Plain Jane

jane austen image via mollands.netPlain Jane:

It is particularly incumbent on those who never change their opinion, to be secure of judging properly at first.

-Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice

I think “never changing one’s opinion” is a fault that usually avoids the female sex thank goodness. I have never known a woman to be so certain in one judgment that she doesn’t change it 1000 times almost immediately after making it.

Plain Jane

jane austen image via mollands.netPlain Jane:

I have not the pleasure of understanding  you

-Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice 

Don’t you ever feel like that line doesn’t just refer to a sentence someone spoke, but to their whole, entire being? Don’t you ever completely and utterly DO NOT UNDERSTAND someone? As in, how can your mind possibly work in that way? How do you not live life MY way. But then, of course, someone thinks that same way about you and I suppose that is what makes life so incredibly FRUSTRATING but always so very unique.

Plain Jane

ardentlyPlain Jane: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

-Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice

Perhaps one of the most famous first lines of a novel, this “universal truth” has indeed continued to be quite universal: I think the producers of the “Bachelor” could be accused of copying Jane’s idea. Although, I’m sure Jane never saw that result of her “universal truth” coming.

Plain Jane

jane austen sketchPlain Jane: “I cannot comprehend the neglect of a family library in such days as these.”

-Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice

For all that is good, convenient, cheap, and easy about kindles, nooks, ipads and ebooks. I can’t help thinking there is something very sad about the new obsession of all things not made of ink and paper. I’m not a die-hard no-kindle activist, but something in me hurts a bit to think that I need electricity and a well-charged battery in order to read some Fitzgerald, Hemmingway, Austen or Woolf.

Plain Jane

jane austen sketchPlain Jane: “If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes have not changed, but one word from you will silence me forever. If, however, your feelings have changed, I would have to tell you: you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love… I love… I love you. And I never wish to be parted from you from this day on.”

Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice 

Jane sure knew what a good proposal sounded like, perhaps that’s why she never married, she could always top the proposals of the men proposing to her, and, lets face it, what woman wants that? Mr. Darcy has not one but two knee-melting propositions to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice and at last, number two did the trick.

Plain Jane

she gave him to understand that her sentiments had undergone so material a change... (mollands.net)Plain Jane: “The power of doing any thing with quickness is always much prized by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.”

-Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice

A reminder in patience: Monday comes and I’m ready for Friday, the week done, the to-do’s put to rest, but sometimes moving quickly through life isn’t such a good thing. Who knows who we would forget, or what essential would be left out if we hopped and skipped over the unfortunate days of the week like Monday. There are so many good cups of coffee to be drunk on Monday, just think of all THAT goodness you would miss…

Plain Jane

jane austen sketchPlain Jane: “Nay,” cried Bingley, “this is too much, to remember at night all the foolish things that were said in the morning.”

-Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice

I have observed, as Bingley has, that no one should be held to what they say before 10 a.m…Coffee assists, but still, the morning is not made for promises and statements, it is much too much!

Men of Austen Week: Bingley Stylin’

Sadly, poor Charles Bingley of Pride and Prejudice can’t get out of his wing-man label to the overpowering personality of Mr. Darcy. Often said to be too yielding, Bingley is forever playing second fiddle to the wealthier, more mysterious, and more attractive Mr. Darcy. Take Darcy out of the equation though, and you suddenly see quite the stylish guy. Bingley, though a very eligible bachelor, never gets the celeb-status like the other Men of Austen. Perhaps because he is too agreeable, too charming, and too good, Austen leaves him be. Since he never gets the credit I think he deserves, I decided a post dedicated to him would be just the thing to say, “Bingley, you’ve got some serious style.” 

bingley style pride and prejudice

Chesterfield men’s coat from uniqlo | Monogram tie clip and cufflink | Florsheim Boots | darcy and bingley print

Besides giving him a little more publicity, I was too intimidated to figure out a modern view on Darcy, Knightley, or Colonel Brandon’s style. Those guys can take care of themselves. Getting man-gifts is one of the most difficult things in the world. Surprisingly, they’re extremely picky, and whether their style is a good one or not, they’re loathe to give it up. When I near the birthday/Christmas seasons for my guy, I always teeter paralyzed between “he would love this, or, he would hate this,” and I’m never completely assured of its success. Bingley is so content and jolly though, I think shopping for this guy would be a breeze.

