Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday Salon: The List Lover’s Guide To Jane Austen And A Giveaway

Here we are at the first Sunday Salon of June. Where has the year gone sunday-salon-smallalready? While we’re in the middle of the year and some folks are still having winter weather, we can always rely on books for comfort no matter what the temperature is.

Today I have a unique book to tell you about in that it’s a series of quotes and quips from the life of one of the world’s most famous authors - Jane Austen. 

Have you ever wondered what books Jane Austen read? Or what her #1 pet peeve was?

Well now you can find the answers to these (and other) questions in THE LIST LOVER’S GUIDE TO JANE AUSTEN (ISBN: 978-cover1402282034, Trade Paperback) coming out this week from Sourcebooks. Released just in time for the 200th Anniversary of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, author Joan Strasbaugh is a “hard-core fan” and known in Jane circles around the world.

This is the first biography (that Sourcebooks knows of) to ever be composed of lists! To celebrate this new biography, Joan is touring blogdom through June 16. As part of the promotion she is giving away one copy of THE LIST LOVER’S GUIDE TO JANE AUSTEN to a lucky visitor to Thoughts. Please see the end of the post for the guidelines.

Sourcebooks and Joan are sharing some excerpts from this delightful book. These feature a few of the many fun and breezy lists that help us discover everything there is to know about Jane Austen, that sassy literary genius we know and love!

Trying to pin down Jane Austen is difficult—but nevertheless exciting! THE LIST LOVER’S GUIDE TO JANE AUSTEN is incredibly detailed and offers readers an in-depth look at the context of Jane Austen’s life from birth to her final days, and expands upon why she is still so relevant today in both literature and life.

Anyone who loves or appreciates Jane Austen’s smart, timeless literature will devour this text and will refer to it again and again. Lists like “Her Social Circle” and “Balls and Dances She Attended” weave a seamless portrait of the woman that Austen was — not based on her fictions, but on her facts.

While including extensive background information on the author (down to the very flowers she grew in her garden), the book also features juicy details like:
* Possible Suitors
* Who Broke Her Heart
* The Hearts She Broke
* Her Morbid Sense of Humor
* Jane’s Royal Ancestors

Here’s a couple of excerpts from this intriguing book to entice you a bit more. The first is:

