Monday, December 15, 2008

Regency Blogs and Regency Research Websites

There is so much information out there! When I started writing Regencies, every detail of research had to be painstakingly combed out of books--I spent hours with bibliographies, requesting interlibrary loans, and reading book after book. Books on social history, costume, politics, etiquette, and titles were all grist for my mill. Now it couldn't be easier--type a term into a search engine and all the information you could need pops up.

But even better than that are the websites and the blogs full of Regency information. I've been exploring blogs and there are some excellent Regency ones out there; I've listed my favourites on the right hand side of this page, below my blog archive list. Many of these blogs are Jane Austen oriented, but what could be more 'Regency' than that? I particularly enjoy the Vermont Jane Austen Society blog; they really have their ear to the (Regency) ground!

Just this weekend I discovered that long time Regency expert Nancy Mayer now has a website. Nancy has been around in Regency circles for years, answering questions and doing her own research. Now she's making all that work available to all of us. Do visit her website at Another researcher making extensive information available to Regency lovers is Joanna Waugh. Check out her pages at She has a list of Regency links right on her home page that will keep you busy for ages. And don't forget the Jane Austen Centre in Bath if you're looking for information--their on-line magazine is excellent:
And last but certainly not least--Prints George This is a commercial site (and a real laugh, if you like puns, bad or good) selling Regency reference material, but they also have a huge amount of free information. The site can take hours to explore fully, and don't miss 'Jane's Bureau of Information' on the page after 'entering' the site.

I might not get back here before Christmas; in case I don't, I wish you all the best of Christmases and the most wonderful of New Years!

Happy Holidays,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Joy of Reading Regency

I have a massive TBR pile. And a great deal of it is out of print Regency novels. I pick them up at charity book sales and fund raisers, I've a number of Zebra regencies given me by a friend, and I am trying to compile a complete set of the Harlequin Regency romance series released in the 1980s--more for the challenge than anything. I'm a collector at heart.

I often think that the decline in quality in Regency romances in the 1990's had a great deal to do with their disappearance in print. The quality of writing and research that went into the novels at the time of their greatest popularity was extremely uneven. The aforementioned Harlequin series ran the gamut from consummate professionals like Gwyneth Moore (Patricia Veryan) and Patricia Wynn to some absolutely abysmal writers obviously chosen merely to keep up the required publication numbers. Avon Regencies were in the main good, and Signet Regencies had high standards of both writing and historical accuracy. Zebra (Kensington) Regencies were much less good. I am passing on most of the ones I have been given--a great deal of the writing needed a strong editor with a sharp pencil. And the historical detail was sadly lacking. In one book, the heroine's father--Sir Alexander Frazer--was referred to as 'Sir Frazer' throughout. Such a little thing, such an easy thing to research, such an off-putting and annoying detail. I tossed all the work by that author!

I've recently discovered a little gem amongst the Zebras however; an author by the name of Joy Reed. Her Regency voice is very good, her details accurate and her characters--and their predicaments--are believable and enjoyable. Of course, she is out of print now, and I don't know what she is writing nowadays, but if you have access to out of print books, I recommend her.

And if you haven't read Patricia Veryan, I strongly recommend her. I have only ever had one quibble with her writing, and that is that all her heroines seem to have 'tiny hands'. It's an odd thing that has leapt out at me in her work. But I would never let it deter me from getting to know her wonderful, memorable characters, enjoying her masterfully described action scenes, or sighing over her HEAs.

Back to work here,

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Release - The Education of Portia

Well, "The Education of Portia" is at last released, and I have promoted it everywhere I can think of at the moment. I'm in the middle of a rash of on-line chats--one tonight at Romance at Heart, Thursday night at Fallen Angels. It is very satisfying to have a project come to completion, but one always wonders about the changes one could have made, and whether or not the sales will follow on the release.

But it's time to put all that aside and get on with the next project. "Emilina's Conquest" is going back to the editor as soon as I finish writing here; the cover is done (it's wonderful--a charming departure from the last few) and the editing is pretty much finished. It will be released in March.

I've added a new gadget in the right hand column. I'm making a list of other Regency and Jane Austen-related blogs that I have visited. They are well done blogs, worth reading if you love the Regency period. Please let me know if you have visited other blogs that are not on this list. I'd like to include them.

Happy reading!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Beau Brummell: This Charming Man

I finally had the opportunity to watch my new DVD about Beau Brummell. It really wasn't at all what I expected--I think I had Jane Austen movies too much in mind. But I did enjoy it.

