Jane Austen’s Emma is almost 200!

Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma (1996 Miramax adaptation).

It’s hard to believe that December will mark the 200th anniversary of Emma‘s publication. The recent lead up’s been pretty interesting, including a modern retelling of the novel by Alexander McCall Smith and Pemberley Digital’s multimedia Emma Approved adaptation, which wrapped last year. Various organizations, including the Bay Area English Regency Society in the San Francisco Bay Area, are organizing celebrations commemorating the event. Even though it’s not popular on the same level as, say, Pride & Prejudice, people love Emma because it has a little something for everyone.

Before writing Emma, Jane Austen once expressed, “I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like” (James Edward Austen-Leigh’s Memoir of Jane Austen, p. 158). Most believe that the author was at least half-joking when she said this, as Emma Woodhouse is often a great favorite among readers. The character aside, however, the story itself is simply brilliant. Part romance, part comedy, part drama, and part “detective novel,” adapters for stage and screen have lots of choice when it comes to direction and focus. If the depth and texture of the novel has a limitation, it’s in the fact that most adaptations can’t do justice to everything it offers (not even the long miniseries versions).

Jane Austen wrote Emma over the period encompassing January 21, 1814 – March 29, 1815. At his request, she dedicated Emma to her most high-profile fan, the Prince Regent. This is a bit strange, considering that she didn’t care much for him, his conduct towards his wife, or his personality in general. He received a special first edition of the novel (one of twelve “presentation” copies issued by the publisher), in three volumes, which is kept at the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. For more on the presentation edition, see this description of Anne Sharp’s copy (Bonhams auction site). Novelist Maria Edgeworth – a favorite of Austen’s – also apparently received a presentation copy of the novel.

First published in December, 1815 (though the frontispiece is dated 1816) by John Murray, Emma was the last work Austen lived to see released. The first edition consisted of 2000 copies. Oddly, the book did not sell well, so the second printing/edition didn’t happen until 1833. For more information on the initial publication of the novel, look here. You will also find opinions on the novel from Austen’s friends and family right here.

For more on Jane Austen’s Emma and its various media adaptations, visit the Emma Adaptations Pages.

Guest Post: Trashy Diva Apple Pie Dress for Betty Le BonBon!

Trashy Diva Apple Pie Dress

This week I’m a guest writer at Jasmine’s wonderful Betty Le BonBon blog, reviewing the Apple Pie dress from one of my favorite vintage reproduction brands, Trashy Diva!

Check out the review, and Jasmine’s great fashion and lifestyle blog, here!

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Unisphere by Kali.

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Pet Society: Last Call

Hedwig at L’Opera Petulaire. She’s good at playing the pipe organ backwards.

Social gamers already know that Electronic Arts will be shuttering several of its popular Facebook titles on June 14. The decision is controversial for a number of reasons, but my primary issue with the decision is very personal. Quite simply, I love my Pet, Hedwig, and her little kitten and unicorn petlings.
Continue reading “Pet Society: Last Call”

Link: Dolldivine.com’s Pinup Maker Deluxe

Kali as a doll! My version of the Pinup Couture Heidi dress.

If you love dressing up digital paper dolls and adore pinup style, Kei’s Pinup Maker Deluxe is the game for you!

Based on the larger selection of build-’em-yourself dolls at Dolldivine.com, this specifically pinup version is hosted at Deviantart. Customize outfits, hair, makeup, shoes, accessories, and backgrounds!

Link: Pinup Girl Style

There’s a new online community for fans of Pinup Couture, Deadly Dames, and Pinup Girl Clothing‘s other wonderful house brands! At Pinup Girl Style, members can share photos of themselves in PUG clothing, participate in discussions, read blogs by members of Team PUG and their guests, and swap or sell their PUG goods. Check it out!

Real vintage accessories meet vintage-inspired fashions!

The Grace dress from Laura Byrnes Black Label looks amazing with late 1950s/early 1960s paste jewelry.

Hey guys! The lovely Vanessa just posted my piece on accessorizing vintage-inspired fashions with real vintage items to the Pinup Girl Clothing official blog. In the article, I’ve included items from my period jewelry and accessories collection that look great with my Pinup Girl Clothing fashions! Hope you enjoy it.

Link: Clairol Color Carousel at the New York World’s Fair

The Clairol Color Carousel was the most interesting fashion/beauty-related attraction at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. Bill Young’s Nywf64.com has cool content related to the Carousel, including ephemera actually distributed at the Clairol pavilion. Take a peek at mid-60s hair and makeup culture!

“For Women Only! Take a ride on the Clairol Color Carousel. See yourself as a blonde, a brunette or a read head! Your friends will ask, “Does she… or doesn’t she?”