Bridal Book Club – March – Emma

““I always deserve the best treatment, because I never put up with any other.”- Emma Woodhouse

Ah yeah, it’s Emma! 

Emma by Jane Austen

Emma has never been one of my favourites, although that’s sort of the point of her, I suppose. She was described by Jane Austen as “a heroine whom no one but myself will much like”, although the more I get to know Emma, the more I like her. 

If you’re not familiar with the story, and haven’t seen any of the adaptations, here’s the blurb:

Emma, by Jane Austen, is a novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance. The story takes place in the fictional village of Highbury and the surrounding estates of Hartfield, Randalls, and Donwell Abbey and involves the relationships among individuals in those locations consisting of “3 or 4 families in a country village”

– Wikipedia

I first heard or Emma when my sister brought home a lovely little hard bound copy in a pale and pastel pink striped slip cover. And it’s stuck with me as the prefect representation of the novel. Because on the surface, Emma is that perfect, candy striped pink. When we first meet her, she’s described as “Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich.

But there are these wonderful themes arching through the book which make you question just how lucky she really is. When you get to know Emma, as she gets to know herself, she becomes more human – less Paltrow, if you will! But enough waffle – let’s get to the book!

Free downloads:

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=jane+austen

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_15?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=jane+austen+kindle+free&sprefix=jane+austen+kin%2Caps%2C153&crid=1O2BC2UXNRG97

Audio:

https://librivox.org/author/155?primary_key=155&search_category=author&search_page=1&search_form=get_results

Also available as a LoyalBooks podcast, if that’s your jam.

Paperback:

Click to view on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Another irritating Wordsworth edition cover. Let’s not get into that again.

What next?

  • Wednesday 27th March 2019 – Facebook Group Book Club Discussion 

Don’t forget to keep and eye on twitter and instagram for Bridal Book Club chat and pics. If you’re watching any of the adaptations, please share your thoughts either in the Facebook Group, or on twitter with #bridalbookclub

And if you’re looking for more, and you liked the Lizzie Bennet diaries, try “Emma Approved“.

There are plenty of adaptations, including (and I’m naming these by who played Knightley!) Mark Strong, Jeremy Northam, Jonny Lee Miller, and a 70s one that I wasn’t keen on. And not to forget Clueless with the ageless Paul Rudd (who, frankly, looks younger now than he did then!)

And here’s a reminder of the book order coming up, if you want to read ahead:)

Giftast Bridal Book Club reading order

Sense & Sensibility Watercolour Greenery Wedding Stationery

Sense & Sensibility inspired watercolour greenery wedding stationery set

“I come here with no expectations, only to profess, now that I am at liberty to do so, that my heart is and always will be…yours.”

– Jane Austen, Sense & Sensibility

Channel your inner Elinor with this Sense & Sensibility inspired Watercolour Greenery Wedding Stationery set.

If you’ve finally come to an arrangement with the honourable but misguided brother of your not-so-nice sister in law. A handsome, older but devoted colonel has won over your younger sister. Maybe you’re looking forward to settling down in a modestly sized parish with an even more modest income. Hey, this watercolour greenery wedding stationery could be for you!

The sample pack includes:

Printed on gorgeous, thick textured paper, each piece looks hand-painted. A6 items are hand-finished with a black bow – this can be changed to fit your colour scheme at no extra cost.

Order your Sample Pack here!

Bridal Book Club – February – Pride & Prejudice

It is a truth universally acknowledged…

Why did you not do Pride and Prejudice first in Book Club, Katherine? Loads of people love it and it’s probably the best known of Austen’s work. And Colin Firth, Katherine, did you think about Colin Firth?

Rest assured, I did think about Colin Firth. I can’t remember my reasoning when I decided on book order, but we are here now

Pride And Prejudice - Bridal Book CLub

I love Pride and Prejudice. It’s the first Austen I ever read, the first adaptation I ever saw, (Colin, of course), and I must have re-read it more than any other book. It was my comfort when I was struggling at uni, and it continues to inspire me and give me joy every time I return to it. And each time I do, I find something different to love. As I’ve grown, and my feelings towards love and relationships have evolved, I’ve discovered new things to love in the book. It’s the template for so much modern romantic fiction – with Pride and Prejudice, Austen’s impact on the way we see love in modern society cannot be overestimated.

