Love’s Wild Ride: Flying Kiss of #China

Jane Eyre, the lead character in Annabelle Troy’s novel Jane Eyre Gets Real, is no stranger to the travails of #love. However, even she would hesitate before visiting the new carousel ride at China’s Flying Kiss Amusement Park, Chongqing. There, on a cliff 3,300 feet above the Wu River, are poised two gigantic statues; one represents Chaofeng, the other The Purple Fairy, mythic lovers from an ancient tale. Each figure holds a revolving carousel in their hand, which takes human passengers to a height of 52 meters then spins them around in the air, allowing them gorgeous–if dizzying–panoramic views. The … Continue reading Love’s Wild Ride: Flying Kiss of #China

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

Were Fairies the First #Ballerinas?

If you are in any doubt, read The Grace of the Hunchback by Annabelle Troy–available on Amazon, for free Jan. 12, 13th and 14th. It is a novel based on real-life prima ballerina Marie Taglioni who, among other famous parts, played a sylph, the most ethereal type of fairy. The book is about her quest for love. However, it is not a romance; rather, it portrays Marie’s yearning for affection in a world where she plays a beauty on stage but spends her reality as an awkward outcast. Jane Eyre gives it 5 stars!     Continue reading Were Fairies the First #Ballerinas?

White Not Always Right for #Weddings

Yes, dear reader, Jane Eyre ultimately married Rochester, her one true love. But not before his first wife shredded Jane’s wedding veils to pieces…Perhaps the color, not the intent, was what didn’t appeal to Bertha Rochester! We think of white as being traditional for a bride; this, however, only became the case after Queen Victoria chose the color (or non-color) for her own nuptials. Even after she popularized the white wedding gown many less fortunate, more practical women chose to wed in wool or linen dresses that could be worn again and again; for the wedding ceremony they often threw … Continue reading White Not Always Right for #Weddings

Vinegar #Valentines

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 … Continue reading Vinegar #Valentines

Charm Or Opulence: Which Do You Prefer?

Jane Eyre, the lead character in Jane Eyre Gets Real, a whimsical mash-up novel available on #Amazon, knows all about the language of flowers. To the Victorians, sending a bouquet of white violets meant you were asking someone to gamble on love; if they returned a dark pink rose it meant they shared your passion but a light pink one signified they wanted to leave you in the friend zone. In a debate on the merits of charm versus opulence, two autumn flowers speak for themselves. Aster Daisy: I’m sweet and unpretentious. If I were a house I’d be a thatched country cottage; … Continue reading Charm Or Opulence: Which Do You Prefer?

What Color Is Your Parasol?

Even Jane Eyre, shy governess, knew about the secret language of fans: the way a lady could tilt a fan one way to flirt or flip it upside down to show she wasn’t interested. There is a secret language inherent in parasols too. For instance: handle to lips means “kiss me”, a swing to the right means “I’m married”, and dropping your parasol means “I love you” (just don’t actually drop it on your beloved’s toes). You could even convey fairly complicated meanings like “You’ve changed” (hold the parasol to the right ear) or “We are being watched” (draw the … Continue reading What Color Is Your Parasol?

Are Dolphins Players?

  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 … Continue reading Are Dolphins Players?

Very Victorian #RoyalWedding Problems

  #MeghanMarkle and #PrinceHarry may be encountering logistical problems shortly before the Windsor Castle extravaganza scheduled for tomorrow. However, Jane Eyre, a character in Annabelle Troy’s novel Jane Eyre Gets Real, can remember all the way back to 1840 and the day Queen Victoria wed Prince Albert. Here are some of the wedding hoops Victoria had to jump through: White Wedding Gowns Were Not Yet in Fashion but Victoria Insisted on Wearing White Silk, Trimmed with Lace & Orange Blossoms. Interestingly, White At That Time Symbolized Not Purity But Wealth. The Groom Was Prettier than the Bride. Victoria Mourned the Fact … Continue reading Very Victorian #RoyalWedding Problems

Counting Your Chickens Before They’re Hatched: Very Victorian Spring Problems

This year the spring equinox was March 20, so it’s official: we have sprung! Victorians, who loved all categories, enjoyed celebrating this season with their usual aplomb. Hence, the cast of Jane Eyre Gets Real presents Very Victorian Spring Problems:   Your Chickens Have A Better Love Life Than You Do You Dress Your Children In White & Expect Them Not To Get Dirty Your Greenhouse Looks Like A Mausoleum   Everyone Else Has Gone A-Maying But You’re Stuck At Home Baking Scones  Your New Pet Refuses To Play Fetch   Rabbits Are Taking Over The School System The Flowers In Your … Continue reading Counting Your Chickens Before They’re Hatched: Very Victorian Spring Problems