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A Jane Austen Christmas: Celebrating the Season of Romance, Ribbons and Mistletoe
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A Jane Austen Christmas: Celebrating the Season of Romance, Ribbons and Mistletoe

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  136 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Filled with the remarkable wit and insight of one of the world's most cherished authors, A Jane Austen Christmas gives readers insight into Austen's life through little-known stories about how she and her family celebrated the treasured holiday season.

Carlo DeVito provides an intimate portrait of Austen's most cherished Christmas memories with her family: from the gift of
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Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Cider Mill Press
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Average rating 3.33  · 
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 ·  136 ratings  ·  37 reviews


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Start your review of A Jane Austen Christmas: Celebrating the Season of Romance, Ribbons and Mistletoe
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
When it comes to Jane Austen and Christmas, Janeites and Austen-lovers long to know how their beloved authoress celebrated the holiday season. Many of the holiday traditions we celebrate and recognize come from the Victorian Era and later, but what about the Georgian Era? What are the differences and similarities between the Austens’ holiday festivities and our own modern-day celebrations?

In A Jane Austen Christmas, Carlo DeVito illustrates six different and significant Christmas seasons in Jane
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Gloria
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Great idea, very poor execution. Reads like the draft of a very pedestrian high school research paper, complete with a selected bibliography chock full of websites of dubious credibility... Disappointing.
Sophia
A true Christmas gem for the Jane Austen Lover! From its gorgeous presentation to the contents within, it was like the unwrapping of a much anticipated gift.

The book is sectioned by a handful of years that highlight significant points in Jane Austen's life. The focus is the Christmas season for each of these years. Beyond this, the author fills in details of English daily life, Christmas traditions, social customs, recipes, descriptions, illustrations, and of course the details of Jane and her
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McLean
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
This was a profoundly disappointing book. The book is nothing more than a long string of block-quotes, occasionally strung together by typos and factual errors. At best, five percent of the text is actually written by the author.

Mostly, the author simply pulls multiple paragraphs at a time from other and better writers, puts them in quotation marks, and considers that sufficient.

On the rare occasions that the author does bother to write a sentence or two, it invariably is riddled with mistakes,
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Susan
Dec 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: austenesque
A description of Jane Austen's and Georgian Christmas traditions, divided into six different years. An interesting read for this day.
Sheila Majczan
Dec 12, 2015 rated it liked it
I do have to agree with Meredith who in her review lists misspellings and misinformation. I took a pen or pencil and wrote corrections in my hard cover version.

I did find that Mr. DeVito quoted many other authors or historians in giving us the viewpoints of not only what is happening in history but also in Jane’s family during this period. Jane’s relatives are quoted in telling us of the family and its personal history around the years listed in this book.

First of all it is pointed out here, as
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SmartBitches
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Every single year I see some shiny book at Barnes and Noble that looks historical and Christmassy and I pounce on it, deluded by the glossy stuff on the cover, only to find that it will not actually make me an expert on Customs of Christmases Past. This years’ epic fail is A Jane Austen Christmas: Celebrating the Season of Romance, Ribbons, and Mistletoe by Carlo Devito. It has a great concept, but not much actual content. The embossing is a trap, people
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Janet
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Since Christmas is my favorite holiday, I was especially interested in reading more about how it was celebrated in the time of my favorite author. This non-fiction book is a delightful and informative look into the lives of the Austen family during six special Christmastides. From balls and assemblies to the publishing of Emma, we get a glimpse into some of the history of Jane and her family as well as the traditions of the times.

I found A Jane Austen Christmas by Carlo DeVito to be well researc
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Arielle M.
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfic-and-etc
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this delightful book. It was fascinating to learn how important Christmas celebrations were to the social culture of the time, particularly young adults of marriageable age. The author researched the roots of some of the Christmas customs; for example, I did not know that the custom of wassailing began in pre-Norman England with the practice of singing apple trees awake.

What was most intriguing to me about this book, was being introduced to several of the people in J
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Nicole
Dec 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Really like 2 and a half. Overall it was really interesting but it took like a while to get into the book because, especially the first section, felt so redundant at times and for the most part there were too many quotes, no footnotes, citation from websites. It felt a lot like I was reading a college paper instead of a researched book. It also felt a bit like the author was grasping at straws. I like Jane Austen enough to forgive the faults of certain and there was a lot of interesting informat ...more
Melanie
Dec 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
A disappointing attempt to capitalize on "all things Austen", this book made me feel like I was reading a research paper done by a high school student, full of quotations by other people and very little original content. And there are some editorial errors in spelling, grammar, and content that reinforce that sensation.
I was even more disappointed the book didn't focus more on Christmas and Christmas customs. It was a great idea; not so great execution. (Even if what the Austen's actually did at
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Cecilia Hendricks
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a quick but interesting read. It provides historical context for some of what happens in Jane Austen's novels as well as shedding light on how Christmas was celebrated in her time. It mostly made me want to throw a fancy Christmas party and read more Jane Austen novels.
AlegnaB †
2.6 -- It needs a better editing job. The author borrowed heavily from previously published books.
writer...
Much information of interest, I would have enjoyed it more with closer attention to editing.
reagan eyre
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was hoping this book would be more than it was. It had such promise as a little collection of Austen family Christmas traditions and moments.

However, it ended up a disappointment for me. While I thought much of the Austen-related trivia was interesting, it did seem like a book of trivia, rather than a well-described portrait of Christmas as Jane would’ve experienced it. There was much information in the book that did not seem to fit with the topic of either the Austens or Christmas.