So enough of me gushing, let’s get to the blurb:

Pride and Prejudice is an 1813 romantic novel by Jane Austen. It charts the emotional development of the protagonist Elizabeth Bennet, who learns the error of making hasty judgments and comes to appreciate the difference between the superficial and the essential. The comedy of the writing lies in the depiction of manners, education, marriage and money during the Regency era in Britain.

 – Wikipedia

In the two minutes I spent searching in obvious places for a blurb, it looks like they don’t bother giving you much info, and assume you know what it’s about. To be honest, I thought the same thing, that the story of P&P was part of global consciousness, until I watched the Colin one with my husband. It was amazing. It was all new to him, and watching him journey through the plot brought me so much joy. In addition, he now realises just how much I quote it in everyday life.

So if you’ve never read it before, and if you are coming to the story fresh, I am so excited for you, and looking forward so much to hearing your thoughts as you make your way through.

Free downloads:

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=jane+austen

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_15?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=jane+austen+kindle+free&sprefix=jane+austen+kin%2Caps%2C153&crid=1O2BC2UXNRG97

Audio:

https://librivox.org/author/155?primary_key=155&search_category=author&search_page=1&search_form=get_results

Also available as a LoyalBooks podcast, if that’s your jam.

Paperback:

Click to view on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Another irritating Wordsworth edition cover. Let’s not get into that again.

What next?

  • Saturday 23rd February 2019 – Facebook Group Book Club Discussion 

Don’t forget to keep and eye on twitter and instagram for Bridal Book Club chat and pics. If you’re watching any of the adaptations, please share your thoughts either in the Facebook Group, or on twitter with #bridalbookclub

And if you like thinking about Colin Firth, this excellent Twitter will be just your thing.

There are plenty of adaptations, spin offs and homages which I’m going to be linking to and talking about here on the blog, and on twitter and instagram, so if you love P&P, there are loads of ways to get more Darcy in your life!

And here’s a reminder of the book order coming up, if you want to read ahead:)

Giftast Bridal Book Club reading order

New Freebies – Jane Austen Colouring Sheet Printable

Free Printable Jane Austen Colouring Sheet Pack

Chill the h*ck out with this Free Jane Austen Colouring Sheet Printable. Produced for members of the Giftast Bridal Book Club, but free for all. This colouring pack is just the thing to soothe your tortured soul as you make your way through each of the complete works – I’d recommend giving the Librivox audio books a try.

The pdf pack includes 7 colouring pages. 

  • Jane Austen portrait
  • Anne Elliot – Persuasion
  • Elizabeth Bennet – Pride & Prejudice
  • Emma – Emma
  • Elinor & Marianne – Sense & Sensibility
  • Fanny Price – Mansfield Park
  • Catherine Morland – Northanger Abbey

Download your copy for free here!

I’d love to see your progress as you make your way through this free Jane Austen Colouring Sheet printable. Please post pics to the Bridal Book Club Facebook Group, or on Insta with #BridalBookClub. 

Happy colouring!

Pride & Prejudice Inspired Glamorous Wedding Stationery

Pride and prejudice inspired glamorous wedding stationery

Treat yourself to this Pride and Prejudice inspired Glamorous Wedding Stationery Collection.

“You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

– Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Having rejected his first proposal and teaching him both humility and hope, your affections and feelings have changed! Congratulations on your imminent move to his beautiful grounds. And what does a Darcy wedding need (other than to be a joint affair with your sister and her fluffy beau)? Why, the best and the fanciest invitations, of course!

Silky smooth card is printed with an antique plaster texture and topped with a sheen of gold foil. Super fancy. Only the best for the Darcys! Colours of foil and background image can be changed to fit your theme. Please contact us for options.

This glamorous wedding stationery collection includes:

Sample packs are not currently available in this range.

