Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Free E-Book: Jane Austen and Food by Maggie Lane

What was the significance of the pyramid of fruit which confronted Elizabeth Bennet at Pemberley?

Or of the cold beef eaten by Willoughby on his journey of repentance to see Marianne?

Why is it so appropriate that the scene of Emma's disgrace should be a picnic, and how do the different styles of housekeeping in Mansfield Park relate to the social issues of the day?

While Jane Austen does not luxuriate in cataloguing meals in the way of Victorian novelists, food in fact plays a vital part in her novels. Her mainly domestic plots are deeply imbued with the rituals of giving and sharing meals. The attitudes of her characters to eating, to housekeeping and to hospitality are important indicators of their moral worth. This culminates in the artistic triumph of Emma, in which repeated references to food not only contribute to the portrait of her world, but provide an extended metaphor for the interdependence of a community.

In this original, lively and well-researched book, Maggie Lane not only offers a fresh perspective on the novels of Jane Austen, but illuminates a fascinating period of food history, as England stood on the brink of urbanisation, middle-class luxury, and a revolution in the role of women.

Ranging over topics from greed to gender to mealtimes and manners, and drawing on the novels, letters and Austen family papers, she also discusses Jane Austen's own ambivalent attitude to the provision and enjoyment of food.
Endeavour Press—the UK's leading independent digital publisher—recently published a book called Jane Austen and Food by Maggie Lane, which I am currently devouring (review to come soon). They have kindly informed me that Jane Austen and Food by Maggie Lane is free to download--exclusively on Amazon--until the evening of Saturday, December 21st.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Mr Darcy's Guide to Courtship The Secrets of Seduction from Jane Austen's Most Eligible Bachelor by Fitzwilliam Darcy

cover31664-medium Inspired by the works of Jane Austen, the amusingly tongue-in-cheek Mr Darcy’s Guide to Courtship is written from the perspective of Pride and Prejudice’s Mr. Darcy and closely based on real Regency advice manuals. It is a hilarious and irreverent picture of the social mores of the period and of how men thought about women – and sheds amusing light on men of the modern age, too! Readers can dip into different sections for Darcy's views on a myriad of issues, including "What Females Want", "The Deceptions of Beautiful Women" and “Winning Their Affections, Flattery, Making Conversation, and Flirting!" Also included are sections written by Pride and Prejudice’s Miss Caroline Bingley and Mr Darcy’s correspondence with famous Regency figures including the Duke of Wellington.
Book Details:
Title: Mr. Darcy’s Guide to Courtship: The Secrets of Seduction from Jane Austen's Most Eligible Bachelor, Author: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Publisher: Osprey Publishing, ISBN: 9781908402592, $14.95, Release Date: July 23, 2013
My Thoughts:
This has to be one of the best books that I have read for while! I was laughing hysterically every time I read it.
Every Janeite will be amused as Mr. Darcy lends his advice on courtship. My favorite section had to be the ask Darcy section, although the ‘What Females Want’ section was amusing too. This book is sure to please fans of Pride & Prejudice.
I read the e-arc, although I am very eager to get my hands on the finished copy.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Reviewers Wanted


Do you love reading good books? Do you find yourself telling everyone you know about how good (or bad) the last book you read was?

If so, I have some exciting news to share with you. Our sister site Royal Reviews is seeking several new reviewers.

I have 5 permanent positions to fill as well as 8 Ladies in Waiting (guest bloggers) positions to fill. If there is an overwhelming interest in becoming a Royal Reviewer, either permanent or guest, I will consider those and may add more than just the aforementioned 5 permanents and 8 guests.

Here is a bit more about what each position entails:

Permanent Reviewer:

If you'd like to be a permanent reviewer you would be required to contribute four reviews every three months. Each review is to be done the week before it is due. A choice of genres and weeks is sent out well in advance and then you nominate which weeks you'd like to participate in. The reviews are spread out over different weeks and we will be specifically looking for reviewers who love historical fiction. You are also expected to respond to our lovely readers comments (especially when your reviews go up).

