Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Jane Austen!

December 16th is a very special day in the history of English literature, for on this date in 1775 Jane Austen was born. Please help us celebrate the 235th anniversary of this momentous occasion by indulging in tributes, celebrations, and a multitude of giveaways by following the blog tour organized by the very lovely Maria Grazia (I always describe her thusly, as it is so true!) of My Jane Austen Book Club, involving the following fifteen fabulous Jane Austen bloggers:

Adriana Zardini at Jane Austen Sociedad de Brasil
Laurel Ann at Austenprose
Vic Sanborn at Jane Austen's World
Katherine Cox at November’s Autumn 
Karen Wasylowski at
Laurie Viera Rigler at Jane Austen Addict
Lynn Shepherd at
Jane Greensmith at Reading, Writing, Working, Playing
Jane Odiwe at Jane Austen Sequels
Alexa Adams (that's me!) at First Impressions
Regina Jeffers at ReginaJeffers's Blog
Cindy Jones at First Draft
Janet Mullany at Risky Regency
          Meredith at Austenesque Reviews
Maria Grazia  at My Jane Austen Book Club
Leave a comment at any (or all) of these blogs by December 23rd, including your email address (I believe)  for your chance to win one of the many prizes on offer. The more you comment, the better your chances to win! See the bottom of this post for a complete list of items on offer.

I often write about my feelings about Miss Austen. Those who regularly read this blog can be left in no doubt of my devotion to the greatest of all authoresses. So instead of composing one of my usual odes to Austen, I have elected to celebrate the day by creating the following Jane Austen themed crossword puzzle. After all, does not a party benefit from games? The clues are based upon Austen's writing, and I hope you find it both challenging and gratifying (as good crosswords should be). You need not solve the puzzle to enter the giveaway, but if you do choose to indulge, I would love to hear your thoughts on it (other than regarding the odd formatting issues that I encountered, as I just could find no manner of getting around them). I will publish the solution after the giveaway is concluded. Have at it Janeites!

 2."No one who had ever seen ______ _______ in her infancy would have supposed her born to be a heroine."
3. Who said: "Good gracious! when I went away, I am sure I had no more idea of being married till I came back again! though I thought it would be good fun if I was."?
6. "A young lady who ____, must be recovered; questions must be answered, and surpizes must be explained."
7. What is the name of the heroine of The Watsons?
12. Who said: "...people always live for ever when there is an annuity to be paid them..."?
15. To whom is Austen referring: "And yet could you Reader have believed it possible that some hardened & zealous Protestants have even abused her for that Steadfastness in the Catholic Religion which reflected on her so much credit?"
16. How many sisters is Mr. Bingley rumored to have?
17. What does Sir Walter Elliot recommend Mrs. Clay use to diminish her freckles?
19. "You have no compassion on my poor _____."
22. What is the name of the play the young people try to put on in Mansfield Park?
23. Who said: "Nothing would satisfy good old Mrs. Whitaker, but my taking one of the cheeses. I sttod out for as long as I could, till the tears almost came to her eyes, and I knew it was just the sort that my sister would be delighted with."?
25. Who said: "The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."
27. Who said: "I wish you very happy and rich, and by refusing your hand, so all in my power to prevent your being otherwise."?
29. "You ______ my soul."
30. Who said: "I abhor every common-place phrase by which wit is intended and 'setting one's cap at a man,' or 'making a consquest,' are the most odious of all."
32. "I have heard that something very shocking indeed will soon come out in ________."

