Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice turns 200 this Monday, and here at the Quirk HQ, we've been busy celebrating. Giveaways with bloggers, some fun guest posts, all kinds of good stuff.
And now, thanks to our friends at Padworx Studios, the Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Interactive eBook App is available for FREE through Monday, January 28th.
The app is regularly priced at $8.99 and "features hundreds of illustrations, an original musical score, buckets of gory animation, and a pair of literary masterpieces: Hold your device right side up to enjoy Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Turn it upside down to read Jane Austen’s original Pride and Prejudice. Turn the device 90 degrees to read both novels." You can check out the App in this video.
Give it a download, and enjoy!
Posted by Eric Smith
Image via Etsy
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.
Posted by Margaret C. Sullivan
Here at Quirk, we like our classic literary mash-ups. But we like the original classics too. Happy birthday to Charlotte Bronte (April 21, 1816), who more than one hundred and fifty years ago wrote a bang-up tale of orphans, ghosts, betrayal, and all-consuming love featuring one of the most independent, kickass heroines in all literature.
If you haven’t read Jane Eyre lately, it’s time to pull it off the shelf and give it a go. It’s good. Really good. In fact, it’s better every time you read it. But if you’re not up for quite that big of a time investment, try one of these movie versions of Jane Eyre instead:
Mia Wasikowska (Albert Nobbs and Alice in Wonderland) and Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, Shame, 300), are impressive as actors and might garner great attention, but when acting together there’s no sexual tension.
In fact, if you don’t already know the story, it’s hard to see why this young Jane would fall in love with this master of the house. When you want Jane to go off to Africa with St. John, you know something is wrong!
Anna Paquin makes a bold young Jane and Helen Burns at Lowood School is beautifully played. This version is worth watching for its arresting cinematography and interesting interpretation. But William Hurt is perhaps a bit too mild to make a convincing Rochester and this Jane may be a little too plain.
Posted by Jennifer Adams
Pride & Prejudice
Sure, you could hang your favorite book up in your living room by nailing it to the wall. But that would be messy, wasteful and your friends would think you’re crazy. Instead, scope out Postertext, a Canadian poster company producing elegant works of literary art.
Postertext takes the actual text from a number of classical works and repurposes those words into beautiful posters. There’s seriously something for all wakes of classic literature fans; romance (Pride & Prejudice), adventure (Moby Dick), classic science-fiction (the Time Machine, War of the Worlds). There’s even a poster for the Metamorphosis, the subject of Quirk’s latest mashup, the Meowmorphosis.
The posters range from $23 – $35 (Canadian), and come in varying sizes. Check them out!
Posted by Eric Smith
Earlier this year, we announced a contest with our friends the Bridgeman Art Library. They're the folks who give us the awesome artwork for our Quirk Classics series, which our designers then redesign. You can check out some before and after shots of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, Sense & Sensibility & Sea Monsters, Dreadfully Ever After, and Dawn of the Dreadfuls on Bridgeman's official website, here.
The winners of the Art of the Mash-Up competition had their works framed and displayed in Brave New Worlds, a comic book shop right near our office in Old City Philadelphia that maintains an awesome art gallery. Despite the chilly and rainy weather, the exhibit's opening night had plenty of folks stopping in to scope out the mashed up art… as well as drink our wine, eat our pizza, and snatch up free posters. One of the winners even drove all the way up from St. Louis to see his runner up on display in the gallery.
Unfortunately, my camera battery died about 5 minutes into the event… but I did manage to grab a bunch of photos with my iPhone. Have a look at the Flickr gallery below (if you don't have Flash, just go here). Thanks to everyone who stopped by, and a huge thank you to Quirk's Melissa Jacobson, for letting us use her expertise in hanging artwork.
Posted by Eric Smith
It’s the moment a lot of you have been waiting for! Pride & Prejudice & Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After hit stores on Tuesday, and we’ve got a stellar book trailer to go along with launch.
Produced by our talented friends Dirty Robber (who created the stunning Dawn of the Dreadfuls trailer), the trailer is packed full of zombies, intrigue, ninjas, and one seriously epic high-flying kick.
Give it a watch! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I’ve embedded it below, but I recommend scoping it out directly on YouTube. Enjoy!
Posted by Eric Smith