So Jane Austen and H. P. Lovecraft Marry and have a Baby…

…well what the h-e-double-toothpicks am I supposed to say?

Time to test your favorite Librarian’s insulin levels…not to mention the tensile structure of their arteries.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance – Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! (Paperback)

Co-written by Jane Austen, who has fittingly been dead for quite some time, and a person named Seth Grahame-Smith.  Who knows what they really do in their spare time.

I’ll give you my favorite reviewer’s take on this:

“The literary community should never be too proud to laugh at itself. I own three copies of the original “Pride & Prejudice” plus all the movies, so my husband and I bought this the moment we spotted it on the shelf (and laughed all the way to the register).

Fans need to read this book tongue-in-cheek and prepare to laugh WITH it. If you don’t like zombies or consider yourself a Jane Austen purist, if you admire only the most intricate writing and consider this sort of work irreverent, then you’ll be appalled more than amused. The level of writing IS degenerated from the original but, considering the subject matter, I don’t think “quality” was the forethought of the day. “Brains” is more like it.

On a literary note, the juxtaposition of familiar classic and farcical horror makes for harmless, laugh-out-loud comedy. I applaud this idea and hope the “Quirk Classics” line hammers out more spoofs on stories I love.

The only thing I find annoying is the last line of the blurb: “transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.” I’m perfectly capable of enjoying BOTH, thankyouverymuch. (EA Blevins)”

Best quote EVER:

“few thought it worth the expense to dress the dead in finery when they would only soil it upon crawling out of their graves.”

Rarely can one say that the reading of the book reviews is as entertaining and witty as reading of the book itself.  But see for yourself.  Honest, folks.  Austen hasn’t given me such a horror since I saw the identical twins of Austen’s book hiding out in the anarchist forestlands of Ray Bradbury’s movie version of FAHRENHEIT 451.

Fear not, gentle reader, Jane Austen WROTE A SEQUEL…with a little help from her (ghostwriter??) friend Ben H. Winters:

“Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is a multiplayered study of love, sisterhood, and giant octopi.  We hope these questions will deepen your appreciation and enjoyment of this towering work of classic sea-monster literature.”

Let me say in passing, if you page to the back of this book and read the Readerer’s Discussion Guide, please do so without eating, drinking, or attempting to hold a conversation.  It is full of poignant thoughts, such as,  “Have you ever been attacked by giant lobsters, figuratively or literally?”

Oh, heavens.

Published in: on October 22, 2009 at 1:58 pm  Leave a Comment  


Because everyone needs a fresher course in how differently the British talk from us weird Americans…

Warning…the author of this site DOES do translating.  Some persnickety parents might not like the factual language, or worse, learn the hard way their kids already know what the word means…

American to British dictionary online…

Published in: on October 20, 2009 at 6:20 am  Leave a Comment  

The French Republican Calendar: The Perfect Writing Meme

The French Republican Calendar is no more or less accurate than any other out there, but the sheer brilliance of its design stands out.  Each day of the year has a “name” based on something natural for the season.

Going to the conversion link, Calendar Converter I put in

1929, October 20th

And found this:

The 138th day of the French Republican Calendar, in the season of Vend miaire, (Month of the Grape Harvest),  the ninth day of the 3rd week.

On the Wikipedia page this is called orge, or, “Day of Barley.”


Published in: on October 20, 2009 at 2:04 am  Comments (5)  

Victorian Money: A Sherlock Holmes Explanation

This is an excerpt of the Studium–a serious hobbyist reference!  Holmes lovers ought to enjoy the explanation of the coins mentioned in Canon, as well as the images of said coins and which Adventures used the money.  I especially like the paragraph in the opening, for it was oh, so true:

“To a small extent, it was their dealing with the coinage of Victorian England that made them a little more real, a little more human, a little more legendary.”

Late Victorian Coinage and how it Applies to Sherlock Holmes

Help! I Need a Canon Illustration of Sherlock Holmes!

