Monday, 26 November 2012

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 26

A splendid Regency dinner
Since we are in the midst of a Thanksgiving Day weekend here in the United States, I thought it appropriate to see what Tom had to say on the subject.  So, I quote from page 370 of the "Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy".
His habitual dependence on God's providence and love may be traced in his invariable practice of calling us all together for united prayer or thanksgiving on each occasion or separation or re-union.  I do not recollect his ever leaving home to attend Parliament, or for his judicial duties on Circuit, without assembling the members of his family to ask for God's assistance and blessing upon the discharge of his own duties, and committing to his care and guidance those from whom he was parting.
Those words portray a Tom Lefroy of deep feelings both Christian and loving for his family.  How could you not love someone like that?
I wish for all our readers a Happy Thanksgiving!
Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian

Monday, 19 November 2012

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 213

I've been in a cupcake-frenzy since last year. This week alone, I baked two batches of cupcakes: lemon cupcake with lemon Swiss meringue buttercream and red velvet cupcake with strawberry swiss meringue buttercream. Thus, I tried to find a quote about cake in one of Jane Austen's books, and what better place to find it than Emma? 

The wedding cake Mr Woodhouse despised so much in Emma 2008

True to form, Emma brought me many cake-related paragraphs, particularly in relation to Mr Woodhouse. Poor Mr Woodhouse. He wouldn't approve my cupcake-frenzy at all! Just have a look at what he thought of the wedding cake (that were supposed to be eaten anyway) during Miss Taylor's wedding (Volume I Chapter 2, from this site):

There was no recovering Miss Taylor--nor much likelihood of ceasing to pity her; but a few weeks brought some alleviation to Mr. Woodhouse. The compliments of his neighbours were over; he was no longer teased by being wished joy of so sorrowful an event; and the wedding-cake, which had been a great distress to him, was all eat up. His own stomach could bear nothing rich, and he could never believe other people to be different from himself. What was unwholesome to him he regarded as unfit for any body; and he had, therefore, earnestly tried to dissuade them from having any wedding-cake at all, and when that proved vain, as earnestly tried to prevent any body's eating it. He had been at the pains of consulting Mr. Perry, the apothecary, on the subject. Mr. Perry was an intelligent, gentlemanlike man, whose frequent visits were one of the comforts of Mr. Woodhouse's life; and upon being applied to, he could not but acknowledge (though it seemed rather against the bias of inclination) that wedding-cake might certainly disagree with many--perhaps with most people, unless taken moderately. With such an opinion, in confirmation of his own, Mr. Woodhouse hoped to influence every visitor of the newly married pair; but still the cake was eaten; and there was no rest for his benevolent nerves till it was all gone.

There was a strange rumour in Highbury of all the little Perrys being seen with a slice of Mrs. Weston's wedding-cake in their hands: but Mr. Woodhouse would never believe it.

Five 'cake' words in two paragraphs; all related to Mr Woodhouse' objection of cakes. Well, Mr Woodhouse, you don't know what you're missing! You can always double your walk around the park, you know...

As if it's not enough, Mr Woodhouse, here I post a link to how to make the 2008 Emma wedding cake from Vic (Jane Austen Today). Vic suggested baking 'Mrs Perrot's Pound Cake', the recipe of which can be found in 'Jane Austen's Cookbook' (which I might purchase one day!). Enjoy!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 212

I know I have a tendency towards quotes from Northanger Abbey but I have yet another this week.

My mum and I went on a wonderful walk today at Bateman's, the home of Rudyard Kipling. I found out on my visit that Jane Austen was his favourite author which was a wonderful surprise. It was a very special day and I wanted to use a quote from chapter 22 of the novel:

"A mother would have been always present. A mother would have been a constant friend; her influence would have been beyond all other."

A simple yet effective quote. I appreciate that I am very lucky and I wanted to acknowledge that today.

