Spiritual Themes from A Flight of Fancy

Hi Everyone!

Naomi here, and it’s our last day talking about A Flight of Fancy, by Regency Reflections blog contributor, Laurie Alice Eakes. If you’re stopping by the blog for the first time this week, you’ll want to check out our previous three posts. We’ve had an Introduction to A Flight of Fancy, then Taking to the Sky (a post on Ballooning during the Regency Era), and an Interview with Laurie Alice Eakes. At the end of each post, there’s a Regency quiz question. For every question you answer correctly in the comment section, your name will be entered in a chance to win a Regency gift basket, complete with tea, biscuits, a mug, and an Amazon gift card. The contest ends this Saturday, October 13, at midnight.

Over the past week, we’ve introduced several different aspects about A Flight of Fancy and Laurie Alice Eakes. Today, as we conclude our discussion, I’m going to touch on the spiritual themes in the novel.

Both Cassandra and Whittaker have a rather physical past relationship. As two Christians accountable to God, and as two individuals living in the Regency Era, any physical relations before marriage are clearly wrong. However, Cassandra and Whittaker push limits in this area time and time again.

In the first chapter of the story, Cassandra and Whittaker test their physical relationship yet again (this aspect of the story is presented in a tactful manner). As a result, Cassandra ends up severely injured, so much so that she nearly dies. Once she recovers physically, she’s still left with permanent, visible scars, and she doesn’t feel fit to ever marry.

Cassandra thus calls off their engagement. Though she and Whittaker still have deep feelings for one another, they both suffer a terrible amount of guilt throughout the course of the novel. The guilt haunts them and clings to them, almost like a sticky tar neither can wash from their skin.

Both Cassandra and Whittaker need to turn to God, confess their sin, and accept His forgiveness. But they struggle. After all, it’s very hard to accept forgiveness from God (or even another person) when one refuses to forgive himself or herself.

I personally found this story a refreshing reminder of how strong God’s forgiveness is. Psalm 103:11-12 says, “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”

Sometimes in our desire to serve and please God, it’s easy to become stuck on our past mistakes and sins rather than to leave them at the feet of Christ. As we dwell on those sins, we become discouraged and even distracted from serving God.

The solution? Don’t wallow in past sin. Accept God’s forgiveness and focus on making future choices that honor God.

How are you coping with past sin in your personal life? Are you confessing it to God and leaving it with Him, or are you carrying it around like an unseen burden on your back?

Today’s Question (remember one correct answer will enter your name into the gift basket drawing):

Geoffrey Giles, Earl of Whittaker, is the hero in A Flight of Fancy. How should he be addressed?

A: Lord Geoffrey

B: Lord Giles

C: Lord Earl

D: Lord Whittaker

Thank you to everyone who participated in our Regency Quiz over the past week. We’ll be announcing the winner, as well as discussing the answers to the question, on Monday, October 15th.

This contest is now closed. Please see the final post for answers to the trivia questions. 

Interview with Regency Romance Author Abby Gaines

Naomi Rawlings here today, and I’ve got a special guest to introduce: Abby Gaines, author of the newly released novel The Governess and Mr. Granville. I’m especially excited to host Abby here today, because she writes for the same publisher that I write for, Love Inspired Historical.

Abby has graciously agreed to giveaway one copy of her novel to someone who reads the interview and then leaves a comment below. The contest will end Saturday at midnight and is open only to U.S. residents. Here’s a bit about Abby:

I handwrote my first romance novel at age 17. Disillusioned by my first rejection, I gave it up for about 20 years! Obviously I developed a thicker skin over that time, because when I started again, I weathered numerous rejections before selling my first book to Harlequin Superromance in 2006. Since then, I’ve written 20 books across Harlequin’s Superromance, NASCAR and Love Inspired Historical lines.

1.    What drew you to write during the Regency Time Period?
Like many others, I fell in love with the Regency through the works of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen. Although men and women had very different, clearly defined roles, when it came to clever, witty dialogue, they could be equals, and each could use the strengths of their gender to befuddle the other!

