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Jane Austen News – Issue 125

The Jane Austen News' collection of writers

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Austen Exception to the Rule?

In new research, Cornell University psychologists found that study participants were more than twice as likely on average to call male professionals – even fictional ones – by their last name only, compared to equivalent female professionals. This example of gender bias, the researchers said, may be contributing to gender inequality.

The Jane Austen News' collection of writersThe eight studies, which included male and female participants, showed the difference which came from the first name distinction. When men were referred to by only their surname that were perceived as more famous and more important than the women who were referred to by their first and last names. Researchers say that the implications for political campaigns could be important as “it’s possible that referring to a candidate by their full name instead of just their surname could have implications for fame and eminence.”

It’s true that we usually say “Shakespeare” but “Virginia Woolf”, and “Hardy” but “Mary Shelley”, however, we like to think that Austen might be the exception to the two-name rule. Jane Austen is certainly the only really famous Austen who we think of when we hear the name Austen!

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Jane Austen News – Issue 124

The Jane Austen News for Newcastle

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Instagram, But For Books Only

A new app the Jane Austen News came across this week is Litsy, which we thought was so nice we had to share it with you.

Litsy is a cross between Instagram and Goodreads. You “follow” different readers and publishers who then share photos of what they’re reading or have read recently. Users can also share quotes from the books they’re reading, or, if so inclined, whole reviews, although the app is more aimed at quick snapshots rather then in-depth analysis.

It has all of the normal social network features, like commenting on and sharing posts, but one of the best bits of Litsy is its easy “To Read” list feature. When you see the cover of a book you want to read appear in your feed, you can add it to your “To Read” list and refer back to it next time you visit your local bookshop.

Anyway, if you like looking at book covers (like we do!) we think you’ll like this.

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What Kitty Did Next – A Pride and Prejudice Inspired Novel

What Kitty Did Next - A Pride and Prejudice Inspired NovelAn Exclusive Preview of A Pride and Prejudice Inspired Novel What Kitty Did Next  by Carrie Kablean  “My impetus to write What Kitty Did Next was born of the simple fact that my idea of what Catherine Bennet looked like didn’t accord with her portrayals in either the 1995 BBC TV series of Pride and Prejudice, or the 2005 film. Which is not to denigrate either of those productions (who hasn’t watched the BBC version more than once?) or the actors who played Kitty, just that I imagined her differently. Also, I always felt a bit sorry for Kitty, who didn’t “cough for her own amusement” and who was so readily labelled silly and ignorant. Yes, she was petulant, but teenage girls aren’t known for their empathy and good sense, and I felt the need to ameliorate her. Just because you are silly at 17 doesn’t mean you will always be silly, surely? So that’s it, in a nutshell. Of course, I was very happy to take myself back into Jane Austen’s world (and fully aware of the trespass, although I had no idea that there were so many Austen spin-offs and sequels before I started!) I have been meticulous in my research of the period, and its language, and I thoroughly enjoyed writing What Kitty Did Next. My hope is that you will enjoy reading it! The first few chapters can be found here.” Carrie Kablean   *****   Chapter 1   Longbourn, January 1813 Matters matrimonial had long (more…)
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Jane Austen News – Issue 123

Jane Austen News

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Audiobooks More Engaging Than Films Says Study

A UCL (University College London) study, backed by Audible, has found that the unconscious responses we have to scenes from books are strongest when we listen to the book in the auditory format as opposed to that of television or film.

UCL researchers measured the physical reactions of 102 participants aged between 18 and 67 to audio and video depictions of scenes from books. The scenes were chosen based on their “emotional intensity”, and for having minimal differences between the audio and video adaptations. Among the scenes chosen were Clarice’s interview with Dr Hannibal Lecter in Thomas Harris’s The Silence of the Lambs, Mr Darcy’s successful proposal to Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, and in The Hound of the Baskervilles, they heard and saw the first description of the beast.

As the participants watched or listened, the academics measured their heart rate and electrodermal activity. The participants were also asked questions about their experiences after listening to/viewing the scenes, and although the participants said they felt that the videos were “more engaging” than the audiobooks by an average of 15%, their physiological responses disagreed with this. The participant’s heart rates were higher by an average of two beats a minute, and body temperatures raised by approximately two degrees when listening to the audiobooks.

Little wonder then that spending on audiobooks has more than doubled since 2013, leaping from £12m to £31m in 2017, according to figures from the Publishers Association!

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Jane Austen News – Issue 122

jane austen news

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Charles Austen’s Story to be Shown?

