Skyping My Jane Austen On Her Birthday

My Jane Austen looks kind of like this

I Skyped from my office.  “Happy birthday!” I said.  Clearly her house was full of revelers and I struggled to hide my embarrassment.  “I’m sorry to interrupt your party.”

“Nonsense, Jane Austen said, “You’ve saved me the trouble of inviting you.”

I fell into the awkward lull.

“Don’t fret, you’re not the only guest to arrive via Skype,” she said.  “We just hung up with Mark Twain.”

“But he’s dead.”  Her guests looked oddly familiar.  “Is that Charlotte Bronte?” I asked.

Jane turned to look.  “Yes,” she said.

“Is her face always that red?”

“No, she got too close to the screen; hot where Mark is.”

I took a good look at the crowd, recognizing Dickens and Fitzgerald waltzing to poorly executed piano accompaniment.

“Hush, Mary!” Jane sliced her neck at the pianist.

Mary Bennett.

“Pity, you just missed Michael Crichton and John Updike,” Jane said.  “They both got invited to a party for a new guy–Steve Jobs.  He lived in the States, did you know him?”

I tried to focus on her words but all I could think was that if Mary Bennett was there, other fictional characters must be mingling as well.  I scanned the room, certain I saw the Henrys: Crawford and Tilney.  Fanny Price was sneaking sips of Lady Bertram’s champagne.  Could that be Emma holding court with the Dashwood women?  How odd to recognize these characters, not as they appear in film or in my head, but as they were created by Jane Austen’s prose.  And then I saw him:  tall and impervious, chatting disdainfully with a dear brunette.  He didn’t look anything like Colin Firth.

“What’s the matter with you?” Jane asked me.  “Are you having an attack of nerves?”

“No,” I cleared my throat.  “I’m simply astonished to be in the same Skype with Mr. Darcy, as he appears to you.”  No wet shirt, no rain dripping from his nose, just the haughty, self-important man she’d written.  A chic blond touched his elbow, distracting him from the dear brunette who had already turned her back.  “I’m glad I know another side of him or I’d be tempted to write him off,” I said.

“Where have I heard that before?” Jane said, deadpan.  “Look, I’m glad you called,” she said, “I’ve been wondering about this Paris Wife book that’s getting so much attention.  Is it the title?  What do you think if I rename Sanditon?  How does The English Wife sound?”

Last month is was The Help, now The Paris Wife had engaged her competitive sensibilities.

“Is that Jeff Bezos in the corner?” I asked.

Jane looked.  “Yes,” she said.

“Who’s he talking to?”

“That’s God,” she said.  “They’re close.”


Jane sighed.  “It’s been great chatting but I’ve got to go or I’m not going to get any work done today.”

“What about your guests?” I asked.

“They’re leaving soon, all going over to Pemberley to watch Dancing with the Stars.”

“Goodbye Jane,” I said.  “Happy birthday.”

“You, too,” she said absently as the connection ended.


This post was written for Jane Austen’s Birthday Soiree, hosted by Maria Grazia (My Jane Austen Book Club) and Katherine Cox (November’s Autumn). Scroll down for the list of participants and join the party! 

 Leave a comment on this blog by December 23 to be entered in a drawing for a signed copy of My Jane Austen Summer and a package of Lily Berry’s Pink Rose Tea (created by Bingley’s Teas, Ltd.)  Contest open worldwide.   


