Have you watched North & South? If not; DO!

I know this blog is called The Secret Dreamworld of a Jane Austen Fan, but all the same I will not shy away from bringing up things that might not be absolutely connected to Jane Austen if I find that they are close enough to the subject and I find them worthy of a mention here. One such thing is BBC’s series North & South. I took another opportunity of watching this film when Charlotte was here, as she had not yet seen it and I though that she should. The film has often been compared to Pride and Prejudice, and indeed, there are many similarities between them. Some of the characters share strong similarities and parts of the story too. It is an unbelievably good film and I would highly recommend it! If you have not yet seen it, but love Jane Austen’s work and films and books in the same style, I’m going to strongly recommend that you do! And if you have already seen it, well, then you can always watch it yet another time! :) By the way, the costumes in this film are really wonderful!
Mr. Thornton & Miss Hale from BBC's North & South

Back again!

So my dear friends, I’m back again. My friend Charlotte left yesterday, we have had some lovely days together. In Stockholm we managed to squeeze in several different must-see-sights as well as just spending some time strolling around browsing any nice stores we passed. One thing we visited was the Royal Armoury, located in the Royal Palace. It was not the first visit I made there (nor was it the second…), but all the same I found it most enjoyable. The things you get to see there are clothes, armour, weapons, jewelry and much more that has belonged to the Swedish Royal family in the past 500 years. I love seeing all the things that are, in a way, part of Sweden’s history. And of course, the clothes hold a special fascination for me!

There were not too many Regency era clothes though. In fact, I only found a couple of items from that time. I got a picture of one of them; this beautiful red pelisse, stitched with gold!

Queen Josefina's pelisse

Here is a close-up of the bodice, so you can see the beautiful details a little better.

Queen Josefina's pelisse close-up

It was dated 1810, and had apparently belonged to a Queen Josefina.

I would really recommend the Royal Armoury as a place to visit if you are going to Stockholm!

See you in a few days!

There will be a few days without any posts here now. I’m off to Stockholm in a couple of hours and will be there for several days. I am meeting on of my pen pals since many years back for the first time. She lives in Germany and we have enjoyed a most delightful correspondence with each other over the years, and I am greatly looking forward to seeing her and showing her around in our beautiful capital!

Maybe there will be some nice pictures to share here… who knows… 🙂

My journey with Austen (so far)

Personally I always find it interesting to hear people’s stories of how they came to read Jane Austen’s books, so I thought I should share with you how I first came in contact with her work. I had heard of Jane Austen before, but I never really concidered reading her books (indeed, I didn’t even know what books she had written!) until November 2004. At the time I was, together with my family, on a six months trip around the world. We were at our first stop, which was Ann Arbor in Michigan. Being a family where 100% of us could be classified as book lovers we of course had to make a visit to the local Barnes & Noble bookstore (or three or four visits to be quite honest). I needed to buy a book because in a couple of days we would be leaving and taking the train, the Empire Builder, from Chicago to Seattle. A journey that would take no less than 46 hours! Obviously I would need something to read during that time! So, I was looking around for something that seemed good and came across this table where they had a whole bunch of classics on display; and Emma was one of them. I picked it up, read the back of it and thought “hm, sounds pretty good. Maybe I should give it a try”. So I bought it. A few days later on the train I was going to start reading it and I was stupid enough to begin with the introdiction! The introduction for this edition was something around 100 pages (!), but I gave up almost right away. I didn’t understand anything of what they were talking about, and I was just thinking “what is this for a lousy book?!” And away it went, back into my bag, banished from my sight… It wasn’t until two months later that I finally picked it up again. At this point we were in Fiji, out on a small beautiful island, surounded by crystal clear ocean. But… I had nothing to read! I decided to give it another go, but this time I decided I was not going to start with the introduction! After just a few pages I was hooked! I was lying on the beach, reading and reading! And of course, I loved the book!

Reading Emma on the beach in Fiji.

Since then I have learnt never to read the introduction first to any classic that I am starting on! It might work for some people, but for me; I just seem to get stuck there if I try to do that.

I had now read my first Jane Austen book, and I loved it, but I wasn’t quite a devoted fan yet. Another couple of months on our journey saw us in Byron Bay, Australia, and there I picked up Pride and Prejudice at a local second hand book store. An old tattered copy, but oh what a gem! I read it in a couple of days, and that was it, now I was really convinced!

As we reached the end of that year I had bought, and read, all four of her remaning novels. I had been introduced to the film adaptations by watching the five hour long BBC mini-series from 1995 of Pride and Prejudice. By this time there was just no turning back!

Since then I have seen pretty much every film adaptation ever made of a Jane Austen book (I think there are one or two old BBC ones that I have not yet watched). I have visited Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, The Jane Austen Center in Bath. I have made myself three Regency dresses and a Spencer jacket to go along. And I have devoured a number of books about Jane and the time that she lived in. I find that the more I do, see and read, the more I want to do, see and read! Jane Austen’s world really is addictive! At least for me. But I don’t mind; it’s a wonderful thing to be addicted to in my opinion! 🙂

Welcome!

I should like to welcome you all most heartily to The Secret Dreamworld of a Jane Austen Fan and my corner of the internet! I am very glad that you chose to stop by for a visit and I think I should take this time to introduce myself and this blog to you now.

My name is Aurora. I am an 18 year old Swedish girl, and, of course, a most devoted Jane Austen fan! Like so many others, I am of the decided opinion that Jane Austen is one of the greatest authors ever to grace this planet! Apart from Jane and her world, there are many other things for which I have a big interest. Some of the major ones include: singin, reading, dancing, sewing, writing letters, playing the piano, making handmade cards and scrapbooking, and so much else! I come from a family that have always traveled a lot, and traveling is absolutley one of the biggest passions of my life!

The reason I decided to start this blog is because I think it will be such a fun thing to work with! I would not claim myself to be an “Austen expert” (even though I have done my fair share of studying her) but this is a subject that I am truly passionate about! And I would love to share my passion with you! My idea is to make this a fun place where I can discuss the books, films, fashions, and anything from that era really that inspires me. And of course, the great Austen herself!

So once again, you are most welcome here, and I hope that you will stay with me and that we shall have the chance to explore some of this fascinating world of Jane Austen together!

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