Friday, December 16, 2011

It's the Big Day!

Yet Another Period Drama Blog

For she's a jolly good fellow, for she's a jolly good fellow...

Today is Jane Austen's actual, real, undisputable birthday.  (Yes, I am perfectly aware that undisputable is not a word.)  To celebrate this great and momentous occasion, I'm taking you all to Blakeney Manor for the day.

Oops, I think that was a typographical error.  Pardon me.  I meant to say, to celebrate this great and momentous occasion, I'm hosting a Birthday Card Contest.

You have probably never heard of a Birthday Card Contest, with good reason, because I just made it up.  Actually, my sister Anne came up with the concept of it, so all credit goes to her.

The contest goes like this.  To enter, you must a) be a follower of my blog and b) either have a blog of your own or be able to leave a comment on mine and c) have read at least one of Jane Austen's novels or seen at least one of the movies.

Those requirements probably encompass pretty much all of you, so we shall proceed.

The rules for the contest are easy.  Step number one: write a birthday card to Jane Austen.  The birthday card must be written by you, of course, but (and here's the catch) it must be written in the voice of one of her characters.  Wish her a happy birthday and then go on to elaborate on what is going on in "your" life, why you are grateful to Miss Austen for giving you a happy ending or why you are angry at her because of what she did to you.  Example: a rather poison-pen missive from Mary Crawford, sugar-sweet and patronizing, but with a little biting comment at the end about Miss Austen's meanness of spirit in making Edmund marry that Fanny person.  Or something like that.

Step number two: post your card on your blog (it may be as long or as short as you choose) and then comment on this post with a link to your post.  If you don't have a blog, post your card in the comments!  Anne and I will judge the entries and award a winner on Monday.  The contest closes on Saturday night at 11:59 PM--all entries posted after that time will not be counted.  Sorry for the short notice, but as we have seen, people tend to write more productively when they are given a small and specific time frame. :) (, anyone?)

Looking forward to your entries!


Jemimah C. said...

Sounds like fun! I just hope I have time to do it.

Anne-girl said...

My Dear Miss Austen,
I congratulate you on your advanced age. It shows a carefulness of character that at least your writings have survived this long. It is evident that you have not left them out in drafts or other dangerous things. I would like to impress upon you the importance of not going to any sort of party for your birthday. A quiet day at home, three turns around the garden, and a basin of gruel would be much pleasanter I assure you. My dear Miss Austen I am gladdened to hear that you never married. It is so distressing to a parent when one of their children goes of and marries. When I think of poor Miss Taylor... Could you not have fixed it that she had stayed here? I would like to thank you however for your thoughtfulness in letting Emma and Mr. Knightly stay here with me. We are all very happy and the little ones are being brought up properly. I only wish Emma would not insist on letting them have cake every now and then, cake is so indigestible. A little gruel now... But I see I have forgotten the most important thing of all. I have sent you a shawl for you comfort on a warm night by the fire. I know how dangerous leaving the throat exposed can be.
With many good wishes,
Mr. Woodhouse

Alexandra said...

Goodness, how fun!!! I'll have to see what I can do.

And can't we have a contest *and* go to Blakeney Manor?????? Pleaaaaaase?????????


Milisande said...

My Austen Letter :)

Miss Dashwood said...

Anne-girl, you know perfectly well that as one of the judges you really shouldn't enter the contest, but your letter made me laugh so hard that I posted the comment anyway. :)

If I have a spare moment, I'll take you to Blakeney Manor... alas, a moment is all that I can spare. ;P

I enjoyed reading your letter, it was so sweet!

Eva-Joy said...

Here's my entry -

Maria Elisabeth said...

Can we enter more than one? I wrote one already, but I'm bursting with ideas, so can I, pretty please?

Miss Dashwood said...

Maria Elisabeth,
Oh yes, do feel free to enter as many times as you wish. However, please make sure you link to all the entries in a comment. :)

Hayden said...

You're comment is awesome, even if you ARE a judge :) Picture a huge GRIN on my face now....

Maria Elisabeth said...

Here they are

Rachel Heffington said...

Dear Miss Dashwood--I am following this blog now. (the follower's box wouldn't pop up so I could see if I was already following, so I suscribed to your posts. :) This is a smashing idea! Here are my two entries;

Abby said...

I wrote one from Mr Collins! Here is the link to it:

What a fun idea for a contest! And Anne-girl's entry really made me laugh, by the way :)


Miss Dashwood said...

Wow, so many entries! I am surprised and pleased! Thank you all so much... ooh, this will be a difficult decision.

Hayden said...

Here's mine :

Julia said...

Squeezing in under the wire, at 8:27 PM! :D I hope this still counts! :D Sorry I was late. :(

My card/letter was from Anne Elliot. :)

LOVE your blog!! :D

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

My last minute entry. I've been so so busy this weekend! I haven't even had time to see if anyone else has done a Col. Brandon letter yet. Oh well, here it is:

"Letter from Colonel Brandon to Miss Jane Austen on the occasion of her 236th Birthday.

