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Pride and Prejudice: Dungeons and Dragons Alignment Chart

A Pride and Prejudice alignment chart, Dungeons and Dragons style! This is how I spent my youth--playing dungeons and dragons style games and watching Pride and Prejudice every weekend. Visit the article for the reasons and explanations:) #janeausten

When two worlds collide, great things can occur. (Or, the worlds explode and everyone dies.)

Thankfully, this time it is only GREAT THINGS (I promise). After all, what could be more glorious than bringing Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) into every part of our lives, including that part occupied by our favorite author, Jane Austen? This is how I spent my youth–playing D&D style games and watching Pride and Prejudice every weekend.

If you are unfamiliar with D&D, it’s a fantasy role playing game you can do from your kitchen table with paper and pencil and a few friends. One of the most notable things about D&D is the character alignments. When you create your character, you can choose one of nine alignments (or ten, if you choose unaligned). You are good, neutral, or evil, and then either chaotic, neutral, or lawful, with any combination of those two. There are quite a few alignments around the internet of popular television shows and novels, and I had to add mine to the pile beginning with Pride and Prejudice.

On the axis of Good vs Evil, one does not need to be a murderer to be classed as evil. It is a relative concept. This is also true for chaotic vs. lawful.

Let us begin.

Lawful Good: Mr. Darcy

Mr. Darcy, no matter his failings, is a lawful man. He has strong feelings on how things should be done, and the order to be maintained. He wants to treat people justly, but his “good opinion once lost is lost forever”. He cares about social structure, which lends to his lawfulness, and even mentions it during his first proposal to Elizabeth when talks about how he is going against his better judgement.

He is good and generous, caring deeply for others.

Lawful Neutral: Charlotte Lucas

Charlotte is also a very lawful soul. A man asks her for her hand in marriage? There is no question of her acceptance and following the dictates of society. And yet, her haste in doing so puts her character into neutral territory, as in her desperation to marry, she steals Mr. Collins away from the Bennet girls, and a possible chance for Mary.

Lawful Evil: Lady Catherine de Bourgh

Similar to Mr. Darcy, Lady Catherine is a lawful woman. Her wealth and connections make her all the more lawful in this respect, as holding to the tradition of valuing connections and fortune above other things is to her benefit in increasing the strength of her position in society.  Thus, she wants her nephew to marry into a family with good connections and money. Elizabeth has neither and so Lady Catherine is angry and rightfully so according to the law of society.

Lady Catherine is classed as evil because she goes out of her way to be nasty. The unexpected visit she paid on Elizabeth Bennet, with all manner of accusations, was beneath her.

Neutral Good: Charles Bingley

Bingley is the essence of goodness and kindness–this cannot be doubted. His character is in neutral territory because he is too easily influenced by others. He might have felt himself bound to Jane from the marked attentions he had shown her had he thought about it in a more lawful manner.

True Neutral: Mr. Bennet/Mrs. Bennet

Though only Mr. Bennet is shown in the picture, I think they are both true neutral.  Mr. Bennet laughs at his neighbors too much to be good, and though he cares about his family he is not motivated to do anything for them. He prefers to be in his library, detached.

Mrs. Bennet is detached as well–but while her husband detaches himself physically, she is mentally detached and hides from reality. The help she gives her daughters is no help at all.

Mr. and Mrs. Bennet do whatever they want to further their own goals, though it is not necessarily well thought out. They are neither good nor evil, chaotic or lawful.

Neutral Evil: Mr. Collins

The character of Mr. Collins is such that at first glance you think he is lawful, but in fact his actions fall short of that and are more self-serving and calculated. He makes a fuss about his obligation to the Bennet family, a lawful idea, but in reality his proposal to a Bennet daughter was for his own gain as she would be more inclined to accept than the average lady because of the real fear of homelessness should Mr. Bennet die. The proposal he makes to Elizabeth alludes to it as well. Had his obligation been truely felt, I don’t believe he would have proposed to Charlotte so quickly.

The evil alignment is justified in my eyes because he uses people to further his ambition, and cares more about pleasing Lady Catherine than being a good person and treating people with kindness.