2.    Tell us what year your book is set in and why you chose that particular time.  
It’s set in 1816. Not for any particularly good reason – when I wrote my first Regency, I found a picture of a young woman who looked just how I imagined my heroine, and it was dated 1816. Since then, that time period has turned out be quite interesting. It was after the wars with Napoleon, and in a time where some well-known artists and writers, like Turner and Keats, were coming into their own. Not to mention new inventions coming out. Those things provide interesting background and sometimes drive the story in a new direction.

3.    What’s your favorite, unique Regency aspect of the novel, something you wouldn’t be able to include in a novel set in another place or time?
My heroine has a secret engagement in her past. When I first started writing the book, I knew that was a scandalous thing, but I didn’t understand why. In my research, I discovered how financially risky that would have been for her if the match had gone ahead, and how it would have damaged public perception of her beloved father. Her guilt over that past event isn’t just about breaking a convention – she could have lost everything.

4.    What are the biggest challenges to writing in the Regency Period?
No challenges with the period itself, but the need to check just about every word’s date of origin and early meaning in the Oxford English Dictionary is time-consuming!

5.    Who is your favorite Regency Author?
Georgette Heyer. And right now, Sylvester is my favorite book of hers.

6.    What is your favorite Regency Food, aspect of dress, and/or expression?
Those muslin dresses are hard to beat! So flattering to both the bust and the waist – bring back the empire-line dress!

7.    What is your favorite Regency setting; e.g., London, country house, small village?
I prefer London settings as a reader and a writer. Partly because I know London well, having lived there for several years, and it’s such a buzz seeing familiar streets and landmarks transported back in time. But also the dynamism of the city appeals. I do like Bath settings, too.

8. What makes your hero and heroine uniquely Regency?
She’s a governess and a parson’s daughter – impoverished but of noble lineage. That puts her in a difficult situation with regard to finding a husband. He’s a traditional dad, trying to do his best for his family, convinced he can marry without love and have it all work out fine. Naturally, he learns otherwise!

9. Tell us more about your novel.Dominic Granville needs a wife—whether he wants one or not! And governess Serena Somerton intends to find one for him. A marriage of convenience would provide the wealthy widower’s five children with a mother’s tender care. And yet none of Dominic’s prospective brides can meet Serena’s increasingly high standards.

Dominic can’t imagine why his sister hired such an unconventional, outspoken governess. Yet Miss Somerton’s quirks can’t curb his growing interest in this spirited young woman. His imperfect governess could be his ideal wife…

*****

Thanks so much for interviewing with us today, Abby. It’s always fun to see what draws various authors to the Regency Period. And can I admit that any and every European set governess story always reminds me of the Sound of Music? For those of you interested in the giveaway, please remember to leave a comment below. And if you’re interested in learning more about Abby and her other novels, please visit www.abbygaines.com.

 

Interview and Give-A-Way ~ Regina Scott

Interview with Regency author Regina Scott.

 

Veteran Regency writer Regency Regina Scott stopped by to tell us a little about her writing journey, as well as her love for regencies.

Regina’s first published book was The Unflappable Miss Fairchild in 1998, a regency with Zebra Regency Romance. Since then she has published continuously with 18 novels to her credit and four novellas.

In the last couple of years, she has turned to writing regencies with a Christian tone. These have found a home with Love Inspired Historicals. She has four LIH regencies to date. Her latest, The Captain’s Courtship, is out this month. Regina has graciously donated a copy for a lucky reader. For a chance to win it, please leave a comment today.

 

What drew you to write during the Regency Time Period?

I loved to read growing up, but by the time I reached college, it had been awhile since I’d found a book to truly engage me.  Then I stumbled upon Elizabeth Mansfield’s The Phantom Lover at my library.  I couldn’t put it down!  I’d always wanted to be a writer, but I knew then I wanted to write a book in this wonderful time period called the Regency.  I loved that the era had its own language, with an interplay between men and women that was so elegant and witty!  Twenty-two stories later, and I still love that period!
 

