Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas shopping ideas for Period Drama fans

Little DorritBleak House (Special Edition)I have a few gaps in my DVD collection so Little Dorrit and Bleak House are on my Christmas list this year.  What is on yours?  The only way your loved ones will know what you want is to give them some hints, and Amazon will make a wish list for you to help with shopping.

Jane Austen Action Figure
Jane Austen Action Figure
To adorn the desk of a reader, there may not be a better stocking stuffer than the Jane Austen Action Figure.  Very cute and a real statement for the cubicle or desk of a Janeite.  It even comes with a mini Pride and Prejudice and a writing desk with a removable quill pen.  If you want a full collection, there is also the Charles Dickens Action Figure which may or may not actually recite A Christmas Carol on command (just kidding) but does come with "removable hat and quill pen!".  What more can a literary fan ask for?  However, for my money the funniest (or more tragic, depending on your viewpoint) is the Marie Antoinette Action Figure with launching head?  OK, that one is not on my Christmas list.  Actually these reminded me of the hilarious Bronte Sisters Power Dolls which still don't actually exist.  Someone should really manufacture these.. I would gladly pay for their "boomerang book throwing action"!

Jane Austen Little Thinker
Jane Austen Little Thinker Doll

For a bit cuddlier Jane Austen Doll, there is the Jane Austen Little Thinker.  Personally I like the action figure better, but there are some who would definitely prefer a plush version and this one comer with white gloves, lacy cap and Regency dress.  All for just $18.99!  What a hoot.

Pride And Prejudice Trivia Board Game
Pride and Prejudice Trivia Board Game
This one is for the hard core Janite, but The Pride and Prejudice Trivia Board Game looks like a lot of fun.  There are a few of us out there who have read the book and seen the adaptations more than once (!) and who would probably enjoy this over a glass of wine during the holidays.
P&P quiz night anyone?

The Cranford Companion Wow! The Cranford Companion, a beautiful hardcover book, includes behind the scenes stories about the production, the adaptation of the script and the scouting of the English countryside for filming locations. Also included are a map of Cranford, information about the characters and interviews with actors who portray them. Gorgeous photos from the series and the set will keep you coming back to pore over this book for years to come.  A must for any Cranford fan.

Books, obviously, are a real weakness of mine and I have discovered a new genre, "Fan Fiction", which offers Jane Austen fans some sequels or alternate scenarios for her beloved novels.  I say that I just discovered this genre, but the truth is that I read a few some years ago, but recent offerings are a great improvement.  After all, there are only six Jane Austen novels, so this is a great way to keep that wonderful feeling from ending.  Some popular ones which will be on my reading list for the new year include:

A Darcy Christmas
A Darcy Christmas, consisting of three short stories each written by a different author.   Mostly there are great reviews for this, some lukewarm, but I am looking forward to reading this one during the holidays.  I especially like the sound of the adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol to the Pride and Prejudice characters.  There is also a portrayal of the Darcy family over many years of Christmas celebrations, and a story about a little "addition" to the Darcy family over one of their first holidays together.  Sounds great!

The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy
This one doesn't come out until next year, but Mary Lydon Simonsen's newest Austen Fan Fiction book sounds wonderful. 
Here is the blurb from Amazon for The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy:
"Convinced that the lovely Elizabeth Bennet is her brother's soul mate, Georgiana Darcy enlists her clever and not at all snobbish cousin Anne de Bourgh in ensuring that pride and prejudice aren't able to keep these two hearts apart. All is going according to plan until Lydia Bennet brings scandal on the family by eloping with George Wickham, and Darcy is called away from Elizabeth's side before he has a chance to propose. It will take all Georgiana and Anne's considerable matchmaking talents to ensure that Elizabeth and Darcy are reunited in time to claim their happily ever after."

My question is how long it will take to turn some of these Jane Austen "Sequels" or more acurately, "Fan Fiction" into film adaptations.  Or at the very least, how long until we get a Georgette Heyer novel adapted for film.  Any thoughts?


  1. Dear Jenny:

    I agree about the Georgette Heyer adaptations (also Mary Stewart, but that's another story - and another era!), as I think they would be fantastic for film. Thanks for the Christmas list ideas ... keep an eye on your stocking to see if any of them appear!

    BTW, I took the "Which Austen Heroine are You?" quiz and, unsurprisingly, I am Elinor Dashwood.

    Talk soon,
    Big Sister

  2. Hi Big Sis!
    Yes, how could I have forgotten Mary Stewart! Where are the film makers anyway? Should we call Emma Thompson and Lindsay Doran??!!
    By the way, let me know if any of those items above should appear in YOUR stocking...or other items? You could do your first guest blog...

  3. Thank you, Jenny, for mentioning my book, The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy. My publicist sent me a "superior" review from Publisher's Weekly today. As you can imagine, I am walking on air. :)

  4. Great news Mary, I can't wait to read it!

    And for Big Sister (aka Elinor Dashwood), I looked up a few Mary Stewart tidbits for you. According to Wikipedia, she is now 94 years old and her maiden name was Rainbow! There was a TV movie made of her novel The Crystal Cave (called Merlin of the Crystal Cave in 1991 and aired on BBC) and has some really horrible reviews. Here are a few excerpts:
    "i played a number of parts in this was utter tripe. the making of it was a farce right down to rafts that wouldn't float."
    "In fact, it's so bad, it's hilarious!"
    So poor Mary Stewart still really needs someone to adapt her novels for the screen. Anyone????

  5. I got The Cranford Companion a few Christmases ago. It is a lovely book. xx




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