Happy Birthday, Mary Shelley!

The author of the Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus (1818) would have been 220 today.

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (née Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known

Advertisements

On this day: the Battle of Morales

The Battle of Morales, part of the Peninsula War over the Iberian Peninsula, was fought on the 2nd of June, 1813.

Considered a victory for the British and a defeat for the French, the battle took place in the region of Toro, Zamora, Spain.

The Peninsula War was part of the larger Napoleonic Wars, and lasted a few days short of six years.

Battle_of_Morales,_2nd_June,_1813;_painted_by_William_Heath,_engraved_by_Thomas_SutherlandThe Battle of Morales Spain 2 June 1813. Between the Duke of Wellington vanguard and the rear gu

On this day…

This hand-coloured etching of London’s Theatre Royal, Drury Lane was published on the 25th of November, 1812.

When this etching was published the building had only been opened a few weeks. This is the third theatre to have stood there, and it was opened on the tenth of October that year. It is the same building that now stands on the site.

theatre-royal-drury-lane-published-25th-november-1812-by-james-whittle-and-james-r-h-laurie-london-hand-coloured-etching-victoria-albert-museum-london-museum-no-s-40-2008

On this day: the premiere of Pride and Prejudice

PrideundprejudicePoster for the 1940 film Pride and Prejudice.

The 1940 film version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice premiered in the United States on the 26th of July. Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier played Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy, though originally Norma Shearer and Clark Gable were to star.

The 1940 film version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice premiered in the United States on the 26th of July. Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier played Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy, though originally Norma Shearer and Clark

Polish poster.

The film was intended to be filmed in England, but the outbreak of World War Two meant production was moved.

Also posted HERE

 

A Visitor’s Guide To Jane Austen’s England by Sue Wilkes

A Visitor's Guide To Jane Austen's England by Sue Wilkes

Discover Jane Austen’s England

Immerse yourself in the vanished world inhabited by Austen’s contemporaries. Packed with detail, and anecdotes, this is an intimate exploration of how the middle and upper classes lived from 1775, the year of Austen’s birth, to the coronation of George IV in 1820. Sue Wilkes skilfully conjures up all aspects of daily life within the period, drawing on contemporary diaries, illustrations, letters, novels, travel literature and archives.

•Were all unmarried affluent men really ‘in want of a wife’?
•Where would a young lady seek adventures?
•Would ‘taking the waters’ at Bath and other spas kill or cure you?
•Was Lizzy Bennet bitten by bed-bugs while travelling?
•What would you wear to a country ball, or a dance at Almack’s?
•Would Mr Darcy have worn a corset?
•What hidden horrors lurked in elegant Regency houses?

Put on your dancing gloves and embrace a lost era of corsets and courtship!

A Visitor’s Guide To Jane Austen’s England by Sue Wilkes

There are many books like this one, a “travel guide” of sorts through the day to day events of Georgian, Regency and Victorian England. However, there aren’t many that pack as much information in as this one does, and so I really enjoyed it.

The thing the author of A Visitor’s Guide To Jane Austen’s England does right is that she uses primary sources for her information, and quotes letters and journal entries of the time from all sorts of people. There’s no guessing about things here; everything we’re told comes from something recorded back in the day.

The anecdotes taken from day to day life in the Georgian and Regency days Jane Austen lived are interesting, taught me more than a few things, and painted a stronger picture from the era than pretty much any book I’ve read.

Any historical fiction reader worth their salt is going to know quite a bit of what is in here, especially so for fans of Jane Austen. However, there was so much I learnt that I even found the rehashing of more commonly-known facts interesting all over again.

If more authors consulted primary sources rather than learning the world of the Regency from other Regency romances, there would be far fewer mistakes (with language, for example) turning up in books, and there would be a much more historical “feel” to the stories.

An interesting read for fans of history and historical fiction.