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Dreaming of Austenland by Sia Huff

Sia_Huff_croppedShannon Hale’s, book Austenland was adapted into cute rom-com movie, starring Kerri Russell, JJ Feild, Bret McKenzie, Jennifer Coolidge and Jane Seymore. What I love about the story is the premise.

Jane Hayes’s adoration of all things Jane Austen is complicating her love life. Determined to be the heroine of her own story, Jane spends her life savings on a trip to Austenland, an eccentric resort where guests experience complete immersion in the Regency era. Armed with her bonnet, corset and needlepoint, Jane strives to avoid spinsterhood…but has a difficult time determining where fantasy ends and real life – and maybe even love – begins.

What would it be like to visit a different era? Dress up in period clothing? Have seven days to live the part of lady, enjoying high tea and the entertainment of the time. Anybody for a game of whist or croquet? Perhaps, attend a ball? And don’t forget about following the rules of society, or circumventing them, whichever applies. <g>Austenland-OneSheet-062113-jpg_165039

The few lines of Jane talking to Nobley in the garden of the Manor House sayes it best.


“There is so much to love here.”
“The civility.”
“The manners.”
“The granduer.”
“The simplicity.”


Jane Austen may not be your cup of tea. But what is? If you could escape reality and step into your favorite book or movie, where would you go? To early 19th Century? Or a galaxy far, far away? Over the rainbow?

Marilyn Baron - September 2, 2014 - 12:15 am

I’m not ready for Outer Space. Maybe Scotland, any era. I’m probably being influenced by Outlander.

Sandy Elzie - September 2, 2014 - 6:31 am

Oh my, what an interesting question. I love a good adventure, but a wagon train to the old West? With Indians and wild animals along the way? (The Oregon Trail?) Oh, and don’t forget fordging a river & freezing to death? Hummm

Each era has so much good…and bad…it’s hard to pick one and be sure I stayed safe and alive. I’d love to have been along for the ride when we first stepped on the moon.

Sia Huff - September 2, 2014 - 7:57 am

LOL, Marilyn. I agree about outer space, but I love to meet Luke, Leia and Han.
Definitely Scotland! The moors, the heather. I read Outlander has been renewed for another season. I didn’t know they started a series on Diana Gabaldon’s novels. Of course, I don’t get Starz, so I’ll need to catch up later. Is it as wonderful as it looks?

Sia Huff - September 2, 2014 - 8:05 am

Hi Sandy, I love an adventure too. The old west, huh? Did you ever read Julie Garwood’s Rose series, Starting with “For the Roses.” Great reads.
Hallmark made a movie and killed off one of the brothers, :( who later had his own book. Hard to have a romance when you’re dead.
Oh, and since this is a dream or fantasy, none of the freezing to death stuff. :)

Maxine Davis - September 2, 2014 - 8:31 am

Sia, I enjoyed your post! For me, it would be Scotland or ireland, either the 1950’s (Patrick Taylor’s, An Irish Country Christmas) or 1800’s. The romantic pull from these two countries is strong. Or Austenland…

Connie Gillam - September 2, 2014 - 9:56 am


The movie sounds cute, Sia. I love Jane Austen but I think I’d find that era too constrictive.

I’d love to see the future-maybe fifty years from now. Because of the racial climate in the United States, I wouldn’t want to visit the past.

Walt Mussell - September 2, 2014 - 11:06 am

OK. Let me see if I understand this.

There’s a movie with Keri Russell, the person who my wife blames for my obsession with The Americans.

There’s also Jane Seymour (who will always be Miss Solitaire to me).

Why haven’t I seen this movie this yet? I’ve got to ask myself that.

As much as I would love to visit medieval Japan, the fact that I would likely commit some faux pas that gets me executed and would be welcome to none of the foreigners of that time period (an English-speaking Catholic would tick off all parties in the era of the Shogun novel) scares me.

Sia Huff - September 2, 2014 - 11:53 am

Hi, Maxine. So glad you enjoyed my post. Scotland are Ireland are calling. I’d love to go with you. Christmas sounds enchanting, but you know I’d freeze.

Carol Burnside - September 2, 2014 - 4:39 pm

I like the comforts of home, so I don’t know about immersion in another era. I guess perhaps late 1800’s, but that’s iffy. Sanitary conditions, questionable food storage…need I say more?

Editing this comment to say that my daughter has been after me to watch this movie for some time. I guess I’ll have to break down and watch it soon.

Sia Huff - September 2, 2014 - 4:40 pm

Good point, Connie. I wish people could treat everyone with kindness & respect. 50 years from now…I wonder if we’ll have George Jetson cars. The future holds adventures and excitement.

Sia Huff - September 2, 2014 - 4:46 pm

LOL, Walt. Sounds like a major Keri Russell crush. Not sure how popular the movie was – released in 2012. As far as Japan, that could be scary, but let say you’re an important diplomat treated with respect and honor. It is, after all, fantasy.

Sia Huff - September 2, 2014 - 4:49 pm

So you’re like Dorothy, Carol. I understand what you mean, but they had flushing loo’s in this version of the Regency era. It had some fun parts and a little bit over the top.
Stephanie Meyer’s, Twilight author, produced the film.

Susan Carlisle - September 2, 2014 - 5:05 pm

I would be great in the civil war period. I have an already built in bustle. I think I could have made Rhett happy too.

Sia Huff - September 2, 2014 - 8:01 pm

I think you would have had Rhett eating out of your hand. And I know you love Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Ashes In the Wind. It would be fun to dress in that period, without the corset. :)

Piper - September 3, 2014 - 4:37 pm

I should probably save this for a blog post but…one summer day when I was 10, I wanted to know what it was like to wear hoopskirts. So I wrapped my lower half in 3 wool blankets and topped it off with a long skirt from my mother which I had “borrowed” (I was a tall child for 10). I went outside and minced around the neighboorhood looking like a fool. I’m sure people thought I was crazed, but all I got was hot and sweaty running around trying to recreate the 19th C.

As I grew I came to understand that given who I am, the best time period in history for me is probably right now, so I’m glad to be in the 21st century. :)

Sia Huff - September 4, 2014 - 1:26 pm

I’m with you Piper. Your image made me smile. Most little girls love to play dress up. I certainly did. I’m sure people smiled, thinking you’re adorable. Three blankets of wool would be a stifling, sweaty mess. Although a hoop shirt was made to let air circulate around your legs.
Yet today is wonderful for so many reason. Glad you’re here too.

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