It is a truth universally acknowledged that about half of women are unabashed Jane Austen fanatics and that all of those women already own their favorite novels in hardcover volumes and their favorite film adaptations in DVD form. So what can you buy them for the holidays?
Buttoned up gloves.
Keep it ladylike this holiday season with warm gloves with cool button details like these from buy.com. Even if your friend doesn’t live where it’s cold, she’ll appreciate the necessity of covering up your fingers in polite society. The buttons give this functional gift true Austen flair.
The Mysteries of Udolpo by Ann Radcliffe
Take a Jane Austen book club to the next level by buying your friend the book that Jane Austen’s own heroines couldn’t stop gossiping about. Ann Radcliffe was sort of the Stephenie Meyer of her day–writing overwhelmingly popular gothic romances that Austen herself read. In Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland’s obsession with The Mysteries of Udolpho feed her imagination and lead her into trouble. You can get it on Amazon for as little as $6.93 (used) and finally get what all the Regency-era fuss was about.
Quill Pen and Ink Set
Elizabeth Bennett never sent her sister Jane an email and Marianne Dashwood never sent her sister Elinor a text message. So why would a Jane Austen fanatic want to send messages any other way than with a classic letter written with a quill pen? Lots of historical online gift shops (such as this one) sell Quill Pen and Ink Sets for under $20.00. I realize the irony of using online shopping to buy an old fashioned writing instrument, but you can be romantic about the past without being a complete Luddite.
A Larger-than-Life Poster of Mr. Darcy
I personally prefer the early morning strolling Darcy from 2005’s Pride and Prejudice, but most women prefer Colin Firth’s wet t-shirt contest winning version. Find out your pal’s favorite Darcy (or other Austen gentleman) and make a poster for her. Websites like Zazzle and Poster Burner offer online services that make turning your friend’s bedroom wall into a vision of gentle-manliness.