The production is only 80 minutes long, and I wondered how they would capture such an intense, expansive life in so short a time. But actually it worked well for it emphasized Brummell's meteoric rise to fame and his equally swift fall to disgrace.

James Purefoy did an excellent job of playing the Beau. He captured very well the careless bravado, the insecurities, and the unfulfilled needs that must have marked the man. His depiction of Brummell moving from a free, determined spirit to a dependent of the Prince Regent and back again to freedom albeit poorer in all things, is masterly. The sexual license that marked the period in some circles is well illustrated; Brummell died of syphilis and the film leaves us in no doubt as to how he might have contracted that disease. The hint of homosexual activities is questionable, but as likely as anything else. I'm going to investigate how well Brummell knew Byron. I was not aware that there was a connection between the two, but they must have known each other of course.

The servant Robinson is beautifully portrayed by Philip Davis and Hugh Bonneville is outstanding as the Prince Regent. Too often Prinny is portrayed as a total buffoon, but Bonneville's version is much more believable: a man wily, intelligent, immature and not without his own charm.

The Regency period is well-presented--the dim candlelit interiors, the echoing halls of Carleton House, the casual violence and the stultifying idleness of the well-to-do. The costuming is convincing (those awful fops!) except for the Beau's fine shirt--which buttons all the way down the front! But they needed to do that for dramatic effect so I guess I'll repress my anal need for historical accuracy this once.

All in all "This Charming Man" is well worth watching. It's not a happy representation of the Regency period, but it is credible. Now I'm going to read that copy of Ian Kelly's "Beau Brummell: The Ultimate Dandy" that has been in my TBR pile for too long.

"The Education of Portia" is being released tomorrow, and "Emilina's Conquest" is finished editing and will be prepared for publishing as soon as I return it to Uncial! It's a busy time around here--

All the best,

Monday, October 27, 2008

New contest October 30; website updates too

I can't believe it is the end of the month already; and it's the end of the bi-monthly contest on October 30 as well! I'll post the winner here as well as on my website contest page The new contest will begin October 31 and the prize, to be drawn on December 30 will be an out-of-print book "Everybody's Historic England" by Jonathan Kiek. It's a delightful little book, full of interesting facts about all periods of English history, as well as excellent maps, photos and drawings.

I will be putting a number of updates on my website at the end of the week as well. The Castles and Cathedrals page will have a number of additions, and there will be a new colouring picture by Shakoriel, my 'artist in residence'.

I finally finished the book trailer for "Carolina's Walking Tour" so it is up on my youtube channel at, on my myspace page at or at my Regency World at

The first review for "The Education of Portia" came last week from Coffee Time Romance. Here is an excerpt: Ms. McLeod pens an outstanding Regency. It pulls you back in time, where you can feel the era and the romance. Creative characters and important secondary characters set the stage for events. Mystery, intrigue and romance follow. Ingram's young daughters offered a lot of emotion to this tale as you could see their relationship unfolding with Portia and their needs being filled. Romantic and sweet, this romance is just right for a good bedtime read.

Do join me at my website on Friday and view the updates, and enter the new contest. Or visit --I'd be delighted to be added to your friends!

Talk to you soon,

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm reading as well as writing...

In between working on my three new projects--four new projects if you count the one that is not a Regency--I am reading some chicklit, some historical fiction and some Regencies from the TBR pile. And I'm enjoying two books with a basis in Jane Austen:

Jane Austen's Guide to Romance: The Regency Rules by Lauren Henderson
Pub. by Headline ISBN 0-7553-1463-8 pbk

I really like this book--if I had read it at eighteen, I would have been a much happier young woman, and I would have made far better choices. It even lives up to its back cover blurb "full of sage advice and wise strategies". But you don't have to be dating to enjoy the book. The author pulls out the relationships of Jane Austen's characters and illuminates modern life through the actions of Elizabeth Bennet, Elinor Dashwood, Darcy, Bingley and the rest. It's a fun read and a good book to give to those young women in your world. I asked my twenty-something daughter to have a look at it, and she liked it. The commonsense, the style, and of course, Jane Austen's great characters all combined have great appeal.

