The Emily Bronte Rose

Doesn’t this sound familiar? Last year I discovered there is a Jane Austen AND Pride and Prejudice rose varieties and it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, truly it isn’t, to find out David Austin, fine breeders of English roses, has bred an Emily Bronte rose “delicious hints of lemon and grapefruit.” Now, I’m not a fan of roses, we once had an attack rose bush that loved pricking me whenever I walked by it, but I can get behind this fragrance.

An exceptionally beautiful rose; the distinctive blooms are very neat and rather flat. Each bloom is a lovely soft pink, with a subtle apricot hue, the smaller central petals deepening to rich apricot and surrounding a button eye, which unfurls to reveal deep-set stamens. The strong Tea fragrance becomes more Old Rose, with delicious hints of lemon and grapefruit. It forms a bushy shrub with strong, healthy, upright growth.

The roses are available to be shipped in the UK and Europe but unfortunately, they are not available in the US.

Pembertea: The Great Unboxing

Image of the Pembertea logo

Last month, I wrote about a new Jane Austen / Tea monthly subscription box by Pembertea. Subscription boxes are pretty awesome—every month (or quarter or whatever the time frame is) you receive a box in the mail on a particular theme. For Pembertea, the main theme is Jane Austen with a side of tea along with a specific monthly theme.

“Books, Tea and Austen are our spirit animals.” is their motto.

Pembertea reached out to me after the post was published and offered to send me a few boxes to review which I gladly took them up on their offer. This post is an honest review of those boxes.

Reader, they are exquisite.

Pembertea sent me two boxes, April and May 2018.

The boxes arrived in a branded mailing box.

Pembertea branded mailing box

First up is April.

The treats in each boxed are delicately wrapped and when opened, the delights are thoughtfully and carefully packed.

Pembertea April box part 1

 

April’s theme was “Emma” so the box contained all things Emma.

Pembertea April 2018 part 2

There is a tea strainer, tea, a bracelet charm, an Emma candle, Emma air freshner, and finally an Emma bookmark.

May’s was especially a delight as it celebrated  “Music, Mothers, and Matrimony.”

Pembertea May box part 1

It was especially adorable since Pembertea included buttons of Harry & Meghan to celebrate the Royal Wedding.

Pembertea May box part 2

Frameable music sheet, Austen soap, tea, Darcy pillowcase, bracelet charm, and Harry & Meghan buttons.

Overall, the boxes are divine. The items are thoughtfully curated and well made. I liked that the months I received were timely, Harry & Meghan!, other than the bracelet charm and tea which are constant, the boxes were wholly unique and catered to that month’s theme.

I love how involved they are within the Janeite community and their dedication to Austen (and tea) is evident in the items they choose for that particular month.

Pembertea also sells clothing, mugs, and other gifts as well as you can buy previous month’s boxes and specialty boxes.

The boxes are monthly and are $35 which for the amount of stuff you get is a great deal. If you prefer to order the boxes by theme instead of month, Pembertea has created a list of 2018’s boxes here.

This box is especially necessary for Austen fans as well as fans of Regency era gifts and most importantly, tea.

You can find Pembertea on their website, Facebook (where they post memes and all things Austen in addition to their wares), Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters links for June 17, 2018

Image for Austentatious Links

Here are your Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters related links for the week:

Book Review: Jane Steele

Image of the product reviews header image

Image for the cover of Jane SteeleTitle: Jane Steele
Author: Lyndsay Faye
Pub date: 2017
ISBN:  978-0425283202

[Amazon][BN][[IndieBound][Library][GoodReads][LibraryThing]

First impressions: A brilliant mash-up of Jane Eyre and serial killer novels, Jane Steele is an utter original in both plot and scope. I cannot gush enough on how much I love this book.


First, I cannot tell a lie. I started this book in the summer of 2017 but my own laziness that summer in reading was heightened when the print copy of the book was due back to the library before I finished. Sometime in the early spring of this year, I prowled through my library’s ebook collection and lo! Jane Steele was available to check out. Again, laziness intervened and finally, I gave myself a stern talking on checking out titles and not reading them, sat myself down and read. (I read seven books the week we were on vacation in May.  Feast or famine!) I am kicking myself for not finishing this last year!

Jane Steele tells the story of Jane Steele whose life runs parallel to Jane Eyre’s. Once Jane Steele’s father dies, she and her mother are whisked from their grand house by Jane’s aunt and creepy son to a small cottage on the property. One day, Jane accidentally kills her cousin who attempts to rape her and not long after, Jane’s mother succumbs to her madness from long held grief and dies. While the house was to be inherited by Jane upon her father’s demise when Jane was a toddler, her mother leaves behind no document or paperwork listing as such. Jane is shuttled off to a girl’s school where she accidentally murders the head teacher and this is when the story takes off.

When you think “Jane Eyre mixed with serial killers” as a pause in the material you will read, I can assure you it’s not as trite as it sounds. Faye takes very good care in honoring Jane Eyre, in fact, Jane Steele mentions much throughout the book Jane Eyre is her favorite novel and quotes from the book begin each chapter as well as Steele’s fondness for noting the parallels in their lives.

It’s meta upon meta.

Steele, for I must call her that to prevent further confusion, pulls herself up by her proverbial bootstraps, killing others until her body count is up to five, and attempts to win back her home. She changes her last name and presents herself as a governess to the new lord of the manor, Mr. Thornfield, for Thornfield’s adopted charge. The secrets that bound Thornfield are not a mad woman in an attic, but PTSD of sorts as well as secrets from his time in the Punjabi war. Coupled with Steele’s secrets including those dastardly murders of hers, Steele must reconcile her feelings for Thornfield along with her past. Will he accept her if he knows she’s a murderess?

You might be thinking, “No! She’s a murderess!” which yes, she is but she has very good reason to do so. She’s not a female Jack the Ripper but rather she kills accidentally and for good reason. Sorta like Dexter.

Jane Steele‘s subtitle is A Confession which it very much is with occasionally breaking the fourth wall as the story progresses. This plot device does not feel contrived or heavy-handed which was a bit of concern when I started reading and I was relieved to find out Faye handled that device with deft and care.

The book comes in at a hefty 500 pages which can be daunting to some but I promise the story will fly by quick. Steele is very much a character with whom you can empathize and hell, even cheer for. For its originality, character development, and unique take on Jane Eyre, I highly, highly recommend this book.

(I cannot leave this post off without quoting the following from the author’s note in the book because I genuinely lol’d

…if (Emily) Brontë lived today, it wouldn’t be impossible to picture her replying to troll tweets and one-star Amazon reviews…)

 

 

 

Jane Austen Architectural House

Image of a Timothy Richards' Jane Austen house

Timothy Richards is a plaster genius. Working in the style of Jean-Pierre Fouquet, who worked in Paris between 1780 and 1830, what we know as plaster of paris, Richards builds one of a kind commissions as well as models of popular work scaled to size. He’s recently turned his eye to Jane Austen’s home in Bath:

This detailed scale Timothy Richards house model made famous by its association to Jane Austen, her home and her life in Bath would make a beautiful decorative piece for display in any office, upon mantelpiece or bookshelf next to the complete works of the much loved author.

This typical Bath terrace is Palladian in its origins consisting of three storeys with an attic above. As with many Georgian houses it contains a fireplace in most rooms and represent the best of 18th century living. Jane Austen’s uncle lived in The Paragon and Jane would have visited regularly.

The models are handmade and are, as of this writing, in stock. Austen’s house is available to ship in the US and sells for $150.