Matilda, a play, Dr. Thomas Francklin 
Fables, John Gay 
Poems on Several Occasions, Dr. Moss Mentoria; or, The Young Ladies’ Instructor, Ann Murray 
Moral Tales, Dr. Thomas Percival 
Elegant Extracts, a literary anthology 
The Rivals, Richard Brinsley Sheridan
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Henry Fielding, 1749
The Mirror, a journal 
The Complete Italian Master, Giovanni Veneroni 
Mary Queen of Scots Vindicated, John Whitaker, 1787
The Wonder: A Woman Keeps a Secret, a play, Susannah Centlivre, 1714 
The Chances, a play, John Fletcher 
The Tragedy of Tragedies; or, The Life and Death of  Tom Thumb the Great, play, Henry Fielding, 1731 
The Sultan, a play, Isaac Bickerstaffe, 1784
High Life Below Stairs, a play, James Townley, 1759
Arthur Fitz--Albini, Egerton Brydges, 1798 
“We have got ‘Fitz--Albini’; my father has bought it against my private wishes, for it does not quite satisfy my feelings that we should purchase the only one of Egerton’s works of which his family are ashamed. That these scruples, however, do not at all interfere with my reading it, you will easily believe.  We have neither of us yet finished the first volume. My father is disappointed—I am not, for I expected nothing better.”
 —-Jane to Cassandra, November 25, 1798 
The Lady’s Monthly Museum (1798–99), essay 
“Effects of Mistaken Synonymy” included headline “Sense and Sensibility” 
Belinda, Maria Edgeworth (1801) 
Poetry of George Crabbe Marmion (1808), 
Sir Walter Scott Evelina; or, the History of a  Young Lady’s Entrance into the  World (1778), Frances Burney 
Lady Maclairn, the Victim of  Villainy (1806), Hunter of Norwich 
Travels in Spain (1809), Sir John Carr 
The Heroine; or, Adventures of a Fair Romance Reader (1813), E. S. Barrett
An Account of the Manner and Customs of Italy and A Journey from London to Genoa (1768), Joseph Baretti
Life of Lord Macartney, with Extracts from an Account of the Russian Empire, the Political History of Ireland and the Journal of an Embassy to China (1807), Sir John Barrow
The Hermit (1766) and The Minstrel (1771–-74), James Beattie 
Letters on the Modern History and Political Aspects of Europe (1804), History of Spain (1810), and A System of Geography and History (1812), John Bigland
Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1785) and Life of Samuel Johnson (1791, 1793), James Boswell 
Self--control (1810), Mary Brunton
Christian Researches in Asia (1811), Claudius Buchanan
Cecelia; or, Memoirs of an Heiress (1782), Fanny Burney
Clarentine (1798), Sarah Harriet Burney 
Life of James II (1816) and Sermons Preached in the Western Squadron (1798), James Stanier Clarke
The Shipwreck (1804), William Falconer
History of the Abolition of the African Slave Trade (1808), Thomas Clarkson 
The Tour of Dr. Syntax in Search of the Picturesque: A Poem (1812), William Combe 
Battleridge, an Historical Tale Founded on Facts, by a Lady of Quality (1799), Cassandra Cooke
Examination of the Necessity of Sunday--drilling (1803), Sermons, Chiefly Designed to Elucidate (1804), Practical and Familiar Sermons (1809), and Two Sermons Preached at Wolverhampton (1816), Reverend Edward Cooper
The Borough (1810) and Tales (1812), George Crabbe
Alphonsine; ou, La tendressematernelle (1806) and LesVeillŽes du Chateau (1784), Madame de Genlis
Lettresde Mmede SŽvignŽ (1726), Madame de Sévigné
Corinne; ou, L’Italie (1807), Madame de Stael
RobinsonCrusoe (1719), Daniel Defoe
Collection of Poems in Six Volumes by Several Hands (1758), Robert Dodsley 
The Peacock’s Ò At Home Ó (1807), Catherine Ann Dorset
Patronage (1814), Maria Edgeworth
Enquiry into the Duties of the Female Sex (1797), Thomas Gisborne
CalebWilliams (1794) and St. Leon (1799), William Godwin
The Vicar of  Wakefield (1766), Oliver Goldsmith
Letters from the Mountains; Being the Real Correspondence of a Lady between the Years 1773 and 1803 (1807) and Memoirs of an American Lady (1808), Anne Grant 
Writings of Elizabeth Hamilton 
Cantabrigia Depicta (1809–-11), R. B. Harraden 
Rosanne; or, A Father’s Labour Lost (1814), Laetitia Hawkins
The History of Great Britain, from the First Invasion of It by the Romans under Julius Caesar (1771–-93), Robert Henry
Guidadi Musica, Being a Complete Book of Instruction for the Harpsichord or Pianoforte (1790), James Hook
Letters from Mrs. Palmerstone to Her Daughter Inculcating Morality by Entertaining Narratives (1803), Rachel Hunter
Two Sermons (1808), Reverend Thomas Jefferson 
Pamphlet on cowpox (1798–-1800), Dr. Edward Jenner
Tableaudefamille, Jean de La Fontaine 
Midnight Bell, a German Story Founded on Incidents in Real Life (1798), Francis Lathom 
The Female Quixote; or, The Adventures of Arabella (1752), Charlotte Lennox 
GilBlas (1715–-35), Alain--René Lesage 
Travels in Iceland (1811), Lord Macartney and Sir George Mackenzie 
Paradise Lost (1667), John Milton 
CÏlebs in Search of a  Wife (1809) and Practical Piety (1811), Hannah More 
The Wild Irish Girl (1806) and Woman; or, Ida of Athens (1809), Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan)
Essay on the Military Policy and Institutions of the British Empire (1810), Sir Charles William Pasley
Letters to and from the Late Samuel Johnson (1788), Hester Piozzi 
Essay on Man (1733), Alexander Pope 
Lake of Killarney (1804), Anna Maria Porter
The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and others, Ann Radcliffe
Lady of the Lake (1810), Waverley (1814), The Field of  Waterloo (1815), Paul’s Letters to His Kinsfolk (1815), and The Antiquary (1816), Sir Walter Scott 
Letters from Italy (1766), Samuel Sharp
Several Discourses Preached at the Temple Church (1812), Thomas Sherlock 
Rejected Addresses; or, The New Theatrum Poetarum (1812), James and Horatio Smith 
Letters from England, by Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella (1807) 
The Life of Nelson (1896), and The Poet’s Pilgrimage to Waterloo (1816), Robert Southey 
Tristram Shandy (1760–67), Laurence Sterne 
Gulliver’s Travels (1726), Jonathan Swift 
Margiana, or  Widdrington Tower (1808), Henrietta Sykes Four Letters on Important National Subjects (1783), Reverend Dr. Josiah Tucker 
Aliciade Lacy: An Historical Romance (1814), Jane West Narrative of the Events  Which Have Taken Place in France (1815), Helen Maria Williams

Now for another fun list.