Voices from the World of Jane Austen by Malcolm Day
Pub. by David & Charles, ISBN 0-7153-237902 hc
I came across this book quite by chance when I was browsing ChaptersIndigo for something quite different. I can't believe I haven't heard anywhere about this book--it is great! Essentially social history, it uses "diaries, essay, travelogues, sermons, treatises, journal articles and notices--and Jane's novels themselves..." to show the world of the early 1800's. Day has used chapters such as 'Domestic Life', 'The Rhythm of the Year' and 'Work and Social Rank' to contain excerpts from all kinds of material--wonderfully fascinating stuff for any student of history. This is a research tool not to be missed by any author of Regency era fiction. I'm so glad I found it.

I still haven't had time to watch the version of "Northanger Abbey" put out by BBC in January! And now I have on order the BBC 'Beau Brummell' which has been unavailable in North America until recently. I will be watching it immediately it arrives, and hopefully NA soon after. Now if I could only get a copy of 'Byron', also a release by the BBC unavailable here!

Talk to you soon...


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Clare Darcy

Please note that the Clare Darcy mystery has been solved by an anonymous comment on this blog post. Please check the comment by Anonymous for the details. And go to Wikipedia and search under Clare Darcy for more information and here for the definitive answers. Thanks, Anonymous--whew, what a relief to finally know. Lesley-Anne 2011/06/29

I've contracted for three new works of Regency fiction over the next two years, but in between working on and worrying about those, I've been re-reading the books of Clare Darcy. She wrote in the 1970's, just as Georgette Heyer was ending her career. At the time, she was the closest thing to GH that I could find, and I loved her for that.

On re-reading, I find her books stand the test of time. She has a very authentic voice, a wide variety of heroes, heroines, and plots and a wide knowledge of England and the period. In fact, if her book jackets did not specifically say she was from Ohio, I would have thought she was British born and bred.

I would give my eye-teeth to find out more about Clare Darcy. There is nothing on line about her. Every biographical clue leads to a dead end. Who was she really? What was her real name? I have no doubt that Darcy is her penname. Why did she stop writing? Is she still alive? She was an experienced writer, no doubt of that, so the Regencies may have been a side-line to her (or his?) main work.

If you ever hear anything about Clare Darcy, please, let me know! In the meantime, if you love Regency romance--read her books, and enjoy.

Back to work on 'Emilina's Conquest''s the first of the three new contracted works. It will be released in early 2009 by Uncial Press.

Until next time,

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Georgette Heyer's Regency World

I've been doing research lately; it really is wonderfully enjoyable. I've been searching specific details on the Internet on inheritance, and on costume, and I have been checking maps and investigating different counties of England.

I have also been reading a book that I wish I had been able to consult when I very first began writing Regencies. It is titled "Georgette Heyer's Regency World" and it is written by Jennifer Kloester. The book was published in 2005 by Heinemann through Random House Group.

It is invaluable. If you can only buy one book for either research purposes or simply for background material to your reading of Jane Austen and Regency romances, this should be it. The book covers the basics in all aspects of Regency life with chapters such as "Getting About", "At Home in Town and Country" and "The Sporting Life". As well it has chapters on clothing, food and people. The information is tied into Georgette Heyer's work, but not excessively so. You have neither to read, nor have read, Georgette Heyer's books to appreciate the material presented.

Information is offered clearly, concisely, and in an entertaining manner. I can't guarantee that every fact is correct, but I have not seen any major errors in my reading of it. The illustrations, by Graeme Tavendale, that accompany the text are delightful with a woodcut feel to them. The 'Who's Who in the Regency' at the end of the book is a series of fascinating pocket biographies.

As you can tell, I can't recommend this book highly enough.

I hope you'll check out my website at the end of August. There will be a new short story posted titled "The Portrait". It's not really a story so much as the rather surprising musings of a woman of fashion. Also there will be new colouring pictures in the Regency Colouring Book and details about the November 14 release of "The Education of Portia".
And of course a new contest!

Till then,

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen

Now that "The Education of Portia" is finished, I have a little more time for reading, gardening and sewing--and planning my next novel.

Reading is the number one priority however, and I have been doing lots of it. A book I just finished is "The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen" by Syrie James. It is a novel that offers, according to the back cover blurb, "...a delightfully possible scenario for the inspiration behind this beloved author's romantic tales."

The book is a very enjoyable read. The author has found a believable voice for Jane Austen, though not perhaps as tart as the real woman's tongue. Her lost romance, which we suspect happened but cannot be certain of, comes to life in this telling.