Guest Reviewer (Lady in Waiting):

Guest reviewers are required to do one review every three months. I also often call on Guest Reviewers to help out if I am short on reviews or someone is sick. Guest reviews are required to be completed and emailed to me the week before they are due.

To apply, please fill out the form below


If you have any questions or are unable to fill out the form, please email me at:

becomearoyalreviewer {at} yahoo {dot} com

We look forward to hearing from you!



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday Tea—Jane Austen TeaIY & Giveaway

Hello Lovelies,

I am bit late with posting—I was hoping to have it up last week, although the remodeling with a little awry when the contractors hammer when through the wall in the upstairs bedroom.

As this is Tuesday it’s time for a Tuesday Tea post and although I thought that I would mix it up and do a DIY, or rather a TeaIY, post. So here is a step by step process of how to make a Jane Austen-inspired Tea-dyed scarf.

What you will need:

1 White Scarf

An old pan or bowl

Tea bags

Liquid laundry detergent & softener

Iron-on transfer paper



First, find an image (or imagines) that you wish to use as well as your favorite Austen-inspired quote (quotes). Make sure to mirror the images and quotes so that when you iron them on they will be correctly positioned.


Print them out on Iron-on transfer paper and cut them out leaving only a small border around them. I found the iron-on transfer paper works the best if you have allowed the print-outs to cure at least over night before ironing them on to the surface.


Wash and scarf according to manufactures directions.


Find the colour of tea that you wish to use. You may want to experiment on a piece of paper before hand to get the colour you desire.

HPIM3949 Colour were achieved by using the tea shown above

I used three Twinings English Breakfast teabags and steeped them in a gallon and half of boiling water for about an hour.


Add your scarf to the tea. I dyed mine for about an hour, stirring about every ten minutes to make sure the tea dyed evenly.


Remove from tea, hand wash in cold water using a mild detergent then drain sink, refill, and wash using fabric softener to lock in dye.


Dry according to manufactures directions on scarf then iron.


Follow directions according to your selected Iron-on transfer paper packet.




Have you ever made a Jane Austen-inspired DIY item? I would love to hear about your adventures in crafting.


1 lucky winner will win a copy of Austentatious Crochet

Giveaway is open WORLDWIDE

Ends May 30

Best Wishes & Happy Crafting,

angela new

Whilst writing this post I was:



Twinings Pear & Apple Green Tea

Listening to:


