Monday, 15 September 2014

Book review: Jane Austen's first love

At 15 years of age, young Jane Austen has big dreams of seeing the world and writing great novels, but has hardly traveled beyond her own village. Then, her family is invited to celebrate the engagement of her eldest brother Edward and spent a month in Kent. Jane makes many new young acquaintances, among whom young heir Edward Taylor. She is fascinated by his adventure-loving character and even though Jane knows a match between them is unlikely, she starts to fall in love with Edward. When the young people decide to set up a play as the ending of their festive summer, Jane tries to play matchmaker for some of her new friends. But not all her efforts turn out as expected and both for others and herself, Jane must learn not to rely on first impressions.

Saturday, 13 September 2014


Last week in my '8 Bookish or Not-So-Bookish Thoughts' post, I mentioned my sword-fighting classes had started again. In the comments I got a lot of questions about that hobby of mine, so I thought I'd make a post about it.

Sword-fighting classes? What do you do there exactly? 
So yes, I take sword-fighting classes or training. I started in January and I really enjoy it every week. Many people think I do fencing, but no, this is really different. The correct term is probably Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA), a modern sport which recreates combat techniques from the Medieval and Early Modern Period. In the group where I train, we focus on late Medieval swordfighting techniques. While more 'official' HEMA schools often have 'winning matches' as a goal, my trainer is really focused on recreating techniques and fighting as 'pretty' as possible. We also don't do full contact fights, but check ourselves and point towards openings in the oponent's defense. 

Saturday, 6 September 2014

8 Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts (1)

           Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty
 much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. sharing exciting plans for the weekend, 
rants on things they've encountered during the week etc.)

For a while now I've been looking for a 'format' to talk a little bit more about real life stuff or just small observati ons and shout-outs that I'd like to make which don't fill a whole post. I think this weekly blogging event is just what I need for that! I hope to make posts like this more often (though perhaps not weekly...)

1. Tomorrow I'm going to visit a traditional country market. There are going to be demo's and workshops of old farming techniques, cooking and crafts, rare animal breeds and lots of stand with interesting traditional products. The weather promises to be good and it all takes place in an open-air museum. I'm really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Book review: He knew he was right

The wealthy young Englishman Louis Trevelyan visits the British colony of the Mandarin Islands. Here he meets and falls in love with the governor's daughter Emily Rowley. Louis and Emily marry and settle in England together with Emily's sister Nora. Initially their marriage is happy and they have a baby boy. But when Emily is visited a few times by her older family friend, the single and rakish Colonel Osborne, Louis over-reacts and orders Emily not to see him again. Emily is shocked by her husband's lack of trust and soon their relationship deteriorates, leading even to a separation. Emily and Nora go and live with the family of Louis' university friend Hugh Stanbury. Hugh is in love with Nora, but because of his precarious living as a journalist, he dares not express his feelings. Meanwhile Nora is pursued by wealthy and titled Mr Glascock. Hugh's sweet and timid sister Dorothy is asked to come and live with her spinster aunt Miss Stanbury. Once there, aunt Stanbury tries to arrange a marriage between Dorothy and the local vicar Mr. Gibson, but Dorothy has more backbone than her aunt suspected!