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Jane Austen News – Issue 36

What's the Jane Austen News this week asks Emma.Share this: What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  Jane Austen’s Daily Quote App Good news! The android version of the Jane Austen quote app has been updated! As with the older version of the app it is still free and provides a new Jane Austen quote straight to your phone at a time to suit you every day. However, it now loads much faster, with quicker quote loading and a smoother user experience all round. Plus the app is still loaded with lots of other Austen goodies; free articles from the Jane Austen Centre online magazine and easy access to the Online Giftshop and Centre news. To get the update users with the old version will have to uninstall their version and install the new one. On the other hand if you don’t have the app yet but would like to download it, you can get the Jane Austen Daily Quote app for Apple and Android devices from iTunes or Google Play. Jane Austen – Master Beer Brewer    This week the Jane Austen News has come across a lovely little blog post which talks about Jane’s penchant for brewing beer – perhaps not the first thing to come to mind when you think of Jane. Here are a few great facts from Nick Hines’ post on VinePair: Beer was safer than water and was considered a daily necessity just like food. It was the woman’s role to provide the beer. Jane’s beer of choice was spruce beer; a beer brewed (more…)
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Jane Austen News – Issue 28

Jane Austen News reads Persuasion onlineShare this: What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  Editing – With Pins!      Everyone has their own style of editing, and Jane’s style is the perfect example of why Post-It notes are such an amazing invention! The Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts Digital Edition describes her editing process: With no calculated blank spaces and no obvious way of incorporating large revision or expansion she had to find other strategies — small pieces of paper, each of which was filled closely and neatly with the new material, attached with straight pins to the precise spot where erased material was to be covered or where an insertion was required to expand the text. Pinning your corrections to your manuscript is certainly not one we’d come across before. This is why we at the Jane Austen News love the online manuscripts so much; insights like this. Also, the chance to see her first drafts in her own hand is simply amazing. If you’d like to see them for yourself, Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts Digital Edition can be found here. Austen’s Emma An Example To Us All      Emma isn’t exactly renowned as being the best example to follow when given a choice between Austen’s heroines. However, this week The Telegraph has made a very good case for why more of us should be like Emma. More than a quarter of people aged over 65 who live on their own are lonely, and more and more of those of us who are over 65 (more…)
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Jane Austen News – Issue 22

The Jane Austen News - Romantic NovelsShare this: What’s the Jane Austen News this week? History Lessons Via Romantic Novels    Writing for the History News Network, Robert W. Thurston, Professor Emeritus of History at Miami University, has proposed the idea that, rather than teachers and textbooks, a lot of the historical information many people learn nowadays comes from romance novels. Sales of romance novels climbed to $1.08 billion in 2013 and continues to grow. The Romance Writers of America (RWA) found in a 2014 survey that 64 percent of readers went through at least one book a week. It’s not only women that are reading more historical romances either. Women comprise 78% of readers, but the men’s share has risen to the remaining 22%, up from just 7% in a 2002 survey. Historical romances give us vital information on the everyday lives, customs, manners and important events of the eras in which they are set. Jane Austen for example teaches us that society was focused on marriage; that money today is not worth what it was back then (£10,000 a year? Peanuts today); and a whole host of other things. Romance novels, Thurston says, are undeserving of their frivolous reputation. The vast and growing popularity of romances should not be cause for alarm; no one can stand at the ocean’s shore and make the tide retreat. Rather, the academy would do well to consider the influence of these books on the public mind and to see in courses, scholarly work, and public discussions what steps might (more…)
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Jane Austen Adaptations: Behind the Scenes

makingppShare this: When the final credits roll on an Austen film, whether you’ve loved it or not, it’s often fun to find out more. What were relationships like on and off the set? Where did they film these great houses? Who designed the costumes? Was the final product true to the script? Were there any extra scenes that were cut? Fortunately for us, many of the movies do have additional information available. Pride and Prejudice (1995) boasts a “Making Of” feature on the newest DVD version and the book The Making of Pride and Prejudice by Sue Birtwistle and Susie Conklin answers just about any question interested fans might have. Sense and Sensibility won Emma Thompson an Oscar for best screenplay when it was released in 1995. During the filming of the movie, Thompson kept a detailed diary of life on and off the set. Both the script and the diary are available in individual and combined formats. Also produced in 1995, Persuasion’s script by Nick Dear was printed in book format and is occasionally available from used book sellers. That year’s other Austen offering, Clueless, is an updated version of Emma, set in California. The special edition DVD boasts cast interviews and “making of” information. Scripts were also published of both Douglas McGrath’s 1996 script for the Gwyneth Patrow version of Emma , and for Andrew Davies’s version for TV. That script, along with cast and behind the scenes information was published as The Making of Jane Austen’s Emma (more…)
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Jane Austen News – Issue 21

