Category Archives: jane austen

Castle Combe

When I went to England last May, we visited a small village called Castle Combe in Wiltshire. Other than hiking in the welsh mountains, Castle Combe was probably my favorite place. It is a small 14th century town.

The day was wonderful. First we visited Bath, home of Jane Austin (at one point in her life even though she did not really like Bath). Here’s Jane & I:

On the way back to our hotel, we stopped at Castle Combe. We had to walk down from the parking lot because cars were not allowed. It was so picturesque that I have 4 of my photos from Castle Combe blown up and framed. They now hang on my wall. I even gave some of the pictures away as gifts (which is why I have not, and will not post those particular pictures on here). In fact, Castle Combe was the inspiration for returning from England and giving family members pictures I took as gifts.

Here are a couple of photos that were not as good, but they give you a taste. The first is the main street of the village.

The second is the manor home.

The third I call “the party tree” some of you will understand. If not (as with most things in life) refer back to Tolkien.

Some day I am going back. I am going to stay in the Manor home that is down the way from the village. It has been turned into a hotel, with an incredible English garden.

Well all this to say that I watched “Stardust” last night. Its a fantasy movie and one of the towns is a place called “Wall” it only took a handful of seconds for the character to be walking through Wall and I thought, (then stated) “That looks like Castle Combe” Later I checked, sure enough, it was! Castle Combe was also used back in the day for the filming of the Original Dr. Dolittle

Some day I am going back. I am going to stay in the Manor home that has been turned into a hotel.



Filed under jane austen, pictures, travel, uk & ireland

only 100 more?

Yep, It has taken me over a day to read only 100 additional pages. Oops. Now I have 300 on the reformation to get done. Instead of reading I have been spending a lot of time just doing nothing.

I was able to go shopping yesterday. I noticed this week that one of my pairs of jeans had sprung a couple of holes so I got a new pair. And I have done some cooking. There is a pot roast in the slow cooker making me hungry as I type.

I also watched the last 2.5 hours of the A&E version of Pride & Prejudice. Wonderful as always.

I guess I should stop blogging and start reading. Its 3:30 in the afternoon and I have read 2 pages today….ok. here I go!


Filed under homework, jane austen, movie, reading

A third evening with Austen

After driving around town today, I finally found a widescreen copy of the new Pride & Prejudice at the third store I checked. Very well done. I imagine it is difficult to squeeze the story into just over 2 hours. Someday I will watch the A&E version, or is it the BBC version that runs 5 hours. I have heard only good about it (other than the long length).

Now, back to my book…

Oh yes, and a most enchanting soundtrack.

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Filed under jane austen, literature, movie, music

I may call you My Mr. Knightly

What a lovely evening. The second of such evenings spent with the marvelous Jane Austen. This time in the form of the movie Emma. A witty comedy, a heart felt romance, and a fantastic period piece.

Now I simply must find a copy of Pride & Prejudice. Perhaps I will check at a different establishment tomorrow in order to complete the Austen trilogy. Since I could not find the dvd today, I procured a copy of the soundtrack, by way of itunes. Such a tranquil and agreeable score.

After this, I feel as though I shall continue to think in such a way as hear the world in the melody of a soft British accent. All words, including my own thoughts, flowing in only the most proper of English.

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Sense & Sensibility

I am again attempting to read Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen. I have started the book on at least two previous occasions, but each time, I read to about page 50 before stopping. Though I really like the book, it is not an “easy” read for me, so my eyes and mind grow tired. I usually end up taking a nap. To take a nap, one needs to set the book down. Unfortunately for this book, each previous attempt at reading and subsequent nap has resulted in my setting the book down and not picking it up again for months.

Well, this time it is different!!! I started reading again today and can proudly say I have made it to page 100.

I find that I really like Jane Austen novels, or at least I think I will once I actually finish one. I really like the movies I have seen based on her books. I appreciate her characters. She often writes of strong women. Even in their day where certain expectations and propriety must be followed, Austen uses her characters to show that strength of character, intelligence, and being true to ones self is imperative. Though her heroines may not be the prettiest, chase after the men as their peers do, or waste their time away as society expects them, their “outlandish and progressive” actions are far more respectable in the reader’s eyes.

Today I went to the store in search of the new version of Pride & Prejudice that came out on DVD this week. It was my intent to buy it, along with Sense & Sensibility and Emma. The store was sold out of Pride & Prejudice, but I purchased the other two. So in the middle of my reading the book, I also watched the movie this evening.

