Jane Austen by Candlelight – or was it a lamp?

Wonderful glimpse into Austen’s life; love it. 🙂

Jane Austen's London

In September 1813 Jane Austen was staying with her brother Henry at his Henrietta Street address in Covent Garden, along with their brother Edward, his daughter Fanny and two of Fanny’s younger sisters. On the 16th Jane wrote to her sister Cassandra, ‘We are now all four of us young Ladies sitting around the Circular Table in the inner room writing our Letters, while the two Brothers are having a comfortable coze in the room adjoining.’1-Barretts bill minor crop

It is a charming picture, but how were the four ladies illuminating their work? Probably not with smelly tallow dip candles, unless they were in an economical mood. Those were made from mutton fat, usually contained bits of meat, smelled strongly and, in homes with any pretence to gentility, were Candle advert cropconfined to the service areas.

There was an “economy” candle available – tallow with a wick that had been dipped in wax which…

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20 Books That Will Change Your Life

Interesting… a couple of books I want to read.

Thought Catalog

1. Paint It Black by Janet Fitch

This was one of those books I read as I entered my 20’s and have the tendency to re-read at least once a year. It follows a young woman whose boyfriend commits suicide and the weird path she goes down trying to piece it all together. Fitch is a fantastic writer who likes to use California as a backdrop to women figuring themselves out.

2. The Best of Roald Dahl by Roald Dahl

It wasn’t until I was 21 that I realized my favorite author as a child also wrote fiction for adults. And as I’ve discovered, most people don’t . This is a collection of his more popular short stories, many of which inspired by his time spent in the British military and truly a testament to what an amazing writer he was. It’s a little something to grow with you from…

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Want a Fun Way to Start Your Novel?

writing collage

Here’s a fun way to start your novel — collaging.  I explain the process in this post:

Free write elements for your collage
Free writing is simple to do – I like to think of it as free form brainstorming.

Here’s how to free write. Set a timer for five minutes, and start writing. It doesn’t matter much what you write. The results of a particular free writing session aren’t important.

Collaging is a wonderful way to start your book. You’ll find that it also helps to keep you inspired, and on track. My students love this process; I hope you do, too.

photo credit: ‘Playingwithbrushes’ via photopin cc