Chaotic Good: Elizabeth Bennet

Elizabeth is the true representation of chaos for a Lady in her time. She refused two proposals when her “lawful” duty was to accept. She cares for herself and her own happiness more than that of others, including her mother (shocking indeed!). She doesn’t follow society’s rules as closely as she ought, speaks out when she should stay silent, and cares nothing for a clean petticoat–making an exhibition of herself.

And yet, she is full of goodness.

Chaotic Neutral: Lydia Bennet

Lydia is also chaotic, but as her character has less goodness than Elizabeth’s and there are fewer checks on her behavior. She wants excitement and adventure and is willing to take the low road to get there. I would not go so far with her character to classify it as evil though, as I do not believe she intended harm to anyone by her actions.

Chaotic Evil: George Wickham

Wickham, on the other hand, does intend to harm. Through his actions he has harmed no less than three women in Pride and Prejudice that we know well, and very likely more that we do not. A large source of his chaos are his choices, for who would have expected him to run away with Lydia who was neither rich nor well connected?


What do you think? Do you think I’ve misclassified anyone or can you think of someone better? Tell me who and why, I’d love a discussion in the comments!

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Netherfield Ball: a pride and prejudice choose your own adventure story

Netherfield Ball: a pride and prejudice choose your own adventure story

The date is November 26th, 1812.

You happen to visit the Lucases, your cousins, the day of the Netherfield Ball. You have the opportunity to attend–the chance of a lifetime! Will you take it?

Be brave, fair Lady. Let your Jane Austen instincts guide you through this perilous journey. You have a 66% chance of survival. 

 

Unfamiliar with Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) stories? They are written in second person where you are the hero and follow the narrative until a choice is given. You choose and follow the link to your fate, and often there are several forks in the road. In this short story, there are six possible endings, and two result in death.

I love CYOA, but have never written one before this. Indeed, I was uncertain how the logistics would work until I came across twinery.org, which allows the composition of CYOA with relative ease. I hope you enjoy this adventure!

Let me know how you like it in the comments! I may write more if the mood strikes. Pin and share as much as you wish:)

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A Modern Day Mary Bennet, twice inspired: a Mary B book review

A Mary B book review, a novel by Katherine J. Chen, with Mary Bennet bar soap. Both are inspired by Mary Bennet, and each has its own story. By a Lady Soapmaker

Oh Mary. How often have we ignored you for Elizabeth, cringed at your dresses, or even laughed? Lets face it though, the creators of the 1995 film adaptation did their best to make you look terrible and I do believe you wore the same green and yellow dress at least 4 times in the last hour of the film 🙂

*Soapmaker digression* One year ago, I was over the moon because I’d decided to start making Jane Austen soap (and create Northanger Soapworks!) and I’d finally figured out how to make soap lace. I felt like it was the most beautiful thing I could ever make, and I knew early on it would be for Mary. I wanted it for her because she deserved something beautiful. Years and years of loving Pride and Prejudice made me think of Mary in a new light and rather than laughing, it became wishing and hoping.⠀

Early in label design before opening shop, I considered what I would include with each soap. One idea I had was to have a little story go with each one that would be included in the packaging somehow. It could be just a secret between the receiver and me, or possibly the 1st half of the story would be on the online product listing, and the conclusion included with the product. I do enjoy writing so this idea sounded delightful. So I immediately sat down to write one for Mary Bennet. Well…I soon realized it wasn’t practical for me to do a story because it took up too much space on my packaging. But I condensed what I had written for Mary and included it anyway, folded up inside.

When I saw Mary B by Katherine J Chen on instagram, I was SO excited that someone had written a story for her! Once I got my hands on it I sped through it. It was also time to restock Mary Bennet’s soap in my shop, so I had a very *Mary* week! I laughed so much reading this book and enjoyed it immensely*. My Sherlockian husband read it too and loved it. 4 stars from us both.

Pin this book to your to-read board!

Want Mary Bennet soap? It comes with a little happy ending I wrote for her tucked inside. Add it to your cart.


*Caveat: there is a lot of hate out there regarding this book. I stayed up late thinking about it after completing it, sorting through my feelings. However, I like books that make me feel and think, and it doesn’t lessen the delightful fun I had reading.  I’ll tell you straight up, if it upsets you to see some of your beloved characters altered, you should skip this one. It is also very modern, so old fashioned gals should definitely read with an open mind.