Time by Rod Stewart

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday Tea— London Fog

Hello Lovelies,
I hope you all are well! I thought that I would share with you some London Fog.
imagesCAKDJI1E london-fog
No, not Fog in London, although the pictures I found whilst Googling the subject are rather pretty.
I’m talking about London Fog Tea (or an Earl Grey Tea Latte). The drink originated in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada although the creator of the drink remains a mystery. Fun Fact: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's afternoon show Freestyle recently investigated the drink.
While the drink has been happily served in corner teashops—and Starbucks— since 2004, I just recently discovered the drink whilst flipping through an issue of Town & Country. As I am always up for trying something new—and being a tea addict—I decided to search up the recipe and give it a go.
First, let me give you the recipe. In the black font is the recipe I found via WikiBooks Cookbook. The red font is what I actually did.
16 oz of milk. (2% or whole) ½ Cup of 2% milk
1 shot of vanilla syrup per 16 oz of milk As I don’t keep this on hand, I made my own simple syrup by heating ¼ cup water, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon of sugar on medium heat until the sugar dissolved
1 bag of Earl Grey tea Twinings Earl Grey is my preference
1/2 cup boiling water or as I call it: Put the kettle on
1. Brew a small amount of Earl Grey tea. Add about ½ cup of boiling water to a mug along with a bag of Earl Grey. The result is an Earl Grey tea concentrate. Let steep for 2-4 minutes to achieve optimum flavor. I like my tea strong, so I fixed the tea first and allowed it to steep whilst completing the entire recipe
2. Heat up milk. Access to a steamer is preferred. Another thing I don’t keep on hand—or have any desire to buy—so I heated my milk in the microwave for 15 seconds using a microwave safe container that had a tightly sealing lid—DO NOT PUT THE LID ON WHILST MICROWAVING—then I removed the container, put the lid on and shook it until foam appeared. I removed the lid, heated the milk for another 15 seconds, then shook it again until the foam doubled. Also, make sure the lid is tightly in place when you shake it or else you will be cleaning up milk from some really odd spots in the kitchen for a weeks
3. Add the vanilla syrup. (adjust according to taste) I added a teaspoon of vanilla syrup while the tea bag was steeping then added the milk and foam
After a week—or two, but really, who’s counting—of failed attempts, I finally succeeded. What did I learn about making this drink?
1. You really don’t need a milk steamer
2. You have to shake, shake, shake, shake your milk container…then shake some more.
3. If you like a strong cup of Earl Grey, add two teabags or use loose tea as the milk cuts down the strength of the tea.
4. I have never been overly fond of using sugar in my tea, so the sugar in the simple syrup was a bit much for me, even with the strength of the tea and the milk so I ended up cutting the amount f sugar way down.
5. Basically, when all is steeped and steamed, London Fog is just Creamy Earl Grey Tea, which you can find at a variety of shops that sell loose teas, with frothy milk.
Apparently, this trend has caught on as there are several other variations of this drink. Here is a list of a few other versions:
Winter Fog - A London Fog in which the amount of vanilla is reduced and clover honey is added to taste
Maui Fog - The same as London Fog, only substituting coconut for vanilla syrup
Cape Town Fog - The same as London Fog, only substituting Earl Gray with Rooibos Tea
Sweet Treat London Fog - a sweet, simple, tea-less version of a cold London Fog, which is best served in a punch bowl, consists of chilled ginger ale and copious amounts of either lime sherbet or orange sherbet. As the sherbet melts, it gives the drink a foggy appearance (In my family, this was just called punch)
Dublin Fog- The same as London Fog, only substituting Earl Grey with Irish Breakfast Tea
Fog on the Tyne - Variation on the London Fog. (Started in a Newcastle office when the Breakfast tea had ran out) a cup of hot milk, heaped spoonful of sugar, drop in an early grey tea bag and let it diffuse directly into the milk for 30-60 seconds.
Oxford Haze - substitute English Breakfast and Hazelnut syrup - first served at Shatterbox Coffee Bar in Victoria, BC in January 2013
Have you tried London Fog?
Best Wishes & Happy Sipping,
angela new

Monday, April 29, 2013

Discoveries & A Giveaway

491px-Morning-dress-Ackermanns-ca1820Hello Dearies (yes, I know, I have been watching too much  Once Upon A Time)

I hope this post finds you all well.

Okay, so I haven’t fallen down a rabbit hole nor have I found the door that Amanda Price went through that leads to Longbourn—but I am still looking for it and if you find it, please let me know! I could a break from reality right about now. (If you haven’t watched ITV’s Lost In Austen, I highly recommend giving it a go. Plus, my last comment about the door to Longbourn will make so much more sense and have me sounding less like a rambling loon!)

I have however been enduring a rather lengthy round of home renovations, which is still ongoing—and seemingly unending. While the renovations hindered my posting for a bit, I am finally able to get back into blogging and I must say I am quite excited because I have so many amazing things to blather about—and give away—in the weeks to come.

For this post, I thought I would blather a bit about what I have been doing during my absence from bloglandia. So, why don’t you sit down and enjoy a cuppa tea while I ramble on for a bit and if you are patient, I promise there will be a lovely giveaway at the end!