“My mother desires me to tell you that I am a very good housekeeper, which I have no reluctance in doing, because I really think it my peculiar excellence, and for this reason—I always take care to provide such things as please my own appetite, which I consider as the chief merit in housekeeping. I have had some ragout veal, and I mean to have some haricot mutton to--morrow.  We are to kill a pig soon.”
Cold souse
“Caroline, Anna & I have just been devouring some cold Souse, & it would be difficult to say which enjoyed it most.”
Boiled fowl
Boiled chicken
Ragout veal
Haricot mutton
Pease soup
Asparagus & a lobster 
“At Devizes we had comfortable rooms, & a good dinner to which we sat down about 5; amongst other things we had Asparagus & a Lobster which made me wish for you, & some cheesecakes on which the children made so delightful a supper as to endear the Town of Devizes to them for a long time.” 
Gooseberry pie 
Gooseberry pudding 
Sandwiches allover mustard 
“I believe I drank too much wine last night at Hurstbourne; I know not how else to account for the shaking of my hand to day.” 
Bath buns 
“We must husband our present stock of Mead; & I am sorry to perceive that our 20 Gal: is very nearly out.—I cannot comprehend how the 14 Gal: cd last so long.” 
Toasted cheese 
Apple dumplings 
Rice pudding 
“When you receive this, our guests will be all gone or going; and I shall be left to the comfortable disposal of my time, to ease of mind from the torments of rice puddings and apple dumplings, and probably to regret that I did not take more pains to please them all.” 
Boiled leg of mutton 
Bad butter 
“At Dartford, which we reached within the two hours and three--quarters, we went to the Bull, the same inn at which we breakfasted in that said journey, and on the present occasion had about the same bad butter.” 
Tart and jelly 
“Mr. K. went away early;—Mr. Moore succeeded him, & we sat quietly working & talking till 10; when he ordered his wife away, & we adjourned to the Dressing room to eat our Tart & Jelly.” 
Orange wine 
Ice and French wine 
Spruce beer 
Apple pie 
Preserved ginger 
Black butter 
“The  Widgeon, & the preserved Ginger were as delicious as one could wish. But as to our Black Butter, do not decoy anybody to Southampton by such a lure, for it is all gone.”
“Mr. Egerton & Mr.  Walter came at ½ past 5, & the festivities began with a pr of very fine Soals.” 
China tea 
Neck of mutton 
“I had a few lines from Henry on Tuesday to prepare us for himself & his friend, & by the time that I had made the sumptuous provision of a neck of Mutton on the occasion, they drove into the Court—but lest you should not immediately recollect in how many hours a neck of Mutton may be certainly procured, I add that they came a little after twelve—both tall, & well, & in their different degrees agreable.” 
Port and brandy 
Stilton cheese 
Veal cutlets and cold ham 
Soup, fish, bouillŽe, partridges, and an apple tart 
“MdeBigeon was below dressing us a most comfortable dinner of Soup, Fish, Bouillée, Partridges & an apple Tart, which we sat down to soon after 5, after cleaning & dressing ourselves & feeling that we were most commodiously disposed of.” 
Soup, wine and water 
Sugar loaf 
Roast fowl 
Pickled cucumbers 
Sea kale 
“At 7 we set off in a Coach for the Lyceum—were at home again in about 4 hours and 1/2—had Soup & wine & water, & then went to our Holes.”

Joan Strasbaugh has been a proud Janeite for half of her life. She now

works as the senior editor of Abbeville Press in New York, and notably organized the Jane Austen in the 21st Century Humanities Festival at the University of Wisconsin. 

A former publisher at Jones Books, Joan also holds a membership to the Jane Austen Society of North America.

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES: To enter this giveaway, please send me an e-mail ( with the subject line, “Win THE LIST LOVER’S GUIDE.” Your message should include your name and mailing address. The contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only and no post office box addresses can be accepted. And, just so you know, I don’t share this information with anyone other than the publisher nor use it for any other purpose. The deadline to enter this giveaway for a chance to win a copy of THE LIST LOVER’S GUIDE TO JANE AUSTEN is 8 p.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, June 11.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. What kind of list would you like to see compiled about Jane Austen?


  1. Hi Mason and Joan - this sounds absolutely fascinating and I'm sure will be a huge success - a very good Christmas/Birthday book ..

    I'm not sure that there could be much more to be added to the lists Joan Strasbaugh appears to have compiled ..

    Good luck to whomever wins ... cheers Hilary

  2. Mason - What an interesting perspective on Jane Austen! That must have taken quite a lot of research and I'll bet it's fascinating. Thanks for sharing.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.