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The next two embroideries I had planned to do for my project, the “Jane Austen’s Bonnet” quilt by Brenda Ryan, were ones of Regency men. These embroideries are not included in the original quilt, but I chose to replace four floral arrangements in the quilt that weren’t really my style.

The easiest way to get a suitable picture to embroider seemed to be to find a fashion plate of the era. I particularly wanted pictures that had very little of the face showing, as I find faces quite difficult to embroider. The first picture I found was of my intended “Mr Bingley” portrait.

Costume Paresian, 1809.

“Habit de Drap Vert Melange. Culotte de Peau Blanche.” Costume Parisien, 1809.

Google Translate kindly translated the French for me: “Green coat cloth mix. White leather breeches.”

The next image was for my intended “Mr Darcy” portrait.

Costume Parisien, 1806.

“Habit a Pattes de Redingotte. Culotte blanche de Veloursacotes.” Costume Parisien, 1806.

Google Translate also translated the French for me on this one, although a little more cryptically: “Great coat dress has legs. White pants corduroy.” One day I will learn French, but at least you get the idea.

I used a light box to trace an outline of the images in fine-liner, only copying the detail that I wanted to include. Then I enlarged my fine-liner copy to the size needed for the quilt. The enlarged copy was then traced (again with the aid of a light box) on to the material to be embroidered.

The first one to complete was “Mr Bingley”.

Mr Bingley was good looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasing countenance, and easy, unaffected manners.

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Mr Bingley, embroidered

Mr Bingley, embroidered, wearing a dark green coat and buckskin breeches.

This embroidery uses backstitch, running stitch, colonial knots, satin stitch and whipped chain stitch.

The second embroidery to complete was “Mr Darcy”.

…Mr Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien; and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year.”

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Mr Darcy, embroidered

Mr Darcy, embroidered, with a dark blue coat and grey breeches.

This embroidery uses backstitch, running stitch, and colonial knots, with some gold beading being used for the buttons. I quite like how they have turned out!

I have also stitched a quick running stitch around the outside of the diamond to mark the stitching line.

The last two embroideries of the quilt will be included in the next post, Part Ten.

Related Posts

Jane Austen’s Bonnet – Part One

How to make an American Quilt

My English Paper Piecing Project

Sources and Relevant Links

Brenda Ryan Embroidery Designs

Jane Austen’s Bonnet – by Brenda Ryan Embroidery Designs

Image Source: Regency man fashion plate, from 1809 – via Pinterest

Image Source: Regency man fashion plate, from 1806 – via Pinterest

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It has been pretty quiet on the blog for the last two months or so, as everything from a very busy year caught up with me! Unfortunately life has the tendency to do that some times, and it seems to happen most often at Christmas time.

On the subject of Christmas, one of my presents this year from my long-suffering husband was the mini-series Lost in Austen. I remember seeing some of it on TV a few years ago, but I felt so upset to see the storyline all mixed up that I couldn’t bear to watch it all. It must have just been a stage I was going through at the time, because this year I decided to put it on my present list!

Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) in Lost in Austen (2008).

Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper) in Lost in Austen (2008).

The story centres around a young lady, Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper), who lives in Hammersmith, London. She has a passion for Jane Austen and, in particularly, for the book Pride and Prejudice. On one rather peculiar day she discovers Miss Elizabeth Bennet standing rather awkwardly in her bath. This elegant regency lass had found a secret doorway leading from her attic in 1813 to Miss Price’s modern day bathroom. But after Amanda steps through the doorway to check it out, it slams shut leaving Miss Bennet behind to navigate a world of mobile phones, electrical appliances, and speeding vehicles.

Lost in Austen (2008)

In the bathroom in Lost in Austen (2008)

Poor Miss Price is likewise in a dilemma! Not only is she locked in a world that she does not belong to, she is quick to realise that the events from her favourite novel are about to radically change without Elizabeth Bennet present. And how devastating would it be for an Austen fan to realise that they were the means by which a perfect storyline could be forever destroyed?

What follows is a series of blunders as Amanda desperately tries to orchestrate the meetings of those characters who need to meet, and similarly attempts to prevent some characters from getting too close. Mr Bingley and Jane, Mr Collins and Charlotte, and NOT Mr Wickham and Lydia. She even resorts to convincing them of the affection which they should hold towards each other.

When you stop to think about it, losing the main character from any story would quite naturally radically change it, and the loss of Elizabeth is no exception. Suddenly, Bingley is attracted to Miss Amanda Price instead of Miss Jane Bennet; Jane then has no reason not to think of matrimony with Mr Collins; Charlotte Lucas is promptly left “on the shelf”; Bingley is heartbroken when the fair Jane slips through his fingers; and so it continues. The ravages that occur to a storyline when its main character is unavoidably absent!

Here that sound? That’s Jane Austen spinning in her grave like a cat in a tumble dryer.

The worst thing about this movie is that I didn’t know how it would end. (And that is just-a-little hang-up of mine… I really don’t like not knowing the ending! That is probably the reason why I enjoy movies based on historical novels… movie producers don’t tend to change the ending of a classic storyline, how ever much they meddle with the middle bits.) It felt awful to see the storyline reduced to a shambles! Charlotte Lucas deciding to be a missionary, Jane Bennet miserably unhappy, and no one to tempt Mr Darcy to get off his high horse so he can pollute the shades of Pemberley. Something deep inside me still insisted that the story should somehow have a happy ending, regardless of the cyclonic trail of demolition that had wreaked its havoc. And somehow – against all the odds – it did!

One of the things I did like about this movie is that the theme within the novel – that of Darcy’s pride and Elizabeth’s prejudice – still flows through the movie and its characters despite the altered storyline. Darcy is still proud, and he still comes to regret his pride. The only alteration is that of Amanda’s prejudice, that she is initially convinced she should love Mr Darcy but instead finds him unbearable.

If I dream about him tonight, I shall be really angry! I am going to dream about him. Well, in my dream I hope you choke! Hateful man.

Overall, I found this movie funny and lighthearted. It is always interesting (and amusing) to imagine what sort of mess would happen when modern life has a mid-air collision with Regency times. And this movie is precisely a depiction of what you could expect!

Related Posts

Every Savage Can Dance!

On Love, Shakespeare and Marianne Dashwood

Sources and Relevant Links

Lost in Austen (2008) – the mini-series

Image Source: Penny for your Dreams (This blog post is a great summary of the storyline for the first episode.)

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Sir William Lucas: What a charming amusement for young people this is, Mr Darcy! – There is nothing like dancing after all. – I consider it as one of the first refinements of polished societies.
Mr Darcy: Certainly, Sir; – and it has the advantage also of being in vogue amongst the less polished socieites of the world. – Every savage can dance.

Chapter 6, Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen.

I have always loved dancing. Not ballet or jazz or tap, but old-fashioned couple dancing.

As a child I was often taken to bush dances or barn dances by my parents and I grew to love it. More recently I have been involved with folk dancing and colonial dancing. It has the added advantage of creating a great excuse to dress up and wear some of my period costumes too!

Here is a short movie compilation of the dance scenes in various Jane Austen movies.

Dancing is my cup of tea!

Related Posts

My Regency Journey: The Destination!

On Love, Shakespeare and Marianne Dashwood

Sources and Relevant Links

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen – read online.

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