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Jane Austen Gift Guide: Christmas 2018. Eleven+ things you need!

This Jane Austen Gift Guide covers all your bases for handmade or unique gifts for the Jane Austen lover. Enjoy shopping this year and we hope this guide helps!

You need the perfect Christmas gift for the Jane Austen lover in your life, but where to start? One of the privileges of being a Jane Austen soapmaker is meeting other Jane Austen makers who have an array of lovely and unique products. I’ve compiled a curated list of unique items that I’ve found and delighted in. If what I’ve linked to is sold out, most of these shops have an abundance of other Jane Austen and literary inspired items sure to soothe the soul.

The list totals eleven items (and a couple extras I snuck in), but I could have gone on with more! I hope you enjoy perusing them! All are unique and most handmade.

  1. Lively Lines Poster. A delightful poster full of words from Jane Austen’s novels and letters. Available from Uncommon Goods.
    Lively Lines by Jane Austen from Uncommon Goods
  2. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy Worry doll set, available from House of Worry Dolls on Etsy. These can come as ornaments too! With so many literary inspired figures in this shop you are sure to find something.Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Worry dolls by houseofworrydolls on etsy
  3. Watercolor with Jane Austen quote, available from Lucy in the Sky on Etsy. Features a favorite quote of mine.Watercolor House with quote from Jane Austen, by ShopLucyinthesky on etsy
  4. This embroidered art featuring Sense and Sensibility is a one of of kind piece from EttinMoor on Etsy. She has several other embroidered pieces inspired by Jane Austen in her shop.Embroidered Sense and Sensibility Frame, by EttinMoor on etsy
  5. Mary Musgrove’s Restorative bar soap. A wintery herbal soap inspired from Persuasion, by Northanger Soapworks. (that’s me!) So many other Jane Austen inspired bath products are in the shop too.Are you feeling terrrrribly ill? Mary Musgrove knows just how you feel. In lieu of Anne Elliot to cure us of our ailments, a breath of this in a hot shower will perk you right up! The perfect Jane Austen gift for a Lady.
  6. Pride and Prejudice map by Pemberley Pond on Etsy. Such a fun and whimsical item.Pride and Prejudice map, by Pemberley Pond on etsy
  7. Pride and Prejudice Literary Handbag, by Enjoy the Traffic on EtsyJane Austen handbag by EnjoyTheTraffic on etsy
  8. Longbourn Wedding Tea, by Bingley’s Teas. This company has so many Jane Austen concoctions, you’ll be kept very warm indeed!Longbourn Wedding tea by Bingley's Teas
  9. Elizabeth Bennet Bookmark, by Carrot Top Paper Shop on Etsy. So many lovely things in this shop I want them all!Elizabeth Bennet Bookmark by Carrot Top Paper Shop on etsy
  10. Regency Jockey Bonnet by Thomas Fortin Creative on Etsy. I have been so impressed with the quality workmanship and detail of these bonnets. Thomas Fortin Bonnet
  11. Mr. Darcy Art Print christmas ornament, by Antique Fashionista on Etsy. Such beautiful art prints.Mr. Darcy Christmas ornament, by Mashalaurence etsy shop

 

This gift guide isn’t book focused but I had to mention two new books that have come out this fall that I look forward to reading. The first is Rational Creatures, a new anthology with sixteen stories of Austen’s heroines. The second is Praying with Jane: 31 days through the prayers of Jane Austen. I’m so excited for them both!

Happy shopping to you all! I hope this guide has been helpful to those looking for just the right gift. If you are looking for more ideas, check out my Jane Austen gifts Pinterest board!

Yours ever,

Lady Laura

 

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What rose bush? a Northanger Abbey mystery

Mr. Tilney's Proposal is shrouded in mystery to one Catherine Morland. What rose bush can he possibly mean? Relating to the 1987 film adaptation, a bar of soap, and an unquenchable Austen addiction #janeausten

“I promise not to oppress you with too much remorse or too much passion, but since you left us the white rose bush has died of grief.” ~Henry Tilney to Catherine Morland, the final scene of Northanger Abbey 1986 (or was it 1987? It’s a very confusing point for an Austen fan).