Persuasion Inspired Watercolour Wedding Stationery

Persuasion Inspired Watercolour Wedding Stationery

Introducing our Persuasion-inspired Watercolour Wedding Stationery Collection.

“There could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison”

– Jane Austen, Persuasion

Your wedding stationery needn’t be a wash-out with this watercolour set. Whether or not you’ve waited eight years for your beloved to propose again!

The umbrella scene inspires this delicate pink and grey wash set. You know the one! In the coffee shop, when it’s raining and Captain Wentworth offers Anne his umbrella. *Swooning sigh* I just love this scene, although I don’t entirely know why. Perhaps it’s the umbrella/giant hat combo. Anyway…

The sample pack includes:

Printed on gorgeous, thick textured paper, each piece looks hand-painted. I’ve also included a monogram on the back, which is particularly befitting the daughter of a foolish spendthrift Baronet!

Order your Sample Pack here!

The Austenland DVD Is Amazing, And This Is The Hill I Will Die On

Oh yeah, Austenland! One of those rare cases where I, a book snob, prefer the film to the book. 

Socially awkward Jane Hayes (Keri Russell) is obsessed with the works of Jane Austen and fantasizes about the character of Mr. Darcy. She scrapes together as much money as she can and takes off for Austenland, a British theme resort where guests immerse themselves in a romantic fantasy worthy of Austen herself. However, because Jane’s limited funds do not allow as many privileges as other guests, her chance at a fling with her very own Mr. Darcy may be limited as well.

Synopsis courtesy of Google

Sure, it’s not for everyone, but here’s a brief rundown of things I love, and why I think Austenland is a great companion to reading Austen.

Austen In-Jokes

I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that, even if you’ve not read the books, you’re aware of certain aspects of Austen’s work as a cultural tour de force. My favourite in-jokes are the actors who’ve appeared in Austen Adaptations – notably JJ Field, fresh from a turn in Northanger Abbey, and super-excitingly, the actor who played Mr Hurst in the Colin Firth adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

via GIPHY

The Casting is Spot On

Jennifer Coolidge is the star of everything she graces with her presence, and she has all the best one-liners here.

"I am Aphrodite, the godess. Often fickle in my large arse" - Quote from Jennifer Coolidge in Austenland

Keri Russell is similarly a joy (I just love her face) and JJ Field is, IMO, the best Austen hero.
The cherry on top, however, is Ricky Whittle. I love Ricky Whittle, purely because he was in Hollyoaks, which I didn’t even watch. I like seeing him do well.

It’s just Fun

From little touches like an abundance of fake animals, to an unexpected and wonderful homage to Nelly’s “Hot in Herre”, Austenland is one of those delightful films which doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s escapism, pure and simple, and that’s what I love about it. 

I did my dissertation on Jane Austen adaptations, (in an early example of my ability to relate anything to Jane) and came away from it pretty jaded and Austen-ed out. 

I watched Austenland for the first time earlier this year. Afterwards, I remember going to sit on my back doorstep with a glass of white wine to think about it. There’s no surprise that I related very strongly to the 30-something Austenite, Jane Hayes, but it was more than that. I was feeling that joy again, that I always used to, when I watched or read an Austen. I’ve always loved romance, and I just felt… happy. So I started watching the adaptations, and re-reading all the books. And that love grew, and I wanted to share it.

So that’s the main reason I started planning Bridal Book Club. I hope that you can discover a similar joy, if you’re new to Austen, or reignite those old loves, if you’ve not revisited her for a while. 

But What About the Book?

If books are more your bag and you’re looking for some easy reading to ease you in to Bridal Book Club, and give you  a peek behind the Regency Romance curtain, then the book is definitely worth a read. The film made some (to me) pretty key changes in the character of Henry Nobley, which I think worked better.

Worth mentioning that Austenland in the book is a GDPR nightmare. They’re spreading personal details left, right and centre. There’s also a glaring gaffe that I, a West Yorkshirewoman, cannot get over, involving someone from Sheffield supporting Man Utd football club. I told DH about this and he was appalled.

