Category Archives: Tedettes

Bernice Takes A Plunge, by Ann Harth

‘Bernice Peppercorn’s imagination fills her mind and her notebooks with adventure and intrigue‘ (From the back cover of Bernice Takes A Plunge.)

When our Tedettes saw the cover of this book they just HAD to read it. On the back cover are some of their favourite words, ‘imagination’, ‘notebooks’, ‘adventure’ and ‘intrigue’; and on the front cover is a girl with amazing unruly red hair. Our smooth-red-furred Samantha, who always wanted her own fur to be wild and unruly, got to the book first.

What on earth is Bernice going to plunge into?

Bernice loves to write. She fills her notebook with ideas for her stories, some of which star herself rescuing her favourite star, Crystal Bell, from a terrible fate such as a shark attack. To get ideas she takes careful notes of the goings on in her town and it really isn’t her fault that the suspicious things she observes and reports to Sergeant Bailey turn out to have explanations not involving kidnappings and detonators after all.

Bernice arrives on the first page totally believable and loveable. This middle grade book has everything: an annoying brother (why are brothers annoying anyway- is it some sort of rule?), a disappearing sock, a celebrity in town, an intriguing theft, a strange fisherman with a wooden leg, a mysterious island, and high drama on the open sea. We have a moral conundrum too as Bernice fibs a bit, well, a lot to the strange fisherman, but we smile as she struggles to work out this dilemma. As for the plunge business .. Ah, well, you see, that’s all in the book!

‘Suddenly my hat was tugged off my head. A fisherman had hooked it as he cast into the ocean .. A dolphin leaped into the air and grabbed the brightest thing he could see. He tore it from the hook …’ From Chapter 10.

Our Samantha loved this book and finished it hoping that author Anne Harth will bring Bernice back in a sequel. Samantha also pondered these questions:
Did leaping dolphins really snatch away all of Bernice’s lost hats?
Will Bernice’s special goo really cure her friends chickenpox?
Will Bernice’s brother ever discover what she did with his bath towel?

Bernice Takes A Plunge is published by Odyssey Books. You can also find it on Book Depository, on Amazon in Kindle as way as soft cover, and on Barnes and Noble in Nook and soft cover.

Anne Harth, creator of Bernice, writes fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. ‘Strong interesting female characters creep into most of her books, and many arrive with a sense of humour.’ (Afterword, About the Author.)

The Tedettes Jane Austen Book Club
.. loves to read books by and about heroines (this certainly includes Bernice!) They have looked at Jane Austen’s life and books – of course! – and at Georgette Heyer. And soon they will talk about Princessess as you have never seen princesses before. Look out for that one.

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The books that the Tedettes are enjoying right now.

Mark, your host here at Baffled Bear Books, is also guardian and blundering typist for Mawson, one of this bright world’s few published bears. Mawson is the writer-bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In and She Ran Away From Love. 

‘I Must Keep My Own Style and Go My Own Way’: The Tedettes Jane Austen Bookclub

The Tedettes are thrilled to find a letter written by their heroine in 1815. The letter is addressed to the personal librarian of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Fancy having a personal librarian!

The prince was the Regent. That means he was being the king even though he wasn’t. This can be baffling to a bear. You see, it’s all because the King himself, George III, was not allowed to do any actual king-ing. The Government (yes, there was one, even though they had a king – It gets more baffling than ever) did not think George was quite up to the job of king-ing properly. So they made the Prince do the king-ing instead. But he was not allowed to call himself ‘King’. It was all a bit of a muddle.

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The Prince who was not Really The King was known as the ‘Prince of Pleasure’. He was terrible at the king-ing job, as it turned out. So the Government ignored him as much as possible and got on with the actual king-ing themselves, while the Prince devoted himself to Pleasure.