And, as I j
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Emily
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This book follows Jane Austen over several Christmas seasons, with five or so years between. I learned about how Christmas was celebrated in the era and what Austen's life was like at these different periods. The book includes some traditional holiday recipes, and those seemed wacky to me. I was very interested in learning more about Austen's life, family, and love interests, so I really enjoyed that. I liked the snippets of Austen's letters and the references cited seemed good to me. Two things ...more
Mary Teresa
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
I can only give this an 'it was OK' rating. For a Janeite, it's really just a Christmas decoration. The writing and editing is careless in spots, with errors, some spelling, others that clang. Tom Lefroy arrives to see Jane with his 'brother George'. A few paragraphs later it turns out that George is a cousin, not a brother. Also, Mr. Bingley is not the man sent away from a penniless love interest in Sense & Sensibility, because he is not in it. That would be Mr. Willoughby. Bingley as everybody ...more
Megan
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is a fun little read, although one that would have benefited from another editing read through before publication. It describes the Christmas season during various years of Jane Austen's life, quoting experts and her letters. The writing style is a bit odd as it is mostly quotes, but it pulls together well enough for anyone who is interested in Jane Austen and wants one more quick little tidbit to read.
Carrie
Dec 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
This is the worst book I have ever picked up. It is embarrassing how bad this book is. The author is an idiot. The entire book is quotes. It is full of errors. In short, this book should have never been published. Waste of money.
Donna
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Challenge: Holiday Book Bingo 2018 - Non-fiction (2). The last of my book bingo categories completes 2018 holiday reads during these Twelve Days of Christmas befitting Georgian/Regency England and the happiness and losses experienced by Jane Austen at this time of year.
Chris
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: christmas
As noted by the author, Jane Austen mentions Christmas in each of her six main novels and includes several vividly described scenes set during the holidays season. Carol DeVito describes the likely Christmas traditions of the time, including verse and recipes, but she also relates the events of significant Christmases in Jane's life, such as the holiday in 1802 when she accepted a marriage proposal in the evening and boldly broke off the engagement in the morning. The author assumes the reader h ...more
Amanda
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had this fantasy that I would be able to sit and read this entire book on Christmas Eve. I should have known better. Christmas Eve and Christmas day are way too busy for me to be able to just sit and read all day, though that is the dream. In this case, however, it worked out because reading this extended the holiday for me.

Part history of English Christmas traditions, part biography of Jane Austen, this was a charming and delightful read. I loved the way the holiday weaved into her life, and
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Alethea
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it
I normally revel in anything about Jane, but DeVito's book, though bound prettily, was full of typos and also contained some incorrect information about Jane's life. I have seen that he tends to write these "types" of books about popular departed authors, so I applaud his attempts to bring the forgotten worlds back into the modern-day consciousness. However, some of the stories woven in were simply facts and stories from Jane's life well known to Janeites, included simply because they occurred a ...more
Bronwyn
More like 3.5 but...
First the good. There was a lot of interesting information and I'm glad to have this and to have read it, but...
This wasn't really about Christmas at this time. It was more about Jane Austen at certain Christmastimes. The actual Christmas stuff seemed forced a lot of the time. Also...
There were a lot of typos. You don't quote saying "X wrote", it's "writes". I'm pretty sure Henry III couldn't have visited an Elizabethan home...
Still, an interesting book.
Lauran Vetuschi
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
It is RARE I would give anything Jane Austen related anything less than five stars :) However, this book just didn't hit the mark--VERY poorly edited...and I agree with other reviews--the author took a lot of information from other sources (properly cited) which did not lend to any new information. I also expected it to be more Austeneque. Nevertheless, if you would like to learn more about Christmastide, and not Jane, this book was an ok read.
Ophelinha
Nov 10, 2015 rated it liked it
I had never thought of Christmastide as the ideal season for love&courtship during the Regency era...a must-read if you want to sneak a peak at balls, house decorations, recipes, lots of alcol and budding Xmasy romances.
For example, did you know mince pies dated back to the Crusades? Curioser and curioser...
...more
Sherry Elswick
Dec 11, 2015 rated it liked it
I've read many biographies of Jane Austen. What's different about this one is that Carlo DeVito offers a biographical sketch of Austen against the back drop of how Regency England celebrated Christmas. I find it fascinating to read how Xmas traditions and customs have evolved throughout time. A quick, splendid read.
Betty Strohecker
This was a very interesting book giving many details about Jane Austen's life. While it was set up around certain Christmases and gave some insight into celebrations of the day, I found it to be more of a short biographical sketch of Austen's life. Information was well-documented and included exerpts from some of Austen's letters as well as personal life influences on her characters.
Jennifer Thompson
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
A tiny but delightful holiday offering for those who adore Jane Austen. A book that allows the reader to immerse oneself in the historical details of Austen's Christmas celebrations and holiday traditions. A book to be treasured every Noel and to tuck into a book lovers stocking along with a tin of English tea.
Denise Tarasuk
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reading A Jane Austin Christmas is such a wonderful way to celebrate the season. This book is a real treasure filled with stories of Jane’s life at Christmastide. I enjoyed the details of food, balls, and letters written to friends and her sister. A real gem for anyone who is interested in history or Jane’s life will certainly cherish!
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Carlo DeVito is a long time wine lover, and author of books and magazine articles. He is the author of Wineries of the East Coast. He has traveled to wine regions in California, Canada, up and down the east coast, France, Spain and Chile. He was also a publisher at Running Press Book Publishers, where he published books from Wine Spectator, as well as books with Greg Moore (of Moore Bros.), Matt K ...more

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