Here are a few things I discovered:


1. I love cozy mysteries—I suppose this should be called a rediscovery of sorts as I was an avid reader of these in the past—and I have just discovered that there are several cozy Jane Austen mysteries that I haven’t tried yet. So next time I am at Barnes & Noble I will definitely have to buy a few of these.


2. London fog tea and I have finally—after several unsuccessful attempts—mastered the art of making it (a post will be up tomorrow)


3. Ripper Street—another way to feed my Matthew Macfadyen addiction plus the series is amazing.


4. Renovations really do my head in. I am a bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to the organization of my bookshelves, so the fact that all my books are boxed up is driving me mad.


5. While I love reading fiction, I need to read a healthy dose of non-fiction and there are some interesting non-fiction books floating around about Jane Austen and the time in which she lived.


6. Parade’s End—The five-part BBC/HBO/VRT television miniseries with the highly talented Benedict Cumberbatch staring as Christopher Tietjens, although sadly I missed a few episodes but at least I have an excuse to buy the DVD when it comes out.


7. No matter where you go Jane Austen Addicts are everywhere and some interesting conversations can spring up, even the blokes get involved from time-to-time.


8. DIY Jane Austen crafts—not only do they feed my Jane Austen addiction, I find crafting to be relaxing (more to come about my adventures in craft land)


9. The Lizzy Bennet Diaries—it’s not something that I would want to watch all the time but it helps pass the time when you’re waiting in line.


10. More people than you realize name their pets Mr. Darcy—I even discovered a person who named their entire flock of sheep after Jane Austen’s characters. I must say it’s a bit odd to be going down the road and see an advertisement saying “Come Pet Mr. Darcy”.


And now for the giveaway!

What have you recently discovered or rediscovered? Leave a comment and you will be entered to win a complete hardback set of Jane Austen’s novels.


Giveaway is open WORLDWIDE

Ends May 20

Best Wishes & Good Luck!

angela new

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wuthering Nights by Emily Bronte and I.J. Miller


Romantics everywhere have been enthralled by Emily Bronte's classic novel of the tragic love between beautiful, spirited Catherine Earnshaw and dark, brooding Heathcliff. The restrained desire between these two star-crossed lovers has always smoldered on the page. And now it ignites into an uncontrollable blaze. In WUTHERING NIGHTS, writer I.J. Miller reimagines this timeless story to reveal the passion between Catherine and Heathcliff--in all its forbidden glory.

Set against the stark, raw beauty of the English moors, Heathcliff, an abandoned orphan, recognizes his soulmate in wild, impulsive Catherine, the only woman who can tame his self-destructive nature. And Catherine cannot deny the all-consuming desire she feels for him, despite his low birth. Together they engage in a fiery affair--one that will possess them, enslave them, and change their destinies forever... (taken from publishers website)

Book Details:

Title: Wuthering Nights, Author: Emily Bronte and I.J. Miller, ISBN: 9781455573028 Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, Formats Available: e-book released January 29, 2013 $3.99 Trade Paperback will be available April 23, 2013 $14.99 How I Read It: e-book from Publisher via NetGalley, Rating: Wrong, just plain Wrong

My Thoughts:

First Thought upon finishing the novel: What did I just read?

Obviously, I knew that this was an erotic retelling of the beloved Bronte classic, Wuthering Heights so I was expecting some steamy scenes between Heathcliff and Catherine, Heathcliff and Isabella, Catherine and Edgar, even possibly Hareton and Cathy.

What I wasn’t expecting was the following:

Mrs. Linton (as in the mother of Edgar and Isabella) and a servant— Not quite so shocking and actually would have been a bit funny if the servant would have been Joseph.

Heathcliff and Nelly- Seriously! Seriously? Seriously!—I could see Nelly and Hindley having it off as the 1970 film adaptation explored Nelly have feelings for Hindley but Heathcliff and Nelly…I don’t think so.

