Lizzie Bennet’s Vlog

Watchable Wednesdays

True to its name, every Wednesday I hope to share with you videos which I have enjoyed and think you might, too.  We all need a bit of cheering up to last until the end of the week, don’t we?

So, Lizzie Bennet has a vlog. Thoughts?

Other episodes in the series can be found here.


Keep Calm

Miss Dashwood asked us to think of Jane Austen Keep Calm and Carry On posters. Here are my ideas, but I need to pick the best two! Please take the poll and help me to choose!

Keep Calm He Understands Muslin

Keep Calm He Understands Muslin

Keep Calm and Marry Her Nephew

Keep Calm and Marry Her Nephew

Keep Calm and Admire the Veg

Keep Calm and Admire the Veg

Thanks for your help! I am much obliged.

Update: Thank you to all who voted for helping me to choose. The winners were the second and third posters, which I will now duly enter in Miss Dashwood’s mini-contest. I’ll add a link to the post with the ones she picks! Prepare yourself for some hilarity.

Update: Unfortunately, none of mine were picked as finalists. But, it’s ok… sniff… Haha, I’m just kidding! The finalists are over here, go and check them out! They’re all excessively diverting. On the upside, I’ve posted them all on tumblr, and they’ve spread like wildfire! Reblog, please! Here, here and here.

Update: Congratulations to the winner! :)


Please Vote For Me! &c.

Voting in Brisbane, 1937

No, I’m not running for American presidency! Or French presidency! Or presidency of any nation, actually (I’ll let you know, though).

Please vote for me at the Period Drama Advice Event if you enjoyed reading my letters of advice post, written in the voices of the characters Mr Tite Barnacle, Miss Marianne Dashwood, and Mr George Wickham. You can vote for me on the left-hand side bar of Elegance of Fashion’s home page! I would be extremely grateful if you enjoyed my stab at creative writing and would like to vote (for me and/or others!). I had so much fun entering the competition and the winner gets a badge for their blog! : )

In other news, I have a new ‘About the Somersaulter‘ page, for the stalker within you! I doubt anyone is particularly interested, but you never know!

I’d also like to quickly thank Mandy over at Bork Adventures for awarding me the Beautiful Blogger Award! Thank you so, so much! I can’t thank you enough! Keep a look out for a post all about that coming up.

Have a lovely day.


Period Drama Advice Event

To all of those who don’t follow The Elegance of Fashion, an amusing competition event is being held whereby we are given a plea of help from a fictional character, and must reply in the voice of another. Unfortunately, I’ve only just discovered her wonderful blog and this event, so I am entering the final stage; however, this was really fun! I hope you enjoy reading my three attempts (to make up for not entering before!).


'Cranford' (2007)
Photo: BBC

Dear Jane Austen Advice Column,

My name is Frank Harrison. I am a medical doctor and have recently taken up a new post in the small town of Cranford where I assist the elderly Dr. Morgan by attending some of his numerous patients. Cranford is a bit of an oddity where the women reign supreme (not unlike amazons!), careless of new fashions and fearful of change. I’ve already had to rid my wardrobe of a particularly handsome red jacket because Dr. Morgan told me the ladies of Cranford would think it fanciful. But on the whole I had found the residents of Cranford very welcoming until today when many things unseen to my eye came to a head. Upon my arrival here one of my first visits was to the vicarage where I met Reverend Hutton and his lovely daughter Miss Sophy Hutton. She is an angel! and I was making strides to ask if I might court her when her young brother Walter fell ill and despite all of the methods of modern medicine I applied soon died. You may well imagine what a rift this caused between the young lady and myself and yet I loved her more each day. Quite a few months later Miss Hutton came to trust me again and I was bold enough to ask her father if I might court her. What happiness when he gave his permission! Our courtship was going on so well until this afternoon while attending the town’s May festival, it came to the attention of the whole town that two other ladies felt themselves as good as engaged to me! Miss Tompkinson is a spinsterish young lady who lives with her sister in town and though I have attended her many times for palpitations and other maladies I was never aware of having shown her any other interest than that of a doctor to his patient. Likewise Mrs. Rose, who is my widowed housekeeper, seems to think that I have shown signs of love for her, which I never have done! The worst of the matter was seeing my dear Sophy stricken with horror at my supposed unfaithfulness and see her directed away by her father. I am in a state of shock from which I shall not soon recover! Please tell me dear sir or madam, what am I to do!?!

Desperate for advice,

Dr. Frank Harrison


'Little Dorrit' (2008)
Photo: BBC

To a Dr Harrison,

Oh, I say! Now, look here, Dr Harrison. Upon my soul you mustn’t just barge into the place saying you want to be advised.

It’s not anything about— Wanting to Know— or that sort of thing, is it? No, no, it’s not? You want to be advised, you say? No, no, no, that simply will not work. You have no right to come this sort of move.

Look here. Egad, you haven’t got any appointment. Oh no. You really are going at it at a great pace, you know.

Then, look here, is it private business? If it is, you oughtn’t write to us. But I say! Is this public business? If it is, I tell you what! I’ll forward this letter on to the Secretarial Department next door. Here are some forms to fill in.

