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list lovers guideThe List-Lover’s Guide to Jane Austen is a quick, easy reference guide for all things Jane Austen. When you enter a JA trivia quiz, you can quickly become an expert by looking up the books Jane read, her #1 pet peeve, the people in her social circle, the balls she attended, who broke her heart and the hearts she broke, etc.

Joan Strasbaugh has created the first-ever list-only biography! Written mostly in 140 characters or less, this volume is jam-packed with information presented as lists or charts.

  • The flowers in her garden
  • Her royal ancestors
  • Particulars about her wardrobe
  • What she did for fun
  • Characters in her book
  • Where she traveled
  • The items she possessed
  • Where she worshipped
  • Where she lived and shopped
  • Contemporary descriptions of her features

The lists go on and on. (Click here for a view inside the book). The book provides a comprehensive overview of her life. Nieces and nephews born after she died are not listed, and places her friends or family may have traveled (but there’s no evidence she did) are not included. The lists do include friends’ and relatives’ firsthand accounts and reminiscences from neighbors and people who crossed her path.

Four out of five Regency tea cups

Four out of five Regency tea cups

My impressions of this book are positive. Any time I need to review a fact, I can turn to it and quickly find the information. The cover is attractive but I found the print a bit hard to read. This book will be helpful to Janeites, teachers, students, authors, and anyone interested in the Regency era. I give it 4 out of 5 Regency teacups.

About the Author

Joan Strasbaugh has been a proud Janeite for half of her life. She now works as the senior editor of Abbeville Press in New York, and notably organized the Jane Austen in the 21st Century Humanities Festival at the University of Wisconsin. She is currently spearheading the A former publisher at Jones Books, Strasbaugh also holds a membership to the Jane Austen Society of North America.

The biggest surprise in putting this book together was discovering the sheer number of social contacts, places visited, and characters in her books. Her social circle was enormous and her travels many, mirrored in her novels by the sixty plus characters and forty plus locations in Sense and Sensibility, for starters.

About the contest: (NOTE: Contest closed! The winners are – Cara D. , Anne F., Tess G., Lilyane S., and Alison M. Congratulations all and thank you for participating in this contest. The winners were drawn with random number generator. (Long discussions between two individuals were not included.) One of you entered the first day of the contest, and someone entered on the last day. Amazing.

Sourcebooks has agreed to give out 5 copies of the book. Yes, 5! To enter the contest, please share what information you’d like to know about Jane Austen. Contest ends June 9th at midnight!

List Lover’s Guide to Jane Austen by Joan Strasbaugh, released this month.

June 4th, 2013, ISBN 9781402282034, Trade Paperback

$12.99 U.S. / £8.99 UK

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

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janeaustenhandbookInquiring readers, In honor of Pride and Prejudice’s 200 year anniversary, Quirk Books is offering 3 free copies of their books: a copy of The Jane Austen Handbook by Margaret C. Sullivan and two copies of the deluxe edition of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame Smith.

Coincidentally, my blog’s counter turned over 6 million visits this weekend. That’s right! Six million! A true cause for celebration and handing out books. If you are interested in reading about the books, click on the links below to read the reviews.

pride_prejudice_zombies1wClick here to read Tony Grant’s review of The Jane Austen Handbook, which is the forerunner of many similar books that have been published in recent years; and click here to read my review of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which began the Jane Austen mash-up craze several years back.

To Enter the Contest (open to those who live in the US, Canada, and UK), tell us how you are celebrating Pride and Prejudice’s 200th anniversary during this year! Contest is open until April 1st. This blog is holding another contest! A giveaway of Maggie Lane’s Jane Austen’s World, which is a reissue of the 1993 edition. Click on the link to enter his contest, open to those who live in the U.S. and open until April 3rd. Giveaway Closed! Congratulations Brenda, Rosalie and Monica Z.

More on the topic:

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Rabid Downton Abbey fan: Do not continue reading this post if you have not seen the latest Downton Abbey installment (#5). In this post-traumatic stress episode, in which the viewer is still reeling from events that unfolded in Episode 4, Julian Fellowes is finally starting to concentrate on the characters again.

Credit: Courtesy of © Joss Barratt/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE

Credit: Courtesy of © Joss Barratt/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE

Daisy’s relationship with her papa-in-law is strengthening and promises to bode well for her financial future.

Isobel’s good heart is having a positive impact on Ethel.

Mrs Hughes and Mrs. Patmore are turning into the sort of servants one could easily imagine as friends.

And Maggie Smith simply shines as the grieving dowager who desperately wants to save her son’s marriage.

Credit: Courtesy of © Joss Barratt/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE

Credit: Courtesy of © Joss Barratt/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE

As for the prison story, it seems that Mr. Bates might finally frolic in some open meadow with his fair bride again.

Wonder of wonders, Matthew and Mary showed a spark of marital harmony in a very affecting bedroom scene.

There are a few problems, of course, for this season can still not compare to Season One. Those two Neanderthals – Robert and Carson – are becoming insufferable with their stubborn adherence to old customs.

And the whole Catholic issue is somewhat tedious, but not unrealistic. There was a great deal of animosity and hostility towards Catholics from British Anglicans and American Protestants in the early 20th century. All the ceremonial hoopla of this relic-loving, reliquary-prone religion gave Protestants in the US and Anglicans in the UK the heebie jeebies, and so the Robert’s distaste is not all that surprising. (My father’s side of the family were staunch, conservative, Pope-fearing Catholics, which my mother’s side definitely was NOT. My maternal uncle quipped that if all St. Servaas’s bones were put together, scientists would discover that the man had been at least 12 feet tall.)