2.      Tell us what year your book is set in and why you chose that particular time.

The Captain’s Courtship is actually set before the strict definition of the Regency, in 1805.  But that time definitely has the same flavor, whether in clothes or social sensibilities.  I chose the year for the Everard Legacy series, of which this is the second book, because the series needed a time that would give rise to a true villain, someone who threatened my characters’ happiness, their faith, and their freedom.  Who better than Napoleon and his henchmen?  In 1805, England was certain “the Corsican Monster” meant to invade at any moment, and he was certainly trying to comply!
 

3.      Who is your favorite Regency Author?

I couldn’t possibly list just one!  Elizabeth Mansfield is probably my all-time favorite, as I mentioned.  Love Inspired is publishing a number of wonderful authors such as Louise M. Gouge (whom I see you had on recently!), Deborah Hale, Mary Moore, and Abby Gaines.  I’m really excited that Cheryl Bolen will have a new book out in October.  And this blog is blessed with so many talented authors!  Those of us who love Regency romances have a lot to look forward to!

 

4. What is your favorite Regency expression?

I have several:  having a nice coze for sitting down and chatting with a good friend, piffle as a sign of disappointment, and here-and-therian, a fellow who won’t commit to anything, who traveled about with no set home or preferred to chase women rather than catch them.  See what I mean about a language all its own?

 

5. What is your favorite Regency setting; e.g., London, country house, small village?

Definitely a small village.  I love developing the various characters and the relationships among them.  So far, my more recent stories keep getting set in the wildness, though—places like the Lake District and the Peak District.  I think perhaps the isolation of a single manor, far from others, allows me to focus on the hero and heroine and how they come to find love.  That was certainly the case with The Captain’s Courtship.  Though it starts and ends in London, most of the action takes place in the Lake District, when my hero Captain Richard Everard brings the heroine to meet his cousin, who she’s agreed to sponsor for a Season.

Tell us about your book.

The dashing Captain Richard Everard has faced untold dangers at sea. Steering his young cousin through a London season, however, is a truly formidable prospect. The girl needs a sponsor, like lovely widow Lady Claire Winthrop-the woman who jilted Richard years ago. Claire believed herself sensible in marrying a well-to-do viscount rather than a penniless second son. How deeply she regretted it! Now their fortunes are reversed, and Richard’s plan will help settle her debts and secure his inheritance. Yet it may yield something even more precious: a chance to be courted by the captain once more.

When did your novel release and with what publisher?

The Captain’s Courtship will be out in July from Love Inspired Historical.

Tell us about yourself:

 I always wanted to be a writer, but it took a while to convince myself that that was what I was meant to do.  I tried being a day care provider, a nanny, a technical writer, and a risk communication consultant before I heeded God’s call on my life.  Now, I feel so blessed to sit down at my computer and write!  The Captain’s Courtship marks my 22nd published story (18 novels and 4 novellas), all set in the Regency period.  The Rake’s Redemption, the next book in the Everard Legacy series, will be out in November.  You can learn more at my website at www.reginascott.com, where I also have articles about the Regency period.  You can also find me online at Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/reginascott), and the blog I share with author Marissa Doyle at www.nineteenteen.blogspot.com.   

For a chance to win A Captain’s Courtship by Regina Scott, leave a comment. We will draw a winner on July 31, 2012. Be sure to check back on this comment thread on that date to find out who won.

Interview and Giveaway with Author Jillian Kent

Hello all you Regency fans,

Naomi Rawlings here today, and I’ve got a special guest to introduce: Jillian Kent, author of the newly released novel Chameleon. Jillian has graciously agreed to giveaway one copy of her novel to someone who reads the interview and then leaves a comment below. The contest will end Saturday at midnight and is open only to U.S. residents. Here’s a bit about Jillian:

Jillian is employed full-time as a counselor for nursing students in a hospital based college. She and her husband are both social workers and met in West Virginia and they’ve been married for 31 years.

