Mr Darcy: A Children’s Picture Book

by VJaneAusten on March 13, 2012

Mr Darcy is a children’s picture book written by Alex Field, and based on the much loved character from Jane Austen’s masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice.

MR DARCY_COVER by Alex Field

The story follows a gentle, sometimes lonely and rather reserved duck on his discovery of friendship, in particular the importance of allowing friends to help in a sticky situation.

The illustrations by Peter Carnavas, are delightful. Here’s a sneak peek.

Dr Darcy by Alex Field

Dr Darcy by Alex Field

Dr Darcy by Alex Field

In terms of how this children’s story is related to the book Pride and Prejudice, the focus is on the much-loved character Mr Darcy.  Alex Field captures the essence of a proper English Gentlemen, a quality synonyms with Mr Darcy, and Peter Carnavas adds to this heart of the character through the illustrations, including a tall top hat.

Many of the main characters from Pride and Prejudice feature in the story — there’s Lizzy and her sisters, Bingley, Caroline and Maria — however, they feature as an accompaniment to the main character and are less aligned with the novel.

The story is written in read-aloud language and channels the language of the Jane Austen period through lines like, “Are you in good heath?” This makes it fun to read for any Jane Austen fan like myself.   Plus, all of my four children (aged from 4 to 10 years) loved story so it’s a win-win situation: enjoyable for parents to read, fun for kids to listen to.

Last Word

Mr Darcy captures much of the essence of the well loved character by the same name. This book isn’t a children’s version of Pride and Prejudice but rather: a clever interpretation of the character Mr Darcy, woven with words and illustrations into a delightful story for young children.  One can never have too much Mr Darcy, now can they?

Mr Darcy

Author: Alex Field

Illustrator: Peter Carnavas

Publisher: New Frontier Books


Company vs Unions

by VJaneAusten on December 15, 2011

Australia’s biggest airline Qantas, shut down all operations recently. Doors were locked, staff were shut out without pay and passengers were left stranded.  This drastic action was due to the long battle between the airline and unions.

The matter is quite complex, but from what I understand, unions are working to ensure the protection of Australian jobs, and on the other hand, Qantas is trying to stay competitive in an international market and the demand (and expectation) from Australians for cheap airfares.

Qantas Protesters -- grounded

(image source)

This ordeal reminds me of the book (and mini series) North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell. In the story, John Thornton, master the local cotton mill, shuts down operations after a stand off from union members. The workers want better pay and conditions.

Mr Thornton doesn’t budge, and instead brings in Irish immigrants to replace to striking workers, which then leads to a riot. Striking workers are desperate due to the need to buy food for the families and the Irish are too frightened to work. It’s like everyone is at a brick wall, wherever you look.  Here a clip from the riot scene.

At the time Elizabeth Gaskell wrote North and South, England was in the middle of the industrial revolution.  During this time, there was rapid growth in manufacturing, transportation, and technology, and this had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural climate in England.

In many ways, our society is facing similar turmoil. The world is moving at a fast pace, and I feel Society shuddering from the strain. I would say we are in the midst of a technological revolution and as such, there’s bound to be friction as profits are driven higher coupled with consumer expectation for low prices. I expect to see many more such issues such this Qantas incident, in the years to come.

Is it a case of too fast, too soon?

Or is it just inevitable?

Will it all come to a grinding halt?

How far, is too much?

History, so often, seems to repeat itself. Do we, as a society, ever really learn from our mistakes then?

Relevant Links

Margaret Hale Hair Tutorial

Period Drama Heroines

External Link

Read North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell Online




Jane Eyre 2011: Movie Review

October 5, 2011

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is one of my favourite books, so it’s a little — what word can I use? — a little concerning to watch a movie with the same name because I wonder how the book will be interpered on film. I loved the 2006 BBC Jane Eyre Mini-Series starring Toby Stephens and Ruth […]

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That’s Fantastic!

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The Word Fantastic

It’s interesting how the weight of words change slightly over time.  When I picked my first Georgette Heyer novel, I was taken with the language.  The language wasn’t obscure, so that I couldn’t understand it, but I noticed the thrust of some words were a little different than I was used to. One of these words […]

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Period Drama Heroines: Part 1

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I’m inspired by many of the characters in period dramas (hence the “part 1″).  They all aren’t your typical heroines — brave, smart and confident — but they all have something interesting to draw on. I’ve tried to sum them up in five words (which was really hard!). Left to Right: Emma Woodhouse Movie: Emma (2009) Age: 20 Character […]

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Oranges, Bananas and Little Women

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This is the first banana I’ve had in the best of five months. That’s a long time to go without tasting the tangy flesh of a just ripe banana. Earlier this year, masses of banana crops were wiped out due to the Queensland Floods. As a result, the price has skyrocketed.   When I grocery shop, I usually walk past the bright yellow bananas, […]

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North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell: Margaret Hale Hair Tutorial

June 10, 2011

I’m rather fascinated by the book North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, and the  2004 BBC period drama adaptation.  It’s an interesting love story laced with politics of the upper and lower classes, and the manners of the North and South.  The story follows Margaret Hale’s journey from the ‘refined’ South of England to the ‘working’ North and how the move changes, […]

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Inspired by Colour: BBC Emma 2009

May 26, 2011

Colour inspires me, excessively. And I’ve been utterly captured by the opulent colours and textures in the BBC Mini Series of Jane Austen’s Emma (2009). There’s so much colour. Delicious, glorious, intoxicating colour. I’ll discuss different colour palates in this blog but I’m starting with my favourite: Hartfield in Highbury. Hartfield is a kingdom where Emma reigns […]

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Mourning Jewellery & Holding Loved Ones Close

May 16, 2011

Hair jewellery is a form of art identified with the Georgian, Regency and early Victorian eras.  Mourning jewellery was made of a lock of hair belonging to a deceased loved one and was worn as a memento. Hair was woven carefully to make watch chains, brooches, earrings, necklaces and bracelets. There is something both morbid and beautiful about carrying around the hair […]

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Fashion of the Georgian Period: Evening Dresses

May 9, 2011

What is timeless elegance? There’s something  captivating about period fashions.  It’s feminine and oh-so-elegant. Then there’s the inner beauty that finishes the overall appearance of a lady: manners, poise, calm, refinement, elegance and gracefulness.  European-influenced countries reached heights of fantasy in the Georgian Era.  Fashion was indeed  an artwork! Here’s a snap shot of fashion plates featuring evening […]

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