For anyone who has watched that adaptation and was paying attention (honestly who could look away from such a spectacle?), you may have asked yourself the question, “What rose bush?”

Well, you are not alone.

Catherine herself asked this. See the helpful imagery below to illustrate.

When Mr. Tilney proposed to Catherine he confuses us all by mentioning a rosebush hitherto unknown to the reader. Does Catherine feel the same? Is she thinking, thank you for finding me, but, what rose bush?

There. Do you see how she was thinking it? She DESPERATELY needs to know. And now I repeat, What rose bush?

There was no rose bush in the film hitherto Mr. Tilney’s speech, nor is there any mention of one in the book, except a reference on the first page that Catherine enjoyed watering rose bushes.

I can discover only three possibilities:

1. Henry Tilney had a dream where he gave her a white rose bush and it had tragically died after she departed. As much as he wanted to tell her about this dream, he knew it was too inappropriate to tell an unmarried young lady that he had been thinking about her whilst in a bed. Henry planned to tell her AFTER the wedding and was working up to it by making modest allusions to its existence. Unfortunately, he chose an inopportune moment because instead of her heart feeling touched by his love for her, she was rather confused about the dead rose bush. If she had known there was a rose bush that she was to water, she would surely have told the gardener to water it before her departure.

2. Tragically, the 92 minute film was deemed too long so a 4 minute scene about a white rose bush was cut from the final version leaving the audience bewildered.

3. Henry was a romantic sort and was speaking figuratively.

Which do you think?

Get your own white rose bush by adding Mr. Tilney’s Proposal bar soap to your cart.

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Why I love Northanger Abbey 1986 / scorn me if you dare!

What I love about Northanger Abbey 1986, by an Austen Addict. #janeausten | top ten list | austen movies

“I promise not to oppress you with too much remorse or too much passion, but since you left us the white rose bush has died of grief.” ~Henry Tilney to Catherine Morland, the final scene of Northanger Abbey 1986.

How many times have I heard that line spoken? 100 times? 1000 times? Probably somewhere in between. The final scene of that film used to be on Youtube and I recall watching it over and over, mesmerized. When it was taken down I switched over to the DVD and kept watching. I’m sure it has escaped nobody’s notice that my business name is taken from the Jane Austen’s novel, Northanger Abbey. Now you being to see why!

Mr. Tilney's Proposal bar soap
Mr. Tilney’s Proposal bar soap

Most people don’t have a strong attachment to that film version like I do, and I’ll readily admit it has many flaws, is full of creepy men, and is beyond hilarious for its foibles. But. But. But. It has its moments. I saw it at the impressionable age of 10 years old, my very first Austen film and first exposure to her works. I will always adore it and show it to close friends.

The original inspiration for Mr. Tilney’s Proposal, the white rose scented bar soap that I sell in my shop, was indeed this final scene from 1986. However, the proposal scene in the 2007 film with J.J. Feild also takes place along a hedgerow that I am convinced is full of white roses in the summer.

I’ve introduced many friends to the delights of the 1987 adaptation and I hope to continue!

Years ago when I had my first blog as a graduate school student, I compiled a list of what I thought were compelling reasons to watch this lesser known, somewhat creepy version of Northanger Abbey. Peter Firth is definitely no J.J. Feild, and there is no comparison between them in my mind as to who made the better Henry Tilney. But in my heart, the older film was my first love.

Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey gets down from his horse to propose to Catherine #janeausten

Why I love Northanger Abbey (1986) / written by Laura in 2007

  1. The male lead’s last name is Firth. Peter Firth. No relation to Colin Firth, unfortunately, but this point alone is important enough that I need not go on…(yet I do).
  2. The theme music is excessively melodramatic. Quite laughable, actually. Not at all fitting for Jane Austen.
  3. There is a horrific saxophone and soprano duet during a nature walk that you just can’t miss.
  4. Peter Firth sings somewhat painfully out of tune, but at least he tries. With his own voice–which is more than most can claim.
  5. All the actors and actresses are VERY ugly, except for the two leads who are so-so.
  6. The film was made in the 1980s, with hair to match.
  7. The male antagonist, John Thorpe, is super creepy, and far uglier than any other cast member, except possibly for an old guy in the giant yellow wig  you see in a Bath ballroom.
  8. There is a woman in the same ballroom with a beauty spot on her face 1 inch in diameter. One WHOLE inch.
  9. You can hear Darth Vader breathing in the background sometimes.
  10. Catherine (often) wears her hair with tight curls poking out onto her forehead that looks like a claw.
  11. There are nonsensical daydream sequences!
  12. Henry Tilney somehow wins the heart of the female lead by insulting her on the sly (although at first glance, this also happens in the book!)
  13. Henry wrinkles his nose in one scene, which I find delightful.

