Tag: Jane Austen

Iconic Places in Literature You Can Visit

Ever wanted to visit places you’ve literally only read about? Well you are in luck my friend. This is a list of iconic literary places you can actually visit.

 

Tom Riddle’s Grave

We first learn about Tom Riddle’s grave stone in the fifth book in the series, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire

Image via Off Exploring

The grave is in an actual cemetery in Greyfriars Kirk, Scotland. Obviously the cemetery exactly like it is in the book but JK was rumored to have walked the cemetery and got inspiration for other character names. Many Harry Potter come to the cemetery and Riddle’s grave is the most popular to visit.

 

Image via Flicker

 

The Kingdom of Arendelle

Arendelle is the fiction kingdom in Frozen and Frozen 2. The architecture and landscape was modeled after a real village in Hallstatt, Austria. It’s a small community of only a little more than 700 hundred people but the town is lively with up to 10,000 tourists a day.  The artists also got Arendelle’s name from an actual  city in Norway named Arendal.

Image via Earth Trekkers 

 

Image via Visit Norway

 

 

Bath

Jane Austen had written her most famous novel after her time in Bath, England. And the city inspired two of her books directly. Bath is famous for its ancient roman built baths that were mentioned by Austen. Tourism is large in Bath, thanks to The Jane Austen Centre, an exhibition that tells stories of her time there.

 

Image via The Crazy Tourist

 

Image via Visit Bath

 

Hobbiton

The Lord of the Rings has too many cool places we wish we could actually visit but thank goodness we can go here! The Hobbiton set was built in Matamata, New Zealand and 98′ Peter Jackson’s team came across Alexander Farm when they were location scouting. After nine months of building 39 nine hobbit holes were ready. Guided tours of Hobbiton started in 2002 and fans still can visit the hobbit homes.

 

Image via Hobbitontours

 

 

Green Gables

The Anne of Green Gables book series was inspired by real land and farm house that you can visit. Green Gables in a 19th century farm in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, Canada. It is an national historic site for its importance to literature and is on the most visited sites in the country. The author LL Montgomery visited the farm when she was young and got romantic inspiration form the house and surrounding areas for places i her books like The Haunted Woods, Lovers’ Lane and Balsam Hollow.

 

Image via Short Excursions 

 

 

Featured Image Superpower Wiki

 


Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!


Celebrating the Anniversary of Jane Austen’s “Emma”

On December 25th, 1815, Jane Austen’s novel Emma was published at the author’s own financial expense in London, England. Austen retained the copyright and paid a 10 percent commission to publisher John Murray II Publishing House. In America, the book was $4 a copy. It received mixed reviews at first, but as time passed it gained more popularity until everyone came to love the heroine, Emma Woodhouse. This must have been a surprise to Jane Austen, who had previously stated she was creating a character “whom no one but myself will much like.”

Image result for emma first edition
image via The Daily Mail

Perhaps Jane Austen said this because she was creating a character who declared herself entirely self-sufficient? Would never marry? To summarize, Emma focuses on a wealthy young woman of a country town in England called Highbury. She is surrounded by friends and family – she’s quite the socialite – and makes it her business to meddle in the affairs of others by matchmaking. That is only the most general plot summary; Austen does so much more within the novel.

 

According to an article by Louise Flavin at JASNA, Austen pioneered a new kind of writing technique or style called ‘free indirect discourse’ whereby she wrote in the third person but merged it with the fictional character’s habits of thought, so a sentence becomes both distant and personal: “she [Harriet] was a very pretty girl, and her beauty happened to be of a sort which Emma particularly admired… Emma was as much pleased with her manners as her person, and quite determined to continue the acquaintance.” As you can see the narrator of the sentence is also the prime fictional character, so the reader is able to see through Emma’s eyes and thus stay within Emma’s mindset where everything is a surprise while the prose is able to maintain third person distance. We call this close third person now. This excerpt also establishes the major theme of the novel, which is the weakness/failure of human judgment (primarily Emma’s).

image via wikipedia

Emma was the first Austen heroine who had financial independence. In Emma’s eyes, she has no need to marry. She is born with an authority all of the other Austen heroines lack. The town of Highbury is also portrayed as a female-dominated world. Still, Emma suffers mishaps and learns lessons; Mr. Knightley, despite Emma’s autonomous personality, is often softly criticizing her for her mistakes. Emma exhibits distorted logic in trying to marry off a friend, Harriet Smith, to someone above Harriet’s class, and who is mutually disinterested in Harriet, while finding no redeeming value in Harriet’s true love Robert Martin, who actually thinks as highly of Harriet as Emma does. It’s clear Emma needs to be set straight. In the end, Emma comes to realize money (or lack thereof) doesn’t make (or unmake) the man, and that it isn’t her business to matchmake when she doesn’t even know the terrain of her own heart; she realizes it’s Mr. Knightley, landed gentleman of Donwell Abbey, whom she’s loved all this time. Mr. Knightley wakes up to the realization of his own love for Emma, too. They marry and he moves into her estate where she lives with her father. What we witness is Emma’s evolution and slow humbling into a happier, more peaceful unity within and with others.

