January 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. What you might not know is that Austen wrote the book, to which she first gave the apt but much less memorable title First Impressions, nearly two decades before it was published.
In other words, Pride and Prejudice, a seminal work of literature that has influenced nearly every romantic comedy ever published or filmed, was Jane Austen’s trunk novel. We authors could wish that our own literary trunks contain such a gem.
Cassandra Austen, Jane’s older sister and her literary executor, left a note with the dates of composition for each novel. She indicated that First Impressions was begun in October 1796 and finished in August 1797. In November 1797, Jane’s father wrote a letter to the London publisher Thomas Cadell, offering First Impressions for publication. It’s not the most compelling query letter ever written by any means, but no doubt Mr. Austen’s heart was in the right place. We do not know if he wrote the letter of his own volition or at the bidding of his daughter, as it was the usual practice for a male relative to act for a woman in business matters; nor do we know if any other publishers were approached. We only know that the offer was “declined by return of post,” as indicated on the letter.
Despite this early failure, First Impressions was extremely popular among Austen’s friends and family. In her letters, Austen mentions requests to read the manuscript from her sister Cassandra and her friend Martha Lloyd, and even teases Cassandra (knowing the teasing will be passed on to her friend) that Martha only wanted to read the novel again so that she might commit it to memory and publish it herself.
Lately it feels like there is a delicious abundance of adaptations in the theater, but sometimes the big, huge titles drown out the buzz for movies being adapted from "less popular" books.
This list isn't about the likes of Ender's Game, Hunger Games, Carrie, The Great Gatsby, The Host, and others. It's about the "little guys." Check out my quick list of five movies being adapted to film this year that you might want to read first.
The beauty of this dish is that there are many different, easy ways to do this. And there’s various ways to serve it, as starters, sides, or an entrée.
Any way you choose, the tender soy sauce-lemon based beef strips set off a fiery kick when you dunk it into the peanut sauce that’s sweet, salty and spicy all at once. Serve this skewered beef specials sizzling hot, with chilled wine, a tangy slaw and everyone will surely stick around for an enjoyable feast.
This is a time of year for resolutions. We all know the drill: pause, reflect, think ahead, resolve. The unspoken final step in this whole process doesn’t really pop up until after the new year has passed, after all the parties are done, after all of that the joy, love, and optimism have faded into slush and deadlines. That’s when the last resolution step finally kicks in: you forget.
That’s not to say all resolutions are left behind. In 2008 I had one clear resolution that I staggeringly proclaimed to everyone who would listen on new years eve. I boldly pronounced: “This will be the year that I get married”. Three days into the year I crossed that one off the list. Emboldened by my resounding success, my resolution for 2009 was a little more risqué. I laughed at Fortune’s fickle face as I described my surely soon-to-happen triumph, “This will be the year that I get my first novel published”. Three years later, I’m about to renew that resolution once again.
That's not a big deal; new year’s resolutions come and go. But what if it’s not a new year that you are starting? What if it is a new life?
In October of this year my partner informed me that we had done just that. The two of us had created a new life.
Imagine this: By some unforeseen chain of events, your favourite literary characters have decided to take up professional wrestling.
As they walk into the stadium, their theme songs blare on the audio system, telling us a little bit about their individual stories and providing us with endless entertainment as we try to hide our laughter.
KATNISS EVERDEEN: She's the girl to run the world. Hell, she won The Hunger Games - nothing can stop her now. [Audio Link]
SHERLOCK HOLMES: There isn't a case that Sherlock Holmes can't solve. If you've done something wrong, one way or another, he's going to get you. [Audio Link]
Bookworms seem like anti-social wallflowers with their nose buried into a good novel. This is not the case! Books instill a significant amount of culture and imagination, and those are great qualities when it comes to a romantic partner.
You’d be surprised by the amount of game a bookworm has. Here are 10 reasons why you should date one.
They’re Adventurous: Ever wanted to try river rafting? How about skydiving? Bookworms spend their free time reading about far away lands and exciting adventures. They would love to be the person in the middle of the action. A bookworm is always up for trying something new and adventurous. You should definitely take the time to get to know a bookworm’s adventurous spirit. (Photo via)
They’re Romantic: The Notebook, Pride and Prejudice, Gone With The Wind—these are some classic romantic novels that bookworms eat up. They love to read all the mushy details, and stockpile those ideas for their own romantic explorations. A true bookworm will go far beyond the traditional flowers and chocolates and move onto professing their love for you in the pouring rain without an umbrella. If you’re starving for a little romance in your life—a bookworm is who you should be dating.