The author's attempts--via a fictitious editor and an 'editor's forward'--to convince us that this memoir is real and its discovery a modern miracle are rather heavy-handed. It is not necessary, in my opinion, to be convinced that the memoir is 'true' and factual to enjoy the story. Nevertheless her description of the supposed wonderful discovery and its meaning for scholarship has a certain charm.

The book would still entertain without the self-conscious intrigue and manipulation. Particularly entertaining is the author's insertion of some scenes from Austen's novels into her supposed real life. Austen supposedly then uses these actual occurrences of her life, in her novels. That's confusing, isn't it? I don't think I can explain it better, though I am a writer. You will have to read the book to understand what I mean :)

Syrie James has cultivated a convincing Regency voice, with only one error that leaped out at me--she used the word 'vest' when she meant 'waistcoat'. A classic mistake, one made by many authors in the past, and something that would go unnoticed by most North American readers.

I wish that the tale spun in the foreward was true; that we could find some mythical cache of Jane Austen documents, or those letters that Cassandra burned. It is unlikely ever to happen however, so it is pleasant to explore what Jane Austen might have done and thought during those missing years of her history. And Mr. Ashford is a hero worthy of her, which is all any woman can ask for.

Good summer reading -- let me know what you think of it!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Contest on

Regency romance number seven--The Education of Portia--is finished! I sent it to my editor a couple of days ago, and I was even ahead of schedule by a week. I'm glad it's done; now I can do all the things that I've been putting off because of lack of time!

Shakoriel is working on the cover for Portia. It's going to be really great--the hero and heroine are often at loggerheads and Shakoriel has captured that perfectly. I can't wait to display the cover.

I have a new contest on my website. I am giving away a paperback copy of Georgette Heyer's great Regency novel, Venetia. You can see the book at Venetia is one of my all-time favourites; if you haven't read it, you are in for a treat. Please sign the guestbook at my website to be entered for the prize draw.

Shakoriel has done another Regency fashion colouring picture for the colouring book. There are four pictures now; we are aiming for twenty. I am going to post my own coloured versions so you can see how they can look. We are talking of doing a paper doll as well--paper dolls are another of my passions.

I have finished another book trailer; it's for my 'Novel Byte' from Uncial Press titled Comet Wine. You can view the trailer on my youtube page at or on the Comet Wine page on my website at

I'm also catching up with reading now that I am finished The Education of Portia. Next time I'll report on a couple of Regency books I'm enjoying.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mansfield Park

I finally found time to watch my tape of the 'Complete Jane Austen' version of 'Mansfield Park' which appeared on PBS in January.

My disappointment in their version of 'Persuasion' was equalled by my disappointment in 'Manfield Park'. The one and one half hour version, while adequate for 'Persuasion', could not do justice to MP. It is a complex story and one the producers seemed to have deliberately simplified and misunderstood. It is not a simply romance, it is a discussion of a society in all its layers and nuances. Overall, the presentation suffered (as did Persuasion) from stilted performances, as though the actors were intimidated by acting such a classic of literature.

The first thing that really bothered me was the complete rewriting of the character of Fanny Price. This version portrays Fanny as a confident, if immature, tomboy. I can understand why they did it--their character appeals to a modern audience much more than Jane Austen's anxious subservient girl. But you cannot change a major character so much with impunity. Fanny Price shapes the story, and Billie Piper was not Fanny Price. I felt sorry for the poor actress to be so miscast. She was done no favours either with all that unlikely, loose, and unconvincingly coloured hair and the gowns that Fanny Price would never have donned!

The other actors were pleasantly competent, almost carbon copies of the 1980s MP version. Sir Thomas was better portrayed in this version, I must say that. His character in this film is more consistent with that Jane Austen wrote.

One character stood out--Edmund Bertram as portrayed by Blake Ritson. I thought he did an excellent job. Mr. Ritson really cared about his character and brought him to life: less saintly than the 1980's Edmund, more vigorous, more committed to his calling, and very good-looking :)

The final ten minutes of the film almost made up for all the other problems. It had all the natural warmth, convincing characterization and appealing adaptation that the rest of the film, and 'Persuasion' lacked. But all in all, 'Manfield Park' was a disappointing film, and I think I'll go watch the 1980's version again.

One good thing came from this viewing--I'm re-reading the book to see if my assessments about the screenplay and adaptation are accurate. I'm enjoying it immensely, and yes, I am right.