Seal of St. Servaas

Seal of St. Servaas

What is unrealistic is Robert’s SURPRISE that Tom Branson would want his daughter to be baptised in his faith.

Fellowes has made our earl look stupid on too many occasions.

Where I once admired our lord of the manor, I now find him irritating. Having said that, the final scene in which he and Cora hold on to each other in mutual grief had me grabbing for my hanky.

Which brings me to one final thought: Has anyone else noticed this strange phenomenon? – Robert’s dog, Isis, doesn’t seem to age. The series began in 1912 and is now covering events in 1920-21.

Isis should have aged 8 or 9 years. She would have a gray muzzle at the very least and the slow gait of an older dog. But she is as sprightly as ever! Go figure. (Ah, a reader wrote to say that Pharaoh preceded Isis, so that would make our lovely bitch only 3-4 years old. Continuity preserved!!)

chronicles of downtonNow for my book giveaway. You all must be salivating. (Unfortunately, only U.S. Viewers are eligible.) St. Martin’s Press has kindly sent me a copy to give away of their gorgeous new Downton Abbey companion book, The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era, written by Jessica Fellows and Matthew Sturgis. It is a lush volume, made of glossy paper and filled with color photographs. Included are details of all the main characters and glimpses of what went on behind the scenes from the perspective of the film’s director, executive director, and other members of the crew.

I particularly like the items that go with each character. For example, Thomas’s chapter showcases images of the accoutrements of his position, the brand of cigarettes he would have smoked, and the nature of his collars. The Earl and Countess’ possessions include images of their jewelry, picnic basket, newspapers, hat, and embroidery hoop. Mrs. Patmore’s and Daisy’s chapter includes images of various kitchen items. And so on, and so on. This book, in addition to the equally wonderful The World of Downton Abbey, given to me for Christmas by a dear friend, are the perfect coffee table adornments for those of us who are DA addicts.

Order the book from PBS for just $19.99

Contest Rules: For a chance to win a copy of this book, all you need to do is write about some aspect of Episode 5 that you liked or didn’t like – just as if you are the reviewer! The contest is open until February 10th, midnight. PLEASE NOTE: CONTEST is Closed. Tinuviel, you are the winner, chosen by random number generator!

Images courtesy PBS PRessroom.

I look forward to reading your comments! NO SPOILERS, PLEASE!!! 

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You’ve supported Jane Austen’s World since 2006, now it’s time to give back. Inquiring readers, I have enjoyed your comments and been most humbled by your visits. On the day that the 5 millionth reader visits my blog, I am giving a gift certificate of a Kindle mobi file from Amazon.com U.S. of Jane Odiwe’s Searching for Captain Wentworth. Who will it be?

Note: Contest Closed! Congratulations, Ruth!! Just leave a comment as to why you think that Persuasion is the best of Jane Austen’s novels. Or not. I am not picky. I just want your opinion. Click here to read my review of this time travel book.

The random generator drawing will be held on the day that my counter shows the magic number of 5 mill. (Estimate 1-2 weeks.)

Thank you, thank you for your interest and support. I intend to answer each comment, but will not include my replies in the drawing!

(Sadly, my offer only applies to U.S. readers. I do apologize to my foreign readers. Once again you are left out of the loop.)

Note: the green links lead to WordPress ads. The blue links are mine. I do not make money from my blog.

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Update: Contest Closed. The winners are Laurel and Angela. Gentle readers: Two lucky readers have the opportunity to win Abby Grahame’s debut novel, Wentworth Hall and a vintage diary, courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

Wentworth Hall is a novel aimed at Downton Abbey fans:

 The Darlington family of Wentworth Hall, an elite British family, fills their time by caring for their extensive estate, and looking over their shoulders as they struggle to keep up an elaborate charade to hide their scandalous secrets of illicit romances, and bitter betrayals.

Wentworth Hall is the historical novel by debut author Abby Grahame, which is spot-on perfect for fans of Downton Abbey! Read and excerpt of the book at this link!

Two (2) winners will each receive:
A vintage diary and copy of Wentworth Hall!

Prizing courtesy of Simon & Schuster.

To join the contest, all you need to do is let us know what you think of Shirley McClaine joining the cast as Cora’s mother for Season Three of Downton Abbey. Make sure to leave your comments on Jane Austen Today, my other blog.

The contest, which closes Friday May 27, is open to US residents only. Please make sure I have a way to reach the winners, who will be chosen by random number generator!

Comment section for Jane Austen’s World is closed.

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Instead of commemorating Jane Austen’s death at 41 on July 18, 1817, I would like to celebrate her life with a book giveaway of In the Garden With Jane Austen by Kim Wilson. It is a slim hard-back book filled with color photographs. In it Kim discusses the gardens that Jane Austen would have known and visited.

This contest will end on July 18th at midnight, EST. The winner will be chosen by random number generator.

To leave a comment, please let me know which flower you would leave behind at her grave. Update because of a confusion: A comment enters you into the contest. CONTEST CLOSED: Congratulations Eileen Landau! Your comment about a tussie-mussie was chosen by Random.org

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Gentle Readers: To celebrate the 3 millionth visitor to this blog, I will be giving away Tea With Jane Austen, a delightful and informative book by Kim Wilson. Deadline: The contest will end the moment my blog meter records 3 million or July 4th, whichever comes first! Contest Closed! Congratulations, Sherry, and thank you ALL for participating and leaving such excellent questions!

All you need to do is leave a comment and a way for me to reach you. Please address this question: If Jane Austen came over for tea, which burning question would you want to ask her?

Thank you all for visiting my blog and for making it such a joy to meet you online.

Page 16 of Tea with Jane Austen. Image @Amazon.com

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