Books, TBR Challenge

Cora’s TBR Challenge Check-In

Hello fellow readers! We’re 2/3 of the way through 2021–how is your TBR Challenge going?

Mine is still going so very, very slowly, lol. But I’m making progress. I recently had my schedule changed at the day job, so I’ve started sleeping better and that makes me want to get back into the things I’ve been neglecting this year (reading among them). I’ve also continued to listen to audiobooks while I do yardwork–I’m about 3/4 of the way through Persuasion at the moment with a long weekend of outdoor chores coming up, so I expect to finish that one shortly. I’ve got two other (paper) books going, but they’re both professional development-type things, which have been difficult to focus on lately. I’m hoping both the schedule change and long weekend will help me reduce this sleep deficit I have going, and the PD things will be interesting again 🙂

So, while I’m still in the single digits of books read this year, we still have 18 weeks or so left in 2021 and I think I can get to my goal of 20 TBR books read. If I can do it while getting my writing back on track, even better!

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorite: More of What Jane Saw

Two years ago, Sir Joshua Reynolds’ portrait exhibition was one of our Friday Favorites. This year, the good folks at What Jane Saw (brought to you by the University of Texas) are back at it, expanding the virtual art tour to include an exhibit of paintings devoted to Shakespeare’s works.

“You are invited to time travel to two art exhibitions witnessed by Jane Austen: the Sir Joshua Reynolds retrospective in 1813 or the Shakespeare Gallery as it looked in 1796. These two Georgian blockbusters took place, years apart, in the same London exhibition space at 52 Pall Mall (it no longer exists). When Austen visited in 1813, the building housed the British Institution, an organization promoting native artists. On her earlier London visit in 1796, it was the first-ever museum dedicated to William Shakespeare.”

As with the Reynolds exhibit, a menu bar runs across the top of the window allowing you to brows paintings by catalog number or placement withing the building. Clicking on a painting opens up a dialog box with a ton of information about the piece.

Shakespeare Gallery

Friday Favorites, Regency

Friday Favorite: Jane Austen and Hodgkin’s Disease


This week’s Favorite is not for the faint of heart–nor for the weak of mind. It’s an article I came across while doing some research into Regency-era medicine, appearing in the journal Medical Humanities. Jane Austen’s health problems and death at age 41 are most often attributed to Addison’s disease. This article, however, lays out a rather compelling case that the ailment she suffered from was in fact Hodgkin’s disease. It’s a bit dense with medical terminology, so you’ll need your brain at full power. But if you’ve watched enough episodes of House you should be able to get through it 😉

You can find the full text of the article here.

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorite: It’s Raining (Period Drama) Men

It’s still very much the depths of winter here in Michigan, so our Favorite this week is reminder that warmer weather is on its way. That it includes a healthy dose of Georgian, Regency, and Victorian men is purely coincidence 😉

Clips used by the video’s creator include:

Amazing Grace 2006
Casanova 2005
Emma 1996
Northanger Abbey 2007
North & South 2004
Persuasion 2007
Pride & Prejudice 1995, 2005
Sense & Sensibility 1996, 2008
The Shadow in the North 2007
Wives & Daughters 1999

Books, Friday Favorites

Friday Favorite: Tennant and Cumberbatch in Mansfield Park

Mansfield ParkThey’re back!

Last May, BBC Radio 4 re-aired a radio play of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, in celebration of the novel’s 200th birthday. The cast included David Tennant as Tom, Benedict Cumberbatch as Edmund, and Felicity Jones as Fanny Price.

And now you can have a copy of your very own 🙂

Amazon UK has the CD in stock, while has a US release date of March 1. Can’t wait on the American side of the Pond? Audible also has it as a digital download, available now.


Books, Friday Favorites

Friday Favorite: P&P Supreme Court Citation

Our Favorite this week is a bit of an odd duck. Whoever thought that the United States Supreme Court would be citing Pride and Prejudice in one of its decisions? Well, on January 13, 2015 it did.

It was a case where a bank robber fleeing from the scene broke into a woman’s home and “guided a terrified Parnell from a hallway to a room a few feet away, where she suffered a fatal heart attack.” This bank robber (Whitfield) was convicted of (among other things) forcing the woman to accompany him–which increased the penalties he’d face. He was appealing based on the definition of the word “accompaniment”, which is used in the statute he was convicted of violating.


This is (in part) what the Court decided:

In 1934, just as today, to “accompany” someone meant to “go with” him. See Oxford English Dictionary 60 (1st ed. 1933) (defining “accompany” as: “To go in company with, to go along with”). The word does not, as Whitfield contends, connote movement over a substantial distance. It was, and still is, perfectly natural to speak of accompanying someone over a relatively short distance, for example: from one area within a bank “to the vault”; “to the altar” at a wedding; “up the stairway”; or into, out of, or across a room. English literature is replete with examples. See, e.g., C. Dickens, David Copperfield 529 (Modern Library ed. 2000) (Uriah “accompanied me into Mr. Wickfield’s room”); J. Austen, Pride and Prejudice 182 (Greenwich ed. 1982) (Elizabeth “accompanied her out of the room”).

Interesting, isn’t it? 😀

You can check out the full text of the decision here.

Books, Friday Favorites

Friday Favorite: Death Comes to Pemberley

It’s finally here! Aired in December 2013 in the UK, part 1 of Death Comes to Pemberley hits American screens this Sunday as part of PBS’s Masterpiece Mystery series. The second part airs next Sunday (November 2).

From the PBS website:

“Six years after Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy have prevailed over pride, prejudice, the caddish Mr. Wickam and the frivolous Mrs. Bennet, a coach races up to Pemberley, Darcy’s palatial estate, with an hysterical Lydia shrieking, “Murder!” So continues Jane Austen’s timeless classic, Pride and Prejudice, in Death Comes to Pemberley, a star-studded adaptation of crime-writer P.D. James’ bestselling whodunit.”

Anna Maxwell Martin stars as Elizabeth Darcy, with Matthew Rhys as Austen’s hero. Matthew Goode and Jenna Coleman play Mr. Wickham and Lydia Bennet.



Books, Friday Favorites

Friday Favorite: David Tennant and Benedict Cumberbatch read Mansfield Park

Mansfield Park is 200 years old this month, and BBC is celebrating! Beginning Monday, May 12, BBC Radio 4 will be re-airing a radio play of Jane Austen’s third novel that was first recorded in 2003, featuring David Tennant as Tom and Benedict Cumberbatch as Edmund. The 10-part broadcast will begin at 2:00 BST, and a new installment will air each day over the course of two weeks.

Not in the UK? Never fear, overseas listeners can tune in here.

More information can be found here.

David Bennedict