A Rather Lovely Soirée: Audio and Artistry

A Rather Lovely Soirée
Talk like Jane Austen Day
Event production by
Random Magic Tour
Sasha Soren (Random Magic)
Oct. 30, 2011
Welcome, dear guests! You've arrived at a rather lovely soirée in honor of Talk like Jane Austen Day. Talk like Jane Austen Day is an annual event, but October 30, 2011 is a particularly special day, as it marks the 200th anniversary of the first printing of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Austen's first published novel. In honor of the day, we've assembled a delightful collection of interesting features on all things Jane Austen and her times.
As the other charming guests of this event have already provided some choice e-book versions of Jane Austen works for your delectation, here we'll have just a small parting gift of complimentary audio books for your enjoyment.
Please find a selection of Jane Austen's works below, in audio book format, and you're welcome to stream them at home, or to download any or all in MP3 format. This could be a sweet gift for someone with a long commute - or just someone who loves Jane Austen's works and would appreciate having a wonderful collection of Jane Austen audio books ready to hand.
About: Northanger Abbey was the first of Jane Austen's novels to be completed (1798–99), although it was only published posthumously in December 1817. The story follows the misadventures of Gothic novel aficionado Catherine Morland. Complimentary audio book Matching e-book at Splash of our Worlds
About: Sense and Sensibility (1811) was Austen's first published novel, which she wrote under a pseudonym. She tells the story of two sisters - Elinor (sense) and Marianne Dashwood (sensibility). Elinor is thoughtful, considerate, and calm, while her sister is emotional and wildly romantic. Both are looking for a partner, but neither Elinor's reason nor Marianne's passion alone will help them find happiness. Complimentary audio book Reader: Karen Savage Matching e-book at Elbit Blog
About: The story follows the playful but plainspoken heroine Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with all manner of social and romantic drama. Pride and Prejudice was first published in 1813, and went on to become one of the most popular novels in English literature. Complimentary audio book Reader: Karen Savage Matching e-book at Tina's Book Reviews
About: Jane completed this book at Chawton Cottage, working on the manuscript from 1812 through 1814. Mansfield Park was published in 1814; the story follows Fanny Price, a young woman from a poor family whose life takes some twists and turns on the way to eventually finding her true home. Complimentary audio book Reader: Karen Savage Matching e-book at vvb32reads
About: Emma wasn't a particularly popular name during the Regency era, although the name underwent a sudden upswing in popularity between 1800-1820. Jane Austen published the novel, Emma, in 1815. The main character, Emma Woodhouse, is essentially a spoiled young person and not particularly likeable - although it can be noted that Jane Austen says herself that it was her intention to try drawing a character 'whom no one but myself will much like.' Eventually, through the influence of friends - in particular her former governess, and the sensible and compassionate George Knightley, Emma leaves off meddling, matchmaking and other idle pursuits, and might finally be on the way to redeeming some of her earlier follies. Complimentary audio book Reader: Moira Fogarty (@pipesdreams) Matching e-book at The True Book Addict
Note: There is a music player set to auto-play at blog listed above. Music player is located in right sidebar, and can be shut off by the visitor if desired.
About: Persuasion was the last novel Jane Austen completed before her death. She started work on the novel after she'd finished Emma, and the manuscript was completed in August 1816. Austen died, aged 41, in 1817 and Persuasion was published posthumously in 1818 (published in December 1817 but dated 1818). The story follows heroine Anne Elliot, who's pressured by her family and convinced by a well-meaning confidante to break off her engagement to naval officer Frederick Wentworth, on the grounds of poverty and low social rank. Years later, Frederick returns, but that particular chapter of their lives is definitely closed - or is it? The novel, of course, touches on the danger of acting on well-intentioned but damaging advice (persuasion), versus the ability to see true worth for what it is, to know one's own mind, and to act accordingly. Complimentary audio book Reader: Moira Fogarty (@pipesdreams) Matching e-book at Inky Pages
Page from Jane Austen's unfinished manuscript for The Watsons. Image courtesy the Bodleian Libraries.
About: The Watsons is an unfinished novel by Jane Austen. She started writing it circa 1803 and abandoned it after her father's death. It includes only five chapters of a projected work. The manuscript was left unfinished, possibly because its plot reflected Austen's life at the time, concerning as it does the daughters of a sick and widowed clergyman who dies, leaving them impoverished. The Reverend George Austen died in 1805. The manuscript of The Watsons, a fragment of a Jane Austen novel in the author's own handwriting sold at auction in London in 2011 for some £1m ($1.6m) - three times its reserve price.
None of the original drafts of Austen's completed novels survive, with the exception of discarded chapters of Persuasion and the unpublished Lady Susan. (Sources quoted: Wikipedia, the Guardian) Download complimentary audio book Reader: Gesine
E-book of another unfinished Austen work, Sanditon, at Songs and Stories Watch a video reading of an excerpt of this work at Inky Pages
Additional goodies available:
WIN this book at Bookie Brunch, offer open through December 15, 2011.
About: When publisher Thomas Cadell declined an unsolicited manuscript offered to him by a Hampshire clergyman in 1797, he made one of the biggest mistakes in publishing history, for the manuscript was an early version of Pride and Prejudice, and the clergyman's daughter was destined to become one of the most recognizable names in literature... (More)
WIN this book at A Rather Lovely Soirée, offer open through November 4, 2011 (GMT).Book offer by vlogger Sable Caught, play to win this book by watching a quick Jane Austen quiz and replying with your answers. (Watch video)
JUST FOR FUN, take a quiz find out which of Jane Austen's characters is most like you:
You might also have a nice time at another Jane event coming up this November:
INVITATION to Pemberley Ball, Nov. 14-19, 2011
You're also invited to another charming Jane Austen event, the annual Pemberley Ball, held every November and hosted by vvb32reads (@vvb32reads).
More information on Pemberley Ball
Pre-event reading from Pride and Prejudice: Listen
RSVP: Reply to RSVP for this year's ball http://tinyurl.com/3w8wye5
Please feel free to browse the collection of badges below, as each one of them will feature an interesting topic related to Jane Austen and her times, and you're sure to enjoy them all.
Thank you for visiting, it's been so nice to see you. Happy Talk like Jane Austen Day!
Event production for A Rather Lovely Soirée by Random Magic Tour.
Additional credits. Audio books courtesy LibriVox. Image of Elizabeth Bennet from 1895 illustrated edition Pride and Prejudice, artist is C. E. Brock.