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sc_woman_bookinwoodsThe recent argument among regular women, Anti-feminists on Tumblr and FaceBook, and Feminists has me seeking positive answers.*

My first answer to anti-feminists is to read the bell hooks (short) book: Feminism is for Everybody.

My most nuanced response is for everyone — though, especially feminists and Jane Austen fans — to study an amazing, new comic strip series: Manfeels Park.

I believe the Manfeels Park comic was started before the latest major media bruja-ja about feminism. The idea is to present a male apology for sexism by taking media and literature quotes, and illustrating them in a Jane Austen style. It is intelligent, thoughtful, and hilarious.

For a great taste of the collection, you may want to start with this one, here:
“Legitimate snake” (Starring Mr. Wickham, by the way). Though, so many of the strips are painfully funny, so flip through the archives. Any true Jane Austen movie fan will have to check out the “Lake scene” comic.

Looking forward to your interest and comments.

Sincerely,
Kimberly of Georgiana Circle

PS – Compelled to say…”I am a feminist. And, I love my husband.” Grrrr….those anti-feminists have gotten to me!

___________________________________

For a thoughtful article on the current “Women Against Feminism” debate, please see a Washington Post blog post: here.

Jane Austen and Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire both lived during the Regency Era. So, at Georgiana Circle, we enjoy research and material about both!

Are you a Janeite? Or, a Janeiac?

I am. And, I can’t wait to see the new movie “Austenland”…

[Update! 9/15/2013: Just saw "Austenland" at a theater in Stony Brook, Long Island, NY. Loved it! Unfortunately for signs of success, my cousin and I were the only two people in the theater for the 7pm, Sunday night showing. Though, we both think it is wonderful. So, that is a 100% audience approval rating! There is a play-within-the-play -- re: Mansfield Park-- that is very amusing.]

I keep watching to see how the movie is doing. So far, Box Office Mojo reports its opening weekend totals as $40, 662. Those numbers have me a little worried, because Jane Eyre 2011 did about $182,000 its opening weekend, and I am using that movie as a similar comparison. Jane Eyre did not stay in theaters long. Fingers crossed for more success with the wider opening.

Besides numbers, I am looking at reviews. It has gotten a lot of reviews, and some good attention. Though, there are some negative reviews. I blame some of those reviews on the fact that most movie critics probably don’t resonate with Jane Austen. I wanted to share a pretty good review I found at The Washington Times. It has a good outline of the movie, and some compliments of the overall.

The review at the Washington Times is here: Movie Review: ‘Austenland’

In the end, “Austenland” is serviceable as a romantic comedy, but mordantly funny and surprisingly literary as a satirical romp through Austen fandom.

If you have seen the movie, please share your thoughts, responses, and/or review in the comments! We would love to hear!

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan GuideBuy Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire:  Ultimate Fan Guide for NookGeorgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan guide on KoboGeorgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan GuideBuy Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire:  Ultimate Fan Guide on Smashwords

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire:  Ultimate Fan Guide

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (born Lady Georgiana Spencer) is the great-great-great-great aunt of Princess Diana and a relative of the new royal baby, The Prince of Cambridge. Kimberly Wilder has been  an avid fan of Georgiana and of the media surrounding her life. First, Kimberly set up the blog “Georgiana Circle: Women Healing History”. Now, Kimberly has created a new eBook. Both projects celebrate the life of this remarkable, 18th century woman. And, both projects invite reflection on history, fashion, and feminism.

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: The Ultimate Fan Guide celebrates Georgiana’s life as loving mother, entertaining friend, de facto politician, and Empress of Fashion. It includes reviews and an “Absolute Plot Spoiler” for: the 2001 biography by Amanda Foreman; the 2008 movie, “The Duchess”; the 2009 DVD; and the real life of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. The Ultimate Fan Guide also lists some of Georgiana’s relatives among English Royalty and places her in time related to the world of women’s literature.

If you are a Jane Austen fan or are preparing to view the film “Austenland”, a study of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire will give insights into the feathered hats, social scene, and other Regency Era details. Georgiana, an aristocrat who threw wild parties, and had a child out of wedlock, just may be the woman Jane Austen was afraid of.

The beginning of the first chapter in the eBook:

Introduction: Why I love Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire

She lived a wild life. She broke her vows. She broke the rules. She spent too much money. To the outside world, she seemed all about glamour and selfishness. Yet, she had a profound influence on the world around her. And, in the end, she left a legacy of love and connection among all the children of her household…,

To read the rest, buy the Ebook for only 99¢ on Amazon Kindle

The table of contents:

Continue Reading »

Jane Austen music? You might think I mean music of the 1800’s. But, no, there is a new blues song inspired by a Jane Austen character.