1. What is the title of Austen's last, unfinished novel?
2. Who said: "I cannot afford to lose one hour."?
4. What is the name of Lady Bertram's lady's maid?
5. Who said: "Not exactly, though I shall be happy to do both, but that would be exercise only to my body, and I must take care of my mind. Besides, that would be all recreation and indulgence, without the wholesome alloy of labour, and I do not like to eat the bread of idleness."?
8. What is the name of Fanny Price's dead sister?
9. Who said: "I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than a book."?
10. What is Lady Susan's daughter's name?
11. Who is Elinor Dashwood speaking to: "Your secret is safe with me; but pardon me if I express some surprise at so unnecessary a communication."?
13. "Very little white satin, very few lace veils; a pitiful business! ______ would stare when she heard of it."
14. "I take no leave of you, Miss Bennet. I send no compliments to your mother. You deserve no such attention. I am most seriously _________."
15. Who said: "My being the mother is the very reason why my feelings should not be tried. I am not at all equal to it."?
18 "You must allow me to tell you how ________ I admire and love you."
20. Whom is Emma Woodhouse speaking of: "No, I am perfectly sure that he is not trifling and silly."?
21. When do the Crofts take possession of Kellynch?"
24. "Ah! poor Miss ______! 'Tis a sad business."
26. "I will not say that your ___________ trees are dead, but I am afraid they're not alive."
28. What is Catherine Morland's favorite genre of novel?
31. What object does Captain Wentworth use to exemplify firmness of character?

Items up for grabs in the giveaways include:

Books:  1 signed copy of…
Willoughby’s Return by Jane Odiwe

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

Murder at Mansfield Park by Lynn Shepherd

Intimations of Austen by Jane Greensmith

Darcy's Passions: Fitzwilliam Darcy's Story by Regina Jeffers

First Impressions: A Tale of Less Pride and Prejudice by Alexa Adams

Jane and the Damned by Janet Mullany
Bespelling Jane Austen by Janet Mullany
Other gifts:
Austen bag offered by Karen Wasylowski

DVD Pride & Prejudice 2005 offered by Regina Jeffers

Package of Bingley's Tea (flavor - "Marianne's Wild Abandon") offered by Cindy Jones

DVD Jane Austen in Manhattan offered by Maria Grazia
3 issues of Jane Austen Regency World offered by Maria Grazia
Remember, giveaways will end on the 23rd .  Winners will be announced on My Jane Austen Book Club.

On another exciting note, Laurel Ann of Austenprose has announced that Sourcebooks, the publisher of the vast majority of Jane Austen fan fiction, has offered free digital copies of ten of its most popular books in honor of this special day. Follow this link to learn more.

Happy birthday Jane Austen! My world would be so shallow without you.


  1. Oh, cool, a Jane Austen crossword puzzle!

  2. Thank you, Alexa, for helping to keep Austen alive in the hearts of this generation.

  3. What a clever idea - to create an puzzle/game for the birthday party! It's been fun following the celebration blog tour. Thanks.

  4. My world too, is better for Jane Austen. Thanks

  5. I love Jane Austen! Happy Birthday!

  6. I'm not very good at crosswordspuzzles but I want to try this one! Thank you Alexa for joining and for this original post!
    Good luck to your readers for the final draw!

  7. The crossword puzzle is a fun idea! arianne (dot) hartsell(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. What a great idea! I love crosswords!

  9. Great idea! I wish I was good at crossword puzzles, but perhaps I'll try it out anyway!
    ~Sara S.

  10. Happy Birthday Jane. I am not very good at cross word puzzles, but Thank you Alexa for creating it. I am enjoying going on this wonderful blog tour!!

  11. I'm not here for prizes, I just wanted to drop into your party and say hello! Fabulous crossword, Alexa!

  12. I have enjoyed visiting your beautiful blog and hope to stop by once again to try the puzzle. What a lovely tribute on this special day.

  13. Happy Birthday Jane!
    I love crossword puzzles so will have to try my skill at this one. I look forward to reading your book.

  14. What a fantastic idea! I love the puzzle

  15. Such a fun idea! I love the crossword puzzle!

    Happy birthday, Jane!

  16. Oh! The crossword looks fabulous! I'm printing it out at this moment.

    Happy Birthday, Jane! You have given me so much through your writings... thank you.

