I am heartbroken. My wonderful Wildcats could not get past Wisconsin in the semi-final game. The pundits are saying that if Kentucky and Wisconsin played ten times Kentucky would win seven. Unfortunately that is not how it works in NCAA basketball. This is not the NBA playoffs or the World Series. I know some of the Cats will leave. They are such good friends and they will remain in each other’s lives I’m sure. However, they’ll never play together again for the National Championship. They are all wonderful boys with a great sense of what is right. They will continue to help the less fortunate and be an asset to the world. Congrats, Wildcats on a 38-1 season.
I just re-read Tale of Two Cities (for probably the tenth time since I used to teach it to high school seniors.) It is still a masterpiece one hundred and fifty or so years in, and, despite its setting in the late 1700s, the blind brutality created by anger and hate of one group of people for another could just as easily be the subject of a modern novel. Oh, if Charles Dickens were only here to tell it.
Love is evident in Tale of Two Cities as Lucie Manette, the golden thread, ties together disparate friends and family by her almost angelic nature. Yet, if not for the quick thinking of Sydney Carton, even the sweet Lucie and her innocent daughter and the great favorite of the Revolution, Dr. Manette, would have joined the poor and patriotic seamstress at the foot of La Guillotine. Why? Is it because some people like to kill? Madame Defarge certainly fits that scenario. Is it because in a cause, which begins for rational purposes, reason can be overwhelmed by fervor gone terribly awry? That describes the situation in 1792 France. Or is it because the poor have no other avenue? The peasants in Paris and the countryside under the rule of men like Marquis Evremonde came to believe that to be true.
Today France is of course restored to normalcy and has been for many generations. Even in Dickens’ Victorian England he was looking back at the past in France and perhaps hinting, not so subtly, that a lot of the same disparity that caused that vindictive revolt in France was alive in his England, where the poor still suffered in debtors prisons, in workhouses and on the streets of London.
Today may be pleasant in France, and from my personal observations, might even be the most pleasant of anywhere on the globe. However, the French Revolution seems to be revisiting in new locales in the Twenty-first Century. New dissatisfaction prevails. People still hate others. Some are impoverished; others are greedy. Many manipulate for personal and political gain. Hate spews against those who are different. Religions are twisted to facilitate malice.
The question now appears to be “Will man’s place on the planet Earth last the fifty or so years for a new Dickens to describe the horrors of our current time?”
“Mr. Darcy and the Lady with the Fine Eyes” is going to be in print on Amazon by the end of February. The Kindle reviews have been heartening, so please buy the print copy for your library.
Following are a few of the five star Kindle comments:
“Oh, What a Darcy!”
“Love at First Sight.”
“A Very Positive Rendition.” I have read 200+ of these variations. Glenna Mason is in the top 15.
“For Lovers of all Things Jane and Happy Endings.”
“Masterpiece!” I have read MANY variations of P and P and this is by far the most well-written.”
Just a little flavor for you of the positive feedback.
My long-suffering son (because he has to continuously help me navigate the computer) and I have recently placed my Regency era romance novel, Mr. Darcy & The Lady With The Fine Eyes–a Pride and Prejudice What If? book–on Amazon. It is currently on Kindle only, but in April, we will add a print copy. I am very excited. Already many people have read it and some have even generously given the work favorable reviews.
Mr. Darcy and the Lady with the Fine Eyes is a brand new look at what might have happened if Darcy had not met Elizabeth Bennet until her August trip to Derbyshire with her Aunt and Uncle Gardner.
It is filled with all your favorite Pride and Prejudice heroes/heroines and of course all the old familiar villains as well.
Join in the fun as Darcy falls in love at first sight this time and has to convince Elizabeth he is worthy. Watch Mr. Bennet outsmart Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine in one fell swoop, while carefully keeping Mrs. Bennet out of smart society’s way.
Can it be that Kitty and Georgiana become best friends as well as school mates, making their debuts together? And what of Mary? She gets a beau of a lifetime.
Who helps Darcy find Lydia for Elizabeth when Wickham spirits her away?
Don’t worry Bingley and Caroline and Jane and Anne and Charlotte all play a role, as do several new characters. It is early nineteenth century England at its best. Don’t miss it. A great read if I do say so myself.
I think I fell in love with Mr. Darcy at age 14. I love all of Jane Austen’s novels and have read each of them innumerable times, but Pride and Prejudice tops my list of all time favorite stories. I have read it at least 20 times (remember I’m not a spring chicken.)
When the BBC came out with their rendition of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth, I knew perfection had been reached. The summer after the series came to television I was vacationing in Portugal with two of my friends. One evening we happened to be seated next to two British ladies, also on vacation in Portugal. They and I began to talk about the BBC Pride and Prejudice. The conversation continued through the dinner and several glasses of wine. The charm has never ended. I have copies of the film on both VHS and DVD. I haven’t watched it twenty times, but I have seen it at least six or seven. Only this week I loaned my DVD to a friend. Within two days she had watched it all.
Glenna Mason is my pen name. I write mystery/romance novels set in the Bluegrass of Kentucky. I have also written two Pride and Prejudice What If? novels. What fun they were to write. I adore Jane Austen. And every woman loves Mr. Darcy.
As for the mystery/romances, the main characters are a couple who fall in love in the first mystery, In the Rafters. Four of the novels are set in the Bluegrass of Kentucky, one on a ski trip to Vermont and the sixth on a vacation in Russia. It has been a pleasure to invent Millicent and Lute Girard. They and their friends are constantly embroiled in one misadventure after another. They clear up one murder, kidnapping or theft and a second seemingly follows immediately in its tracks.
