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The Regency Wedding Breakfast

During the Regency, weddings were often held first thing in the morning with the bridal couple and their guests returning home to celebrate with a wedding breakfast, a precursor to the modern wedding reception, before departing to their new home, or perhaps on their honeymoon. A noisy family breakfast… Jane Austen’s niece Caroline (daughter of James) gave a wonderful description of her sister Anna’s wedding to family friend Benjamin Lefroy on November 8, 1814: “My sister’s wedding was certainly in the extreme of quietness… The season of the year, the unfrequented road to the church, the grey light within… no stove to give warmth, no flowers to give colour and brightness, no friends, high or low, to offer their good wishes, and so to claim some interest in the great event of the day – all these circumstances and deficiencies must, I think, have given a gloomy air to the wedding…Weddings were then usually very quiet. The old fashion of festivity and publicity had quite gone by, and was universally condemned as showing the bad taste of all former generations…. This was the order of the day. The bridegroom came from Ashe, where he had hitherto lived with his brother (the Rector), and with him came Mr. and Mrs. Lefroy, and his other brother, Mr. Edward Lefroy…. My brother came from Winchester that morning, but was to stay only a few hours. We in the house had a slight early breakfast upstairs, and between nine and ten the bride, my (more…)
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An Interview with Scott D. Southard, of A Jane Austen Daydream

A self-confessed dreamer, gossip, and matchmaker, Jane emerges from a prophetic meeting with gypsies and sets out to discover her soul mate. As Jane writes through the twists and turns of her turbulent romances, Southard ponders the question faced by many devoted readers over the years – did she ever find love? And what would that be like if Jane could write it? Binding fact with fiction, courting brave new literary twists, and written in the style of Jane Austen herself, A Jane Austen Daydream is the tale of Jane’s life as a novel. It contemplates the eventual fate of Jane’s heart, and uses her own stories to fill the gaps that history left to the imagination.

Scott D. Southard, author of A Jane Austen Daydream, granted an interview with Stella, our Forum Manager. Read on to find out about his perception of Jane Austen, his upcoming novel (available in April, 2013,  from Madison Street Publishing), and sneak a preview of this new work.

1. Which Austen novel influences you the most in your writing style?
Continue reading An Interview with Scott D. Southard, of A Jane Austen Daydream

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Madam Anne Lefroy

Anne Lefroy, known as Madam Lefroy, was born in 1749 to the Brydges family at Wootton Court, near Canterbury. When George Austen was made rector at Deane by his Uncle Francis, Francis also sold his assets in Ashe to a wealthy man, Benjamin Langlois, so that ten years later in 1783, he could also reward his own nephew, the Reverand Isaac Peter George Lefroy, by giving him the living of Ashe. The very attractive and cultivated Anne married the Reverand in 1778 and they lived as Ashe, making them the Austen’s closest neighbours. They had four surviving children; the eldest Lucy and three sons; John Henry George (who succeeded his father at Ashe), Christopher Edward and Benjamin Langlois (who later married James Austen’s daughter Jane). Anne was a keen poet and her brother, Egerton Brydges, thought highly enough of her work to get two of her poems published before her marriage. In The Poetical Register and Repository of Fugitive Poetry, there are two poems by a Miss Brydges*. The poems are considered witty and contain issues suited to the feminine mind such as masculine pretension. They show that she was at ease with herself and her feelings. Anne and Jane, despite their age difference, formed a friendship that was marked by intelligence and respect. This friendship started when the Lefroy’s invited the 11 year old Jane to play with their 7 year old daughter. Due to a mutual love of literature, Anne and Jane began long literary discussions about novels, (more…)
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To the Memory of Mrs. Lefroy

To the Memory of Mrs. Lefroy who died Dec:r 16 — my Birthday. The day returns again, my natal day; What mix’d emotions with the Thought arise! Beloved friend, four years have pass’d away Since thou wert snatch’d forever from our eyes.– The day, commemorative of my birth Bestowing Life and Light and Hope on me, Brings back the hour which was thy last on Earth. Oh! bitter pang of torturing Memory!– Angelic Woman! past my power to praise In Language meet, thy Talents, Temper, mind. Thy solid Worth, they captivating Grace!– Thou friend and ornament of Humankind!– At Johnson’s death by Hamilton t’was said, ‘Seek we a substitute–Ah! vain the plan, No second best remains to Johnson dead– None can remind us even of the Man.’ So we of thee–unequall’d in thy race Unequall’d thou, as he the first of Men. Vainly we wearch around the vacant place, We ne’er may look upon thy like again. Come then fond Fancy, thou indulgant Power,– –Hope is desponding, chill, severe to thee!– Bless thou, this little portion of an hour, Let me behold her as she used to be. I see her here, with all her smiles benign, Her looks of eager Love, her accents sweet. That voice and Countenance almost divine!– Expression, Harmony, alike complete.– I listen–’tis not sound alone–’tis sense, ‘Tis Genius, Taste and Tenderness of Soul. ‘Tis genuine warmth of heart without pretence And purity of Mind that crowns the whole. She speaks; ’tis Eloquence–that grace of Tongue (more…)