Now I must be off. I have a bit of reading to do before I fall asleep tonight.

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Pride & Prejudice


This has been my favorite so far of the Three movies in November. A little hard to understand in some spots due to fast talking and British accents. A basic understanding of the plot before watching the movie is helpful. BUT wow! Well done.

Great musical score (will probably pick this one up at some point).

I love Jane Austin’s witty and no-nonsense heroines. (When this comes out on DVD, I will purchase it along with Emma and Sense & Sensibility)

Some lines in the movie made the entire audience laugh out loud. As did the antics of supporting characters of Mr. & Mrs. Bennett

Elizabeth Bennett in this film is played spectacularly by Keira Knightly. The Gentleman playing Mr. Darcy could have been better, but he was adequate.

The actors playing the important characters of Jane Bennett & Charles Bingley were fabulous as well. How could one not love Mr. Bingley’s devotion for Miss. Bennett.

In summary, a well done, condensed version of a classic story. It has a few rough spots, but in the end, a quite enjoyable movie set in timelessly romantic, Victorian England.

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Filed under jane austen, literature, movie, music


Saw RENT this evening (one day earlier than expected)…..Hard to say what I thought….

What I liked:

*The harmonies in the music were incredible!
*The idea of “No Day But Today” Live life to the fullest each day. Who knows what tomorrow will be so Do the most with today.
*The true friendship displayed in the characters. they stuck it out even during the really hard times. They were there for each other.

I did not like the mixed messages the movie sent. On one hand, accepting people who are different from your self is a good thing. On the other hand, to go so far as to encourage moral relativism, not a good thing. Every one draws a line in the sand somewhere. (even the bohemian/artists in the movie draw a line with their own acceptance of culture around them. i.e. disliking the lifestyle of their parents. Referring to joining corporate America as “selling out”)

Because of this moral relativism, I dislike many of the characters lifestyle choices.

AIDS is presented in the film as a huge problem. To see some of the characters dieing of AIDS is heartbreaking. But at the same time, due to the storyline, I found it hard to sympathies with characters that made poor choices, thus becoming involved in activities that lead to being HIV positive (i.e. drug use).

All in all, I enjoyed the film mostly as a result of the music. I often wish life was a musical. BUT, because I was uncomfortable with some of the character’s relationships & actions, I cannot say I would recommend this film.

A parting thought….Movie theme…No day but today. BUT, to live this way, and to live it in a selfish manner will ultimately be one’s demise. You still need purpose. Life cannot be about one purposeless adventure after another. There has to be an end goal. And not a self-serving one.

Perhaps Pride & Prejudice tomorrow.

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Filed under jane austen, movie, music, musical


So I have been on a huge reading kick lately. I have always loved to read, but for some reason I have not read very many of the “classics” or Current Best Sellers.

This spring I started Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. I have enjoyed the plot, but some times get so bored by the Characters thought (which go on, and on, and on) that I quit reading the book for about 4 months. I just picked it up again and realized that because I am almost 1/2 done with an 800 page book, I really need to finish it.

As most others in recent years, I have now read Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. I wanted to read them before I watched the movies. I would have to say that Tolkien is now my favorite author. His contemporary, CS Lewis, has been on of my favorite for years. I read the chronicles of Narnia several years ago. (and am eargarly awaiting this December!)

I also attempted Sense & Sensibility and Emma by Jane Austin. Saw the movies, but have yet to finish either book.

Harry Potter, here’s a fun one. I have heard the hype for years, but only when book 6 came out did I finally read any. I bought the first five in a box set. LOVED THEM, and 18 days after starting book one, I had finished all 6. (yes, I need a life to fill up all this time, that was over 3300 pages of reading)

And finally, Another highly anticipated book came out yesterday. Eldest the second book in the Inheritance trilogy. the first book Eragon was written when the author was only 15 yrs old. I only read book one in may. I recommend this one. yes, it is kind of a kids book, but still enjoyable.

Looking back at this list of books, it only confirms that I love the fantasy genre. I think it is because I love the epic tale of good vs. evil.

Plus, I think that each of our lives, in reality, are part of an Epic tale. I often view life very “in the now” but reading such fairy tales reminds me that there are elements of the story that reflect how things really are. And I think it is helpful to the “good” and hurtful to the “evil” if I keep this in mind and live accordingly.


Filed under good vs. evil, harry potter, jane austen, literature, narnia, reading, tolkien, tolstoy