Search
Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 146

The Jane Austen News is The Return of the Hero

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


The Two Kinds of Jane Austen Fan

E.M. Dadlez, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Central Oklahoma, this week published an article which puts Jane Austen fans into two separate camps. One side is for Pride and Prejudice and Emma, while the other one emphatically embraces the Austen of Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility. “One cannot love both, not equally, not without reservations about one or the other set of works, even if one likes and admires all of Austen’s writing.”

We were intrigued by this and read further.

The heroines of these novels are near opposites, but each novel provides the same clear, strong focus on issues involving autonomy and autonomous agency. They just do so from diametrically opposed perspectives.

Perhaps the kind of preference which Austen lovers are wont to note involves a preference for one or the other of the following: an interest in forging independence or an interest in respecting that of others, an interest in self-development and autonomous agency, or an interest in recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others. Emma and Persuasion are both stories of change and self-development and maturation, one chronicling a turning inward and self reflection, the next describing a turning outward and a venturing forth into the world.

At the Jane Austen Centre, visitors do often say that they have a strong preference for either Emma or for Persuasion, but perhaps this might explain why. A highly interesting hypothesis either way.

The full article can be accessed here.

Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 145

The Jane Austen News expands its to-read list

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


A Plethora of Period Dramas

We’re really looking forward to Christmas this year! As well as spending time with family and friends and partaking of delicious food and drink, we have some amazing programmes coming up on the BBC that are on our “must watch” (or tape for later) list!

The BBC has announced that an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders starring John Malkovich and Rupert Grint will be shown. Also coming up will be a new version of Watership Down, featuring the voices of John Boyega, Olivia Colman, Sir Ben Kingsley, Gemma Arterton, Peter Capaldi and Mackenzie Crook. However, most exciting for us, is the upcoming six-part non-musical take on Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, with Dominic West as Jean Valjean, and also starring David Oyelowo and Lily Collins.

We also have good news if you don’t live in the US and don’t have access to the BBC though. Amazon Prime has snapped up the rights to show The ABC Murders in the US, and and Watership Down is a co-production with Netflix so that will be available to those outside the UK as well. Meanwhile, Les Miserables is a co-production with the US network Masterpiece. So American fans of period dramas – keep an eye out for that coming to your screens.

Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 144

the jane austen news is a new adaptation of emma

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


A New Film Adaptation of Emma

UK production company Working Title Films is in the early stages of producing a new film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. 

The screenplay for the new film is being written by Eleanor Catton (Catton’s name may be familiar as she won the 2013 Man Booker Prize with her New Zealand-set novel The Luminaries, which is currently being turned into a TV series by Working Title Television), and this new film of Emma will be the directorial feature debut of American photographer and video director Autumn De Wilde.

Anya Taylor-Joy (pictured above) stars as Emma Woodhouse. In the past she has appeared in Endeavour, and as the lead in the BBC adaptation of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist.

Details are limited at present, but filming is expected to be underway in the UK next spring.

Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 143

The Jane Austen News goes to The Vyne

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Austen Heard It Through The Vyne?

This week The Telegraph newspaper published an online article about a house in Sherborne St John near Basingstoke in Hampshire called The Vyne. The reason it caught the eye of the Jane Austen News is because it has been suggested that Jane Austen may have based her Mansfield Park heroine Fanny Price on Caroline Wiggett, who went to live at The Vyne in 1803 aged three, having been plucked from a pool of poor distant relations and adopted by the childless couple who lived there, William John Chute and his wife Eliza.

It is thought that Jane may have come into contact with the Chutes as her brother James Austen was appointed Rector of Sherborne St.John by William Chute, and so he moved in the same social circles as the Chutes and attend parties thrown at The Vyne. Certainly, Jane would at least have known about the family and the case of Caroline Wiggett’s adoption.

However, having said that, and just to play devil’s advocate, rich relations adopting a child from poor relations was by no means a rare occurrence which Jane could only have thought of by hearing of Caroline Wiggett. For one thing, another of her brothers, Edward Austen, was adopted by rich relations and went on to become a very wealthy landowner.

It’s an interesting house (following one of his regular visits there, The Vyne is also believed to have inspired Horace Walpole to build his 18th-century gothic castle in Twickenham, Strawberry Hill) and the Caroline Wiggett-Fanny Price connection is a fun speculation to explore at any rate.

Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 142

The Jane Austen News looks at The Watsons

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Willoughby on Sense and Sensibility

In an article published in The Telegraph, this week we were surprised to find out that in his youth, Greg Wise (aka John Willoughby from the 1995 film of Sense and Sensibility) came close to giving up acting, which would have meant that he would never have met the love of his life, Dame Emma Thompson (who played Elinor Dashwood in the 1995 film, as well as writing the screenplay for it)!

The work I’m paid to do as an actor is really play. An awful lot of people who work in any form of arts have to have a childlike quality. A lot of us are quite childish as well.  

 

My parents wanted me to get a degree, so I studied architecture in Edinburgh for three years first. Although I never really wanted to be an architect, I’m thrilled I did it. I think everyone should do a year of architecture; it opens your eyes up to what is mainly really shoddy design.

