A #Love Token Of My Affection

We think of #Valentine’sDay as a time to exchange cards, flowers and Godivas. But as David Copperfield, a character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, so vividly remembers, the Victorians had a special way of showing their devotion: a common coin, sanded then engraved with all manner of sentimental designs such as entwined initials, hearts, doves and roses, even entire pastoral scenes, usually made by a man and presented to his beloved.  They lasted longer than a bouquet and were easier than scrimshaw! It became popular to sell premade love tokens at country fairs–to any gentleman who lacked the time or … Continue reading A #Love Token Of My Affection

Brits Now Celebrate #Thanksgiving!

On a recent visit to London, David Copperfield was surprised to find British friends who were planning to have Thanksgiving dinner. Why are the English embracing this quintessentially American holiday? Is it because nearly 200,000 Americans reside in the UK? Or maybe the British are trying to make up for never really taking to USA-style Halloween? Perhaps we’ll never know the reason why but we can at least figure out how. Brits who plan to make dinner at home gravitate towards a traditional menu; turkey (more commonly served in the UK for Christmas), stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. Dining out? The … Continue reading Brits Now Celebrate #Thanksgiving!

There Was A Crooked House

Just in time for #STPATRICK’SDAY, Dorian Gray, the character in Jane Eyre Gets Real who is most likely to imbibe, recounts the Tale of the Crooked House. The Crooked House Pub deep in the English countryside, in Himley west of Wolverhampton, once stand upright. But for the past 100 years, the structure has been dependably sinking into the ground, so that now it’s at an angle of 15 degrees, with the left side a good four feet lower than the right. Even if you go into the pub sober and stay that way throughout your visit, you’ll think you’re tipsy. All of … Continue reading There Was A Crooked House

Would Jane Eyre Wear a Pussyhat?

Though Jane Eyre is too often associated now with gooey Gothic romance, she would definitely have donned a pink pussyhat for Jan. 21’s march in Washington DC and across the nation. Her character was one of the first feminist voices in literature, which rang out across 19th century England for being clear, disobedient, controversial–and, yes, downright nasty. In a powerful grassroots effort, last month women across the nation knit distinctive pink hats, complete with ears, and mailed them either to marching points across America, where they were dispersed free of charge, or to individual protesters. Jane was interested to learn … Continue reading Would Jane Eyre Wear a Pussyhat?

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