I went on Youtube, on a whim of boredom, to see what was new in the world of Jane Austen. Sometimes students put up book reports, or there may be an announcement for a new movie. What I found was even more fun. A singer-songwriter from Brooklyn has created a blues song dedicated to Elizabeth Bennet’s plain and bookish sister, Mary. “Oh, oh, oh, Mary Bennet…” This is a fun way to celebrate Pride and Prejudice.

Best quote: “Well, I want to see your library…”

Continue Reading »

Update: December 2011: Mixed news on the disposition of the “new” Charlotte Bronte manuscript. At auction, it was won by a museum, so it will still be available to the public. Though, instead of the Bronte Parsonage Museum in England, it went to a literary museum in France. Story at “The National”: here.

KW writes: For all of us Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte fans, this tiny book is a rare find! Written when Bronte was only 14 years old, it is a brilliant piece of satire. Bronte created this tiny work in the format of a men’s magazine. It includes a witty ad (see below), which observes economics and social justice in her usually insightful, though aloof, manner. It’s a kind of Mad Magazine for the 19th century. And, it contains a hint into her future sociological writing, such as her reflections on charity schools in Jane Eyre, and her novel, Shirley.

Bronte manuscript. Image from: i.dailymail.co.uk

(excerpt from) The Telegraph & Argus
[Brontë] Parsonage Museum in Haworth [England] is eager to ensure ‘national treasure’ is not lost to the public
UK/November 14, 2011

An appeal has been launched to help fund the purchase of a rare Charlotte Brontë manuscript.

The Brontë Parsonage Museum is appealing for financial support from the public and funding bodies.

It needs to raise up to £300,000 to cover the expected cost of buying the work at an auction next month.

The unpublished manuscript contains three works written by Charlotte – author of Jane Eyre – when she was 14.

Charlotte’s Young Men’s Magazine Number 2 contains 4,000 words set in a fictional world created by the famous literary siblings.

The book, until now in private ownership, is believed to have never before been seen by scholars. Continue Reading »

This blog is devoted to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, and other ideas related to women’s empowerment and women in history. So, there have been some Jane Eyre/Charlotte Bronte threads, and some Jane Austen threads.

Overall, I am not a great fan of the monarchy and royalty. I enjoy meditating on more democratic, egalitarian, and feminist ways to shape society. Though, I felt like the news about Jane Austen and Kate Middleton gave me entree to post a few pieces of royal watching interest. See more below the Jezebel story…

(excerpt from)Jezebel

Kate Middleton and Jane Austen Are Related

Ancestry.com has discovered that Kate Middleton, Duchess Of Cambridge…and Jane Austen are are eleventh cousins, six times removed… “Finding this connection between the Duchess of Cambridge and Jane Austen is very exciting since, in many ways, Catherine is the modern Jane Austen heroine: a middle-class girl marrying the future King of England.”

More Royal Watching News:

My husband and I have started a new project. It is a website called
Peace Couple. The first project on Peace Couple is a royal tour by The Duke and Duchess of Peace. Their tour of America happens to coincide with the North American tour of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Duchess Catherine. The Duke and Duchess of Peace have very different ideas of what it means to be royal.

More Royal Watching (and a Georgiana mention):

With all that dismissing of royalty aside, I have to confess something. I love Princess Diana. And, while I was Princess Diana watching, I became interested in the life of Sarah, Duchess of York (Sarah Ferguson). And, Sarah Ferguson is related to Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire — Sarah Ferguson is a descendent of Georgiana’s love child, Eliza.

So, my mom asked me to take her to meet Sarah Ferguson at a local book signing, and I couldn’t say no. Below are some fun photos of Sarah, Duchess of York, who was on Long Island yesterday, June 28th:

June 28, 2011: Sarah, Duchess of York and fans

Sign at Book Revue announcing Sarah Ferguson

Sarah, Duchess of York signing her new book

Georgiana's Feathers

Princess Beatrice’s Famous Royal Wedding Hat
(see video at bottom of this post)

If you are a fan of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire — born 1757, died 1806, glorified in the movie “The Duchess” — then you probably know that Sarah Ferguson and her daughters are descendents of Georgiana. Their family tree extends from Eliza, the love child of Georgiana and Sir Charles Grey.

Georgiana was known for known for her trend-setting fashions, and also, for her ability to use fashion to send a message and garnish attention. So, it is not surprising that Princess Beatrice’s daring wedding hat has inspired a FaceBook page which is at 115,000 hits (As of Sunday evening, 5/1/2011) and climbing. Georgiana’s hat choices were often shocking or problematic. So, it is not out of the family tradition for Princess Beatrice’s hat’s most popular page to be a critique. In fact, it is called, “Princess-Beatrices-Ridiculous-Royal-Wedding-Hat FaceBook Page”.

If you would like to defend Princess Beatrice, and the artistic leap of faith she took, you might consider joining, “Royal Wedding Hats – In Defense of Princess Beatrice and Her Lovely Hat FaceBook Page”. Which, I am sorry to say, stands at only 407 members. Continue Reading »

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