Participants in Austen’s Birthday Soiree

  • Sharon Lathan
    Blog: Sharon Lathan
    Giveaway: one copy of Miss Darcy Falls in Love
  • Emily Snyder
    Blog: O! Beauty Unattempted
    Giveaway: one copy of Letters of Love & Deception 
  • Laurel Ann Nattress
    Blog: Austenprose 
    Giveaway: one signed copy of Jane Austen Made Me Do It
  • C. Allyn Pierson
    Blog: SemiTrue Stories
    Giveaway: one copy of Mr. Darcy Little Sister (open internationally)
  • Farida Mestek
  • Blog: Regency stories set against the backdrop of Regency England
    Giveaway: one copy of I was Jane Austen Best Friend, by Cora Harrison
  • Marilyn Brant
    Blog: Brant Flakes
    Giveaway: A canvas ACCORDING TO JANE tote bag and a pair of A SUMMER IN EUROPE luggage tags
  • Prue Batten
    Blog: Mesmered’s Blog
    Giveaway: one copy of Georgiana Darcy’s Diary: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice continued, Anna Elliott
  • Erin Blakemore
    Blog:  The Heroine’s Bookshelf
    Giveaway: Pride and Prejudice notecards, by Potter Style
  • Blog: vvb32 reads
    Giveaway: Jane Austen’s Little Instruction Book (Charming Petites), by Jane Austen, edited by Sophia Bedford-Pierce, illustrated by Mullen & Katz, introduction by Barbara Paulding
  • Karen Doornebos
    Blog: The Fiction vs. Reality Smackdown
    Giveaway: 2 Jane Austen candles and 2 signed copies of Definitely Not Mr. Darcy plus drink coasters and tea!
  • Regina Jeffers
    Blog: ReginaJeffers’s Blog
    Giveaway: one signed copy of Christmas at Pemberley
  • Alyssa Goodnight
    Blog: Alyssa Goodnight   
    Giveaway: one Jane Austen Action figure
  • Deb Barnum
    Blog: Jane Austen in Vermont
    Giveaway: 2012 calendars from the Wisconsin JASNA Region
  • Laura Hile, Susan Kaye, Pamela Aidan, and Barbara Cornthwaite
    Blog: Jane Started It!
    Giveaway: one copy of Young Master Darcy: A Lesson in Honour, by Pamela Aidan; one set of Frederick Wentworth, Captain (Books 1 and 2), by Susan Kaye; two copies of Mercy’s Embrace: So Rough a Course (Book 1), by Laura Hile; one copy of George Kinghtley, Gentleman (Books 1 and 2), by Barbara Cornthwaite
  • Juliet Archer
    Blog: Choc Lit Authors’ Corner
    Giveaway: one copy each of Persuade Me and The Importance of Being Emma
  • Jane Greensmith
    Blog: Reading, Writing, Working, Playing
    Giveaway: one copy each of Intimations of Austen, and Sense & Sensibility (Marvel Illustrated)
  • Jenny Allworthy
    Blog: The Jane Austen Film Club 
    Giveaway: a copy of Northanger Abbey DVD starring Felicity Jones and JJ Feild (The winner will choose region 1 or 2 DVD)
  • Sitio Jane Austen
    Blog: El Salón de Té de Jane
    Giveaway:  one copy of the Spanish edition of Sense and Sensibility and one copy of  DVD package with adaptations of Jane Austen. (It’s only zone 2, but it’s in Spanish and English ), and one copy of BBC’s Emma with Romola Garai (Blue-ray)
  • Kaitlin Saunders
    Blog: Kaitlin Saunders 
    Giveaway: one copy of A Modern Day Persuasion
  • Becky Rhodehouse
    Blog: One Literature Nut
    Giveaway: selection of Austenesque Reads
  • Patrice Sarath
    Blog: Patrice Sarath
    Giveaway: one copy of The Unexpected Miss Bennet
  • Adriana Zardini
    Site: Jane Austen Brasil
    Giveaway: DVD – Sense and Sensibility (1995) – English / Portuguese subtitles
  • Jane Odiwe
    Blog: Jane Austen Sequels 
    Giveaway: one mug with one of Jane Odiwe’s illustrations and one copy of Mr. Darcy’s Secret
  • Courtney Webb
    Blog: Stiletto Storytime 
    Giveaway: one copy of Noble Satyr by Lucinda Brant (Regency Romance)
  • Jennifer Becton
    Blog: Jennifer W. Becton
    Giveaway: one copy of the eBook of the Personages of Pride and Prejudice Collection, which contains Charlotte Collins, “Maria Lucas,” andCaroline Bingley. Open internationally.
  • Vera Nazarian
    Blog: Urban Girl Takes Vermont
    Giveaway: a copy of Vera Nazarian’s gift hardcover edition of her inspirational calendar and diary, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
  • Abigail Reynolds
    Blog: Pemberley Variations 
    Giveaway: one signed copy of Mr. Darcy’s Undoing
  • Blog: AustenAuthors
    Giveaway: one copy of Georgette Heyer’s Regency World, by Jennifer Kloester
  • Katherine Cox
    Blog: November’s Autumn
    Giveaway: one $10 B&N Gift-card (US only)
  • Maria Grazia
    Blog: My Jane Austen Book Club
    Giveaway: A selection of Austenesque reads


This entry was posted in Cindy Jones, contest, Jane Austen, My Jane Austen, My Jane Austen Summer. Bookmark the permalink.

128 Responses to Skyping My Jane Austen On Her Birthday

  1. ColleenL says:

    I’ve been looking forward to reading My Jane Austen Summer, but have not had a chance yet. Thanks for the giveaway, and Happy B-Day Jane!

  2. Bex says:

    Happy Birthday, Jane! 🙂 great giveaway, i’d love to read this

  3. Sophia Rose says:

    ROFLOL! How insane was that Skype call! I loved it. I think it is a great tribute to Jane.

    Please do not enter me in the drawing as I already have your fabulous book. I just had to let you know how much I appreciated your posting! Great read to start my morning.

  4. Sara says:

    Happy Birthday from Italy dear Jane!