Share this: What’s the Jane Austen News this week? Jane Austen’s Games   Card games are by no means a new invention. Yes there are new ones invented all the time, and games that were popular in the past can lose favour and get forgotten, but the basic concept is everlasting. Jane was a big fan of card games (though admittedly not all), so we were pleased to come across a new article this week which listed a few Regency favourites which she would have imagined her characters playing, as well as playing herself. Whist – In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Collins’ lack of skill at whist (among other things) reveals him to be a rather dim sort of fellow. Piquet – Mrs. Goddard, the school mistress from Emma, is very fond of piquet. Casino – Miss de Bourgh, plays casino, while Lady Catherine prefers the more old-fashioned quadrille. Cribbage – Played by Lady Bertram in Mansfield Park. Lanterloo – On Elizabeth’s first visit to Netherfield Park, she declines an offer to play lanterloo with the others, as she suspected them to be “playing high.” An interesting collection indeed. Some of which we still play today. The article with details on the different games’ rules can be found here. Lady Susan In Review “The book was better than the movie” is a common refrain among book lovers. We like film adaptations, but more often than not, especially if you read the book before you saw the film, nothing can quite live up to the original (more…)
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The Sheet Music for Austen Film Scores

51n7opjqR2L._SX371_BO1,204,203,200_Share this: Jane Austen loved to play the pianoforte. She used to copy out music from her friends into books that remain in the Chawton House library to this day. Many of these pieces- classics by Bach, Mozart, Handel and others – are readily available for today’s musicians. If you want to try your hand yourself, A Carriage Ride In Queen’s Square, a wonderful compendium of original ‘easy to play piano pieces for Jane Austen’s Bath’ with a playalong CD included, is currently available from the Jane Austen Gift Shop. But what if you want to play music from the movie soundtracks? Surely these evoke the spirit of Jane Austen at least as much as the period pieces. Fortunately, many of these- from the original dances used in the movies- to sheet music of the film scores are easily obtained. Perhaps the most comprehensive collection of works is Jane Austen’s World published by Faber music. It includes: Emma by Rachel Portman- Frank Churchill Arrives Emma (End Titles) Sense and Sensibility by Patrick Doyle- My Father’s Favourite Devonshire All The Better For Her Excellent Notion The Dreame Pride and Prejudice by Carl Davis Pride & Prejudice Theme Canon Collins The Gardiners Summary Persuasion by Jeremy Sams Persuasion Main Theme Tristesse Italian Aria Another book, Jane Austen, the Music  includes a greater range of pieces from both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. Its contents are: Sense and Sensibility Weep You No More, Sad Fountains A Particular Sum My Father’s Favourite Patience All (more…)
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Serle’s Soft Boiled Eggs

220px-Egg_spiral_egg_cupShare this: Boiled eggs have been a mealtime staple probably since boiling anything was invented. In fact, egg cups (you know what these are: those adorable little cups perfect for holding hard or soft boiled eggs) have been found during archaeological explorations of Crete dating to as early as the 18th century BC. An early silver version from 74 BC was even found in the ruins at Pompeii. Soft boiled eggs were, by Jane Austen’s time, not only served at breakfast, as the broken egg shells on the table at Mansfield Park suggest, but also served throughout the day, as a healthy, plain food for children and invalids. In Emma, they are one of the few foods that even invalid Mr. Woodhouse can recommend with grace: “Mrs Bates, let me propose your venturing on one of these eggs. An egg boiled very soft is not unwholesome. Serle understands boiling an egg better than any body. I would not recommend an egg boiled by any body else; but you need not be afraid, they are very small, you see — one of our small eggs will not hurt you.” Soft boiled eggs in adorable cups, with, perhaps, little hats or “cosies” on top are a favorite childhood memory for many. Paired with hot, buttered toast “soldiers” (narrow strips of toast for dunking in the runny yolk) they can make the most important meal of the day a comfort food feast. This silver egg service for 6 dates to 1820 and was (more…)
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Jane Austen’s Fame and Fortune, Now and Then

tenpoundsShare this:   By Caroline Kerr Taylor It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen continues to grow in popularity as an author even as her novels turn 200 years old. After Shakespeare, many would pronounce Austen the most popular and widely acclaimed literary figure in history. Her six novels are some of the most widely read literature in the world often outselling the books of top contemporary authors. According to Nielsen BookScan research, for example, in 2002 U.S. book stores sold 110,000 copies of Pride and Prejudice while John Grisham’s, The Runaway Jury, (a #1 best seller in 1996) sold 73,337 copies. Further, in recent years there have been numerous new editions of her books, various translations, dozens of TV adaptations and feature films, in addition to prequels, sequels and spin-offs, as well as, new biographies and articles on Austen herself. Austen is unquestionably a literary star today, but how was she received in her own day? Did she enjoy similar adulation? Other 19th century literary stars such as Dickens or Scott did enjoy a great deal of celebrity in their lifetimes. Austen’s reception was more low key. It is important to note that her name was not attached to any of her novels. Sense and Sensibility, her first published novel, was signed “By A Lady”. All her other books were attributed “to the author” of her previously published books. This practice was not uncommon. Even Walter Scott, well known for his poetry, initially did not use his (more…)