Upon my soul, you mustn’t just barge into the place saying you want to be advised, I do advise. That’s not the way to do it.


Mr T. Barnacle Jr.

REPLY FROM MARIANNE DASHWOOD (Before she fell for Col. Brandon)

'Sense & Sensibility' (2008)
Photo: BBC


I write to you with the utmost urgency so that you may follow my words of instruction directly and end this poor, beautiful girl’s misery.

Let me be clear, as opacity cannot be tolerated in times of life and death; you have been a deceitful man and betrayed the trust of a girl with youthful innocence, whom may never see any light in this world again. Do you not see what damage you have caused with your recklessness? A woman’s first love should be treasured indeed and you have caused havoc within her heart. The once peaceful sea within her chest has now evolved into a hurricane of storms. You say that you have not come to be in this position by choice. Well then, sir— and I use that word with utter disdain as I waver on the point of your having a gentleman’s soul, mind or character,— if that is true, in order to reverse this perhaps irrevocable mess, you must consult with her at once and admit your love in the most passionate of ways. I recommend you recite to her a favourite poem of yours— you must carry around Shakespeare’s Sonnets which you have read to her, if you are her true lover, to be sure— for there is little more that a girl with a soft heart could wish for and she will surely forgive you if she loves you as a lover should.

As for the other deluded, old fools, you must dismiss them immediately without any hint of sympathy. You must not worry yourself on their behalf; those past the age of seven-and-twenty can never feel or hope to inspire affection again. Particularly the widow, she must be deranged from the death of her first love, poor soul. I hope I die before my love, that way I will never have to endure the pain of living and breathing without them, weighed down by the pain of grief. If they continually persist, ignore them entirely. I would recommend elopement with your sweetheart, and perhaps you could find a pretty church somewhere in Scotland surrounded by wild flowers. That would be best.

Sending my warmest regards to the young lady,

Marianne Dashwood

P.S. Apologies for the holes which I have eroded into this parchment and for my hurried handwriting; however, in the seriousness of this emergency, the heart of the matter is more important than the façade, indeed, is it not?

P.P.S. I enclose within my letter a sonnet which I think would be highly suitable to recite by memory to your love.


'Pride & Prejudice' (1995)
Photo: BBC

My dear friend, Dr Harrison,

I am afraid that you have got completely the wrong end of the stick! Sir, if I cried out for help whenever there was a mishap between two lovers, I would be a gentleman of leisure, with no need for a profession! If anything, you now have the upper hand. Love is like a game of cards, you must pick and choose carefully until you hit the jackpot. Strike too early and you may lose all; bet too little and you may gain nothing; time the bullet perfectly and you just might make the kill.

I can say with complete confidence that having all of this attention amongst the female sex is making yourself as a suitor become even more desirable. Being a celebrity in your village should be used to your utmost advantage. Flirt to make the “indifferent”— or so they say— jealous. The more you play, the richer those who are “indifferent” will be. You have clearly come thus far in winning the real prize— who, as I have no doubt in your being a sensible gentleman, must be worth her weight in gold,— since she is already showing signs of trepidation. All you have yet to do is flirt with the other women until they start to swoon to the ground upon seeing your handsome face, and wait for your future wife to beg you to take her in to your humble abode and marry her immediately. She will not care about any other woman, only that she is the one you have chosen. She will be grateful to you everyday and her parents will be ecstatic that you have made their previously emotionless daughter so joyful, allowing you complete access to her dowry.

If all else fails, Harrison, elope with her— or take her hostage,— then order family or anybody who cares in the slightest to pay immediately so that you may be married, or else lead the family further into scandal. Alternatively, an inside source tells me that the British red uniform lies very well over in the minds of the New World’s finest, richest ladies. The gambling is also said to be reputable over there.

Yours faithfully,

George Wickham

Thanks for reading!  I’ll let you know how the short-listing goes!


Who Would Have Known?

Versatile Blogger AwardGreat news, everyone! I have been awarded my first blogger award; apparently, I’m versatile!

E A M Harris was kind enough to nominate me and I can’t thank her enough! You should all take a look at her blog if you’re interested in literature or poetry.

According to the rules, I have to nominate 15 blogs myself, who I’ve “recently discovered or follow regularly.”

The problem is that I have so many ‘favourites’! I love getting emails for everyone’s new posts… Anyway, here are a few who haven’t been nominated already by others, as far as I know:

Adventures in Borkdom – always plenty of interesting book-ish posts to read over there!

Austen Prose – fantabulous

Cinnamon & Apple – posts awesome, crafty things. Everyday.

Frances Cannot Write – Frances actually can

The Happiest Cow – that’s one happy cow!