Pic: a mother's love

Monday, 5 November 2012

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 211

Here I go again! Off on another tangent! Here's the story. My dear Mother-in-law has been telling me about the benefits of drinking a glass of wine for many years, especially since she has done so for about 70 years herself. So I finally got around to trying a bottle lately and I did feel a difference. So what has that got to do with our dear Jane Austen, you may well ask. I went on a search through her brother James' Loiterer and found the following from Issue No. 14:

The Loiterer No. XIV

THOUGH I know not in what degree of estimation, you have been accustomed to hold the science of Alchymy, yet as the author of every useful invention has a claim on the attention of the candid and liberal, I have made choice of your paper, as the vehicle, to impart to my countrymen a discovery, which has for its object the health and happiness of some thousands of his Majesty's subjects.

You must know, sir, it was ever my opinion that there did exist such an universal panacea, as should not only cure all diseases indecent to the human body, and prolong life to its utmost period, but should be equally beneficial to our mental, as to our corporeal powers; should make us not only healthy, strong, and bold, but also learned, sagacious, and witty. In pursuance of this idea, I have devoted many years to the discovery of this valuable secret; have persevered in my search, in spite of the contempt of the prejudiced, and the laughter of the gay; and now think the attention of my past life well rewarded, in being enabled to impart to my friends a secret, which will promote the happiness of theirs, and which (unlike the generality of modern projectors) I shall generously communicate to the public, without any subscription whatever.

Know then, sir, and tell your readers, that this inestimable medicine, so long sought in vain, that its existence is almost become doubtful, is neither more nor less than port wine— which, I will venture to say, if taken in proper quantities, will answer every purpose of an universal medicine, and be found a most perfect restorative in all diseases both of body and mind.


Please pardon the long quote, namely the first 3 paragraphs, because it addresses the question about the benefits of a glass of port wine. My only problem is trying to decide whether or not James includes a bit of satire or whether he is very serious about it. I did a search of Jane's novels and Lo and Behold! she includes quite a bit of wine drinking!

You may read the rest of the issue HERE and make a determination for yourself.

Now - the bottom line is this: how many other things/foods are out there that we are not aware of that may possibly be beneficial to us? I will give you just one example in my own life, well, maybe two.

I am in the middle of reading "Alzheimer's disease, what if there was a cure?: the story of ketones" by Mary T. Newport. She is recommending the use of coconut oil (so far as I have read yet) and she gives quite a medical/scientific explanation - which is hard for this limited scientific mind to grasp. So this morning I made some quinoa and added some coconut oil. I will get back to you on the results in a month or so.

As a matter of fact it is only in the last year or so that I have discovered other things such as quinoa and tulsi tea from my friends who come from other countries. Thanks, Icha, for the tea recommendation, it works! As I said, how many other things do we need to know about? Please feel free to make recommendations.

Yrs aff'ly,

Linda the Librarian   Pic: Port bottle

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Hampshire: The Upper Test Valley and The Jane Austen Churches

Hi all.

In February of this year I made a post about Chris Brindle's theories regarding the "Unseen Portrait" of Jane Austen, the article can be found again on the link below:

Jane Austen an unseen portrait...the alternative theory

Chris has been in touch to make me aware of two new books that he has written on the topic of Hampshire. The second book titled "Hampshire: Volume 2: Southampton and North Hampshire: Discovering the 19th Century World of Portsmouth Artist R.H.C. Ubsdellhas a 20 page chapter on 'The Upper Test Valley and The Jane Austen Churches.' This and other chapters tells the story of Jane Austen & Anna Lefroy and in full colour covers all the places in Hampshire associated with them and the wider Austen family.

Both these books can be found on and there are some secondhand review copies for £10 if interested.

If any of you have not had the opportunity to visit the UK and see Jane's house and surroundings in Hampshire, make sure it is on the to-do list as it really is worth it.

Pic: Hampshire: Volume 2 cover