A website with the goal of representing the visual aspects of the Sherlock Holmes Canon as well as possible.  Camden House: The Complete Sherlock Holmes

The artists on this site:

Sydney Paget; Frederic D. Steele; R. Gutschmidt; Josef Friedrich; Frank Wiles; H. W. Hyde

Other Artists: F. H. Townsend; A. Twidle; G. Halliday; J. Simpson; H. M. Brock; A. Ball; W. Paget;A. Gilbert; H. K. Elcock

Modern Artists: Lysander; R. Wilcox; Oliver Mundy

Help! I need Victorian Life Photos!

I still cannot believe the size of this website.  They were very, very good at scouring out the old archives for photographs of England!  I recommend hours of surfing; some of these shots are frankly eerie and thought-provoking.

English Heritage

Help! I don’t have a World Calendar for 1895!

Are you a Research Addict?  Does it BOTHER you when you’re writing out a really good piece of fan fiction when you stop and go, “gak!  What DAY did October 12th, 1882 fall on?  I need to be accurate!

Check out this website.  It not only gives you the day in Gregorian or Julian calendar, but Afghan, Kurdish, Hebrew, French Republic…and a whole bunch of others.  I really suggest you check ’em out…it gives one’s birthday a whole different perspective to see when they were born on the Mayan Calendar…

Convert your birthday

Were you born on the day of the Crocus, or donkey, or billy goat, or billhook on the French Republican Calendar?  You owe it to yourself to find out…especially because interesting people from Karl Marx to Zola used the dates for inspiration…did you know the origin of Lobster Thermidor?  Go have an inspirational moment:

Use this link to get going with the other helpful sites

Published in: on October 11, 2009 at 8:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Help! I’ve Lost My Sacred Text in the Airport!

God(s) forbid, but it can happen.  I know one guy who lost his Medicine Pipe in a Greyhound.

From African to Zoroastrianism, please use this site when you are researching.  You won’t be sorry.  Since 1999, this has been a hard-working labor of love and religious tolerance.

Sacred Texts Online

Published in: on October 11, 2009 at 4:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Praising the Stinging Nettle

The stinging nettle is the only stinging plant in Great Britain.  Inevitably, it has found a place of honor in the English language (we are a language of metaphors and comparisons, what Rita Mae Brown called the gutteral speech of Anglo Saxon married to the music of Latin).

The ancient Romans used the stinging nettle in the steam-baths to whip the rheumatoid arthritis out of their joints (the hollow hairs inject irritant into the skin and provides temporary relief).  People have been enthusiastically eating it since its flavor-resemblance to spinach was noted, and there are still excellent textiles woven today of nettle fibers.

Nettles figure in the pagan Anglo-Saxon “Nine Herbs Charm” which is quite the recipe using common herbs and a beaten egg.  It is also used in the following delightful ways:

“To sit in nettles” a German phrase for those who seek out trouble (as if it won’t come a-calling on its own)!

“nettle”:  to annoy someone.

“to grasp the nettle” means to take up the problem that is being ignored…possibly related to Shakespeare’s Hotspur, who said,

“out of this nettle, (danger), we grasp this flower (safety)” (Henry IV, part 1, Act II Scene 3).

If one tries to grip the plant gingerly, they will be sincerely stung by the hollow stinging hairs.  But, if one grasps the nettle firmly, many of the hairs are crushed, preventing a large portion of the painful injection.  In other words, face a problem head-on, and it won’t hurt nearly as much.

Published in: on October 11, 2009 at 4:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Help! I can’t tell sinestro from dextro!

Affixes: The Building Blocks of English We’ve all had days like this…don’t deny it.

You wake up and you can’t tell your legal right from left.  Sometimes that isn’t a problem, but when you’re about to take a test, go on JEOPARDY, or worse, deal with the token family knowitall, this temporary brain-cramp can be paralyzing.

Published in: on October 11, 2009 at 3:39 am  Leave a Comment