Jillian can’t believe Book Two of the Ravensmoore Chronicles, Chameleon, is on the shelves and in the cyberspace bookstores! It was just this time last year that her first book, Secrets of the Heart, The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book One hit the shelves. Jillian says, “It’s been a year of growth and change in the publishing world and the constant personal challenge of seeking balance while writing a new book, working as a counselor, and enjoying my family. This has taken the development of new time management skills.”

So without further ado, here’s a few Regency questions I asked of Jillian:

1.    What drew you to write during the Regency Time Period?

That’s the time period I like to read.

2. Tell us what year your book is set in and why you chose that particular time.

Chameleon, The Ravensmoore Chronicles, Book Two is set in 1819.

3.    What’s your favorite, unique Regency aspect of the novel, something you wouldn’t have been able to include in a novel set in another time or place?

I had many favorite aspects of this novel. This is just one of those novels that will be difficult for me to top as a personal best. I really believe that. I don’t know how others will judge it, but it’s everything I wanted it to be. Here’s a brief scene that includes Carlton House that I think adds that Regency-ish aspect you’re talking about.

Witt, with Ravensmoore at his side, walked through the Carlton House main entrance, which was graced with six Corinthian columns. Inside they were greeted by a grand staircase, chandeliers, marble floors, and ceilings painted with scenes of myths and legends. Though he’d seen the place many times, he was again struck by the grandeur, the paintings by Gainsborough and Reynolds, and portraits by Van Dyck and Rembrandt.

Grand indeed.

When he’d last entered only a few hours earlier, it had been through the rear entrance of the palace with Stone dripping blood onto the polished marble. This time, his attention was on Ravensmoore and the argument that had ensued in the carriage prior to their arrival.

4. What are the biggest challenges to writing in the Regency Period?

As much as I read about and study this era, I feel like there is so much yet to learn. I’m always terrified of making an error. I want to make the time period come alive and want readers to feel like they are there in London, in Parliament, seeing what was to be seen in those days and smelling the smells, some of which were not so lovely in town.

5. What initially drew you to be interested in writing  books set during the Regency Era?

I discovered England when I spent a semester living in Oxford for part of my senior year of college in 1976.

6. Who is your favorite Regency Author?

Oh, that’s hard. I’m not going to pick a CBA author because I love all of them. In the ABA I’d have to say Julia Quinn.

7. What is your favorite Regency Food?

Any kind of dessert but no fruit cake. I love custards. Here’s a nice page of desserts. http://www.janeausten.co.uk/online-magazine/regency-recipes/desserts/

8. What is your favorite Regency setting?

London and Yorkshire. I love the moors and the mist.

******

Jillian, thanks so much for being with us today, and what a lovely interview you gave. How lucky you were to spend a semester in England. You must have loved it. I’m afraid I’m not very well traveled, but I’m jealous of those who are! I’d have to agree with you that Julia Quinn is one of my favorite secular Regency authors. She can make the simplest situations so hilarious, and I love that about her. And I’m so not a fruitcake fan. So I agree with you about the desserts. Thanks for sharing the recipe website.

Here’s some more information about Jillian Kent, and Chameleon:

How much can you really know about someone?

Lady Victoria Grayson has always considered herself a keen observer of human behavior. After battling a chronic childhood illness that kept her homebound for years, she journeys to London determined to have the adventure of a lifetime.

Jaded by his wartime profession as a spy, Lord Witt understands, more than most, that everyone is not always who they pretend to be. He meets Victoria after the Regent requests an investigation into the activities of her physician brother, Lord Ravensmoore.

Witt and Victoria become increasingly entangled in a plot targeting the lords of Parliament. Victoria is forced to question how well she knows those close to her while challenging Witt’s cynical nature and doubts about God. Together they must confront their pasts in order to solve a mystery that could devastate their future.

