Pairing books with tea (The Other Bennet Sister)

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Normally I pair tea with books I’ve read. Today is an exception because I haven’t read The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow yet, but I will. I’m currently half-way through Square Haunting and am looking forward to picking up The Other Bennet Sister.

The Other Bennet Sister is about Mary Bennet, “an introvert in a family of extroverts.” Janice Hadlow gives Mary, the sister I’ve always found annoying, a voice in a story that’s over 600 pages long. So it’s definitely a tome to get lost in and forget the troubles around us. And boy do we have a lot of troubles right now. I’m looking forward to reading Mary’s story and getting to know her better.

I’m going to assume, this being a Jane Austen continuation, there is a wedding. If not Mary’s wedding, then at least someone else’s. Fortnum’s Wedding Breakfast Tea would pair well while reading this book. What do you think?

xoxo, Jane

PS. Speaking of tea, if you love tea as much as I do, then stop by my Instagram where I post about tea (and books and flowers).

January, February and March 2020 Wrap-Up Part III

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Read more about this lovely painting.

I read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen for the very first time. It was so good! Of course, I kept picturing Hugh Grant and Professor Snape. I’m sure you know the plot so I won’t rehash it here, but I felt the anguish the two older Dashwood sisters and their mother must have had to relocate from the only home they’ve known to a small cottage, further away. Jane Austen must have keenly felt the unfairness of the inheriting system. I also really loved John’s awful wife. There is something to be said for mean characters. They are so entertaining. And laughable. You can read it for free here.

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The Little(r) Museums of Paris by Emma Jacobs is just what it says it is. A book about the smaller, lesser-known museums of Paris, plus it comes with illustrations. It’s really cute. One of the museums it mentions is Musée de Cluny – Musée National du Moyan Âge (National Museum of the Middle Ages). I have visited this museum before. It was part of a pass we bought from our hotel, but I’d never heard of it. When we stepped into the museum, I almost lost my mind from joy. This is the museum where the long lost unicorn tapestries are housed. This museum is a must-visit if you are in Paris. The author also gives the histories of the buildings the museums are housed in. This being Paris, you can imagine how fascinating those stories are.

Tea with Mr. Rochester by Frances Towers is a collection of short stories initially published in 1949, after the author passed away. The book I own is a loving re-issue by Persephone Books. The stories are not intertwined with each other, but they do have one thing in common: love. The stories featured are about unrequited love, young love, and happy-we-found-each-other love. For those who love a good cry, there is a love story about a soldier departing for World War I (and this being England, not coming back alive) and leaving a girl broken-hearted for the rest of her life. That story still haunts me.

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Not a book, but I also read the most recent issue of The Persephone Biannually. The magazine features articles about the books they publish, the history behind their famous endpapers and essays about their authors. I normally do not enjoy literary magazines, but this one is the exception.

And if you’re in the mood, here is Part I and Part II.

xoxo, Jane

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

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Happy Birthday to Miss Austen.

I wish she didn’t die as young as she did, for the world could have used a few more of her sparkling, witty novels.

Here are a few facts about Jane Austen:

  1. She was a loving aunt to her nieces and nephews.
  2. She was engaged to Harris Bigg-Wither but broke off her engagement. I’d like to think it’s because she wanted to remain independent and free to pursue her writing career.
  3. Jane’s sister Cassandra told their niece Caroline (their brother James’s daughter) that Jane fell in love with a clergyman. We don’t know his name and we’ll never know what really happened.
  4. Jane Austen loved the countryside and gardens. She enjoyed public gardens and tending her own garden in Bath.
  5. Jane Austen didn’t have much interest in fashion, but she didn’t mind making her characters very fashionable and fashion-conscious.

What are some of your favorite Jane Austen facts?

xoxo, Jane

Thursday Reading Links #37 (Jane Austen edition)

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In honor of Jane Austen’s birthday next week (December 16, 1775), today’s reading links are all about the lady herself. Make a cup of tea and stay awhile.

Romance and Reality in Jane Austen’s World.

The History Chicks Episode #38 is all about Jane Austen.

Read more about Jane Austen’s writing desk.

Three Pamphlets on the Leigh-Perrot Trial: Why Austen Sent Susan to Crosby.

Tea, Jane Austen Style.

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Image via Pexels.com.