Heathcliff and Isabella and Nelly in Heathcliff’s dungeon of dirty tricks—This was so out there in left field that I skipped over it

While this claims to be a retelling, I found that the characters are mainly comprised of Mr. Miller’s reimagining of them, which, in a sense, has stripped them of their original qualities. It’s almost as if I have fallen down a naughty rabbit hole where the essence of Wuthering Heights has been made into a topsy-turvy porno.

As a lover of Wuthering Heights, I was curious to read Wuthering Nights. I truly wanted to love this book, or at least like it, and while there were parts that I liked such as Hareton and Cathy’s story being told at the end of the novel, I found that this was not the book for me.

I have to say that this was the worst book that I have ever read. I.J. Miller has taken Heathcliff, the idyllic Byronic hero, and turned him into a perverted nutcase that holds no trace of Emily Bronte’s Heathcliff save for his name. Perhaps Mr. Miller should reread Wuthering Heights and realize that Miss Bronte relied on the atmospheric moods of the tumultuous Yorkshire moors to tell the story of Heathcliff and Catherine rather than a dirty dungeon of doom. By taking out the atmosphere of Wuthering Heights, Wuthering Nights has lost its core. The only way for me to describe this book is 50 Shades of Wrong…

There are some books that you wish you could unread and, for me, Wuthering Nights is one of them.

**review also posted on Royal Reviews

Angela Atja

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jane Eyre Dvd Winner


Congratulations HPIM4268

The winner of the1969 adaptation of Jane Eyre is Diane D. Congratulations, I will be emailing you shortly.


Angela Atja

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jane Eyre DVD Giveaway


When I am not devouring the work of Jane Austen, I am reading/watching Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. And since Valentine’s Day is approaching on the 14th and my birthday is on the 19th, I thought this would be the perfect time host a few giveaways.

The first giveaway is the 1969 adaptation of Jane Eyre.


Charlotte Bronte’s classic Victorian novel comes to life under the skillful direction of Delbert Mann. Adapted in the Masterpiece Theatre style of television. Susannah York stars as Jane Eyre, the orphaned girl who secures a position as a governess to the ward of Edward Rochester (George C. Scott), lord of an English manor called “Thornfield”. When Jane and the moody and tyrannical Rochester fall in love and agree to marry, his dark and sinister past comes to the surface and crashes down on both Rochester and the innocent Jane. (from the back of the movie cover)

As this is a Region 1 DVD, the giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada.

Giveaway Ends, February 17.

To enter please leave your name and a valid email address

Just for fun:

Do you have a favorite movie version of Jane Eyre? Was there a certain actor/actress that embodied your version of Rochester/Jane?

Best Wishes and Good Luck,


Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday’s Wonderings…Miss Austen’s thoughts on Richard III

Monday's Wonderings 

Jane Austen…The Young Historian 

Richard_III_earliest_surviving_portrait Earliest surviving portrait of Richard III

When it was announced on September 12, 2012 that a skeleton had been discovered in the ruins of the Greyfriars church I was ecstatic. I waited, impatiently, until finally on February 4, 2013 the remains, through DNA analysis, were identified as Richard III.

As someone who has devoted many years studying this period of English history and the life (and death) of King Richard III, I was thoroughly and utterly excited to watch this historic discovery play out.

Being a Ricardian, I am of the belief that Richard III was innocent of the accusations lobbed against him. However, there are many who believe him to be the villain that William Shakespeare portrayed him as in his play Richard III.

Richard III, like Henry VIII, is a one of the few English kings that people continue to have differing opinions about and at the age of fifteen Jane Austen voiced her opinion about the late king in her piece of juvenilia, The History of England, dated 26 November 1791.