But that said, it’s nice, and it’s a relatively quick read if you just fancy something cosy after Christmas dinner. There’s a sequel too, which is somewhat darker a la Northanger Abbey, but still worth a read.

via GIPHY

 

Have you seen the film or read the book? What did you think? Which did you prefer? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Bridal Book Club – January – Persuasion

Meet The Elliots.

Persuasion bu Jane Austen - Giftast Bridal Book Club Month 1

Ah, Persuasion.

With perhaps the second most memorable opening of an Austen book, it’s not immediately clear who our heroine will be, nor our hero.

Are we looking at the redemption of Mr Elliot and his journey to being the husband of Elizabeth?

Shall we witness the sweet love story of the vain Sir Walter who, through a journey of self exploration realises his place in the world and earns the love as well as the esteem of his late wife’s best friend, Lady Russell?

Is it of Anne, and the clergyman she knew many summers earlier, the one who got away?

And here is the blurb, to immediately ruin all the drama I just created… I don’t want to do spoilers in blog post one, so feel free to skip the blurb if you’re new to the book and want to keep guessing. (Although fair warning that spoilers will follow in later posts, and on twitter and instagram. Keep an eye on those for discussion, liberal use of gifs, and artwork progress shots.)

The story concerns Anne Elliot, a young Englishwoman of 27 years, whose family is moving to lower their expenses and get out of debt. They rent their home to an Admiral and his wife. The wife’s brother, Navy Captain Frederick Wentworth, had been engaged to Anne in 1806, and now they meet again, both single and unattached, after no contact in more than seven years. This sets the scene for many humorous encounters as well as a second, well-considered chance at love and marriage for Anne in her second “bloom”.

Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persuasion_(novel)

Whether or not you’ve read Persuasion before, I’d love you to join me in reading. One of the great things about Austen’s work is that it’s all out of copyright, meaning it’s really easy to find free versions. I’ve compiled a list of links below which should sort you out, regardless of how you choose to read.

Free downloads:

https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=jane+austen

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_15?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=jane+austen+kindle+free&sprefix=jane+austen+kin%2Caps%2C153&crid=1O2BC2UXNRG97

Audio:

https://librivox.org/author/155?primary_key=155&search_category=author&search_page=1&search_form=get_results

This is a lovely reading, which is also available as a LoyalBooks podcast, if that’s your jam.

Paperback:

 

Click to view on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Just a note that the new Wordsworth edition covers really annoy me.

What doesn’t, Katherine?

Fair, but they’re completely unrelated to the books! It’s like someone went “Ah, we need something to stick on these women’s books, but I’m not prepared to read them and neither is the illustrator! They’re historical, right? Something about love? Stick a corset on it! Now, I’m going to clock off early and go to the pub.”

OK, perhaps not, but still. These covers are pretty but… completely irrelevant.

Rant over.

What next?

Here’s a schedule for what to look out for in terms of watch-alongs – all will be held at 7pm GMT.

  • Thursday 17th January 2019 – Persuasion Watch-Along (2007 version)
  • Friday 25th January 2019 – Wine Night Book Club Discussion 
  • Tuesday 29th January 2019 – Persuasion Watch-Along (1995 version)

Don’t forget to keep and eye on twitter and instagram for Bridal Book Club chat and pics.

I’d love to hear from you – have you read Persuasion before? What do you love about it? Is *SPOILER REDACTED* your favourite Austen hero?

Bridal Book Club Jane Austen Bookmarks – Free Printable!

jane austen free printable bookmarks bridal book club

Bridal Book Club:

Jane Austen Bookmarks – Free printable!

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

– Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Personally, I don’t mind folding down the corner of a page. It depends on the book, really. I’ll do it on my £1.99 Wordsworth Classics, but not on anything old and pretty. But with a print and a snip, you can have a book-appropriate bookmark as you read along with Bridal Book Club

I’m going to be giving away pre-printed Jane Austen bookmarks (pictured) at the various wedding fayres I’m attending early 2019. I’m also slipping them in orders, while stocks last. 

Get your free download here, and happy reading!