Happy Birthday, Jane Austen

IMG_0203Today is Jane Austen’s 238th birthday and all this week Risky Regencies will be celebrating with special Jane Austen-themed blogs and giveaways. In fact, Myretta already started us off with a Jane Austen Gazetteer!

Today I’m giving away a set of Jane Austen notecards (shown right) to one lucky commenter, chosen at random. All you have to do is comment to this blog and answer this question: What birthday present would you give Jane Austen?

It can be something real, like a ream of writing paper and a lifetime supply of ink or something fanciful, like giving her her very own Darcy.

I tried to discover how Jane Austen might really have celebrated her birthday during her lifetime or even how her characters celebrated birthdays in her books. I could not find anything, except one blog by David W. Wilkin that basically said Austen never wrote about birthdays in her books or correspondence. Wilkin found only a few vague references to birthdays in Dickens.

I found references to music honoring the birthdays of royals, but not much else, so poor Jane probably did not have any birthday parties, like we celebrate birthdays in our families today. We need to really make it up to her. Let’s give her some really nice stuff.

And speaking of nice stuff, tomorrow is release day for A Marriage of Notoriety, book 2 in my Masquerade Club series. In fact, I’ll add a signed copy of A Marriage of Notoriety to the Jane Austen prize today. My little gift in honor of Jane’s birthday.

Don’t forget about the Harlequin Historical Authors Holiday Giveaway with daily prizes and a grand prize of a Kindle Fire HDX WiFi. Click HERE for the Advent calendar and HERE for how to enter my contest, which ends tomorrow night at midnight!

So…What would you give Jane Austen for her birthday?

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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45 Responses to Happy Birthday, Jane Austen

  1. Susan in AZ says:

    I’d want Jane to look pretty this winter, so I’d give her a ruby-red wool cloak, fur-trimmed with red satin lining, and a pretty multicolored hat with matching red satin inside the brim.

  2. Maureen says:

    Congratulations Diane on your new book! Also Happy Birthday to Jane! I would give Jane a cake with Happy Birthday and candles on it since it would be something she never had.

  3. bn100 says:

    maybe a new gown

  4. Paper and ink and nibs. :-)

  5. jcp says:

    a new cloak

  6. Karen says:

    I’d just give her as many pounds as I could spare! A single lady can always use cash!

  7. Denise says:

    Time, maybe 40 more years to write even more novels…. and ten thousand pounds a year to be really comfortable.

    • diane says:

      This makes me want to weep….The world lost Jane Austen much too soon.

      • Ankit says:

        What?! We have to stop listening to Christmas music after Christmas is over?! I didn’t get that memo…I try to srttech it out until at least March…then I take a break for a while and crack it out again in August. I’m such a dork.

  8. Probably treat Jane to a High Tea. For my own Birthday my friend took me to a High Tea & I had the most amazing day, sipping tea, eating delights & spending quality time together! After that I would love to go dancing, because it is not just a step towards falling in love, but also great fun? You could do that at home & get warm at the same time as burning some calories from the cakes ;) To me the best gifts are time with special people & I imagine that in the winter friends would not always have traveled to her home for Jane’s Birthday. So I shall brave the weather (and snow?) with a basket of treats & a group of musicians :D I will give her a fab party she’ll never forget!! Neither will I, a day with Jane Austen would be BEYOND amazing!!!

  9. Tessa says:

    I’d let her choose whatever she wants.

  10. HJ says:

    I would give her one uninterrupted hour per day for writing, to be added to the other moments which she managed to snatch.

  11. Jillian Kent says:

    Happy Birthday, Jane! I would write Jane a poem or short story of appreciation including all the titles of her books in the poem. :)
    Happy Celebrating you Risky Gals!

  12. Cherie J says:

    I would give her some bath goodies so she could take time to pamper herself and relax. We all need that.

  13. peg260 says:

    I would give her a Birthday ball with all of her friends invited.So she could share her special day with all the one’s she loves most.

  14. Alanna Lucas says:

    Happy Birthday Jane Austen! I would host a picnic tea party in her honor.

  15. Marie says:

    I would give her all the warm clothes she would need for the winter.

  16. I like Denise’s gift. Like Mozart, we can only marvel at what we might have had, had Jane Austen lived to a ripe old age. I think I would give her a Broadwood grand piano and a subscription to one of the sheet music services for the rest of her life. A muse must be fed and I think Jane’s muse may have been music.

  17. donna harris says:

    I would like to give Jane Austen a fancy, lacy, silk handkerchief. I know in them days ladies always had one.


  18. Kristen says:

    Snow’s in the forecast for today, so my practical sense tells me some new winter mitts! My fun side says a pretty new fan or parasol!

  19. Amy says:

    I would give Jane Austen some new dancing slippers. She loved a good ball!

  20. Silvia - Italy says:

    My present to dear Jane would be some sheets of beautiful music that she could play during her time off. Music helps inspiration and concentration ;) Happy Birthday dear friend of many pleasant hours.

  21. Lena says:

    I would give her and Cassandra a grand tour of England so she could experience those places for herself in her favourite company :)

  22. Laura Martens says:

    I found this lovely Jane quote “I must get a softer pen. This is harder. I am in agonies. … I am going to write nothing but short sentences. There shall be two full stops in every line.” From a letter to her sister Cassandra, 1813.
    I would give her a new soft quill made with a pure white swan feather to help her in her writing.

  23. Liz Wallis says:

    My gift to dear Jane would be a beautiful Red Leather-tooled journal, where she may write her poetry and all her deepest musings. <3

  24. Her Grace says:

    Me, I’d give her a word processor (with printer) and a room of her own to go with HJ’s extra hour of writing time a day and Denise’s forty extra years.

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