The Week: 1st – 7th May

Yesterday was the second anniversary of my Ukrainian grandmother’s death. We dropped by the cemetery, and the whole place was full of kangaroos (look how huge the males are!!)! I took a video of them all jumping through, but I haven’t uploaded it yet.

Gorgeous days in Canberra.

The galahs are back and eating another hole in our centuries-old eucalyptus tree. The little idiots don’t look remotely repentant for the destruction they’re taking part in!

And this little creature has moved in permanently. Very tame, and happy to sit near you on the deck.

It has been a good few weeks for reading for me. It’s one of those times of the year where it seems all my favourites have a book coming out, and I have a sea of great review books to pick from.

My review of Marry in Haste (Convenient Marriage series #1) by Anne Gracie

My review of What Regency Women Did for Us by Rachel Knowles

The Making of Romance Covers

Copyright and Book Covers

The Death of a Prima Ballerina

 Fabio on Fox

What Regency Women Did for Us by Rachel Knowles

Regency women inhabited a very different world from the one in which we live today. Considered intellectually inferior to men, they received little education and had very few rights. This book tells the inspirational stories of twelve women, from very different backgrounds, who overcame often huge obstacles to achieve success. These women were pioneers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs, authors, scientists and actresses women who made an impact on their world and ours. In her debut non-fiction work, popular history blogger Rachel Knowles tells how each of these remarkable ladies helped change the world they lived in and whose legacy is still evident today. Two hundred years later, their stories are still inspirational.

What Regency Women Did for Us by Rachel Knowles

I’m not sure why this book has such average reviews; it delivered exactly what I expected it to!

What Regency Women Did for Us gives brief but heavily-researched biographies of women of the Georgian/Regency eras. This includes women who had careers that people of the era (and perhaps even now) would be shocked to see a woman involved in, and some women who never married, giving them freedom to choose their own futures.

I read books like these for the facts, and appreciate authors who can pack a lot of detail into fairly short sections. It makes it a good book to read in bits and pieces, and really challenges the idea women of the past were all passive and boring.

It delivered exactly what I wanted it to.

I don’t know what the version on sale is like, but I did have some issues with the formatting in my review copy (it kept jumping to the last few pages). Hopefully this is fixed now.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

The Week: 3rd – 9th April

^^^^

Driving from Queanbeyan to Canberra on Thursday afternoon. A few hours later there was a terror attack in Queanbeyan, and this road was the one the attackers used to escape interstate (the state border is at the rise up ahead on the road). Now I’ll always think of that when I see this gorgeous picture.

More of that lower in this post.

^^^^

Visiting the Treasures of Versailles exhibition at the National Gallery yesterday. Canberra has had an exclusive exhibition from Versailles for a few months now (including stuff like Marie Antoinette’s harp and Madame de Pompadour’s furniture), but because I was overseas I didn’t get there until this weekend. We actually tried to visit last week, but it was so busy everywhere we couldn’t even find a place to park! Yesterday the queue to get into the exhibition was so long it ran the entire length of the building, but we were determined to visit! It ends next week.

Dropping my brother home in the city yesterday afternoon.

Gorgeous, sunny autumn afternoon.

Parrots everywhere in Canberra now the autumn berries are coming out.

There was an Islamic State-inspired terror attack here overnight from Thursday to Friday this week. Of course – because nothing makes the news unless it happens in Sydney or Melbourne – it was barely reported.

The details of it are appalling, and I won’t go into them, but two teenaged boys went on a fourteen-hour rampage. The final stabbing happened on my aunt’s street, a few metres from her front door – it could have been her.

The house one of the attackers lived in and that was raided by police is a few doors from the house my grandmother lived in until she died in 2015. The murder at the service station happened close to where I’d met people for lunch a few hours earlier, and near our Ukrainian hall. The two guys were caught across the border here in Canberra, a few streets from my house, on a road I’d been down twice that day.

Literally every location a crime was committed during the rampage was somewhere I’d been on Thursday, and also somewhere I had a personal connection to.

While Canberra is the capital city, Queanbeyan is basically a country town, a small community just over the state border, and it is so shocking that now terrorism can literally happen anywhere.

I’m so angry that it barely made the news, because things only get reported if they happen in “known” cities.

A Visit to Dr Johnson’s House

Meet the ‘Grammar Vigilante’ of Bristol

My review of A Perfect Gentleman by Candace Camp

My review of Courtship and Marriage in Jane Austen’s World (Jane Austen Regency Life #2) by Maria Grace

Make a Date with Harlequin – Viking!

Make a Date with Harlequin – Cowboy!

Courtship and Marriage in Jane Austen’s World (Jane Austen Regency Life #2) by Maria Grace

Courtship and Marriage in Jane Austen's World (Jane Austen Regency Life #2) by Maria Grace

Jane Austen’s books are full of hidden mysteries for the modern reader. Why on earth would Elizabeth Bennet be expected to consider a suitor like foolish Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice? Would Lydia’s ‘infamous elopement’ truly have ruined her family and her other sisters’ chances to marry?  Why were the Dashwood women thrown out of their home after Mr. Dashwood’s death in Sense and Sensibility, and what was the problem with secret engagements anyway? And then there are settlements, pin money, marriage articles and many other puzzles for today’s Austen lovers.

Customs have changed dramatically in the two centuries since Jane Austen wrote her novels. Beyond the differences in etiquette and speech, words that sound familiar to us are often misleading. References her original readers would have understood leave today’s readers scratching their heads and missing important implications.

Take a step into history with Maria Grace as she explores the customs, etiquette and legalities of courtship and marriage in Jane Austen’s world. Packed with information and rich with detail from Austen’s novels, Maria Grace casts a light on the sometimes bizarre rules of Regency courtship and unravels the hidden nuances in Jane Austen’s works.

Courtship and Marriage in Jane Austen’s World (Jane Austen Regency Life #2) by Maria Grace

Sometimes, no matter how much you know about a topic, it’s nice when someone puts it all together and gives it all some context.

This was the case with Courtship and Marriage. If you read as much about England in the early nineteenth century as I do, you’re not going to be surprised by much here, but this was definitely one of the better little books about life in the Regency era.

Additionally, the facts are explained in relation to the characters of Jane Austen’s books; Austen critics (of the ‘Why doesn’t Elizabeth Bennet do blah, blah, blah instead of just sitting there?!’ ilk) could benefit from the historical context author Maria Grace gives the characters’ actions.

I found this book via a link to a blog post on Twitter, so now I have found both a good historical blog and an author to follow in the future.