 

Early in my final year I auditioned for drama school and ended up moving to Glasgow. I didn’t start earning until I was 25 – then after 18 months I decided to retire from acting. My closest friend, Simon, had drowned. I remember sitting opposite my agent, who was in tears, as I said I was giving up. I took myself off to Australia for six months and got my head together. I came back and I’ve loved working since.

 

I’ve never worked a great deal. It’s not been a career so much as a series of choices that you make for the best reasons at the time. Although if I don’t say Sense and Sensibility [written by and starring Emma Thompson, Wise’s wife] stands out in my career, I’ll get divorced. That was an amazing piece of work and I met the love of my life. I wasn’t paid very much, though.

We enjoyed reading a little bit more about Greg Wise and his changing relationship with acting, so we hope you did too.

Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 141

The Jane Austen News is ready for Sanditon!

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Sanditon Just Down The Road!

There’s exciting news for those of us in the South West/Bristol area.

As you probably already know, Andrew Davies, the writer behind behind the likes of the TV adaptations of Pride and Prejudice 1995 and War and Peace has joined the team at Red Planet Pictures who are planning to film a production of Jane’s unfinished novel Sanditon. It’s set to begin filming in Spring 2019, and who it will star is yet to be announced.

Jane Austen managed to write only a fragment of her last novel before she died – but what a fragment! Sanditon tells the story of the transformation of a sleepy fishing village into a fashionable seaside resort, with a spirited young heroine, a couple of entrepreneurial brothers, some dodgy financial dealings, a West Indian heiress, and quite a bit of nude bathing. It’s been a privilege and a thrill for me to develop Sanditon into a TV drama for a modern audience.

Andrew Davies

As it is in it’s early stages of planning, not many details are known as of yet about the intricacies of the plot/script/costumes etc. However, the latest news to emerge from the Red Planet Pictures press team is that Bristol is going to be one of the main filming locations for the production! Exciting news since Bath is only half an hour away!

Specific locations in the Bristol area have not yet been named, but adverts have been spotted online calling for Sanditon filming crew at Bottle Yard Studios (a well-established studio based in Whitchurch on the outer fringes of Bristol). Who knows, perhaps a few of the Centre staff may be able to snag roles as extras!

Sanditon tells the story of the impulsive and spirited Charlotte Heywood, and her volatile relationship with the charming Sidney Parker. When a chance accident takes Charlotte from her rural hometown of Willingden to the up-and-coming coastal resort of Sanditon, it exposes Charlotte to the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the rise, and the characters whose fortunes depend on its commercial success.

This will be the first time that Sanditon will have been brought to a television audience. The Jane Austen News is really looking forward to it.

Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 140

The Jane Austen News has a wedding reading list this week

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Forget Books Before You Die, Try Books Before You Wed

There are plenty of lists which lay out which books you need to read before you die, but one the Jane Austen News hasn’t come across before is a list of books to read before your wedding day. However, that’s exactly what we’ve come across this week, and we were very pleased to see that Pride and Prejudice made the list of five must-read books.

The majority of the list was non-fiction books, covering a range of subjects, but Pride and Prejudice was included on the list as it “will help you understand the difference between what’s material and essential in every relationship.”

The full list was:

Mindful Relationship Habits by S. J. Scott and Barrie Davenport – this book describes how to stay connected to your spouse even after being together for a long time.

The Kamasutra by Vatsyayana – tips on how to keep your sexual life varied

Every Woman by Derek Llewellyn-Jones – this book talks about female health issues like puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.

It’s Not You, It’s The Dishes by Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson – a book highlighting the importance of communication and role-playing.

Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen – a must for so many reasons!

Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 139

The Jane Austen News takes us to Pakistan this week

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Pride and Prejudice Retold in Pakistan

US-based Pakistani author, Soniah Kamal, will soon be publishing her new book, Unmarriagable, which is (as you might have guessed from the heading) Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice retold in modern-day Pakistan.

The book is due to be released in January 2019, but it was in the pipeline for Kamal long before this time – she’s wanted to write a Pakistani version of the novel since she was 16 as she loves, “this story of five sisters, their ineffectual father and desperate mother who just wants her daughters to ‘settle down’ (so Pakistani)”, and because she “really longed to read fiction that reflected my world and so without realizing it, I was following Toni Morrison’s advice to write what you want to read.”

The story centres around the Binat family. Lizzy is recast as Alys, while Mr Darcy becomes Valentine Darsee. Kamal has kept much of the original Pride and Prejudice storyline, which many die-hard Austen fans will be pleased to hear.

The challenge of doing a retelling (versus an ‘inspired by’) in order to satisfy Jane Austen fans is that you have to hit all the beats in the plot as well as stay true to the essence of each of the characters. But then for readers who are not coming for Austen, you have to write a story that stands on its own legs. Setting it in Pakistan meant writing for those familiar with the culture and those new to it. Writing Unmarriageable was a real juggling act.

Join Waitlist We will inform you when the product arrives in stock. Just leave your valid email address below.
Email Quantity We won't share your address with anybody else.