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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
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!

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Anne Elliot bar soap is almost here!

Anne Elliot bar soap

Anne Elliot bar soap is on my curing rack and will be available for sale at the end of March!

I took my time deciding on this one. I wanted it to be just right and very *Anne* ! I draw inspiration from Jane Austen and recently reread Persuasion, but it still takes time for all the pieces of the puzzle to come together. Then one day, I think of an idea, and suddenly it’s clear and I know how to make Anne.

This picture is of the soap just after being poured, still wet in the mold!

More details to come soon:)

In the meantime, if you’d like to be notified when it is listed for sale, you can sign up here.

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new website and shop!

Ardently bar soap, Jane Austen soap

Things have been very busy around here! I have the personality where if I want to accomplish something, I throw myself into it. Luckily it tends to be just one thing at a time:) I’ve been very focused since the new year on developing my own website and shop and I’m so happy it is here! It has been challenging as I am new to most of the concepts related to developing a website, but I have learned so much in the last month especially.

After reviewing my options and doing several shop trials on various ecommerce platforms, I chose to go with self-hosted WordPress and Woocommerce. There are several things I really wanted to be able to do, but the functionality either wasn’t available, or wasn’t affordable anywhere else. So here I am!

I will still be selling on Etsy, it is a great marketplace. But I will be focusing on my website from now on and I hope you all like it! If you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to hear them.

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Mr. Woodhouse is concerned.

Jane Austen in Winter soap collection

“The only thing I do not thoroughly like is, that she seems to be sitting out of doors, with only a little shawl over her shoulders—and it makes one think she must catch cold.”

“But, my dear papa, it is supposed to be summer; a warm day in summer. Look at the tree.”

“But it is never safe to sit out of doors, my dear.”
~Mr. Woodhouse and Emma regarding the drawing of Harriet Smith. Excerpt from Jane Austen’s Emma.

Mr. Woodhouse is such a favorite of mine, his character never ceases to amuse! I daresay he might also recommend a hot bath, provided there is a thick and cozy robe awaiting!

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Jane Austen in Winter collection

jane austen in winter soap collection

I’m thrilled to tell you the Jane Austen in Winter collection is here! Four different bar soaps, each inspired by January and February events from Jane Austen’s books and letters! I will be posting this week telling you all about them. These soaps are still curing, but you can pre-order the winter box and reserve your soaps today! All pre-orders will ship February 1st.