RATIONAL CREATURES: Our Next Anthology Pays Homage to Jane Austen's Female Characters
Updated: Sep 16, 2019
I am not a little proud to announce my third anthology in The Quill Collective series. Never heard of it? Aha! Likely because we have only coined the name when I decided to do another Austen-inspired anthology, and well, “series” would best indicate a number of books coming one after the other. You might better recognize the previous in the series as The Darcy Monologues and Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues.
When asked about doing another anthology, readers frequently suggest another Darcy book or Elizabeth’s stories... But for me, it seemed to make sense, during this time of forwarding feminist sensibilities and given the verve of the present equality movements that the female perspective might be embraced amongst the Austen fandom—possibly beyond our polite borders. After all, Austen wrote of strong women who were ahead of their day.
Jane Austen’s novels evoke romantic imaginings of fastidious gentlemen and gently-bred ladies ... Yet through her veiled wit, honest social commentary, and cleverly constructed prose in a style ahead of her day, Austen’s heroines manage to thwart strict mores—and even the debauchery of Regency England—to reach their fairytale endings. But have you never wondered about her other colorful characters like Mary Crawford, Hetty Bates, Elinor Tilney, Louisa Musgrove, et al.—and how they came to be? In Persuasion, Mrs. Croft says, “But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” Those words have always struck me as terribly modern and I have wondered what Mrs. Croft might have been thinking of when she said those very words to her brother Captain Frederick Wentworth. I believe several of Jane Austen’s characters might have had feminist sensibilities, even if they yielded to the expectations of their sphere. It is our intent that in this collection of backstories or parallel tales off-stage of canon to remain true to the ladies we recognize in Austen’s great works—whilst stirring feminism in the hearts of some of these beloved characters. Thus, our title was born. Rational Creatures. Coming to you in October 2018. Stay tuned.
Once again, an extraordinary dream team of authors—I will refer to this group from here forward as #TheSweetSixteen—have entrusted their words to me. Previous anthology authors Karen M Cox,, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’ Orazio, Jenetta James, KaraLynne Mackrory, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Sophia Rose, Joana Starnes, Brooke West, and Caitlin Williams are joined by Elizabeth Adams, Nicole Clarkston, Jessie Lewis, and Anngela Schroeder. And if that isn’t enough for your “wow factor,” acclaimed author, Jane Austen scholar, and Guggenheim Fellow Devoney Looser is to write the foreword! I know, right? Wow! Just wow. #RationalCreatures indeed.
But wait! There’s more. Because this anthology is an homage to Jane Austen and her female characters, written by female authors, cover designed by Shari Ryan of MadHat Covers, and edited by me, Christina Boyd of The Quill Ink…it only made sense that our giveaways throughout this venture also highlight women-owned small businesses. And it is our sincere hope that whether you win any of our giveaways or not, you will support these business savvy, creative “rational creatures”:
1) Northanger Soapworks has specially created a “Rational Creatures” soap: fresh scent with notes of bergamot, apricot, and currant.
2) Paper & Slate has customized a “Rational Creatures” candle scent of white tea and plumeria.
3) PNW Vibes has bespoke tanks and tees, perfect for making the point that you too are a “rational creature.”
The Giveaways. Plural. And worldwide. The Quill Ink will giveaway three (3) prize packages of:
1) An advanced copy of one story from Rational Creatures anthology; available in September
2) One “Rational Creatures” custom soap by Northanger Soapworks
3) One “Rational Creatures” novel candle by Paper & Slate
4) One “Rational Creature” bespoke tank or tee by PNW Vibes
5) E-books of The Darcy Monologues and Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes & Gentlemen Rogues
Giveaway closes May 10 at 11:59 PM, EST. How to enter:
1) One prize package will be sent to one randomly drawn name. Simply visit and comment at all three blog stops for this announcement: JUST JANE 1813, Austenesque Reviews and From Pemberley to Milton.
2) Two of the same above packages will be available to two winners via Rafflecopter.
Thank you for supporting another indie project by The Quill Ink. If the stories that have trickled in so far are any indication of the quality of stories for this collection, I am expecting Rational Creatures to exceed even my exacting standards. Am beyond excited for the possibilities. This is sure to be a diverting journey. I hope you will join us. Follow us at Facebook.
And Goodreads. ~Christina Boyd, editor