'Northanger Abbey' next; I'll let you know what I think!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Becoming Jane Austen

A month ago, I watched the new PBS film "Miss Austen Regrets", and at last I have a chance to give my opinion!

I thought it was wonderful. The settings and costumes were impeccable to my eye. The period was fully realized and it appears now to be an enchanted world, though the struggles of people have not changed at all.

Jane Austen will now always be Olivia Williams to me. I thought she captured the edge that Miss Austen must have had, the slender brittle quality of tension, the qualified kindness and the keen intensity. The script gave Jane an authentic wit and a conversation full of enigmas and ambiguities.

The old romance with Brook Bridges was well done, if unexpected. Why not, after all? We really know very little about Jane's private life. We know her as sister and daughter, dutiful and conscientious. We think we know her very well, but we don't know her loves at all. This film offers a plausible view of those and of her state of mind toward the end of her life.

Her increasing frailty at the end of the film brought tears to my eyes, and I wept over her regrets. I'm looking forward to watching this film again and again, as I do the movies made from her books. I highly recommend this film to anyone with an interest in the author, the period or just a good story.

Hmmm, I think I need to add a Jane Austen page to my redesigned website. I'll add that to my to-do list. Do visit me at my new web address,, and let me know what you think of the redesign!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Website Up and Running!

I'm so pleased! I finally finished my new website--I think it looks great--and everything is changed over. I had to change servers, and so my address changed, but there is a redirect on my old page so I hope that everyone will find me easily.

New website address:

Please visit soon, and let me know what you think of the redesign. You can email me at

With the new website, there is a new contest. The "Panoramas of England" book was won by Diane from the U.S.A. The new prize is a wonderful out-of-print reference book "Leisure and Pleasure in the 19th Century" by Stella Margetson. If you sign my new guestbook, you will be entered to win this book.

Now that I am finished the website, I will be blogging more frequently. Please subscribe; I'll be talking more soon about the new Jane Austen films that were shown on PBS.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Two big projects

I have two sizeable projects underway right now, and they are limiting my time for blogging and reading.

The first is the complete redesign of my website. I'm very excited about this--it's going to look professional and polished and be much easier to navigate. But...I'm doing it all myself, with help from my teacher and web designer Shakoriel. So it's taking lots of my time, but I enjoy it so much. It's nearly as creative as writing, in a very different way. It also takes blank pages and fills them with interesting things.

My website has always been a reader oriented site. I leave it to others to provide in depth research oriented material; if I did that I would have no time to write books. Instead I try to provide readers with a glimpse of the world of the Regency about which I write. Readers want to know what things and people looked like in Great Britain two hundred years ago, and that I aim to provide.

The header at the top of this page will appear on all my webpages. Shakoriel designed it, and I think it's beautiful. Green is my favourite colour and it predominates on all my, YouTube, and MySpace. Please watch for the launch of my redesigned website; I hope to have it ready by the end of this month--but only time will tell...

My other project is my new full-length Regency 'The Education of Portia'. It is complete now, but still needs another full edit. So I will be spending the next three months on in-depth revision. This is the part of writing I really enjoy; when I finally have the draft down--something to work on--and I can expand and embellish and breathe life into it all.

So you can see, I have my hands full. But I'll be in touch :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Carolina's Walking Tour -- A New Release!

Just a quick note about the release of my newest 'Novel Byte' from Uncial Press. Carolina's Walking Tour was released yesterday and is available for purchase. Here's a blurb about the story:

On his return from the Peninsular War, grievously wounded and troubled in spirit, Alexander Quainton decides that an insouciant manner is the best way to avoid the pity he abhors. Exercising his damaged body with daily walking excursions proves an excellent way of avoiding social engagements. Carolina Finmere, shy and no more than passable in looks, has failed in three seasons to attract a suitor.

For three months, they tramp Bath and its surrounding hills together, gaining in strength and--unwittingly--in intimacy. When September comes it is time to part, unless they admit their love for each other. Carolina knows she must initiate the declarations of devotion, for Alexander is convinced that a man so damaged is no fit mate for a gently bred woman. How can Carolina love someone so scarred and deformed as he?

Plucking up her courage, Carolina declares her love for Alexander. Will he admit his for her, or will his fear of seeing revulsion in her eyes put paid to their blossoming love?