The Girards have two farms, a thoroughbred breeding farm and a standard bred training farm. Lute is himself a fairly famous trainer and sulky driver. Millicent rides like a dream and oversees her mares and foals, between teaching classes at EKU. Her specialty is Mystery Fiction. She’s also an expert on Shakespeare.
One wouldn’t think that treachery and spite and horror would visit such bucolic sites, but it does. The Girards are magnets for the mysterious.
The Pride and Prejudice romances are The Pleasure of Mr. Darcy’s Love and The Lady with the Fine Eyes. The former begins its story the moment Elizabeth turns down Darcy’s proposal when they are both visiting in Kent. This is of course halfway through the original tale. The latter takes a totally different approach. Its story begins in Derbyshire. Elizabeth is traveling with her aunt and uncle. Darcy is at Pemberley. They have not yet met. He sees her and her fine eyes when he lunches at the Lambton Inn. Unlike the circumstances in Jane Austen’s plot, Darcy is immediately smitten, but is she?
What luck to be born in the horse country of central Kentucky. Fields of horses have always been my favorite sight. Horses are exquisite whether racing with their foals across spring’s verdant bluegrass or nuzzling for a little surprise in winter’s brilliant snow.
All horses are magnificent. I do not care if they are thoroughbreds (according to the signs in Kentucky 90% of thoroughbreds are born in Kentucky), saddlebreds (three gaited and five gaited beauties who perform at horse shows), standardbreds (which compete with each other at the trots, showcasing their skills in front of a sulky), polo ponies (which are really the size of horses of course) or actual ponies like Spot of my childhood.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not an accomplished rider and certainly not a proficient bettor. But besides the famous racetracks of Kentucky I have been to the races in Chicago (My own horse ran there), Australia (Imagine my delight when the first sign I saw at Sydney’s racetrack was one promoting Churchill Downs), New Orleans and Deauville. I was fortunate enough to ride in Normandy too and through the beautiful woods of the Homestead. I watched my grandfather’s and my uncle’s horses compete in horse shows, but those blue-bloods were too superior for me to ride. I’d have been off on my duff in no time at all.
If truth be known I love all animals. I am an activist when it comes to promoting the well being of animals throughout the world.
I am one of those rabid UK basketball fans that you often hear about from November until April. Every year my daughter Lee and I travel to the SEC Tournament to cheer on the Cats. We like to go to Nashville because not only is it near to Louisville, where we both live, but it is also a place where music is everywhere. Atlanta is very welcoming and has a fabulous zoo with panda bears and a white tiger. UK has had such great success there that Cat fans have nicknamed the city CATLANTA. Best of all is New Orleans. I love their jazz, their restaurants and their ambiance. The tourney is seldom in New Orleans, which only adds to the excitement when it is.
Of course we love our coach, John Calipari. He really takes his responsibility to his young players seriously. When they leave, most are still WILDCATS forever. Cal continues to mentor them and we fans cheer them when they return and follow them in whatever career they choose. They often come back to Kentucky to play in alumni games for charity, to run camps for young girls and boys, and often just to be in the crowd. In the latter case they usually end up in the middle of the court with arms stretched out in a Y as the last letter in the cheer KENTUCKY.
We have many famous fans. Some are politicians, some rap artists, some NBA players, some actors and actresses. My favorite fan is the very loyal Hollywood star, Ashley Judd. She loves Kentucky and its basketball as much as I; she is often in the row behind the team, dressed in UK blue and white, cheering louder than anybody.
We always start the games with the national anthem and end with My Old Kentucky Home.
I guess everyone knows that UK fans, coaches and players like to win championships. We’re hoping to catch UCLA someday. Eight down and three to go.
I spent my week-end enjoying the enduring legacy of my favorite two authors: William Shakespeare and Jane Austen.
Louisville, happily my hometown for almost fifty years, is fortunate to have the longest running series of “Shakespeare in the Park” dramas in the country. This year the company is doing eight different plays. On the Fourth of July my friends and I went to see Henry V. Two thirds of the way through the drama the fireworks began all around. Too bad Henry and his army didn’t have guns; the sound effects would have been quite appropriate.
This Saturday we went to see Midsummer Night’s Dream. We got there too late to get a bench seat so sat on the grass behind tall lounge chairs and a tree or two. Anytime the players got too low or too far upstage we had to guess what was happening. For example, we didn’t really get a clear view of the famous “wall’s stones” speech. But it must have been high point of the night, because the rest of the crowd hooted and cheered.
Then Sunday we went to Locust Grove, a famous Louisville historic home, built by the sister and brother-in-law of the city’s founder, George Rogers Clark. We toured the house, saw lace being made and found out that back stairs from one of the bedrooms was designed for travelers. It was all fascinating stuff.
However, the main reason we were at Locust Grove was to join in the fun of the Jane Austen Festival, held annually on the beautiful grounds of the mansion. There were gentlemanly duels, ladies trying their hand at archery, Mr. Darcy look alike contests, formal teas and costumes galore. In fact at the annual promenade on Saturday, the Louisville Jane Austen Festival won accolades as the largest Austen era costume parade in the world, with 491 Regency-costumed participants, thereby easily beating out the reigning champion, Bath, the famous English resort town, which had 409 at its last festival. The Louisville festival has been trying for several years to best Bath, and they finally succeeded.
As you can see, Louisville is a lot of fun. You should all try it sometime.