Really, I could go on and on. I love this film and always will.

But there is one point upon which I will always be confused. There is no mention of a rose bush either in the novel or in the film up until Henry says it has “died of grief.”

I can only imagine Catherine thinking, “What rose bush?” See my next post on this very important topic.

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Willoughby the Scoundrel

Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility 2008 and Scoundrel Bar soap, by Northanger Soapworks

I have been remiss in telling you about the Scoundrel soap reference on the #janeaustencalendar! Come springtime in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, you’ll find the Dashwoods staying at Cleveland, the Palmers’ home.

In April, there is a rather important scene that I had no idea existed for several years. I made haste to watch the 1995 film (which I adore) soon after it was released, most notably because the boy I liked at school rather surprisingly announced one day that the girl he married MUST understand Sense and Sensibility??. But I digress. When I read the book four years later I was astounded at the remarkable scene where Willoughby visits Marianne while she’s ill and staying at the Palmer’s home. Why was this not in the film? Surely every person who’s ever been dumped after a romantic relationship would draw satisfaction in knowing that the dumper regretted the action and was totally miserable. Am I right? 😉

Then along came the 2008 film (which I also love!) and I was heartened when I saw that scene had been included. AND there is a duel. Hurrah! You must watch both versions straightaway, but only AFTER you’ve read the book:)

Willoughby makes this surprise visit in mid-April. He says, “My business was to declare myself a scoundrel, and whether I did it with a bow or a bluster was of little importance.” This quote was my inspiration for the soap! It’s available in both liquid and bar.

What did you think of Willoughby’s return? Were you surprised?

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The Search for Elizabeth Bennet

Elizabeth Bennet bar soap by Northanger Soapworks

“I thought Miss Elizabeth Bennet looked remarkably well when she came into the room this morning. Her dirty petticoat quite escaped my notice.” ~Mr. Bingley, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
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Here’s the decorated top of Elizabeth Bennet bar soap! I was going for a mossy look and I like how it turned out.  

Many of you have noticed that I have a Mr. Darcy soap but no Elizabeth! Where was she, you asked? When would I make Elizabeth?

In truth, this is the third time I have made Elizabeth. The first was 6 months ago before I opened the shop, and the second 5 months ago. The first two iterations looked totally different, and after I had made them I took a hard look and they just weren’t Elizabeth to me. I love Pride and Prejudice and I feel like I know Elizabeth pretty well. When you try and create something inspired by a person, sometimes it doesn’t turn out how you imagine, and that is what happened.

I gave up for a time, discouraged, and moved on to other projects. The ideas needed to sit a good long while until I felt really good about one of them.

And so here we are! Here is what I feel is a true Elizabeth. I take my character inspirations very seriously! I don’t create some random soap and throw a Jane Austen label on it. They are all meaningful to me. And I am so happy that I can finally share Elizabeth with you.

More details on this soap will be forthcoming soon! Be sure to join my mailing list (sign up at the bottom of the page) to be notified when it is available! This soap is curing and will be ready in about 4 weeks.

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Shelves in the Closet day!

Shelves in the Closet

Today (March 5th) on the #janeaustencalendar is the day you’ve been LONGING for. It’s Shelves in the Closet day! Elizabeth Bennet arrives today in Kent at the Hunsford Parsonage to visit the Collinses. She does not have to wait long before being shown to her room. In the 1995 Pride and Prejudice film, Mr. Collins presents her with her very own shelves in the closet (watch it here). “Is it not the very essence of practicality and convenience?” 

Why yes.

Sometimes, all a girl really needs is a shelf.

In honor of this special occasion, I have a new batch of Shelves in the Closet bar soap curing and waiting for its debut in April. Until then, there are only 2 bars left in the shop! Make haste!