THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS! if you haven’t read the book or watched the first episode, look away now!

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Ok so now that warning is out of the way I can share my thoughts. Firstly the book, I read this recently without actually realising that the BBC was making a dramatisation of it. I had read terrible reviews of the book, but this always makes me want to give something a read especially when it’s a Jane Austen fanfic. PD James is also a very well-respected writer so I thought I would give it a go.

Death comes to Pemberley is basically a sequel to Pride and Prejudice with a murder mystery thrown in. Pride and Prejudice is a book I know very well, so much so that I actually listen to the audio book every night when I go to sleep. I have seen every TV production and film of it and I just really really love it. I didn’t however love Death Comes to Pemberley.

What I did like about the book was the actual parts that follow on from Jane Austen’s novel, all the bits involving Elizabeth, Mr Darcy, Jane and Bingly etc, are really well written and feels like a natural follow on from the book. Maybe the author should have stuck to just writing another sequel and left the whole murder aspect out.

The main problem for me was that I just didn’t care, I thought James was lazy in her choice of victim, who cares about Denny? Such a minor character in the original book that we have no interest or engagement with him. Therefor when he is killed do we care? Not really. A good crime writer will develop the character of the victim, even if they are dead on the first page. If we don’t care to start with after a few chapters we will. But in this book PD James doesn’t bother, we are no more engaged with the victim that we are for the food prepared for the Pemberley ball.

Wickham is such an unlikeable character that I didn’t really care if he was hanged or not, I felt very little sympathy for him, and when at the end I found out what really happened I still really didn’t care.

Sadly I can’t get those hours of my life back, but I can lose a few more watching the BBC dramatisation. After all it’s the BBC they always do a good job with a Jane Austen right? Apparently wrong. So distracted was I by all the wardrobe inaccuracies that I hardly noticed the terrible story line. Thank you BBC for making me dislike Death Comes to Pemberley on a whole new level.

I’m no expert, but I know enough about the regency era to have picked up on these few points…

1. As a married women Elizabeth should be wearing a cap indoors.

2. She should also be wearing a bonnet outside.

3. She is wearing nothing under her dress!!! Even through pregnancy she would have been wearing a corset or stays, she also should have a chemise or petticoat under her dress.

4. She looks less well presented than the servants. Elizabeth looks like a cheaply dressed scullery maid, she may be outdoorsy but she is still the mistress of a great house and her husband has 10 thousand a year – no excuse for her scruffy appearance.

5. Her hair – don’t get me started on the hair!

Elizabeth

And lastly is it just me or did Mr Alveston just suddenly appear with no introduction to the character?  The BBC shouldn’t presume we all read the book and know what going on. In fact after reading the reviews on Goodreads a lot of people started and didn’t finish it. A good call on their part. Also why no Jane in this one? I do however love the casting of Lidia and Mrs Bennet, these were spot on, and the locations are amazing.

Fay once told me that I shouldn’t write reviews as I always look for the best in everything and so tend to be nice even when I shouldn’t. But here you go, a very honest review! I’d love to know what everyone else thought of the book and the TV production so far. Comments please!

Heyday Vintage Style

Stained glass biscuits are one of my favourite things to bake, just because they look so pretty! You can even leave a hole in them before baking and when cooked attach a ribbon on them and hang them on the christmas tree, they look great with the lights shining through them.

They are really easy to make, I just use a basic biscuit recipe, although you could add cinnamon or ginger to make them a little more festive.

You Will Need

250g butter

140g brown sugar

1 egg yolk

2 tsp vanilla extract

300g plain flour

Boiled sweets

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees

Mix the butter and sugar together

Add the egg yolk and vanilla

Sift the flour into the bowl and mix until a dough is formed

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and use cutters to cut out shapes

Use a smaller cutter to cut sections from the middle of each biscuit

Place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof baking paper

Place a boiled sweet in the centre of your cut out section

Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes, until the biscuits are golden in colour and the sweet has melted

Allow to cool enough for the sweet to harden again and leave to cool fully on a wire rack

Apologies for turning this into a baking blog over December! I love baking so during the festive season I’m constantly cooking up a sweet treat or two. I have a couple more last-minute baking posts before the big day and then I promise I’ll do lot’s of outfit posts and vintage hauls to make up for the lack of them in December!

Every women’s wardrobe should contain at least one little black dress. They are the perfect solution when you don’t know what else to wear and can be accessorised for any occasion. If you love something with a vintage look there are plenty of options out there. These are a few of my favourites….

Row One:

1. Coquette Wiggle Dress – £120 – 20th Century Foxy

2. Faye Floral Doll Dress – £115 – Collectif

3. Black Eyelash Texture Dress – £25 – Miss Selfridge

Row Two:

4. 1980s Black Cocktail Dress – £49 – Love Miss Daisy

5. Jacquard Prom Dress – £25 – George

6. Trudy Dress – £29.99 – Lindy Bop

 

Audrey Hepburn – The queen of the little black dress.

Last night I spotted a great video on Tanya Burr’s Youtube channel which featured three christmas baking ideas. I love chistmassy recipes so decided to give the Ginger Bread Cupcakes recipe a try. The cakes are delicious and very festive and the toffee icing is amazing. Here’s the video if you want to give this a try…

I popped mine in some gold cupcake cases from Tesco, I didn’t have any icing bags so had to use my icing syringe which only has a small nozzle, I’d recommend using a bigger one like Tanya has in the video.

They were really easy to make despite the slightly more complicated icing, and I will definitely be making these again not just at christmas. I’m planning to make another batch for when i’m popping round to friends and family over christmas, as I think they’d make a lovely little treat to bring along.

Does anyone else have any nice christmas recipes? Please link in the comments and I’ll give them a go. xxx

Well actually 5 days and 3 hours!

I cannot believe how fast December has gone! It’s always a busy one for us with both me and my husband celebrating our birthdays, and of course the build up to Christmas. I did the last of my shopping today and now I’m looking forward to wrapping the presents over the next few evenings, doing our food shopping and relaxing. Jessica finishes school for the holidays so I’m relieved to no school runs for the next couple of weeks.

This year is going to be a nice quiet christmas with just the four of us and I’m not going to cook a huge meal but lot’s of little yummy things that I can throw in the oven and not worry about cooking all day. The last couple of years have made me realise that while the kids are small I just want to spend the day enjoying being together and playing with their new toys with them.

I’ve tried to keep spending to a minimum this year as well, by being realistic about how generous I need to be and shopping around before I buy anything. It’s amazing how much you can save with multi buys and reductions.

I have bought all my wrapping and as you’ll see in the picture above I’ve gone really traditional this year with lots of reds and greens and my very favourite gift wrap – simple brown paper which always shows of any pretty ribbons and trims to their best.

Anyway I’m sorry this is just a brief chatty post today, but I have heaps to do tonight before Jess breaks up tomorrow and I’m going to put on some classic christmas tunes, make a cup of tea and get some wrapping done. I’m hoping to do a post in the next couple of days with some christmas wrapping ideas so watch this space.

How are your preparations for christmas going? Have you blogged about anything christmassy, I love seeing other people’s ideas so please feel free to link up in the comments and I’ll take a look.

xxx