I hope you will check it out at

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Austenland by Shannon Hale

I just finished reading "Austenland" by Shannon Hale, and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you enjoy a contemporary romance with Regency overtones, this book is for you. The heroine is obsessed with Colin Firth's Darcy and is given an opportunity to experience the Regency lifestyle at a Regency theme-park style resort. The real and make-believe worlds collide and for a while it's anyone's guess which will triumph.

The heroine's confusion became my confusion for a while--I can't decide if that was good writing or bad writing--or just my problem . The heroine was definitely conflicted about what she was experiencing and her tussles with truth and fiction became bewildering. Eventually however the heroine and this reader settled down. For a while toward the end, I thought the writer might be going to sermonize on the ills of expecting real life to imitate fiction, but she avoided that trap. A happy ending was believably achieved, and there were some good insights along the way.
An enjoyable read that I have no hesitation in recommending.

Now back to work; Carolina's Walking Tour will be released on Friday by Uncial Press, and this afternoon is dedicated to work on The Education of Portia.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A new contest on my website

It's that time again; a new bi-monthly contest has gone up on my website. The John Lennon poster was won by Anne from Alaska! The new prize is a book -- "Panoramas of England" -- and it's a great book if you love England. It has double page spread pictures of wonderful English views that give you a feeling of seeing the vista in person. If you sign the guest book during March or April you are automatically entered to win the book. You also get added to my mailing list, but you'll never be spammed--I only send one email every two months! And I never share my mailing list.

I've been busy with contest work, and website updates, and preparing for my release on March 14. "Carolina's Walking Tour" used to be available free on my stories page, but I always loved the story and when Uncial Press gave me the opportunity to turn it into a 'Novel Byte' I jumped at the chance. It's been expanded, and carefully edited, and given a wonderful cover by Shakoriel. This might be my favourite of all Shakoriel's covers, but it would be hard to choose which I like best.
Go to my website to read an excerpt of Carolina's Walking Tour.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Jane Austen Handbook

I'm currently reading "The Jane Austen Handbook" by Margaret C. Sullivan. It's a beautifully produced little package--handsome paper, charming fonts and borders, and delightful illustrations. If you are new to Jane Austen's books and the Regency world, then this book is for you. It covers all the aspects of that society that will be new to you, and it will introduce you to this new world in a light-hearted, tongue in cheek manner.

I'm a little disappointed in the content however. Anyone who has read Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and/or a host of others will not find anything new in this Handbook. Still, all the information is laid out in an easy to find, easy to read manner. There are several useful appendices; a glossary should you still have any questions about Regency words, a short bibliography and other resources.

All in all, the Handbook is a charming addition to a Jane Austen bookshelf, though not a must-have reference book.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A beginning...and The Complete Jane Austen

This seems like a particularly good time to begin a blog about the Regency period because of Public Television's showing of The Complete Jane Austen.

PBS' decision to commission new versions of Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park was timely--new editions have been needed in my opinion. I'm less convinced of the need for Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility to be redone. I was disappointed by the new version of Persuasion, but that is because I think the Amanda Root version is the definitive one. Root plays Anne Elliott with insight and sympathy, and Ciaran Hinds is a brilliant Captain Wentworth. The captain in the new version is altogether too gentlemanly, in dress, speech and deportment. I really can't imagine him on the bridge, barking out orders! And Sally Hawkins does not blossom as Amanda Root does in the realization that Anne Elliott's future will be happier than her past.

I have not had time to watch my tapes of NA and MP yet; I'll report when I do.
Miss Austen Regrets I watched immediately and I thought it was brilliant. I was in tears at the end. I thought Olivia Williams interpreted Jane Austen with great sensitivity. The writing by Gwenyth Hughes was excellent, and for me, Jane Austen came alive in a way that she never had before. The person behind the caustic wit of her letters, her position within her family, her dealings with her writing career and her final illness all became real. The hint of a relationship between Jane and Brook Bridges was particularly novel to me. His appearances in Jane's real life were not frequent and not auspicious, but the movie relationship was very enjoyable. I look forward to watching this video again and again.

I also thought Miss Austen Regrets was a believable extension of last summer's movie Becoming Jane--there was even a similarity in look between Olivia Williams and Anne Hathaway. I'm looking forward to watching this movie again; it had some interesting portrayals of the young Jane and the romance with Tom Lefroy was convincing.

Must get back to my new manuscript, The Education of Portia. This new full-length novel will be released by Uncial Press in November of this year. They'll be releasing my latest short fiction 'Novel Byte' on March 14; it's titled Carolina's Walking Tour. I hope you'll watch for that.