Despite Emma’s initial flaws, her character is highly intelligent and she repeats some of the wittiest lines of all of Austen’s characters. It’s hilariously true when she says:

“It may be possible to do without dancing entirely. Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively, without being at any ball of any description, and no material injury accrue either to body or mind.”

(Agreed.)

Or how about when she says, “seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised, or a little mistaken.”

 

Virginia Woolf called Jane Austen, “mistress of much deeper emotion than appears on the surface.” Most critics agree Emma was Austen’s real tour de force, where her writing was at its strongest and where she exhibited forceful technique, with a subtle feminist subtext written within, and well-developed characters, namely Emma herself. Scottish novelist Margaret Oliphant called it “the work of her mature mind.”

Image result for emma 1996
image via pinterest

There have been many TV and big screen adaptations spanning the decades from 1948 to 2009. In 1995, the popular film, Clueless,” with Alicia Silverstone as the Emma-inspired Cher, hit theatres as a loose take on the book. It was set in Beverly Hills and contained many of the same plot points, themes, and was noted for its humor and originality. In 1996, a more true-to-the-novel adaptation came out with Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma, and in 2010, a Bollywood version called “Aisha” premiered to dismal reviews. There also was a web series called, “Emma Approved” which originally aired on Youtube in 2013 that stopped then started up again in 2018, based on the book. It seems, however, that nothing as of yet has come out and done justice to the novel that was to be the last one published by Jane Austen while she was still alive, though we hear news of a new adaptation starring Anna-Taylor Joy along with Bill Nighy as the father coming out in February 2020. We’ll see how it does!

In any case, happy anniversary, Emma. You only get better with age.

 

 

Featured Image via Indiewire 

 


Bookstr is community supported. If you enjoy Bookstr’s articles, quizzes, graphics and videos, please join our Patreon to support our writers and creators or donate to our Paypal and help Bookstr to keep supporting the book loving community.
Become a Patron!




 

Jane Austen Fans Now Have a Theme Park!

If you’re a Jane Austen fan, it might be time to book a flight to Vermont. For a long time, the most devoted “Janeites” made their pilgrimage to Bath to take part in the annual Jane Austen Festival. But now, there’s an opportunity for fans to live like the characters in Austen’s novels in Hyde Park, Vermont.

 

Image via OneHundredMain.com

 

Meet Governor’s House: a yellow, Georgian-style mansion tailor-made to imitate the world of Austen’s beloved novels. The house, owned by Suzanne Boden, invites Janeites from around the world to step into their favorite novels.

Boden had the idea to start hosting weekends for Jane Austen’s one day outside Governor’s House:

 

I was outside hanging tablecloths on the clothesline against the backdrop of Governor’s House, and I was listening to some music through the window, which happened to be Mozart. From the back of the house, you can’t see anything that’s modern because of the trees. And I thought: ‘I could be Jane Austen! And someone else might want to come and be Austen, too.’

 

Apparently, quite a few readers agreed! Boden’s been hosting Jane Austen weekends and Downton Abbey experience for a little more than a decade.

 

It’s an escape…It’s about going back in time. It’s a chance to dress up. Most of all, it’s a chance to be with, and interact with, other Austen fans, who always have a lot to say. It’s unusual if someone goes home without a long list of book recommendations or film recommendations from new friends.

 

Image via OneHundredMain.com

 

Guests can totally immerse themselves in the experience by learning how to live life like Jane. Guests get English dance lessons and, of course, afternoon tea. They even get to learn how to write with a quill  and fold paper the way Austen did, before envelopes were even invented. Who knows, you may even meet your own Mr. Darcy while taking a horse-drawn carriage ride!

There are over 79 regional groups in the Jane Austen Society of North America across the U.S. and Canada, and Boden’s events have attracted fans from as far away as Texas!

“Everybody loves Jane Austen!” says Boden, “She gets right to the heart of things. On the surface, it looks like a little romance, but there are so many layers in her works, which have been translated into – well, how many languages are there in the world? Although it’s very British, she doesn’t mention anything going on politically … so it could be set anywhere.”

 

Image via The Guardian

 

Reporters at The Guardian recently went to Governor’s House to interview the people participating in an Austen weekend’s festivities. One fan in particular, Lena Ruth Yasutake, mentioned how her love for Jane Austen’s novels began:

 

I pushed through my dyslexia to finish Emma because I loved the story so much. It was my ‘gateway drug’ into Austen.

 

At the end of Boden’s weekends, she gives her guests a quiz over Sunday brunch. Throughout the weekend, she might drop a few hints here and there that are answers to the quiz. But beware, there are some serious consequences if you end up flunking:

 

If you flunk, you get the greatest prize of all: you get to reread the novel.

 

What do you think? Would you ever head over to Hyde Park, Vermont for a weekend of sense and sensibility? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram!

 

Featured image via OneHundredMain.com

 

Pick A Halloween Candy And We’ll Give You A Book!

 

 

Quiz – What’s Your Period Drama Trope?

Based on this comic by Emily’s Cartoons.

Featured Image via GraziaDaily