My Jane Austen’s Sweethearts card game launch was held at Mostly Books, a local independent book store. It was a wonderful afternoon with family and friends all excited that I had reached this milestone on my journey. Good food, good company, good conversation and fun with some people playing the game while others watched. My thanks to Charmaine and her staff at Mostly Books and Gillian Dooley who officially launched the game. Gillian is Special Collections Librarian and Honorary Senior Research Fellow in English at Flinders University, with a particular interest in music from Jane Austen's era. She also performs as a singer and will be speaking and performing at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath later this year. I was very honored that she was happy to officiate and made such lovely thoughtful comments about the game and I will share some of them here.
"I particularly liked the way the game could be played on various levels. The brief précis of each character on their cards, for example, could provide a foretaste of the delights of the novels to someone who hasn’t read them yet, or a reminder for those who may not have read them for a few years. For those of us who read the novels regularly, they are wry, concise and sometimes quite amusing."
"I found it extremely satisfying testing my memory of some of the minor characters and how they paired up. Which Musgrove sister married Captain Benwick, for example? What was the name of the young lady to whom Marianne Dashwood lost Willoughby? Equally testing, and sometimes sobering, are those characters who end up alone, either because they lose out in the game of love, because they are younger sons or young women without dowries, or because they don’t want to play."
"It’s also fun to see the way this game can slightly subvert the novels. When Joan and I played, for example, the game ended before Anne Eliot and Captain Wentworth were united, and, quite outrageously, left Elizabeth Bennet without getting together with Mr Darcy."
"I thoroughly recommend Jane Austen’s Sweethearts to you, and am very honoured to have been asked to launch it on its way into the world. I wish it the best of fortune: there should be a set in every literate household. It will make the perfect gift for the Austenite, and for any young person who might be encouraged to become an Austenite." -Gillian Dooley