A Jane Austen Devotional?

I came across the publishing announcement for A Jane Austen Devotional yesterday as I was paging through the new Christian titles for January and February sent out by a book catalog for stores and libraries. Two thoughts occurred simultaneously: “Oh, how interesting!” and “O-o-h, why didn’t I think of that?” Austen’s wonderful novels are nothing if not studies of character. For those with eyes to see, the unspoken standard by which her characters morally stand or fall is that which she imbibed from birth, the beautiful as well as sharply discerning words of Scripture. If you have caught up with Miniature & Morals by Peter Leithart, the wonderful analysis of the depth of Christian influence in Austen’s novels that I mentioned several months ago, a devotional that takes its subjects from Austen sounds like the best of all possible worlds!

The “Look Inside” option takes you inside the Devotional to a small selection that gives the reader a taste of what insight Austen’s characters might give on select principles  in the Bible. For instance, Mr Knightly’s caution expressed to Miss Weston on the inappropriateness of Emma’s friendship with Harriet Smith, that it is of benefit to neither woman and, potentially, actively detrimental to them both is paired with the Biblical injunction that “The fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.” Proverbs 18:2  and “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” Probers 13:20.

If what is wanted is a moment of reflection during the day, this pairing of Austen and Scripture is just the ticket. Jane cannot help but give flesh and bones (and amusing dialogue) that illustrate Biblical principles, for her world lived and breathed them still. My personal feeling is that A Jane Austen Devotional is a respectable start, but that there is so much more richness and depth to be explored that it does not discourage me from hoping, someday, to engage  in a pairing of Scripture and Austen myself.

~~Pamela

Christmas at Pemberley 1797

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It’s Christmas 1797.  Darcy and his cousins Richard and D’Arcy Fitzwilliam have been given reluctant permission to stage a Christmas farce in hopes of cheering Lady Anne.
–An excerpt from Young Master Darcy: A Lesson in Honour.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
–Pamela Aidan

~~~~~~~&~~~~~~~

“The doors are closed; they’re all inside!” Richard reported back from his post at the stairs. Earlier, they had raided the attic trunks for costumes, and Richard, as Lord Misrule, was tricked out in a coat from a much earlier time. Its hems almost swept the floor, but the unfashionably large brass buttons that adorned it and the voluminous pockets made it perfect for his part. An old-fashioned wig flowed almost to his waist to complete his costume, but his brother had not been satisfied.

“Where did you get those” Richard had looked suspiciously at the jars D’Arcy brought out.

“Something from school…never mind, just be still!” D’Arcy had commanded as he powdered his brother’s face white and painted red rouge circles on his cheeks, mouth, and the tip of his nose and then had finished him off with a black patch at the corner of his mouth.

D’Arcy adjusted the pillows strapped under the green cloak that proclaimed him Father Christmas, as did the “beard” fashioned from the stuff of an old mattress. Darcy joined Richard in the hall.  As befitted the character of Black Peter, Father Christmas’s assistant, Darcy was dressed in a mis-match of old clothes pinned all over with colourful ribbons. His face was smudged black with cork and he sported an old red stocking, bedecked at the end with sleigh bells, as a cap.

“Are we ready?” Lord Misrule waved the thin, gilded chair leg that served as his sceptre.

“Yes, and you both look perfectly ridiculous!” laughed Father Christmas as they glided down the stairs. Continue reading

A Hero’s Guide to Gift Giving!

Scurry on over to Jane Started It! to read  the Crown Hill Writers Guild comic contribution to the Jane Austen Birthday Soiree. There’s prizes galore there and even more at the other thirty-one Austen-inspired blogs. Have fun, win prizes and sing “Happy Birthday” to our dear Jane. See you there!

~Pamela

Jane Austen Birthday Soiree: Come Celebrate!

Yes, Jane Austen is 236 years old this Friday!

Thirty-two Austen bloggers, authors and literature enthusiasts are joining together for an Austen Birthday Soiree on December 16th. Organized by Maria Grazia of My Jane Austen Book Club &  Katherine Cox of November’s Autumn, the all day blog hop will feature a post in celebration of Jane Austen, her life, her novels and the era in which she lived at each of the 32 blogs!

And, what birthday would not be complete without present?  There will be gifts for Jane – and the visitors of the blogs. Just leave a comment to qualify for the great giveaways being offered in celebration of the Janeite holiday. Be sure to drop by Jane Started It? as well as here at Traipsing After Jane.

~Pamela

Click here to see the list of participant blogs and their prizes!  Continue reading

Lone Star Jane

Four more days until the Jane Austen Society of North American’s Annual General Meeting! This year the AG is in Ft Worth in the Lone Star state of Texas and will focus on the 200th anniversary of the publication of Sense & Sensibility. Wow, 200 years and still conquering hearts all over the world! Jane, you are amazing…and deservedly so!! We, your literary daughters, salute you as a true lone star in the literary night sky.

My husband and I attended our first JASNA meeting several years ago when I was invited to speak at the Boise, ID chapter at their annual tea. What a great experience that was and one we hope to repeat. (Hint, hint!) Last year we went to the AG for the first time, mainly because it was held in Portland, OR, a city within reasonable distance from our home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We had a great time promoting Wytherngate Press and Susan Kaye’s and Laura Hile’s books in the Emporium. We had to observe the other “doings” from the outside, though. Conference attendance is a bit pricey.

BUT this year we’re swinging for the whole enchilada (a little Tex-Mex lingo since we’ll be in Texas) and attending the meetings as well as setting up the Press in the Emporium. An added benefit is the chance to visit with my family in east Texas and see my grandchildren, as well as celebrate together my mom’s 80th birthday!

If you’re going to the AG, please stop by our Wytherngate Press table and say hi. And…more on the AG as it gets closer.

~Pamela