverage on a steamy summer’s day. Alice in Wonderland: a pot of chamomile served with rabbit mousse tea sandwiches; rabbit mousse is like ham mousse but made with–well, you know…. Emma Bovary: oolang tea macarons Hester: homemade herbal tea cough drops (good for allergies) Mr. Darcy: Earl Grey shortbread biscuits Sherlock Holmes: salmon cured in lapsang souchong Dorian Gray (no relation to Earl): iced tea with bourbon Jane Eyre: lavender tea bread David Copperfield: black tea punch (Mr. … Continue reading Summer Tea-sers