But we don’t need to know this. The only really important thing about this Prince that he liked Jane Austen’s books. As a mark of his regard he invited her to inspect his London residence, Carlton House. The Prince happening to be devoting himself to pleasure somewhere else that day, so, Miss Austen was shown about by Mr Clarke, the personal librarian. Mr Clarke conveyed to Miss Austen the Royal Desire that she dedicate her next novel, which was going to be Emma, to his Princely Regent-ness.  

Miss Austen did not want to do it. But, mindful of the proprieties, she did so.

Some time later the Regent, through Mr Clark, also suggested she write “an historical romance, illustrative of the august house of Coburg” to come out in time for the marriage of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coberg to the Prince’s daughter, Charlotte.

Many writers of the day would be delighted at this Royal Invitation and have slogged away at writing a novel ‘Illustrative of the august house etc’. But not Miss Austen. She sent this devastatingly polite reply.

To the highest man in the Kingdom, she says, “No”.

“No, I must keep to my own style and go my own way”.

This text shown above is from a book called Great Letters of History.  And you can learn a lot about the Regent from The Prince of Pleasure and His Regency, by JB Priestly.

A word of caution bears. Its baffling but if you search on the Inter-Webs for the words ‘Prince of Pleasure’ you will find lots of books covers where the gentlemen seem to have …umm .. mislaid their shirts. And sometimes the gentlemen are entangled in ladies who have also mislaid bonnets and things. Just so you know

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You are in the web den of Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps) and Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In .

“Just pure magic.  A bear’s love is never far away and can be shared and passed on through generations.” Susan Hampson, of Books From Dawn To Dusk.

The Tedette’s Jane Austen Book Club gets their paws on Jane’s History of England

The Tedettes are fascinated by Jane Austen’s History of England, written when she was 16 years old.

Cassandra Austen illustrated the pages. People entertained themselves this way, bears, back in the Olden Days. They wrote their own light entertainment and draw and painted and read books aloud and (amazing) they talked to each otherThere were no Bright-Box-Things to stare at!  So Jane and Cassandra had a little fun writing their own version of the Kings and Queens of England.

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Jane and Cassandra had strong favourites among the kings and queens. They were very stern about those they disliked. If Cassandra didn’t like a monarch she drew them looking very cross.

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The Tedettes’ own copy here is a facsimile version brought out by Folio Books. You can see young Miss Austen’s own handwriting!  (A book perhaps more easy for you to find, if you want to see it yourself, contains this History and other writings of the young Jane Austen, and is called “Sanditon, Lady Susan, & The History of England : The Juvenilia and Shorter Works of Jane Austen“.

AbeBooks. Thousands of booksellers - millions of books.

You are in the web den of Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps) and Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In .

“Just pure magic.  A bear’s love is never far away and can be shared and passed on through generations.” Susan Hampson, of Books From Dawn To Dusk.

Bother With Bonnets at The Tedettes Jane Austen Book Club

Dear fellow Baffled Ones,

At The Tedettes’ Jane Austen Book Club, confusion reigns. No one seems to be able to find the the correct period style of bonnets. Wedding veils, sun hats, sleeping hats and Bonnie Bear’s bonny tartan bonnet do not seem to be quite right. But they do go on the head, so they will have to do.

As for wearing the correct period style of spectacles, all hope seems lost.

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Obviously the Tedettes have got their paws on a pile of Austen books. Possibly a ‘Janite’, an ‘Austenphile’, lives in this house. So which of Jane Austen books are our fellow bears reading when no-one is about? (Lets agree that Honeypot is reading, even though she seems to be asleep. Again.)

And they’re off! The Tedettes are rapidly entangled in subplots and knitting. Are they reading Emma? Chocolate Makers Abbey, ummm, Pride and Bears.. sorry, Pride and Prejudice?  Lady Susan?

In the next posts you can see The Teddettes learning more about Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency.

You are in the web den of Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things (between naps). and Writer-Bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In .

“Just pure magic. A bear’s love is never far away and can be shared and passed on through generations.” Susan Hampson, of Books From Dawn To Dusk.