Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)




Tuesday, December 8, 2015

FOR OLDER "YOUNG SOULS": TWO JANE AUSTEN DECEMBER GIVEAWAYS

If you happen to be a Jane Austen fan, you're probably aware that this December not only marks the 240th year since Miss Austen's birth (December 16, 1775), but also the 200th Anniversary of the publication of her beloved Emma (published December 25, 1815).

"Where shall we see a better daughter, or a kinder sister, or a truer friend?"

To celebrate one of my all-time favorite books and authors, today I'm offering two giveaway books, for two lucky readers.  I'm also sharing a Christmas recipe and fun ornament project - for everyone!

Christmas is referenced in all of Jane Austen's novels. Christmas celebrations in Georgian England included balls, parties, wassailing, and visiting.


Here's a recipe for the traditional "wassail" drink carried in bowls by Christmas carolers as they went through neighborhoods singing Yuletide songs.

Holiday Wassail
1 gallon apple cider
1 large can pineapple juice (unsweetened)
3/4 cups hot tea

Place in cheesecloth sack:
1 T. whole cloves
1 T. whole allspice
2 sticks cinnamon

Perfect for the crockpot: Let simmer on low very slowly 4-6 hours (add water if needed). Serve warm.  Garnish with orange slices (splash of rum, optional).  Serves 20 [source]  There are many variations of Wassail - go here for more on Pinterest.


Next, I found a fun ornament project for your Christmas tree - or for that Jane Austen Party you've always wanted to have! (Both the recipe and project are from Jane Austen.co.uk. The website suggests using old book pages from a discarded Jane Austen novel. But of course, you could always photo copy a page - double sided - if you can't bring yourself to cut up one of Jane's books.)

Create a Jane Austen Christmas tree ornament - go here.

Ornament Project
1. Cut the page into 8 strips about 3/4" wide.
2. Set 2 strips aside.  Then cut 1/2" from 2 other strips; 1" from two more; and 1 and 1/2" from the remaining two strips.
3. Stack strips into two piles, with the longest strip on the bottom of each pile and so on, until the shortest strips are on top.
4.  Place the two piles together, face to face, with the shortest strips on the inside. Then staple the bottom of the strips together.
5.  Gently guide and line the top ends together, turning down this stack of ends down by turning both sides to the inside of the heart, pinching them together.
6. Staple the top ends together, inside the heart.
7. Form a loop of ribbon, and place it in the center where the strips meet.
8. Staple the strips together again, a bit higher, making sure the ribbon is caught.
9. Add a bow to the front with glue (hot glue gun works best).

On to the giveaways!  I'm delighted to offer you, dear readers, not one, but two books.

Giveaway #1 
My first giveaway book is in honor of Jane Austen's Birthday (December 16, 1775)...
Giveaway #1
A Jane Austen Christmas, Celebrating the Season of Romance, Ribbons, & Mistletoe. "Carlo DeVito provides an intimate portrait of Austen's most cherished Christmas memories with her family: from the gift of her first writing desk, to her first love and heartbreak, to her brewing mead and beer in time for the holidays. Along the way readers will spend a holiday in the Austen house, celebrate Jane's birthday, meet the inspiration for more than a dozen characters, attend the Christmastide series of balls, and learn how to make family's favorite recipes and dedicate a novel to the Prince Regent. Remarkably fresh and supremely entertaining, A Jane Austen Christmas brings Austen's world to life as never before."

Giveaway #2
I just love Miss Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley!! My second giveaway book is in celebration of Emma turning 200 on December 25, 2015...
Giveaway #2
Emma: 200th-Anniversary Annotated Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) with introduction by the book's editor, Juliette Wells.  She refers to it as a reader's edition as opposed to a scholarly one and has included maps, a glossary, several contextual essays, and illustrations of earlier editions of Emma.

Giveaway Details...
There will be one winner for each of the two giveaway books. The giveaway starts today, December 8 and ends on December 15.  Winners will be announced on Jane's birthday, December 16!


Please enter the giveaway by using the Rafflecopter box below:
(Click the left/right arrows to make sure you enter both giveaways!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

24 comments:

  1. Emma and Persuasion are my two favorite Austen books, but Lizzie Bennet is still my favorite character. I love Jane Austen!

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    1. Pride and Prejudice and Emma tie for first with me. Love different things about both novels and their characters. But I think Elizabeth Bennet edges out Miss Woodhouse by a smidge. :)

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  2. Emma and Persuasion are my two favorite Austen books, but Lizzie Bennet is still my favorite character. I love Jane Austen!

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  3. Emma is my favorite. And Mr. Knightley was always more my type than Mr. Darcy. :)

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  4. I love the recipe for wassail, since I'm a huge fan of spiced cider. I always wonder if there's anything along these lines that isn't so sweet. The cider is usually quite a sugar hit, and adding pineapple juice is likely to put me into a sugar coma. (Probably worth it, though. It's SO Christmas-y.)

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    1. I think it's a good idea to add hot tea. That cuts down on the sugar a little bit! No matter how you enjoy it, is a Christmas TREAT! :)

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  5. Ha! I left my comment on the wrong posting but I said that I dearly love Emma and she is also my favorite character.

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    1. She makes me happy. You have to laugh at her quandaries. :)

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  6. Mr. Darcy is a favorite.Thank you for the generous giveaway. The books are beautiful and would be proud to win either one.
    Marilyn

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  7. Elizabeth Bennett is a fav though it's hard to pick 1.

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    1. It is hard to pick one! She's my favorite too - barely edges out Emma Woodhouse.

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  8. Elizabeth Bennett is a fav though it's hard to pick 1.

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  9. I know this may sound odd, but I've always been rather fond of Mr. Collins.

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    1. "Poor Mr. Collins!" He does try, doesn't he!

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  10. Fannie Price- she's so humble and good!!

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  11. I like Elizabeth Bennett, of course! But I've also always liked Anne Elliott and Elinor Dashwood, too. These two aren't as noticeable/good-looking/accomplished as the other young ladies that surround them, but they are more steadfast and patient, and I've always admired how they suffer in silence.

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    1. So true. Jane Austen was a genius at character study, I think!

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  12. Lizzie Bennett is my favorite. I relate to her.

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  13. Love Mr. Darcy!

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