Chameleon released May 15th  from Charisma Media/Realms

A final message from Jillian:

If you read book one you know I’m fascinated with human behavior and how our minds work. This will be even more clear to you if you read Chameleon.:) And if you do read this book PLEASE don’t give away the ending so that others can enjoy the journey the whole way through to its conclusion. Once again you will find yourself in Regency England. You will return to Bedlam. You will meet Devlin’s sister, Victoria, aka, Snoop. It won’t take long to find out why the family calls her Snoop. I hope you will escape into the past with me and you, just like some of my characters may find faith for the future. If you are a sleuth at heart you will love this story. If you want to read the first chapter of this novel to see if it’s your kind of read please visit my website at http://jilliankent.com/books.html You can also join in the conversation on my blog anytime.

Other than my personal blog I also blog with the other Realms writers at Just the Write Charisma. http://justthewritecharisma.blogspot.com/

I’m very proud of the Well Writer column that I organized with the encouragement of Bonnie Calhoun. You can find it here: http://www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com/brilliant_well.html

If you’re interested in being entered in the giveaway for Chameleon, please leave a comment below, and thank you so very much for stopping by to meet Author Jillian Kent today.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Shameless Plugs

Vanessa here,

The ladies of Regency Reflections have a lot to celebrate. Below are Awards, Upcoming Books, Current Releases, Contracted, Contest Wins, and Anything Else.

Awards

At The Romantic Time Conference, Reviewers Choice 2011 we celebrate these Inspirational Regency wins:

Category Series: Love Inspired Historical Reviewers Choice:

THE ARISTOCRAT'S LADY

Genre: Series, Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical, Current Series Imprints

2011 Steeple Hill Love Inspired Historical Award Winner

RT Rating

THE ARISTOCRAT’S LADY (4.5) by Mary Moore: Regency England: Nicole Beaumont has a secret she protects with every fiber of her being. She catches the eye of Lord Devlin, who thinks she’s incredible — witty and charming, with a good head on her shoulders. But he also suspects that she’s holding something back. When he discovers Nicole’s secret, he is hurt she did not trust him with it. Can Nicole regain his trust, or did her last chance at love slip through her fingers? This story is so good and the heroine so compelling that even readers who don’t normally like Regency-set stories will find it well worth their time.

Category: Inspirational Romance

THE GIRL IN THE GATEHOUSE

THE GIRL IN THE GATEHOUSE
by Julie Klassen

2011 Inspirational Romance Award Winner

RT Rating

This book has scandal, mystery, secrets and a budding romance. The characters are written in such detail the reader will forget they are fictional! Klassen has outdone herself with this latest novel. Her writing is comparable to Jane Austen’s. She writes with passion and readers will not be able to put this book down.

In 1813, Mariah Aubrey has been banished to a distant relative’s estate after stirring up a scandal her family wanted to quietly bury. She is assigned to live in the gatehouse, which is on the very tip of the grounds, away from everyone and everything. She supports herself and her servant the only way she knows how: she writes novels in secret, under a false name.

Captain Matthew Bryant has leased the estate to show the woman he loves that he is worthy of her, despite the fact that her father believes Matthew is not high society enough for his daughter. When Matthew meets Mariah, he is intrigued by her but at the same time, he realizes he must keep his distance in order for his plans to come to fruition. When a mystery comes to light, Mariah and Matthew work together to discover the truth, and they start to have feelings for each other. Will the mystery be solved before the heir to the estate can put his evil plan into motion?

Reviewed By: Patsy Glans

Cheers Mary & Julie

Upcoming Books

A Flight of Fancy by Laurie Alice Eakes

(October 2012)

Cassandra Bainbridge has twice set aside her scholarly pursuits–once for the London Season and once for her wedding preparations. Love seems a wonderful alternative to study, until disaster strikes. When an accident brings an end to her betrothal, she heads for the country to recover from both her injuries and her broken heart. There she pursues her love for ballooning and envisions a future for herself as a daring aeronaut. But when her former fiancé slips back into her life, what course will she choose?

This book is currently available for pre-order.