    I'd love to join the giveaway.

    My email address is cassie(at)literaryladies(dot)com

  17. Loving the the crossword puzzle. Having fun on the blog tour, Happy Birthday Jane!!!!

  18. Beautiful blog, so glad I found so many new Jane Austen blogs tru this bloghop!

  19. I look forward to do this lovely crossword, what fun!
    Happy Birthday dearest Jane! :)

  20. It'a beautiful tribute!
    I hope to win some of the prizes!
    The puzzle is fantastic!!:)

  21. Happy 235th birthday, Jane!!

    Thank you for your beautiful tribute! I am looking forward to the crossword puzzle!

  22. you know, i usually don't do well with crosswords but knowing the subject matter i should do alright. i'll give it a try. and a huzzah for jane!

  23. Happy Birthday Jane!
    Thank you for your hard work putting together this great cross word.

  24. I am going to do the crossword leisurely. Thank you for a lovely post.

    My first comment just disappeared into thin air. I hope it is not going to get duplicated!

  25. I just loved the crosswords!!!

    Happy birthday Jane Austen! A genius of literature!

  26. This virtual Jane Austen Birthday Bash is so much fun! Thanks for the puzzle!

  27. Cool puzzle, I'll fun, I'm sure

    Happy Birthday Jane

  28. Happy Birthday Jane, and my thanks to all who continue to pass on her legacy. Your efforts are appreciated more than you know.

    I love the crossword. Nice touch.

  29. Thank you for the crossword puzzle, Alexa, what a great idea! :)

  30. Happy Birthday dear Jane Austen. :)

    fun crossword.

  31. Oooh, a crossword. Excellent JA Birthday gift! Vic

  32. Hmm, do I have time for a crossword puzzle? Or do I want to visit 5 more blogs before bed. The blogs win! Great idea though! I'll have to remember that for when I have more time.

  33. Happy birthday Jane - I can't resist a crossword puzzle.

  34. Oh Alexa you crafty girl. Mr. Darcy would include you as one of his half dozen most accomplished young ladies of his acquaintance!

    Happy Birthday, Jane

    Cheers, Laurel Ann

  35. Thank you for the wonderful birthday gift to us on our Jane's birthday! A lovely surprise on this fabulous blogtour!

    Congratulations and gratitude to all of the bloggers who are on the tour..what an endeavor and so far it is perfect!

    Miss Austen would highly approve...



  36. Alexa, thanks for bringing back memories of teaching with the Crossword Puzzle... made so many as study guides. I am looking forward to working on yours. Hopefully won't fail horribly!
    And, of course, I am glad to be part of this marking of a day that is near and dear to us all, as it brought Jane Austen into the world, she was a Sagittarius with her conversational wit and wrote fabulous books that still speak to us today! Plus, so many wonderful people, definitely yourself included, have Jane Austen as their muse and inspiration, and that makes people like me very happy to always have a good book to read!
    As always,
    OreAnnie at Yahoo dot Com

  37. Love the crossword puzzle. Happy Birthday Jane.

    Bhitwr at gmail dot com

  38. Love crosswords! Good way to celebrate Ms. Austen's birthday.

    OML :)

  39. A crossword! What a lovely idea! I am definitely going to give it a go! Jane Austen's novels have brought so much pleasure to my life and have inspired my writing career. Happy Birthday, Jane Austen !

  40. I have just printed the crossword! I can't wait! Delightful! Happy Birthday, Dear Jane!

  41. Ah! Since I haven't read all her books some of this doesn't look familiar. But the idea is a really good one!

  42. Happy Birthday, Jane. I'm attempting to solve the puzzle for fun. Thanks Alexa for devising this games for us to enjoy!


  43. Great idea!!so much fun!!!

  44. Happy birthday Jane!
    lovely post! Thanks for joining us in this big event!

    Adriana Zardini

  45. Happy Birthday, Jane! Thanks for the neat puzzle.