  5. Monica says:

    I have actually never skyped before, but now I think I should definitely try!
    Your post reminded me of Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen).
    I am really enjoying this Jane Austen party in the blogosphere. In Holland they use to congratulate everybody with someone’s birthday, so: congratulations to you all!

  6. blodeuedd says:

    Oh cool, teas 🙂
    Happy Birthday Miss Austen, she sure made my reading life a pleasant place

  7. Patricia says:

    So fun! I’d love to be able to meet the real Darcy, Tilney, etc, just as Jane Austen imagined them.
    Happy birthday dear Jane!

  8. Kirk says:

    Wonderful story! I wonder how Jane would have handled the shin bone comment from Twain and the snarky Bronte comments. Happy 236th Jane!

  9. yay! i love teas!
    i hope i can win your book!

  10. Arianne says:

    Happy Birthday Jane Austen! Thanks for the chance to win the giveaway.

  11. Annette B. says:

    Happy Birthday to the dearest Jane Austen. And what a lovely giveaway, mmm tea.

  12. Danielle says:

    I would love to win a copy of My Jane Austen Summer!

  13. Jen M says:

    Happy birthday, Jane Austen!

    Thank you for hosting such a fun giveaway.

  14. Lisa Wagner says:

    Thank you for the amusing vignette! Put a smile on my face, which I badly needed today. Happy Jane’s Birthday! I would love to win a copy of your book!

  15. Sharon says:

    Happy B’day Jane Austen!
    Lovely giveaway!

  16. zally says:

    ha! I never ever imagined seeing Jane Austen and “Dancing with the Stars” in the same entry! This was hilarious! Thank you. Also, a very Happy Birthday to Jane!

  17. Mom Wald says:

    You are so witty! Jane would certainly enjoy your Skype story. Please include me in your drawing. It would be delightful to try the tea while reading your book.

  18. Patricia Finnegan says:

    Happy Birthday Jane!

  19. Heather M says:

    Thanks for celebrating Jane’s birthday! Your book has been on my “to read” list. But what do you mean Jane’s Mr. Darcy doesn’t look like Colin Firth in a wet shirt!? I’m shocked 🙂

    • Cindy Jones says:

      MY Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy doesn’t look like Colin Firth but YOUR Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy may be the exact spitting image. (Karen Joy Fowler said, “Each of us has a private Austen.”) We’re all right!

  20. Adelaide says:

    Wow. I have just started to be a Jane Austen fan, and I’m very happy. Happy Birthday Jane :* It’s amazing what are you doing ^^

  21. Else T says:

    This is TOTALLY BRILLIANT! I am laughing. Thanks so much for this “crossover” episode in the life of Jane! 🙂 And happy bday, Jane! And I’d love to win!

  22. RivkaBelle says:

    LOL! Oh my, this was wonderful fun…I love the way Jane chats. “That’s God. […] They’re really close” <– LOVE IT! 😀

    I'd dearly love to win a copy of this 🙂

  23. Cindy, this is a delightful story. Thank you for adding it to today’s mix.

  24. Hilarious! I can picture the scene vividly! Thanks for the wonderful glimpse into Jane’s life in the here and now, Cindy. Loved it!!

  25. Denise Adorian says:

    Lovely blog you have,so nice to”meet” you.Please visit me anytime @ Denise’s Delights in her Coffeeberry Cottage.I would love to be included in your giveaway.Happy Birthday to Jane and thank you so much for the fun. Denise

  26. Olga says:

    What a wonderful way to celebrate Jane Austen’s birthday. Thanks!

  27. Arianna Rafi says:

    Oh, wow! I can’t stop laughing! To imagine Jane Austen skyping… I can’t wait to look around your blog. You seem like a fun person! Thanks for the give-away!

    And I wish Jane a happy birthday!

    [email protected]

  28. Iris says:

    Heheeh, Jane Austen on Skype 🙂

    I’d love to be entered in the giveaway: irisonbooks [at] gmail [dot] com

    Happy Jane Austen birthday to you!

  29. BeckyC says:

    Hilarious, Cindy!

    Happy birthday, Jane!

    This is the best blog hop ever!

  30. Oh, that was lots of fun! Thank you for sharing – I greatly enjoyed that :-))

  31. Laurel Ann says:

    Happy Birthday Jane Austen. Thanks for the skyp of Jane’s house Cindy. Very clever.

  32. Kathryn Kane says:

    I am surprised there was not a knock-down-drag-out or at least a major hissy fit at this party. Charlotte Bronte wrote and said some really nasty things about Jane and her work once she was able to get her own work published. I certainly hope Jane was able to put Charlotte in her place! 😉

  33. Poof Books says:

    Had to stop and pay my respects to all of the lovely hostesses for this soiree. I already have your books and wrapped up summer reads with it. Loved it.

    I love imagining Jane on Skype.