Richard the 3d

The Character of this Prince had been in general very severely treated by Historians, but as he was a York, I am rather inclined to suppose him a very respectable Man. It has indeed been confidently asserted that he killed his two Nephews & his Wife, but it has also been declared that he did not kill his two Nephews, which I am inclined to believe true; & if this is the case, it may also be affirmed that he did not kill his Wife, for if Perkin Warbeck was really the Duke of York, why might not Lambert Simnel be the Widow of Richard. Whether innocent or guilty, he did not reign long in peace, for Henry Tudor Earl of Richmond as great a Villain as ever lived, made a great fuss about getting the Crown & having killed the King at the battle of Bosworth, he succeeded to it.

-The History of England from the reign of Henry the 4th to the death of Charles the 1st

By a partial, prejudiced, & ignorant Historian.

page9full A page from the original manuscript of The History of England referring to Richard III as well as a miniature watercolor representation of Richard III painted by Jane Austen’s sister, Cassandra.

To view, and read, the original manuscript of Jane Austen’s The History of England, please visit The British Library’s interactive online Gallery HERE

160754079-1-778x437 Facial Reconstruction of Richard III

Whether you are a Ricardian, or one who adheres to Shakespeare’s portrayal of Richard, or one who has just discovered Richard III, I encourage you to explore the following websites. (Please note that both websites show photographs of the remains of Richard III. I would recommend checking out the content of the websites before allowing young children to view them)

The University of Leicester’s website: The Search for Richard III by the University of Leicester

The Richard III Society

Angela A2A

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Phantom of Pemberley: A P&P Murder Mystery by Regina Jeffers

imagesCAZHXN7SHappily married for over a year and more in love than ever, Darcy and Elizabeth can’t imagine anything interrupting their bliss-filled days. Then an intense snowstorm strands a group of travelers at Pemberley, and terrifying accidents and mysterious deaths begin to plague the manor. Everyone seems convinced that it is the work of a phan-tom—a Shadow Man who is haunting the Darcy family’s grand estate.

Darcy and Elizabeth believe the truth is much more menacing and that someone is trying to murder them. But Pem-berley is filled with family guests as well as the unexpected travelers—any one of whom could be the culprit—so unraveling the mystery of the murderer’s identity forces the newlyweds to trust each other’s strengths and work together.

Written in the style of the era and including Austen’s romantic playfulness and sardonic humor, this suspense-packed sequel to Pride and Prejudice recasts Darcy and Elizabeth as a husband-and-wife detective team who must solve the mystery at Pemberley and catch the murderer—before it’s too late. (from the back of the book)

Book Details:

Title: The Phantom of Pemberley: A Pride & Prejudice Murder Mystery, Author: Regina Jeffers, ISBN: 978-1-56975-845-8, Publisher: Ulysses Press, Format: Trade Paperback, $14.95, Source: Received from Author

My Thoughts:

A winter storm forces Pemberley to open its door to a slew of eccentric characters. Although the storm is not the only thing that the Darcy’s have to worry about, a mentally disturbed person is intent on making Mr. Darcy suffer. To do that, he knows that he must destroy Pemberley, one death at a time.

Ok, where to start…

I was intrigued that this was a P&P murder mystery. The way the plot unfolds and the mystery unravels gave it a CSI feel with Darcy playing detective—did I like that aspect? It was okay, but I will not wax poetically about it. Plus, I knew who the phantom was from early on.

The characters…well…since Pemberley became travelers rest there was an overflow of characters. Some were intriguing and added substance to the plot, while others seemed to be placeholders until something of interest came along.

The romance. Someone is creeping around Pemberley and Darcy and Elizabeth still find time to jump into bed. Seriously, I mean like every few pages they are tumbling into bed. It felt really out of place and a bit odd considering there is a murderer on the loose. Spoiler alert: Highlight to read Even Georgiana finds love in this book. And guess who it is. Colonel Fitzwilliam. Disturbed by that? Yeah, I was too.

While I enjoyed Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, this book wasn’t nearly as thrilling.

Buy or borrow? Definitely borrow this one.

 Angela A2A