‘It’s an escape’: the Americans who want to live like Jane Austen.

The Fashion of Jane Austen’s Novels.

This Jane Austen Letter Highlights the Horrors of 19th-Century Dentistry.

Jane Austen and the Making of the Modern Marriage.

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Bath, England

This is my Jane Austen mug. I love it!

Speaking of mugs, 8 Jane Austen Mugs You Will Fall Ardently In Love With.

20 Jane Austen Gifts for the Most Ardent Fan.

2020 Jane Austen quotes calendar.

Jane Austen’s 6 novels defy rankings. Here’s what each one does best.

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Photo via The Jane Austen Centre in Bath.

The Jane Austen Centre in Bath sells this exclusive regency teacup set. I think Jane Austen would approve.

Jane Austen and social judgement.

This gorgeous clothbound book is my copy of Persuasion.

A literary Christmas.

The Real Reason Jane Austen Never Married.

And one more, a review of the Pride and Prejudice musical.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s reading links edition.

xoxo, Jane

A fun little Q&A

Hi, friends. So, I was inspired by kitty marie’s reading corner to do this fun Q&A.  Thanks for humoring me!

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What is your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?

Any Jane Austen novel.

If you had to be stranded on a desert island with one book character, who would you choose?

Anne Elliott from Jane Austen’s Persuasion because she is the nicest and is never judgmental. Plus Captain Wentworth would miss her a lot and come rescue us anyway.

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Not book-related, but I just love this quote by Vaclav Havel and it’s more true today than ever.

If you wrote a book, what would its genre be?

I do write books. I’m a romance and women’s fiction writer and working towards publication.

What is your favorite book?

Persuasion by Jane Austen. (I wrote about my love for Persuasion here.)

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What is your favorite coffee flavor? (Or another type of drink, if you don’t drink coffee.)

I am a tea connoisseur and I love Fortnum’s Countess Grey best of all. It’s a softer, lovelier version of Earl Grey.

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My precious copies of Persuasion and Jane Eyre.

What is your least favorite book?

I had to think about this one and it’s Catcher in the Rye. It kind of left me feeling depressed. I prefer uplifting stories.

Is there any book coming out this year that you’re looking forward to reading?

I have so many books on my TBR shelf that I don’t dare look ahead to what’s being published next week or next month. I need to give my TBR shelf a little TLC. #love.books.so.so.much

What completed book series would you like to see one more new volume for? 

Harry Potter. A girl can dream.

What genre do you read the most?

Romance and women’s fiction. But I read a lot of nonfiction too. Usually biographies.

Thanks, Kittie Marie, for the great questions and inspiration! This was super fun! Feel free to answer any of these questions in the comments. I love getting to know my readers!! xoxo, Jane

His and Hers: Favorite Books

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I asked my husband what his favorite book is. He said his favorite book is by Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo. (Six years of marriage and I did not know this. Am I a terrible wife?) When I asked him why, this is is what he said:

Because it’s part fantasy and part adventure. It’s a perfect rags to riches story of someone who is deeply wronged. It’s a revenge story, but it’s the best revenge story ever written because the really bad people get their comeuppance.

I asked him what his least favorite part about The Count of Monte Cristo is.

My least favorite part of the book is that it’s so melodramatic.

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I love my cloth-bound copy. So pretty!

Now it’s my turn!

Absolutely no one asked me what my favorite book is, but I’m going to tell you anyway. It’s Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Why?

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This letter to Anne from Captain Wentworth is one of my favorite parts of the book.

Because this book has it all! It’s the beautiful love story of two very nice people who, years earlier, made mistakes because Anne, our heroine, was persuaded to part ways with the man she loved, Captain Wentworth. I also love this book because Anne is older than the traditional heroines of the era (I was an older heroine bride too). I really like reading about nice people getting all the good things they deserve. Plus Jane Austen is such a genius at mocking the ridiculous (Anne’s sisters and father). It’s just a really great story with an even better love story.

Which book is your favorite?

(This is the free Persuasion US Kindle book. If you haven’t read this book, then you are in for a treat.)

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. xoxo, Jane

Pairing books with tea (Northanger Abbey)

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Northanger Abbey by the inimitable Jane Austen is a charming novel made even more wonderful by the novel’s heroine, Catherine Morland, who is darling. At least I think so.