    On to the next soiree stop…

  34. heatherly says:

    so like Jane to have skype set up so that we could call in

  35. Pingback: Austenprose’s Jane Austen Birthday Soiree – December 16, 2011 – with tons of Giveaways! « Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog

  36. Kelli H. says:

    Happy Birthday dear Jane! What a fun post! I really enjoyed it! Thanks for the giveaway!:)

  37. Meg says:

    Ooh, please count me in! I’ve been hoping to get my hands on your novel for a while.

  38. Katrin W says:

    hehe…that really would be something skyping with Jane Austen. Wonderful read, your post!!
    My Jane Austen Summer is on my tbr-list!

    Thanks for making the giveaway worldwide!

  39. araminta18 says:

    That was a great story–and great giveaway!

  40. Monica P says:

    How cool would it be to see all of Jane’s characters the way she envisioned them! I’ve never Skyped before but if I could get a crowd like that, I’d sure try it!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    ([email protected])

  41. Lisa S says:

    Sounds like a fun party! Thank you for being a part of the celebration. I’d love to read your book. And… happy birthday Jane! =D

  42. Cara Dragnev says:

    Well, I wish I could have been at THAT party! That was fun:) Thank you for doing this blog hop–I would LOVE to win a copy of the book–I haven’t read it yet! Happy Birthday Jane!


  43. What a wonderful post! I wish I had been there! Happy Birthday Jane!
    I would love to read this book! I’ve added it to my TBR list (it gets longer each day)

  44. melanie says:

    Skyping with Jane! I love it.
    Lovely giveaway – thank you!

  45. Caitlin says:

    I would love to win your book and the lovely tea! Thanks for the giveaway and the little glimpse into the life of Jane Austen 🙂 What a lovely and inspiring woman she is 🙂

  46. Happy Birthday, Jane!

    Thank you for sharing the fun post and the wonderful giveaway. 🙂

  47. Diana says:

    Great post!
    And a very happy birthday to Jane!

  48. Melora Brock says:

    Man, Jane is popular in the afterlife. I’d have been depressed not to have gotten an invite to her party, but at least she condescended to Skype!

  49. Danielle V says:

    How wonderful! Happy birthday, dear Jane! 🙂

    [email protected]

  50. Lúthien84 says:

    Happy Birthday, Jane.

    Cindy, that’s a clever take on JA surrounded with her characters and literary authors. Did not hear about The Paris Wife. What is it about?

  51. Pingback: Jane’s Birthday Soiree: A Gift For Miss. Austen | Stiletto Storytime

  52. Maria Grazia says:

    Witty piece! Great, love it. Ehm… as you can notice, I’ve found and read your post. Sorry for the incident.
    Great success, I see. Lots of comments 🙂
    Thanks for joining our party and contributing to the fun, Cindy.

  53. Laura Hile says:

    This is so clever and well done, Cindy! Thanks for the smiles. And also for the giveaway opportunity.

    🙂 Laura

  54. Felicia says:

    Brilliant post! Happy Birthday Dear Jane!


    felicialso @gmail. com

  55. stephanie says:

    A day late I know
    but I did remember
    Miss Jane’s birthday yesterday….
    Would love to attend your party,
    and meet all the wonderful writers
    and characters…
    Thanks for the chance to win…

  56. Julie says:

    I have been meaning to read your book for a long time! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  57. Mary Preston says:

    Happy Birthday Jane. A great post thank you.


  58. dreamer says:

    What a lovely post! Thank you for the chance to win your book, I’d love to have it 🙂
    [email protected]

  59. Katherine says:

    Thank you for joining us in the Soiree, Cindy! No need to enter me in the giveaway. 😉

  60. Jeffrey says:

    I would be remiss if I didn’t get into the action. I stumbled into the world of Jane Austen 5 years ago and it has proven to be the literary joy of my life. ‘Nuff said…

  61. Courtney says:

    Oh I have wanted to try some of the Bingley tea for so very long! Thanks for a wonderful giveaway and Happy Happy Birthday Dear Jane!

  62. rainakochanvideo says:

    using skype with jane austen ..that is something ! it is very refreshing way to give her a happy birthday 🙂
    must be enjoyed !!!

    [email protected]

  63. Claire says:

    Happy Birthday Miss Austen and congratulations to all who celebrate it like a dear friend’s birthday.
    It would be great to talk to Jane and see Captain Wentworth, we must be content with just dream them and share those dreams (sigh).
    My e-mail address is [email protected]

  64. IdentitySeeker says:

    Haha! That’s such a novel idea- Skyping Jane Austen and seeing other dead literary giants. I love how Steve Jobs got thrown in there too. Thanks for this great giveaway:) I’m Jane Austen-crazy. Would love to win!

    [email protected]

  65. Happy Birthday, Jane! I really wish that I could attend your party.

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