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Jane Austen

General Chatter

Power Couples | #RelationshipGoals

By Rebecca Reed

We have put together our favourite relationships in literature. From classic romances to a modern tales of love. These couples are seriously lucky to have each other.

Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

A classic romantic story revolving around the witty and independent Elizabeth Bennet who resists the social expectations of marriage in England whilst helping her sisters with their own love lives. This does all change when Mr Bingley moves into town and brings with him the dashing yet annoying Mr Darcy. Lust, drama and love unfold for the Bennet sisters and eventually Elizabeth’s disdain for Mr Darcy thaws and results in a much-wanted proposal at the end of the novel.

We love this relationship because in the beginning they despise each other, yet they somehow end up together in the end. It goes to show that

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Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

“There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione’s arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet.” – J.K. Rowling, Deathly Hallows

A typical case of opposites attract and they balance each other out, Ron fell for Hermione’s stubbornness and intelligence, whereas Hermione loved Ron for his passion and impulsiveness. Throw in some magic and you have the perfect ingredients for the most heart-warming of romances. Surprisingly J.K. Rowling didn’t intend them to be together. We don’t want to think of a Harry Potter series without the budding romance of these two.

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Peeta and Katniss (The Hunger Games)

“So after, when he whispers, “You love me. Real or not real?” I tell him, “Real.” ” – Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

Life is tough in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series. This is because teenagers and children are forced to fight each other to the death all in the name of a TV show for the Capitol. So when they are the remaining two contenders in the Hunger Games and technically one should kill the other, the whole of Panem is in awe. They play up to the cameras with a false relationship which blossoms into true love. They have to get through a revolution, imprisonment and brainwashing first before love can truly prevail.

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Noah and Allie (The Notebook)

“So, it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, every day. You and me… everyday.”

― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

The young lovers who grow old together in the beautiful story of The Notebook. Throughout the novel, we learn that Allie is ill with Alzheimer’s and Noah is reliving falling in love with his beloved wife over and over again, to try and ease her memory loss. The passionate couple share a summer together and they are then separated by Allie travelling home and a war. With the interference of Allie’s mother, she does not receive Noah’s love letters for over a year. The two reignite their intense relationship and are together until the end.

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Scarlett and Rhett (Gone with the Wind)

“Dear Scarlett! You aren’t helpless. Anyone as selfish and determined as you are is never helpless. God help the Yankees if they should get you.” -Rhett Butler”

― Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

Scarlett has a wealth of admirers in this novel set in Confederate America, but the man who wins her heart is Rhett Butler. He is a war hero who ends up as Scarlett’s third husband! Although their ending remains a mystery so we do not know if they have their happily ever after. The journey they take together from Southern plantations to mourning lost loved ones in post-war America, has us rooting for them till the end!

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Romeo and Juliet (Romeo and Juliet)

“Don’t waste your love on somebody, who doesn’t value it.”

― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

The most famous lovers in literature. Romeo and Juliet are the spirit of romance, despite that they meet a very sombre end. William Shakespeare knew that nothing made a teenage romance stronger than warring families that resulted in the two young lovers breaking rules and sneaking around. This sadly was the demise of Romeo and his fair Juliet. This became one of Shakespeare’s most famous love story and it became one of his saddest.

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You can read more romances in our romance fiction here at World of Books. Tell us in the comments below, who is your favourite literary power couple?

General Chatter

Book Nooks | Where do you read?

By Rebecca Reed

A reading space can be anywhere, some people find the best places to unwind are the living room or the bedroom, but the ultimate dream for all us book lovers would be a quiet area that you can unplug and let your imagination run wild in a great novel.

Get thinking of that cosy area away from the digital distractions, we have found some great book nooks that we would love to have in our home. – we can dream!

@willeandmillie – Instagram

Treat your little readers to a perfect space so they can read their favourite fiction. With the magical effect of the fairy lights, we would love to have such a beautiful space to escape into.

What to read here?Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

@interior_spiration – Instagram

An open space with a great view, turn your bay window into a relaxing area for you to curl up with an adventurous tale.

What to read here?Wild by Cheryl Strayed

@bookmarauder – Instagram

If anyone can describe a better feeling than a comfy chair, coffee and all your best books surrounding you we would love you to tell us! This area has everything a book nook needs even down to your favourite literary characters in front of some of the best fantasy books.

What to read here?Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

@prettynerdy3 – Instagram

We love the look of these pages as wallpaper, this looks quirky and fun! Read your favourite book in peace here. The only distraction is reading your walls!

What to read here?The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

@therealsherrygore – Instagram

Tucked away, this great closet space makes the perfect alcove to sit and read one of your favourites. Filled with cushions and blankets it makes the perfect cosy-cubby hole.

What to read here?My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult

@shabbynchicetsy – Instagram

Even the smallest of rooms can be transformed into a great reading area. Put your feet up and read a classic in a serene spot.

What to read here?Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Don’t worry if your chosen nook is not near a window, make sure you add a lamp or other light source to prevent you from squinting.

Create a fort/tent for you to relax in peace, revert back to your childhood with a great reading nook filled with pillows and blankets so you are comfy on your journey to a new story. For an easier idea, get a big comfy chair to curl up in and escape to those far-off lands.

At World of Books, we have some great fiction to fill your bookcases, shop our full store here.

General Chatter

Pride and Prejudice and Me

Pride and PrejudiceBy Sarah Kneath

I was around 13 years old when I first read Pride and Prejudice. I remember feeling ever so grown up as it was probably the first classic novel I had ever read.

As bizarre as it may seem, I found the novel incredibly easy to relate to and there are many similarities between their lives and my own.