Current Releases

Heart’s Safe Passage by Laurie Alice Eakes

(February 2012)

It’s 1813 and all Phoebe Lee wants out of life is to practice midwifery in Loudon County, Virginia. When Belinda, her pregnant sister-in-law, presses Phoebe to accompany her onto a British privateer in order to cross the Atlantic and save her husband from an English prison, Phoebe tries to refuse, then finds herself kidnapped.

Captain Rafe Docherty is a man in search of revenge. His ship is no place for women, but he needs Belinda in order to obtain information about the man who destroyed his family and his life. Between Belinda’s whining and Phoebe’s hostility, Rafe can’t help but wonder if he made the right choice.
When it becomes apparent there is an enemy among them on the ship, the stakes are raised. Will they reach the English shore in time? Can love and forgiveness overcome vengeance?

Hometown Cinderella  by Ruth Axtell

(February 2012)

It’s not Regency but it’s by Ruth Axtell so it’s got to be good.

After years traveling in Europe with her musician husband, all that widow Mara Keller wants is security for her son. A half-share in her father’s Maine farmhouse is the only refuge she has left, even if her resentful stepmother treats Mara as little more than a servant. But there is one bright spot: the unexpected kindness of neighbor Gideon Jakeman.

A widowed farmer with a teenage daughter, Gideon hardly pictures himself as anyone’s Prince Charming. Especially a woman of Mara’s refinement. Yet his quiet, rugged strength makes her feel as though she’s found her rightful place by his side, if they can find faith enough to forge their own happy ending.

Sanctuary for a Lady – by Naomi Rawlings

(April 2012)

It’s almost Regency, and it’s a great Debut Novel. Buy It. 🙂

Running to freedom, she found love . . .

The injured young woman that Michel Belanger finds in the woods is certainly an aristocrat, and in the midst of France’s bloody revolution, sheltering nobility merits a trip to the guillotine. Yet despite the risk, Michel knows he must bring the wounded girl to his cottage to heal.

Attacked by soldiers and left for dead, Isabelle de La Rouchecauld has lost everything. A duke’s daughter cannot hope for mercy in France, so escaping to England is her best chance of survival. The only thing more dangerous than staying would be falling in love with this gruff yet tender man of the land. Even if she sees, for the first time, how truly noble a heart can be . . .

Don’t forget to enter the contest to win Naomi’s book! Name will be drawn on Friday!

Contracted

Sarah Ladd signed a 3 book deal with Thomas Nelson for her debut series, Whispers on the Moors.  The first book, Heiress of Winterwood, will release next spring.  You go girl!!!!!!!!!

Vanessa Riley (moi) contracted Madeline’s Protector with White Rose Publishing/ Pelican Books. It will release this next spring. Here’s the blurb:

If all the young men of the world leapt off a cliff, Madeline St. James wouldn’t care because the nightmares would end, and she’d cozy up to a Psalm in her aunt’s sculpture garden. Yet, a chance meeting and a bullet wound changes everything, and Madeline must trust that the Good Shepherd has led her to the altar to marry a dashing stranger, Lord Devonshire. Can she forge a bond with the stubborn earl before the next disaster strikes?

Justain Delveaux, Lord Devonshire, vows to keep Madeline safe and in her place as a dutiful silent wife, but with her lips parted in prayer, his wife in-name-only and her faith are alluring. Maybe when he thwarts the danger, Justain can tempt the unpredictable miss with the comfort of his arms.

Contest Wins

Nothing to update here, but the year is still young.

Anything Else

Well, we really want to thank the readers of Regency Reflections. Thank you for your comments and suggestions, for sharing part of your day with us. We love it. Please keep coming back and help spread the Inspirational-Regency-Love.

Be Blessed.

 

Sources: Amazon.com, Romantic Times

 

A Dream Is Born

Once upon a time, I was about fourteen and had decided that I liked reading romances, historical ones in particular. Looking back, I can see the school librarian going back to her office and tearing out her hair trying to figure out what to give me to read next since I read about two books a week. The library was a nice one, but not overflowing with novels appropriate for an innocent early teen.