Dear Miss Austen,
I earnestly hope that this letter finds you well.
There is joyful news of Mrs Brandon. After much foolish concern on my part she was delivered safely of a healthy baby girl. She is to be Elinor, after her dear aunt, and already shows a deal of her namesake's goodness. For my part I find the bonny babe to resemble her dear mama more in features and coloring. Although a son is usually to be preferred I must confess that I am glad to have a daughter if only for the Christening's sake. We had such a trouble thinking what to name a son, even though my wife's thought was that a son should have my first name.
Mrs Dashwood and Margaret were in time for her birth and and has agreed to a long stay.
Sister Elinor and brother Edward visit almost daily. Their own son Neddy has almost reached his second year.
As happy as it has been having the Ferrars living so near it can not be a permanent situation and Edward is happy at the prospect of being rector in his own Parrish.
Thank you for your kind inquiry after my ward. Our dear Eliza has formed an attachment with a young surgeon in her own village and will be married in the new year. We quite happy at her future prospects.
I am daily blessed in my darling Marianne. After my early disappointment in life I was sure true happiness was beyond my reach. How happy I am to have been proved wrong! All of my thanks must go to you, dear lady, for arranging my present bliss. Marianne is so much sweetness, loveliness and brightness of mind and certainly better than I felt myself to deserve. We two prove to be of such similar tastes and feelings. It has been a pleasure to watch her grow more fully into the elegant woman and tender mother that she is today.
Marianne has informed me that your birthday is fast approaching. Allow us to wish you joy! May the new year bring as many blessings for yourself as you have bestowed upon all of us. Marianne and everyone here send their fondest love.

I remain your humble servant,
Colonel Brandon"

Thank you for this contest, it was fun! :)

Melody said...

*Sighs* Well, my dear Miss Dashwood, I love this idea, but I simply could not write anything.

...Until this evening, because I made myself. :P It was too interesting to miss!

Miss Dashwood said...

To those of you who posted your letters in comment form (namely, Anne and Miss Laurie): is it OK if I reproduce them in my announcement-of-the-winners post? I plan to link to all the entries, but I don't know how to link to an individual comment.

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Miss Dashwood,
I posted Colonel Brandon's letter on my blog so you can link to it. I just didn't have time to post it there last night.

Here's the link:

Lady Nessima said...

What a scathingly brilliant idea, Miss Dashwood! Here is the link to my entry:

Elizabeth said...

All right, I know its too late, but here is my letter. I loved the idea, and decided to do it even if I didn't get to be in the contest! Thanks for the great idea, and please do it again!

Monday, 15th of December, 1817

My dear Miss Austen,

May I congratulate and wish you the best of happiness on the anniversary of your birth! Without your own dear assistance, I am sure I cannot imagine what would have become of myself or my dear Mr. Darcy. Dearest Miss Austen, you cannot comprehend the amount of happiness you have bestowed upon both Fitzwilliam and myself. I do not pretend to conceal the knowledge of his adoration for myself, nor my respect and love for him. Not, of course, that his admiration of my beauty and accomplishments should be any less than it is. Quite the contrary, for he did once confess to knowing only half a dozen accomplished women, and myself not included among them, though of course he will never own that he thought myself ill-accomplished, but was quite blinded by his love for me that he forgot all else. I confess, I often take pleasure in teasing him upon this subject, and though he denies my accusations and begs pardon for his past offences, I rather think he enjoys my delight as much as I do.

My mother and father still dwell in Hertfordshire at Longbourne, but my father scarcely spends half a year in permanent residence there on account of his constant visits to Pemberly, which he makes almost once a month, and stays for well over a fortnight. His visits never tire or displease myself or Mr. Darcy, for he is quite amiable company, and brings my sister Kitty along with him to roam the park and wander through the library or gallery. I cannot express my pleasure at Kitty’s improvement over the last four years; she has become quite a respectable and sensible creature, partly on account of the absence of Mr. and Mrs. Wickham who have finally returned again to the North for quite some time. My sister no longer jumps at the sight of a regiment or officers, and controls herself with great composure and grace.

Dearest Georgiana has now reached her nineteenth year, and has quite blossomed; her beauty and honorable disposition is the talk of all of Derbyshire. Many suitors have called, and many been sent on their way by her elder brother, though he has been prevailed upon by my own persuasion to allow a certain young man of four and twenty to call on Georgiana frequently, and she returns his marked affection most ardently.

My own sweet daughter Jane has almost reached her second year and is quite the joy of her aunt, as is her elder brother Fitzwilliam when they visit the Bingley’s in Nottinghamshire. Dear Mrs. Bingley is in excellent health, but has quite a household of individuals to attend; for four children and a husband can be quite a trying affair, and Jane is always to be confined. Mr. Bingley takes excellent care of her however, and has talked of visiting the Lakes when baby William is weaned.

May I wish you the best of joy on your birthday Miss Austen, and may the following year bring you as many blessings as you have given to me.

Yours very respectfully,
Elizabeth Darcy


Here it is on my blog:

Julia said...

By the way... the Mr. Woodhouse entry was absolutely brilliant. I laughed out loud! I'm glad that was put in by a judge, for surely it would win, otherwise! :D