Jane Austen Today – so much love for this blog (also writes Jane Austen’s World :O)

Je Ne Parle Pas Français – inspirational

Litlaffluv – for the lovers of Literature

Madame Guillotine – for history geeks or Marie Antoinette fans

Musings of an Anglophile – we watch similar TV programmes :D

A Room of One’s Own – because she loves Classics, too

The Tiny Sartorialist – this baby can already write a blog; he has big things ahead

Truth and Cake – her blog looks delicious

Twigs for Pigs – she makes me laugh

ZMCD Creates – a cute little blog which has just started up (for any tweens out there)

Congratulations! To everyone else who I haven’t mentioned, keep blogging! You’re all brilliant. I do not have an acceptance speech prepared which is as clever or creative as Emma Thompson’s was for Sense and Sensibility at the Golden Globes in 1996, when she pretended to be Miss Austen…


Here are seven [random] facts about myself which you may or may not know:

1. My favourite author is Jane Austen. You may already know that, but it’s important. Being a Janeite is a way of life. :P

2. I like cake, macaroons, cookies and all yummy desserts in general.

3. I prefer snow to sun.

4. I have a solid and loyal passion for Friends, the epic TV show.

5. I also watch programmes like: Sherlock, Merlin, Downton Abbey, Glee etc.

6. I’ve never watched an Audrey Hepburn movie (but these people have persuaded me that I need to.)

7. My favourite colour is rainbow. (Just kidding! That’s my favourite food! Got you again! Ok, I’ll stop now…) I sometimes make jokes… (“That was a joke?!”)

Please note, the award is completely optional and you do not have to accept. You can also get a little badge to stick on your site, if you choose to.

(Although I’ve seen one or two which are white and look like this:

Versatile Blogger Award

Sneaky… I like :P)

Thanks to E A M Harris, once again!


Top 5 Austen Adaptations

As a wholehearted fan of Jane Austen, I believe that everyone should embrace the writing of one of the world’s most prolific creative thinkers!

Here are my top five favourite Austen films/TV mini-series:

1. Emma 2009 (TV mini-series)

One of my favourite actresses, Romola Garai (The Hour, Daniel Deronda), played Emma opposite Johnny Lee-Miller (Trainspotting, Eli Stone) as Mr Knightley and the brilliant Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, The King’s Speech) as Emma’s fretful father, Mr Woodhouse.  I adore the soundtrack and exquisite cinematography.  I’ve watched it again and again but could still watch it one hundred times more.  Thank you, BBC!

2. Pride & Prejudice 2005 (Film)

Starring Keira Knightley (Pirates of the Caribbean, Atonement) and Matthew Macfayden (The Three Musketeers, Death at a Funeral), this film has a refreshingly modern take on the original novel which I sometimes find rather too polished.  It has an all-star cast featuring Dame Judi Dench (Casino Royale, My Week with Marilyn), Donald Sutherland (The Italian Job, Ordinary People), Rosamund Pike (An Education, Made in Dagenham), Talulah Riley (St. Trinian’s, The Boat That Rocked) and Carey Mulligan (An Education, Never Let Me Go).


3. Mansfield Park 1999 (Film)

I love this film simply because it is so different compared to the other Austen films.  Despite the director’s risk of basing it on Mansfield Park as well as Jane Austen’s letters, I think it paid off.  The references to Austen’s letters make for a more interesting viewing for someone who has seen so many films based on the original few books.  Mansfield Park is definitely the darkest of Austen’s novels and this adaptation puts more emphasis on slavery, wavering from the original storyline, slightly.  Frances O’Connor (The Importance of Being Earnest) and Johnny Lee-Miller (10 years younger than in Emma 2009) performed brilliantly.  Justine Waddell (Wives and Daughters, Great Expectations) played Julia Betram and is also one to spot- another favourite.

4. Sense & Sensibility 2008 (TV mini-series)

The best out of the BBC and ITV’s 2007-8 collection of Austen.  I loved almost everything about it and felt that it was somehow fresher than the 1995 version with Emma Thompson (Love Actually, Nanny McPhee) and Kate Winslet (Titanic, Finding Neverland).  Plus, this series features Dominic Cooper (The History Boys, Mamma Mia, An Education) as Wiloughby…  (And, interestingly enough, Dan Stevens/Matthew Crawley with longer hair, from Downton Abbey, playing Edward Ferrars.)

5. Lost in Austen (TV mini-series)

Yes, I know! It’s not an ‘Austen Adaptation’ and I therefore previously mislead you into thinking that this was a list of films based on Jane Austen’s novels. However, I’ve put it on here because… it’s quite funny!  For an Austen fan, anyway…  Lost in Austen is a parody of a Janeite Londoner who walks in to find Elizabeth Bennet in her bathroom.  It certainly stretches Austen’s characters to the limits…  I thought it was brilliant that Christina Cole (Emma, Jane Eyre) played Mrs Elton in Emma (2009) as well!  Indeed, Austen’s caricatures do reappear across her novels.

I realise from reading through this again that most of my favourite adaptations are modern. This is not to say that I do not like any of the ‘older’ ones! I love the Pride and Prejudice TV mini-series from 1995!  Others worth mentioning include Persuasion (2007 mini-series) and Northanger Abbey (2007 mini-series).

Remember, this is just my opinion!  If you disagree, feel free to comment below with your own favourites!