Writer Susanne Notman is helping to tell the story of Charles Austen, one of Jane Austen’s brothers who was an officer in the Navy, through her screenplay Our Own Particular Little Brother.

Notman’s screenplay recently won the Gold Remi award at the WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival, an event which attracts filmmakers from around the world. Notman’s work tells the story in the form of a part-fact, part-fiction script, which sees Charles Austen looking back over his life as he is dying of cholera in the Anglo-Burmese war in 1852. He reviews his time as the officer in command, his marriage to Fanny Palmer (the daughter of Bermuda’s Attorney-General), and his hope to get another command at sea, which effectively condemns he and Fanny to life aboard ship.

Notman’s research began when she met one of Charles Austen’s descendants, Francis Austen, in 1999. Since then she has found lots of information about HMS William (Charles’s ship) through the writing of Henry Wilkinson, who has written widely on Bermuda’s maritime history, and through ship’s logs, Charles’s diaries and letters from Jane Austen.

When Jane was writing to her sister Cassandra, she referred to him as ‘our own particular little brother… doing very well in Bermuda’. He sort of comes into his own in Bermuda.

Notman is currently developing the screenplay into a television series so that she can make room for the story to grow. We hope we’ll get to see Our Own Particular Little Brother grow into an excellent series and, maybe, on a screen near us soon!

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Jane Austen News – Issue 121

The Jane Austen News loves this shot!

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Janeites on Display in Bradford

Impressions Gallery in Bradford is getting ready for its newest exhibition; an exhibition featuring work by the winners of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards. Included in the exhibition are photographs in the series Where We Belong by Alejandra Carles-Tolra, who has photographed a community of Janeites as they celebrate Jane Austen’s novels. The series explores the relationships between individual and group identity, as well as themes of femininity and escapism.

The photos naturally involve period clothing and reading, but also more unusual activities which aim to keep Austen’s work alive and well.

I am interested in challenging stereotypes and getting a better understanding of who these people are. What drives someone to dress up as if they were in the nineteenth century.

Alejandra Carles-Tolra

The Jane Austen News loves this shot!

The exhibition will help to inspire the upcoming event at the gallery on Thursday 7th June (2018) from 12:30pm to 1:30pm called Feed Your Mind, in which Marilyn Joice from the Jane Austen Society will be discussing Austen’s life and her famous works on. The event is free to attend.

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Jane Austen News – Issue 120

Jane Austen News

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Austen In “Writing The West” Course

Jane Austen wasn’t the only writer to be inspired by and live in the South West. Other famous poets and novelists of the 18th and 19th century who are associated with the West of England include Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, Mary Shelley and Thomas Hardy, and it is these authors, in addition to Jane Austen, who are the subject of a new, free online course.

Writing the West: Literature & Place explores how these writers found inspiration in the West Country, and how they contribute to the culture and economy of the region today. Those taking part in the course will explore their lives, gain insight into their writing, and see the places that influenced them.

The course will start on the 18th of June and will release new content each week, comprising between 3-4 hours study each week which will include articles, videos and interaction with the teaching team through questions and online discussion. The course materials will remain available after the end of the course so that learners can take the course at their own pace.

To find out more and enroll you can visit the course site at: www.udemy.com/writing-the-west

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Jane Austen News – Issue 119

Jane Austen is at number 24

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


If At First You Don’t Enjoy… Give Up?

The UK charity The Reading Agency recently commissioned a poll to discover the nation’s reading habits, as one way of marking World Book Night which took place on Monday April 23rd. One of the things which the poll found out was that more than a fifth of British readers refuse to give up on a book, no matter how much they are struggling, while some will wait weeks or months before calling time on the unsatisfying book. In school the general message was to read on and get to the end of the book, but The Reading Agency is going against the trend and advising readers to give up on books they do not enjoy.

The poll, of 2,000 people, found that 15% would give up if struggling with a book after 1-3 weeks, 11% saying they’d stop after 4-6 days of struggles, 13%  after 2-3 days, and 6% would stop the day after. On the other hand, 22% thought that readers should always finish books they’ve started.

However, Sue Wilkinson, chief executive of The Reading Agency, said that;

At a time when one in five of us will experience anxiety or depression, and world events can leave people feeling confused or scared, reading has never been more important.

At a time when so many brilliant books are being written and published, you should never force yourself to read something you’re not enjoying. World Book Night is the chance to find a book that works for you.

***

The Top Five Unfinished Books

1. Fifty Shades Of Grey by EL James
2. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring by JRR Tolkien
3. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix by JK Rowling
4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 119

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