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Tag Archives: Jane Austen Centre

Every once in a while I browse the Jane Austen Centre’s online gift shop. I’ve ordered gifts from the catalogue in the past, most notably the I love Darcy totebags as gifts to my writing friends one Christmas.

If I had money to burn, here is what I’d buy:

The caption reads: “Feel like Jane Bennett and dream of your Mr Bingley!”
I don’t know if I’d dream of Bingley, but I love the nightgown
Price: $51.84

Maybe I’d actually write in a journal if I owned this one.
Cost: $48.60

Because one cannot ever have too many totebags and this is a very pretty one!
Cost: $21.06
A coffee mug!

“I am half agony, half hope.”
The romantic line Capt. Wentworth wrote to Ann.
Cost: $24.30

This CD features music Jane would have played.
Cost: $19.44
That’s enough of an indulgence for now. Any of these items are affordable (some costumes from the giftshop are not), if extravagant. Furthermore, I don’t need any of them!
What is on your wishlist? Jane Austen Centre or otherwise, what things do you pine for, things you really could afford, but that seem too frivolous to actually purchase?
Don’t forget that Valiant Soldier, Beautiful Enemy is on sale at eHarlequin right now and will be on bookstore shelves Aug 23.

Inspired (somewhat) by Carolyn’s post yesterday I’ve been over at History Hoydens today talking about eels and thought I’d talk today about summer and summer foods.

First, here’s a great link to some recipes from the online newsletter from the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, including the delectable Anne Elliott’s Apricot Ice Cream.

The modern recipe you’ll find there is based on one in Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Housekeeping Made Plain and Easy (1756):

Pare and stone twelve ripe apricots, and scald them, beat them fine in a mortar, add to them six ounces of double refined sugar, and a pint of scalding cream, and work it through a sieve; put it in a tin with a close cover, and set it in a tub of ice broke small, with four handfuls of salt mixed among the ice. When you see your cream grows thick round the edges of your tin, stir it well and put it in again till it is quite thick; when the cream is all froze up, take it out of the tin, and put it into the mould you intend to turn it out of; put on the lid and have another tub of salt and ice ready as before; put the mould in the middle, and lay the ice under and over it; let it stand for four hours, and never turn it out till the moment you want it, then dip the mould in cold spring water, and turn it into a plate. You may do any sort of fruit the same way.

Another delicious morsel you might have missed was Jonathan Yardley’s article in the Washington Post, Pride. Prejudice. Perfection, one in a series of rereading favorite books. His article is a lovely tribute to his mother, a lifelong admirer of Austen, who, like Mr. Bennett, with a book in her hand was “regardless of time.”

Oh, wait. Summer. A great time for reading and re-reading, for eating delicious seasonal foods (peaches, anyone?). I have finally read Naomi Novik’s latest, such a sad book, but with some phenomenal battle scenes, and writing (although not nearly enough) and not getting nearly enough ice cream.

What have you been doing?

(I’ll leave the Academy Award Blog to Amanda, but just gotta say–Is there anything Hugh Jackman can’t do????)

Last week my friends Mary Blayney, Julie Halperson, Lavinia Kent, and I finally got together for our Christmas dinner–(we were all very busy)

This was my gift to each of them. It is The Jane Austen Centre’s eco-friendly shopping bag. You can order one of your own, or any number of lovely things here.

This is what Lavinia gave me:

Gaming Counters from the 19th Century! What our Regency heroes and heroines gambled with, like we would gamble with poker chips.

It was the fashion in the mid-1700s -1800s to use these small (that’s a US quarter to give you an idea of size) mother-of-pearl chips for gambling, or even friendly games of cards. The chips came from China, through the East India Company. Each is carved and each have a Chinese scene on them. Here is a nice little history of the Chinese gaming counters.

And here is a good image of two counters and the kind of detail that are on them.

The gaming counters came in a variety of shapes, some like fish.

These are what Lydia Bennett meant in Pride & Prejudice, when she talked “incessantly of lottery tickets, of the fish she had lost and the fish she had won…”

You can win this set of counters on ebay.

Some of you know Lavinia. She was a 2008 Golden Heart Finalist and has been a GH finalist a bunch of times. Her GH entry, A Talent for Sin, sold to Avon and will be released in May!! She’ll be our Risky Regency guest author when the book is released.

Do you like to play cards? What is your favorite card or board or computer game?
Do you like eco-friendly bags? Do you use them at the grocery store?
Have you found something Hugh Jackman can’t do?

Visit Diane’s website to learn about her April Undone, The Unlacing of Miss Leigh, and her April Novella, Justine and the Noble Viscount, in The Diamonds of Welbourne Manor.
Diane is also blogging today at Wet Noodle Posse about “Writing Love Scenes from Real Life”

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