This originally appeared on December 23, 2011. It seemed like a fun idea to republish it this year! Don’t miss Part 2 tomorrow!
During the celebration of Jane Austen’s birthday, I began to think about what I might give her as a birthday and/or Christmas present. (We December babies are quite accustomed to people merging our birthday and Christmas gifts.) As my imagination took off with the idea, I began to wonder what each of the characters in her books would like to give her. My very first thought was that Captain and Mrs. Wentworth might present her with a world cruise. Because I was certain many of our readers would find this amusing, I asked other authors from Austen Variations to add their ideas. I received so many wonderful responses that I’ve had to divide the list into two posts. Part One today includes Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and Sense and Sensibility. If you have ideas of gifts Austen’s characters from these books might give her, please feel free to add them in the comments section of this post! We hope you find our little entertainment diverting. Happy Holidays!
- Lady Catherine de Bourgh – A set of shelves for her closet (as she knows how helpful Mrs. Collins has found them) and very specific instructions for their installation and use.
- Mr. Collins – Fordyce’s Sermons – The Deluxe Edition; a miniature of Lady Catherine. (The same as the one he gave to his dear Charlotte. I mean, what more could one want?)
- Mrs. Collins – Eggs from her poultry.
- Maria Lucas sends a copy of Lady Catherine’s instructions on how to pack your trunk when traveling.
- Caroline Bingley – A box of sour grapes.
- Mr. Bingley is certain that Miss Austen’s writing would benefit from a gift of a lap top computer (since his computer made it much easier for him to write letters and also for others to read them).
- Mr. & Mrs. Hurst – Mrs. Hurst had planned to give Miss Austen a bottle of fine sherry, but unfortunately before she could get it wrapped and sent, Mr. Hurst drank it. Sorry, Jane!
- The Darcy’s – A little cottage of her very own at Pemberley; copies of all the Pride and Prejudice-related fan fiction for her reading enjoyment/amusement.
- Georgiana Darcy – A recording of her latest musical composition and her slightly used copy of Building Self Confidence for Dummies (which she no longer needs since she has her sister Lizzy).
- Mr. and Mrs. Wickham – Lydia asked her sister Lizzy if she might add the Wickham’s name to their present for Miss Austen as they are a little short of cash this month
- Mary Bennet – her rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” played and sung extremely ill.
- Kitty Bennet sent a partially trimmed bonnet and earplugs for when her sister Mary plays.
- Lady Bertram – A pug puppy.
- Mary Crawford gave Jane an all expenses paid month long trip to her brother Henry’s estate in Norfolk thinking that with the authoress out of the picture, she would be at liberty to nail Edmund’s affections – should she decide to do so.
- Mrs. Norris gave Jane Austen the amber cross necklace she lifted from Fanny’s jewelry box.
- Fanny Price gave Jane Austen a dog-eared book of Cowper’s Selected Poems–their taste in literature being similar.
- Edmund Bertram gave Jane Austen Fanny’s horse, once Mary Crawford is done with it, that is.
- Sir Thomas Bertram gave Jane Austen a report on The Truth About Antigua’s Regency-era Economy, in case she really doesn’t know…
- Henry Crawford – A gold chain for her locket; his copy of “Lover’s Vows”
- Doctor and Mrs. Grant – A year’s subscription each of Gourmet and Epicurean magazines.
- Julia Bertram Yates – A year’s subscription to all performances Mr. Yates directed.
- Mr. Rushworth is eager to give Jane a consultation with his garden improver (designer) and hopes she will reciprocate with the name of really good divorce lawyer (should she know of any).
- Mrs. Frances Price – One of her younger children for a year or six years.
Sense and Sensibility
- John Willoughby – Marianne’s hair in a gold locket and a pony.
- Fanny Dashwood – A lump of coal.
- Marianne Dashwood – Copies of her favorite books of poetry and the Colonel’s flannel waistcoat (since he doesn’t need it any more).
- Mrs. Jennings – An afternoon of juicy gossip; copies of Tattle, Hello Magazine and Ok!
- Elinor Dashwood Ferrars – A ring with a lock of Lucy Steele’s hair that used to belong to her husband (since he clearly doesn’t need it any more).
- Lucy Ferrars (nee Steele) A ring with her own hair.
- Robert Ferrars – A jeweled silver case for Jane’s toothpicks.
- Sir John Middleton – A pair of pointers to accompany her on her rambles