Thursday, December 16, 2010

In Which Trai Wishes Jane Austen a Happy 235th Birthday!

Hello, everyone! I'm working on my next review (The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, hopefully up tonight) and getting through finals, but I just had to say a very happy birthday to my favorite author, Jane Austen.

Mags, the lovely Editrix at Austenblog, thought of things to give Jane for her birthday. I'm not nearly as creative as she is, and like her, my first thoughts really go to all Jane has given me. She and Louisa May Alcott are really just my idols when it comes to writing, and I can't imagine my life if I hadn't marched into Borders one day and gotten my copy of Pride and Prejudice. I didn't think I'd fall in love with it, but I did. I loved Lizzy and Mr. Darcy. I kept reading and I fell in love with each and every hero. Colonel Brandon, Edmund Bertram, Henry Tilney, Captain Wentworth, Mr. Knightley--all of them have their place in my heart, and so do the heroines. One of my treasured possessions from my trip to England a few years ago is a postcard of an illustration of Marianne Dashwood, my favorite heroine, looking out over Norland Park.

I could find something of myself in the heroines. Like Lizzy, I judge too quickly sometimes. Like Anne and Fanny, I don't stand up for myself. Like Elinor, I keep my emotions bottled up. And Emma... well, Emma and I are still on bad terms, for the most part. (Snob! :D)

Jane's life and writing have had such an impact on me. I cried seeing Cassandra's letter about her death in the Morgan Library in the City. I've stood by her grave and next to her statue outside of the Jane Austen Centre in Bath. I've walked in the Pump Room. I've not yet been to Chawton, but it's a goal of mine.

Because I can't think of anything to give to Jane, I decided to share with all of you my favorite Jane-related things.

* Of the original novels, my two favorites are Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park.

* Of the film and TV adaptations of the novels, I of course love the 1995 Pride and Prejudice. Other favorites of mine are the '95 and '08 Sense and Sensibility(s), the '95 Persuasion, and the Gwyneth Paltrow Emma.

* When it comes to paraliterature, my favorites have to be Writing Jane Austen by Elizabeth Aston, The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler, The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice by Abigail Reynolds, Jane Austen in Scarsdale by Paula Marantz Cohen, and, well, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. ;)

* A very, very special shoutout to the fantastic film version of The Jane Austen Book Club, starring Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman, Hugh Dancy, Maggie Grace, Jimmy Smits, Kathy Baker, and Emily Blunt, among others. It's one of my all-time favorite films, hilariously funny, and compliments the book very well!

So, in conclusion, a very, very happy birthday to our Jane. May she rest in peace, and may her work continue to bring me and others much joy!

- Trai.


  1. Happy Birthday, Jane!

    I love her too and second everything you said. Miss Austen has completly changed my life. I wouldn't be who I am without her.

  2. Many happy returns Jane... x

    I only really began my romance with her novels around 2 years ago... older and wiser I guess. It was after my sister was diagnosed with the same rare illness that Jane unfortunately suffered with, and tragically, Jane eventually died of... and ironically my sister (already a firm Austenite herself at this point) was diagnosed on the VERY day of Jane's death?!

    Thank you Jane for giving us the gift of perfect gentlemen in Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley and Col. Brandon... among other favourites!

    Can't imagine life without Jane Austen's influence in it... daily! How lucky we are... x