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Jane Austen: A Hidden Gem and Austen Fashion: Collaboration Post with The Italian Bunny Report

Jane Austen; a wonderful and inspirational woman for her time and now. I'm sure she will continue to inspire women and those who are in love with her novels. I feel it really is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is one the most acclaimed female authors of all time.

This is my first collaboration! Yay! Let me introduce you to Jessica over at The Italian Bunny Report. Make sure you follow! So, we've decided to do a lovely Jane Austen themed post. Jessica is going to take care of the Austen inspired wardrobe. Whereas I will show you a quaint place near to where I live. I could have popped to London or somewhere more 'officially Austen', but I think it is nice to know that wherever you are, there is still a little bit of nostalgia, magic and romance.

Amongst the hustle and bustle of a crowded Southend-on-sea, is a hidden gem. Priory Park. I must admit I hadn't been there for many years and had forgotten its 'Secret Garden' style nooks and crannies. Prittlewell Priory was once home to Saxons, Monks and a Victorian Family. There is a definite feeling of a connection to the past. One of the magical things about Austen's novels, now, is a feeling of a connection of a time gone by.

So I set off for Prittlewell Priory, instead of on horseback I was behind the wheel. Just like when Jane Bennet set of for Netherfield Park it began to pour down with rain. But soon I was in the grounds of the magical Priory, though not greeted by Mr Bingley! Camera in hand I battled the pouring rain, and tried to represent this wonderful place in the form of photography. Enjoy.

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

“You must learn some of my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”

“They walked on, without knowing in what direction. There was too much to be thought, and felt, and said, for attention to any other objects.” 

(all photography by Kerry Snode)
Austen Fashion by Jessica, The Bunny Report
Hey guys! Nice to meet you all! For the "fashion" part of today's topic, Jane Austen, I came up with a few things. First of all I'd like to introduce my favourite Austen character ever: Elizabeth Bennet from Pride & Prejudice. I prefer her to everyone else because she seems to me the one who matures the most during the story. 

Her character's journey is not one of just luggage and carriage rides to Pemberley, but more of an inner one: her initial pride and prejudice morphs into understanding and accepting people, discovering what is really important in the end: retracing one's steps, recognizing one's mistakes and always give someone a second chance.


 I love how Austen managed to roll all of a woman's talents, virtues and vices into one female. She loves reading books, she dances very well, she gets angry and fights for her rights, she can play the piano AND sing. Lizzie Bennet played by Jennifer Ehle (BTW I prefer 100 times more the 1995 BBC version.. sorry, I really can't stand Keira Knightly!) even managed to look demure whilst trying hard not to laugh in a particular funny scene [see image above]. Lastly, she's the sister everyone would want: completely devoted to Jane... she makes me wish I had one too!

Bear in mind that Austen provides details of fashion and furnishings only to convey an idea of the personality of her characters. Having said that, thank goodness for period drama, hey? As you may have noticed from the above image, Regency fashion was completely different from anything before. Fussy corsets and weird-shaped contraptions were cast aside leaving space for the female body to finally BREATHE and move more freely. If you watched the films/dramas you might have noticed the difference in dressing between the various social classes: the Bennet girls are very care-free in Emperor style cotton dresses, whilst high society fashion divas like Miss Bingley sport heavier and more  refined materials. I also noticed how the accessories of the latter are a bit too over-the-top compared to the simple and tasteful evening bags and gold-chained necklaces that Lizzie wears.

 Here is my idea of what a modern Lizzie Bennet would wear. I think she'd probably be a bit preppy with a nose for vintage and a good bargain, but she becomes more feminine when she's invited to a modern-day Pemberley ball/gala in this simple but lovely dress. I feel she would go with the motto "Less is more" and use only 3 essential accessories. Her personality is her main weapon! by Jessica

That's the end of today's collaboration post, let us know what you think! Don't forget to head over to The Italian Bunny Report for lovely blogging goodness, and maybe follow her, who knows you might get followed back! Till next time!


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