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Northanger Abbey is a satire and a fun poke on gothic novels. Jane Austen really was spectacularly genius. If you haven’t read it yet, then be prepared. Simply put, this novel contains a darling heroine with an oversized imagination, silly characters, loving parents, a thriller-like abbey, a handsome young hero (hello, Mr. Tilney), his ridiculous, callous brother and their mean father. What’s not to love about this novel?

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“No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be a heroine.”

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So, this brings us to our cup of tea. Which tea would go well with this over-the-top faux gothic tale?

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Image via Fortnum & Mason, the best store in the whole wide world.

How about Fortnum’s Assam Superb? It’s dark and rich and full of flavor, just like Northanger Abbey.

I think this tea would make a fine cup of tea while you are reading (or watching) Northanger Abbey. What do you think?

You can read this novel for free at Project Guttenberg or you can buy this beautiful Penguin Clothbound Classics book on Amazon (affiliate link).

Also, because I like to be extra, there is a Pinterest board for this tea pairing. Happy Reading! xoxo, Jane

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links, but it’s also ok if you don’t use the links. I’m just grateful you are here and reading my blog. xoxo, Jane

Pairing books with tea (Pride & Prejudice)

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Pride & Prejudice is the original romance novel. And I think that sassy Lizzie Bennet is the original heroine. She needs no introduction! She’s strong, she’s fierce, she’s funny, she’s loyal and she’s witty. 

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Which brings us to our tea pairing.

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(c) Fortnum & Mason

The perfect tea match for Pride & Prejudice is Fortnum’s Fortmason. Fortmason is a strong, black tea perfumed with orange blossom. 

Fortnum’s description:

A fine blend of Indian and China teas that is then perfumed with the delicate aroma of orange blossom to produce a subtle, floral flavour. Fortnum’s aromatic Fortmason Tea Blend is best served in the afternoon with or without milk.

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This week, we’re taking it one step further and drinking out of the teacup made by Burleigh exclusively for Fortnum & Mason.

What do you think of this week’s tea pairing? xoxo, Jane

PS. This tea pairing has a Pinterest board.

Pairing books with tea (Persuasion)

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It’s time for another book/tea pairing.

Jane Austen’s Persuasion is one of my favorite novels. It has all the elements I love in a romantic novel: love lost and love found, a returning hero, an “older” heroine (mostly because I was “older” when I married), ridiculous, over-the-top family members (because we can all relate) and a very romantic letter. What’s not to love about this novel?

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(c) Fortnums

It’s no secret that my favorite tea is Fortnum’s Countess Grey. I’m not kidding when I say I want to live inside Fortnum’s. Can you just lock me in there and throw away the key? Anyway, it only makes sense to pair my two favorites together. So, next time you read Persuasion, brew yourself a cup of Countess Grey. I’m sure you will find it a perfect combination.

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Austen’s last novel, Persuasion was published in 1818. In this scene, Captain Wentworth gives Anne Elliot his note of declaration. (Photo by Ann Ronan Pictures/Print Collector/Getty Images)

PS. Here is the Pinterest board for this pairing.

My Two Favorite Novels

I have different favorite novels depending on my mood or what I’m currently reading.  There are, however, two novels that are always my favorites: Persuasion by Jane Austen and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

Out of all the Austen novels, I find that Persuasion is the most romantic and heart-warming. It’s about love lost and love found. The heroine, Miss Anne Elliott, is older than the usual Austen heroine (27) and we meet her when she has already suffered and endured a broken heart. She is steadfast and strong (as are all Austen heroines), and I love, love, love her rapturously romantic happy ending with the one and only man she has ever loved. (The tall, dashing and handsome Captain Wentworth is my favorite Austen hero.)

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you.” – Captain Wentworth

 

Jane Eyre is my other favorite because I can relate with Jane a little bit. I, too, was left without parents at a young age and lived with relatives and older siblings throughout my childhood. I probably wasn’t treated as nicely as children should be treated and I probably wasn’t really wanted and was taken in as an obligation. When I first picked up Jane Eyre at age 16 I felt a kinship with her.

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I am so happy with my new editions. They are so beautiful.

Late last year, I donated my older copies of Persuasion and Jane Eyre and replaced them with these beautiful Penguin editions.

I hope you have a great weekend!!

xoxo, Jane