Happy 236th Birthday, Jane Austen! My Gift to You is…

(Do not open until December 16th)

A big thank you, first of all, to Maria Grazia of My Jane Austen Book Club and Katherine Cox of  November’s Autumn for inviting me to join in their Jane Austen Birthday Soiree. Check out the GIVEAWAY at the end of this blog–that would be a present for YOU! 

I’m raising my virtual glass of madeira in celebration of Jane Austen! These two fabulous blogmistresses were so kind as to ask me what I would give her for her birthday and…

A toilet?

With all due respect, my first thought was, I would most certainly give Jane Austen a fully functioning, flushing, modern toilet. No doubt Chawton Cottage, where she wrote most of her novels, did not have a water closet, and I would do one better and give the authoress a modern toilet. Certainly this would make her life, and her writing life, more comfortable! What? It’s so practical!

But then, a very selfish thought came over me. Jane Austen had to write laboriously, with quill and ink, paper and blotter. Now, this seems very romantic to us moderns who rarely write by hand any more, *sigh*…


In our era of texts, facebook messages, emails, writing with quill and ink, by hand at all for that matter, seems quaint and precious.


(An 1804 draft of Jane Austen’s The Watsons)

Ink blotches, spills, and the time it takes to dip the pen in ink aside, I cannot imagine writing on paper, in such linear fashion, with cross-outs. What would I do without my DELETE button? Without being able to CUT and PASTE? To insert at whim? I look back on my early college years with a typewriter and white-out and shudder. No wonder I was up all night typing and retyping. It had nothing to do with procrastination, did it?

Which brings me to my point of a selfish birthday present for Jane Austen. Forget the toilet. That would be just for her. I would give her something I’m coveting (hint, hint Santa).

 A Mac Air for Jane Austen.

With a Mac Air, Jane Austen could write so much faster! Just imagine. Instead of just six completed novels, we might have sixteen, or more. So you see, my gift to her would be, essentially, a gift for myself, of more novels written by her. This would be a gift for you, too, dear readers!

For the romantics out there, I offer you Jane Austen’s sister-in-law, Martha Lloyd’s recipe for making your own ink for your quill pen. This recipe also appears in my book, Definitely Not Mr. Darcy:

Make Your Own Ink:

Take 4 ozs of blue gauls [gallic acid, made from oak apples], 2 ozs of green copperas [iron sulphate], 1 1/2 ozs of gum arabic. Break the gauls. The gum and copperas must be beaten in a mortar and put into a pint of strong stale beer; with a pint of small beer. Put in a little refin’d sugar. It must stand in the chimney corner fourteen days and be shaken two or three times a day.

I, for one, will be looking for a Mac Air under the tree. Until then, Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!!!

A Present For You–The Giveaway!!

In honor of Jane Austen’s birthday, I’m giving away two signed copies of DEFINITELY NOT MR. DARCY plus a Jane Austen candle, tea, and a coaster. Simply leave a comment below and remember to include your email address! If you have no idea what to say, you can comment on what you think about my giving Jane Austen a Mac Air. 

Contest ends December 23rd.

  Please check out the rest of the blogs and giveaways in the Jane Austen Birthday Soiree:

Sharon Lathan Giveaway : Miss Darcy Falls in Love

O! Beauty Unattempted Giveaway: Letters of Love & Deception

Austenprose Giveaway: signed copy of Jane Austen Made Me Do It

SemiTrue Stories Giveaway: Mr Darcy Little Sister (open worldwide)

First Draft Giveaway:  a signed copy of “My Jane Austen Summer” and a package of Lily Berry’s Pink Rose Tea by Bingley’s, Ltd.

Regency stories set against the backdrop of Regency England Giveaway: I was Jane Austen Best Friend by Cora Harrison

Brant Flakes Giveaway : A canvas ACCORDING TO JANE tote bag and a pair of A SUMMER IN EUROPE luggage tags.

Mesmered’s Blog Giveaway : Anna Elliot’s  “Georgiana Darcy” (Kindle book)

The Heroine’s Bookshelf   Giveaway :  a set of Potter-Style Pride and Prejudice notecards  

vvb32 reads Giveaway: Jane Austen’s Little Instruction Book (Charming Petites)

ReginaJeffers’s Blog Giveaway:  An autographed copy of “Christmas at Pemberley “

Alyssa Goodnight    Giveaway: Jane Austen Action figure

Jane Austen in  Vermont Giveaway:  JASNA 2012 calendars from the Wisconsin JASNA Region

Jane Started It!  Giveaway:

  • One copy of Young Master Darcy: A Lesson in Honour by Pamela Aidan
  • One set of Frederick Wentworth, Captain (Books 1 and 2) by Susan Kaye
  • Two copies of Mercy’s Embrace: So Rough a Course (Book 1) by Laura Hile
  • George Kinghtley, Gentleman (Books 1 and 2) by Barbara Cornthwaite.

Choc Lit Authors’ Corner Giveaway:  a copy of “Persuade Me”  and one of “The Importance of Being Emma”

Reading, Writing, Working , Playing Giveaway: a copy of  “Intimations of Austen”, and Sense & Sensibility (Marvel Illustrated)

The Jane Austen Film Club  Giveaway:  a copy of Northanger Abbey DVD starring Felicity Jones and JJ Feild (The winner will choose region 1 or 2 DVD)

El Salón de Té de Jane Giveaway:  – Spanish edition of Sense and Sensibility for the 200th Anniversary + A DVD package with adaptations of Jane Austen

Kaitlin Saunders Giveaway: “A Modern Day Persuasion”

One Literature Nut Giveaway: selection of Austenesque Reads

Patrice Sarath Giveaway: A copy of The Unexpected Miss Bennet

Jane Austen Brasil Giveaway: DVD – Sense and Sensibility (1995) – English / Portuguese subtitles

Jane Austen Sequels  Giveaway:  a mug with one of  Jane Odiwe’s illustrations and a copy of her “Mr Darcy’s Secret”

Stiletto Storytime Giveaway: Noble Satyr by Lucinda Brant (Regency Romance)

Jennifer W. Becton Giveaway: An ebook of the Personages of Pride and Prejudice Collection, which contains all of my Austenesque works: Charlotte Collins, “Maria Lucas,” and Caroline Bingley. The giveaway will be open internationally.

Urban Girl Takes Vermont Giveaway: a copy of Vera Nazarian’s gift hardcover edition of her inspirational calendar and diary, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

Pemberley Variations

AustenAuthors Giveaway:  Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester

November’s Autumn Giveaway :$10 B&N Gift-card (US only)

My Jane Austen Book Club Giveaway : A selection of Austenesque reads