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Archive for the ‘Lost in Austen’ Category

Lydia Bennet’s Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia’s online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet’s Story, begins.

Monday, November 16th 1801

Our cousin, Mr Collins, a hideously dull and ugly clergyman, arrived today. He is twenty five, but indeed looks much older and every time he opens his mouth, it is to deliver a sermon, or at least that is how it sounds to my ears. Mama declared privately that he is here to look over his possessions and chattels, for she says he will turn us all out as soon as my father is pronounced dead, as he is to inherit our Longbourn estate. I have taken steps to ensure that our paths will not cross very often. After dinner, it transpired that HE DOES NOT READ NOVELS and read from a set of Fordyce’s Sermons to my incredulous horror! I know I was more than a little impolite when I interrupted him, and though my sisters protested against it, I could see perfectly clearly how relieved they were that he did not carry on.
I announced my intention of visiting Aunt Philips on the morrow to enquire after Mr Denny and find out when he is due back from town. I do not think I shall have time to call on my dear friend Isabella, nor do I wish to inflict my earnest relation on her good person.
It has been noted that Mr Collins stares at Jane with a great deal of admiration.

Lydia Bennet

Photo: Guy Henry playing an excellent Mr Collins in the hilarious Lost in Austen

Illustration of the Bennet family by Hugh Thomson

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I’ve started a new book – well, I’ve written a synopsis and a couple of chapters and am feeling really excited at the prospect of immersing myself in the world of another Jane Austen sequel. It does feel like escaping to another existence, albeit a fantasy one, and I must admit, I did have more than a little chuckle at the first episode of ‘Lost in Austen’, because I could identify so well with with the heroine, (even if we know deep inside that we all much prefer the time we live in). Of course nothing can equal Jane Austen’s writing, but we sequel writers are compelled to carry on with the lives of her characters, inventing new stories, even if we know they are not exactly what she might have chosen to write about herself. Can we have too much Pride and Prejudice? I don’t think so, or for that matter, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey or Persuasion.

On my northern tour with my sister, (well, it was just a long weekend really,) we stayed in an old coaching inn at Bakewell. Many people think that Bakewell was the inspiration for Lambton, where Lizzy Bennet stays with her aunt and uncle Gardiner when travelling through the peak district and where she starts to see Mr Darcy (or Pemberley) in a different light. The Rutland Arms, where I stayed, has a room which they claim Jane Austen stayed in. I don’t know whether the evidence for this is very strong, but it’s a lovely idea. As a surprise my sister booked us in for my birthday treat. The top photo shows the view of Bakewell from our window and below is the scene in the reception sitting room, which inspired a breakfast room scene in my own Lydia Bennet’s Story. Doesn’t it look cosy? We travelled in late November; I remember sparkling, frosty days, blue skies and mists in the valley- and sitting by a roaring fire when inside – perfect!

In 1835, Bakewell was described in Pigot and Co’s Commercial Directory for Derbyshire: Bakewell is an ancient town, situate at the foot of a hill, on the western bank of the river Wye, whose stream abounds with trout and other fish affording ample reward to the patience of the angler; while the rich and romantic scenery, enhanced in beauty by the noble appearance of wood-clad hills, present strong and almost not to be resisted inducements, to the visitors of Buxton and Matlock, to tarry a time in this vicinity.

We certainly had a lovely time, sampling the delights of the landscape and the famous Bakewell Pudding!

Read Full Post »

I’ve started a new book – well, I’ve written a synopsis and a couple of chapters and am feeling really excited at the prospect of immersing myself in the world of another Jane Austen sequel. It does feel like escaping to another existence, albeit a fantasy one, and I must admit, I did have more than a little chuckle at the first episode of ‘Lost in Austen’, because I could identify so well with with the heroine, (even if we know deep inside that we all much prefer the time we live in). Of course nothing can equal Jane Austen’s writing, but we sequel writers are compelled to carry on with the lives of her characters, inventing new stories, even if we know they are not exactly what she might have chosen to write about herself. Can we have too much Pride and Prejudice? I don’t think so, or for that matter, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey or Persuasion.

On my northern tour with my sister, (well, it was just a long weekend really,) we stayed in an old coaching inn at Bakewell. Many people think that Bakewell was the inspiration for Lambton, where Lizzy Bennet stays with her aunt and uncle Gardiner when travelling through the peak district and where she starts to see Mr Darcy (or Pemberley) in a different light. The Rutland Arms, where I stayed, has a room which they claim Jane Austen stayed in. I don’t know whether the evidence for this is very strong, but it’s a lovely idea. As a surprise my sister booked us in for my birthday treat. The top photo shows the view of Bakewell from our window and below is the scene in the reception sitting room, which inspired a breakfast room scene in my own Lydia Bennet’s Story. Doesn’t it look cosy? We travelled in late November; I remember sparkling, frosty days, blue skies and mists in the valley- and sitting by a roaring fire when inside – perfect!

In 1835, Bakewell was described in Pigot and Co’s Commercial Directory for Derbyshire: Bakewell is an ancient town, situate at the foot of a hill, on the western bank of the river Wye, whose stream abounds with trout and other fish affording ample reward to the patience of the angler; while the rich and romantic scenery, enhanced in beauty by the noble appearance of wood-clad hills, present strong and almost not to be resisted inducements, to the visitors of Buxton and Matlock, to tarry a time in this vicinity.

We certainly had a lovely time, sampling the delights of the landscape and the famous Bakewell Pudding!

Read Full Post »

Lost in Austen

Two words – utterly brilliant!
Well, I was going to leave it there, but I need to add that if you want Pride and Prejudice, read the book. If you want to escape to the imagined world of an alternative Pride and Prejudice, where the plot takes on a life of its own and where the laughs are abundant, then you will enjoy this series. I loved every single actor – you were all excellent, and the writing is so clever and funny. Sorry, Mr Darcy, you were good, but I’ve fallen in love with someone else. Mr Bennet, (Hugh Bonneville) I love you!

Read Full Post »

Lost in Austen

Two words – utterly brilliant!
Well, I was going to leave it there, but I need to add that if you want Pride and Prejudice, read the book. If you want to escape to the imagined world of an alternative Pride and Prejudice, where the plot takes on a life of its own and where the laughs are abundant, then you will enjoy this series. I loved every single actor – you were all excellent, and the writing is so clever and funny. Sorry, Mr Darcy, you were good, but I’ve fallen in love with someone else. Mr Bennet, (Hugh Bonneville) I love you!

Read Full Post »