Jane Austen’s unfinished manuscript The Watsons sold at Sotheby’s yesterday for 1.6 million dollars–three to four times what it was predicted to bring. This manuscript is a Big Deal: none of Jane Austen’s other works survive, except for two draft chapters of Persuasion. Scholars say The Watsons is Austen’s most autobiographical work: it tells the story of Emma Watson, a young woman who returns home to her middle-class family after being raised by a wealthy aunt. And in the Watson household, tenuous financial circumstances have the daughters on a desperate hunt for husbands.
It’s been suggested that the work was abandoned–it’s about 1/4 done–because the story line was hitting too close to home for Austen, who never married. This is the closest we’ll ever get to an Austen autobiography, and I’m wondering: if one-fourth of the drafted manuscript fetched 1.6 million, what would the world pay for a polished Austen memoir? (I, for one, would pay a lot to read it!)
Oh, how I love the yarnbombers: Best. Street Art. Ever. Check out this yarnbombed bus in Mexico City (via Meaningful Squiggles). This bus is the work of Knitta Please (tagline: we knit graffiti). I also love Knit the City (tagline: your friendly neighborhood yarnstormers). I only wish they were in my neighborhood! Their blog is such fun: make sure you don’t miss their Wooly Wills and Kate dolls!
I’ve been fascinated with the concept of the gap year since Susan Wise Bauer blogged about it last year. But now the Harvard Business Review is advocating a gap year for grown-ups. The idea is that we can be more focused, productive and fulfilled if we approach our work after a period of thoughtful reflection (or, for the teenagers, after a year of developing maturity out in the “real world”).
Granting a sabbatical to the non-academics among us sounds like a good idea to me: time away to refresh, re-examine, refocus will yield good things. But I’m not sure where that leaves mothers. Mothers struggle enough with stepping out of the workplace and taking time for themselves–and their families. What does a gap year look like for moms? (I don’t know the answer, but I can tell you this: it’s not a gap year.)
Will Will and Kate’s American visit cement the comeback of The Hat? Kate didn’t don many hats on her North American tour, but the Americans who came out to meet her did. But for the Duchess herself, my favorite hat this trip was this one, hands down:
Michelle Obama’s made the news for her Monday lunch stop at DC’s Shake Shack. She ordered a hamburger, fries, a Diet Coke and a chocolate shake–and the blogosphere is up in arms about the “hypocrisy” of the first lady, who’s become a vocal advocate of healthy living–and eating.
I understand that the first lady’s fast food meal is a good jumping off point to discuss nutrition-related issues. The first lady is a role model–and she should take that responsibility seriously. But I think it’s unfair to take a woman to task for one lunch–out of the 1000+ meals she’ll eat this year. (And I want to know–why are bloggers going nuts over the burger? If I had to choose, I would have slammed the shake.) As women, can we let Mrs. Obama eat her lunch in peace?
And it couldn’t be easier to make: dump, stir, freeze. I have an ice cream maker, but it’s not hard to make it without one. (I did substitute fresh lime juice for the bottled, which just takes a minute with a citrus juicer. I also left out the graham crackers because of the gluten.)
This stuff is fabulous. With the fresh lime juice, it was very tart. If you love citrus–this is for you. Otherwise, stick with the chocolate.
Have a great weekend!