On The Shelf: The Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mysteries

Like the Curiosity Corner (new puzzle coming soon!) and Do You Know About, On the Shelf will be a regular department on this blog, bringing you news of great reads old and new.

A note from Victoria…

For the last six years, we have been privileged to read the delightful series of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mysteries by Carrie Bebris, Victoria’s good friend and occasional roommate at JASNA events.

Carrie is not only deft at continuing the characterization of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam as they enjoy their married life together, she is a clever plotter who weaves many of the characters from Austen’s other books into her stories.

Her latest work, Intrigue at Highbury (or, Emma’s Match) is out now and awaiting your perusal. See her website here.

Carrie is one of those members of the Wisconsin chapter of JASNA I have been bragging about. Even though she now lives in Ohio (and claims she likes it!), she returns to her roots now and then, always reserving a little bit of time for her old pals in JASNA-WI and our writers group.

Congratulations, Carrie, and here’s to many more excellent adventures with the Darcys!

Above, Carrie’s first Mr. and Mrs. Darcy mystery, Pride and Prescience, Or A Truth Universally Acknowledged, on the left; Carrie, herself.

“Beauty is Truth, Truth Beauty ”

Now that the Academy Awards are over and one of my favorite movies was shut out (and only nominated in one category), I want to alert everyone to see Bright Star, a lovely film directed by Jane Campion (The Piano, 1993). I know it’s not research, but we all love to watch movies. And there have been some very good ones lately – meaning in the last couple of years, such as The Duchess, and The Young Victoria (which did win one Oscar). Bright Star is the name of a poem John Keats (1795-1821) wrote to his true love, Fanny Brawne. Any lover of England, poetry, fashion, or film should adore it, though the ending is sad. And it has not a single explosion (except of emotion), not a vampire nor avatar, not a chase scene, no shooting, and no noisy soundtrack. It is beautiful and true.
The stars, Ben Whishaw as Keats and Abbie Cornish as Fanny, are excellent, as is Paul Schneider as Keats’ friend and mentor Charles Brown. The whole cast measures up admirably.

Although I am far from an expert on Keats, I found the film quite moving. And historically accurate, with beautiful settings and costumes. Except for one thing. As a good friend remarked, why didn’t they film it at the actual house where it all happened in Hampstead, just north of London? I visited the Keats House years ago and it is a treat! Here is the real house that Keats and Fanny’s family lived in.
But, there must have been a good reason the producers used a different house, far from the congestion of Greater London. In Keats’ time, Hampstead would have been quite rural.
Perhaps we research nuts are too picky!! The Hyde, Bedfordshire, right, is where Bright Star
was filmed instead.
Bright Star was nominated for the coveted Palme d’Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival; its only Oscar nomination was for costume design. It has won several other awards and was nominated for many more, but it is a quiet and intelligent film, not the kind of flashy star-studded production that pushes Hollywood’s buttons and pulls in millions at the box office. But don’t miss it.            Victoria

Tea and an Interview

Charmed by author Elizabeth Boyle’s sense of fun and spirit of playfulness, Victoria and Kristine accepted Elizabeth’s kind invitation to join her in a cyber tea. They dished and ate and dished some more about all things historical, about Number One London and about their upcoming trip to London. Elizabeth has put their conversation up on her website so that you can eavesdrop on all the fun. While you’re there, don’t miss taking a trip around the N.Y. Times best selling author’s witty website.

For Sale – Chester Terrace, London – £9,500,000 (Sigh)

Fine Grade II Listed Home – Designed by John Nash, this house was built by John Burton in 1825. One of the most handsome and successful of the terraces, its characteristic features are the archways which link the individual parts.

•6 bedrooms
•3 reception rooms
•4 bathrooms
•412.17 sqm

Contact Stephen Lindsay at Knight Frank  +44 (0)20 7586 2777