I come from a very close-knit family and although I didn’t have any sisters, I had 5 female cousins who lived within 3 miles from me, so there was a lot to contend with there. Of course, there were plenty of squabbles and tantrums along the way but we always helped, looked after and supported one another, the way the Bennet sisters do. Their relationship with each-other was always a comfort to me and whilst there was the slight element of competition between them, there was no malice or scorn that you so often find with a group of female characters.

I think this book may have started my love of the ‘period drama’, long before my (slight) obsession with Downton Abbey, and before I’d read the likes of Wolf Hall, The Pillars of the Earth and The Other Boleyn Girl. Historic Fiction is something I really enjoy to read; the fashion, the class distinction and the simplicity of life in rural England.

My dad was a farmer and so I spent a great deal of my time outdoors, hiking in woodlands, jumping over streams and cutting across fields. And I have a suspicion that growing up in rural Sussex was probably not too dissimilar to Austen’s ‘Longbourn’. (Also, Netherfield was the name of a neighbouring village of mine and I always secretly believed that Mr Darcy was hanging out there somewhere).

My surroundings helped me to picture the fictional setting and I would often imagine what it would have been like growing up in my village back in the 1800’s, would my life have been similar to that of Elizabeth Bennet’s?

English Countryside

I had a habit of taking life too seriously, even at such a young age so I greatly admired Elizabeth’s charming wit and confidence. She seemed so sure of herself and always did what she wanted, not always what she was told. She was, and still is, one of my literary heroines.

And then there’s Mr Darcy. Well, I think it’s safe to say that he was my first literary crush. Any fellow bookworms will know what I mean by this. I’ve loved so many people in books, including the likes of Noah Calhoun from “The Notebook” (before he was so perfectly portrayed by Ryan Gosling), a brief stint crushing on Fred Weasley and the ever-so cliché, Edward Cullen (this was a dark time, and I was young okay?)

The brooding and aloof character of Mr Darcy is still one that makes me swoon to this day. To me he seemed like a fairy-tale prince, ready to swoop Elizabeth off of her feet and rescue her from a life of mundanity. As old-fashioned as it sounds, this sounded ever so romantic to my 13-year-old self.

Then there is the quote. The quote.

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

I have a print of this quote in my home as it is one of the most poignant and wonderful lines I’ve ever read. I guess I’m just such an old softie that lines like this really get to me.

I could talk for hours about this fantastic book, it’s plot, the individual characters, the fact that actually I think Mr Bingley was a bit dull and Lydia Bennet a bit of a nuisance but I won’t, for now it was just a pleasure revisiting this story that continues to captivate me years and years later.

Author of the Week

Author of the Week: Jane Austen

“But for my own part, if a book is well written, I always find it too short”

– Jane Austen

By Admin

Drawing of author, Jane Austen

Drawing of Jane Austen

Short Biography: Born in 1775, Jane Austen was a romantic fiction novelist who remains one of the most well-loved authors in English culture. Information on Austen is fairly limited, and the biographical facts that are known stem from letters she shared with her sister, whom she was close to all her life and lived with until her death in 1817. Educated by the men in her family, Austen’s love of reading led her to write 4 novels published in her lifetime – ‘Sense and Sensibility’ (1811), ‘Pride and Prejudice’ (1813), ‘Mansfield Park’ (1814), and ‘Emma’ (1816), and 2 more novels published posthumously – ‘Northanger Abbey’ (1818), and ‘Persuasion’ (1818). Although Austen wasn’t particularly famous whilst alive, she was generally known for her witty and often sarcastic social commentary (ex. In ‘Mansfield Park’ she subtly criticises slavery – a very contentious issue at the time). It wasn’t until the 1940’s, over a century later, that the academic community began to recognise her as a great English writer, using her work to assess the mood amongst society at the time and the swing towards female independence and the value of women and their opinions her books illustrated.

What We Say:

Love. Marriage. Sisterhood. Society. Scandal. Vanity. Pride. Happy Endings. No matter what your feelings on her writing, Jane Austen covered all of these things and more in her six completed novels.

Actress Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet

Keira Knightley as heroine Elizabeth Bennet in the 2005 making of ‘Pride and Prejudice’

Escaping an adaptation on film, radio or TV of her work is nigh on impossible when they’re so respected, admired, and avidly sought after. Whether this is the 1995 film version of ‘Sense and Sensibility’ starring Hugh Grant as the affable Edward in love with a much younger Emma Thompson (playing Elinor Dashwood) and Alan Rickman as the dubious Colonel Brandon with Kate Winslet as his passionate and foolish Marianne, the 2005 film adaptation of ‘Pride and Prejudice’ with Keira Knightley’s brooding and fiery Elizabeth Bennet, or the 2007 TV remaking of ‘Mansfield Park’ with Billie Piper as the innocent Fanny Price. Put simply – the Brits are proud of this part of their heritage, and eager to celebrate it.

So why can’t we get enough of Austen? What is it about her writing that has travelled intact for nearly two centuries?

Well, ultimately, even if just taken on surface-value her plots and characters are funny – just look at the hysterical Mother in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ or the creepy Mr Collins. On basic terms Austen takes what is amusing in the world around us and points a finger to make us laugh at it. And everyone enjoys a good old love story right? In Austen there isn’t any sad endings, people fall in love, overcome obstacles such as money and status to be together and live happily ever after. Even though life isn’t like that, Austen leads you into a world where anything is possible and you always come out smiling. Lastly, more for women than for men, Austen offers the reader heroines that have passion, heroines that are witty, and heroines that, basically, would do well in any century they were brought to – particularly the 21st one.

So grab some of our English history in the palms of your hands today, and see what Jane Austen novels World of Books has to offer.