When I am in the country, I never wish to leave it; and when I am in town, it is pretty much the same. They have each their advantages, and I can be equally happy in either! -Charles Bingley, Pride and Prejudice

**Want to know more about the Chesterfield coat I picked? Check out this article for lots of great info on men’s outerwear.**

shaving supplies edwin jagger black PORCELAIN shave bowl | Parker chrome and enamel vintage safety razor | Col. cronk shave soap in bay rum

There’s nothing vintage or modern about a good shave. Universally, no matter what the era, a good shave is a good thing. Recently though, there’s been a resurgence of men wanting to shave away their stubble the old-fashioned way. If your guy isn’t quite ready for the Sweeney Todd-esque straight razor, the safety razor is a good second option. Plus, you still get to use the old fashioned shaving bowl and frothy soap without the worry of  scary, too-close-for-comfort-cuts. If you’re already suffering from those cuts, check out this article for some tips on healing or this one  for tips on how to get a better close neck-shave without the ouchies.

If you’re stuck on man-gift ideas, don’t forget Bingley! He’s got some great stylin’ that still works in 2013. Classy men are always classy, regardless of the century.

– <3 A. 

quote source: Pride and Prejudice, Austen, publ. by penguin books

Posts Like This:

Mr Darcy inspired cocktail men of austen nytimes article

    The Darcy Cocktail        Men of Austen Week       COnfusing a Generation

Men of Austen Week: The Darcy Cocktail

Mr Darcy inspired cocktail

I don’t know a thing that could kick me out of my Monday blues like a little Darcy-talk can, so, I’m starting the “Men of Austen Week” off with my favorite of the Austen guys: Fitzwilliam Darcy. Arguably one of the most-beloved male literary personalities of all time that only gained the adoration of more female hearts when Colin Firth stepped into the role for the 1995 film version of the novel, Mr. Darcy is unsurpassed for his feminine adoration. When I was brainstorming for this week, I was trying to figure out what post to attach to which Austen man. When I came across Angel Adoree’s “manly” cocktail in my Vintage Tea Party Book, called “Gunfire,” I knew I had to give it a try just in case Mr. Darcy ever came for drinks:

cocktail recipe

Dark rum, breakfast tea, and orange zest, Angel Adoree is a genius! Like I said in the directions, caster sugar is what the British call fine, baking sugar, so don’t go searching for something that says “caster sugar,” just pop in a little fine sugar and you’re good. When I served the drink, I decided I steeped the tea a tad too long because it had a slight bitter taste to it. Besides that though, I had this recipe man-tested and man-approved so you’re safe to serve this to the Darcy’s in your own life!

Jane Austen is said to be a “parlor-room” novelist because many of her crucial scenes where characters exchange conversations that alter the course of the novel are spoken in a parlor room. What is more appropriate then, for the King of the parlor rooms himself, Mr. Darcy? A little tea mixed with a little dark rum and you’re well on your way to entertaining even the manliest men at your tea-party.

rum and tea cocktail

mr darcy inspired cocktail

rum and tea cocktail

I think this drink does even the ultimate sophisticate, Darcy, enough credit. I think he would find it more than tolerable, and just handsome enough to tempt even he into a sip. Stick around for the rest of the Men of Austen week, I started out with my favorite Austen man, but there’s still lots to come that I’m excited to share. Happy new week!

– <3 A. 

original recipe source via

Posts Like This 

vintage new years drink recipe nytimes article men of austen

Mango and Mint Bellini       Confusing a Generation          Men of Austen week

Plain Jane

jane austen sketchPlain Jane: “I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”

-Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice 

It is of course Jane’s character Mr. Darcy who says these words about his love for Elizabeth. I think the best sorts of love are the ones you find yourself in the middle of without seeking out the beginning of it. Darcy and Elizabeth didn’t try and make anything work, it suddenly just did when they both recognized their own failings were so much greater than the flaws they thought they saw in each other, and they loved each other all the more for having been loved through their own shortcomings. I think modern love could learn quite a bit from Jane Austen, despite her romance and fiction, there’s a whole lot of real emotion and real character flaws that her characters learn to love, and live, very happily with.