But one day inspiration must have struck her and she handed me a copy of Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer. Glory, glory halleluiah! I had found my niche.


Lords and ladies, a breakneck mission through the English countryside, a maiden in distress, and, best of all, romance between the dashing hero and what was
previously his best female friend whom he suddenly decided he loved. Nothing better.Except I did find better. Georgina by Clare Darcy, then Frederica by Heyer, more Darcys, more Heyers, more authors writing in this fascinating time period until I was dreaming of writing my own beleaguered lady in need of a hero.I started reading nonfiction books about the Regency era. I even plowed my way through the Jane Austen library. I absorbed language and costume and the politics of the day like a velvet pelisse soaking up water from the rain while the wearer walks in Hyde Park.

What draws me to this time? I was asked in a recent radio interview. All of the above. The Regency was a time of amazing transition in the world from the excesses of the Georgian era aristocracy, to the rise of the middle class due to industrialization. The lines between classes, though still sharply defined, are beginning to blur around the edges. Social reforms are being at least talked about and steps taken to implement them. And the war with France and then a second war with America are always fodder for a fun read. Never a dull moment in the Regency.

After college, grad school, and a couple of jobs, I started to write my own Regency romance. Those first novels I completed are from my BC days, and I’m mortified that copies of them may be floating around the Internet. 

What is more important to me is the birth of my first two published Regencies and others coming out in the future. My first published novel Family Guardian is a Regency and won the National Readers Choice Award for Best Regency. A Necessary Deception is my first Regency for the Christian market out October of 2011. These books symbolize dreams born in the heart of a fourteen-year-old girl coming true.

 

 

 

A Review of “Jane Austen Knits”

The only thing more enjoyable than having a good hobby is having two good hobbies – and being able to indulge them both at the same time. That’s why I was so excited when I first got a glimpse of Interweave Knits’ special issue “Jane Austen Knits”. Regency history and needlecraft? The combination was as enticing as chocolate and coffee. (Some things are just made to go together.) But does “Jane Austen Knits” live up to its promise?

The Articles

If you’re more a history buff than a knitter, this is where you’ll find the meat of the publication. The magazine includes 8 articles and essays, ranging from the scholarly (“The Mighty Muslin” and “Regency Fashion in Color”) to the journalistic (like the profile of a woman who sells sewing patterns for Regency-era clothing).

My favorite of the articles is the essay that graces the last page of the publication: “Jane Austen, Multitasker” by Rebecca Dickson. It’s a loving profile of Austen herself, highlighting her work ethic both in her writing and in her needlecraft. Austen’s example is an encouragement to any woman trying to pursue a dream while also handling the mundane details of life.

The Patterns

This magazine contains a generous 36 patterns, and they’re all beautifully photographed. Instead of trying to reproduce period-accurate clothing, the patterns are instead simply inspired by Austen’s work, taking Regency details and translating them into wearable modern clothing.

Despite this modernization, I can certainly see Georgiana Darcy wearing her namesake shawlette, a gorgeous lace affair, or Elizabeth Bennet carrying the Diamond and Cross Reticule to a ball a Netherfield. More modern patterns include the sleek Elinor Tunic, and the exquisitely detailed Lambton Top and Fiori Pullover. Most of the rest of the patterns fall somewhere between the sensibilities of the 1800s and those of today.

On my own to-knit list? The simple Short Stays vest, the Woodhouse Spencer and, someday, when my knitting skills improve, the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Meryton Coat, a beautifully stranded jacket inspired by the military uniforms of the era.

Conclusion

So, did “Jane Austen Knits” fulfill my hopes for a publication that promised to combine two of my favorite hobbies? Emphatically, yes. And, if you share my love of knitting and of Regency history, I’m happy to point out that it’s now on sale over at Interweave. I should also note: I bought my own copy of this magazine and haven’t been compensated for this review in any way. All opinions in this post are my own.

Peace of Christ to you,

Jessica Snell