The wonderful world of Jane Austen as it happens. Jane Austen News is the place to come for the latest news and updates on all things Janeite, from new media releases to the latest happenings at the Jane Austen Festival, Centre, Regency Tea Rooms and Online Gift Shop.
A rare handwritten letter from Jane Austen is coming up for auction on 23rd October 2019 at Bonhams in New York.
Although Jane was a prolific letter writer (it’s estimated that she composed at least 3000 during her life), there are only around 160 known examples surviving – many were destroyed routinely, as was custom of the time and it is suggested by some that a number were deliberately destroyed to protect the Austen family and Jane’s image.
This particular letter, dated September 1810, was written to her sister Cassandra and discusses many personal matters, including music lessons, the children’s dentistry and Mrs Tilson’s child-bearing (by this point, the wife of Henry’s business partner had given birth to at least thirteen children and Jane predicts that she may be “in the family way” again. Jane is also glad to report on her mother’s health and that she is “no longer in need of leeches”.
The letter also contains a beautiful snapshot of Jane’s everyday life with a wonderfully Austenian line: “We are now all four of us young Ladies sitting round the Circular Table in the inner room writing our Letters, while the two Brothers are having a comfortable coze in the room adjoining…”. Interestingly, Mansfield Park contains the first known published use of the word “coze” and this letter pre-dates that.
The book is expected to reach $80,000 – 120,000 (£65,000 – 98,000) at the auction – time to raid those piggy banks!
This edition of the Jane Austen Quiz centres around food mentions in Jane’s novels. Score 8/10 or better and you’ll be in with a chance to win a £10 voucher for our Online Gift Shop in our monthly quiz prize draw!
If you’d like to see your scores without entering the competition, just scroll to the bottom of the page after entering the last question and hit the submit button!
Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Sanditon isn’t the only adaptation of an unfinished novel which is making headlines in the UK at the moment. After a sell-out run in its debut at the Chichester Festival Season in 2018, The Watsons has made its way to London where it’s running until 16th November.
Sadly as the time of writing, the entire run is sold out, but given the five star ratings it has already received and its credentials (it’s written by Laura Wade, this year’s recipient of the Oliver Award for Best New Comedy), surely there will be future opportunities to meet the Watsons!
The play’s start point is Jane Austen’s unfinished novel – The Watsons. Abandoned in 1805, Jane’s 68 page handwritten partial manuscript sold at auction in 2011 for almost a million pounds and is now the property of the Bodleian Library.
Whereas Andrew Davies filled in the blanks left by Austen for Sanditon, Wade has taken a slightly different approach. With the novel left unfinished, what can the characters do with their author abandons them? Who will write a happy ending for the tale’s heroine, Emma Watson, now?
What does the word “library” evoke in your mind? The smell of old books? Dusty shelves? A sense of peace and tranquility? Or something completely different?
The New York Public Library
Vogue UK published a fascinating article last week in which it examined eight of the most beautiful libraries in the world. From the classically beautiful Duke Humfrey’s Library in Oxford (which doubled as the Hogwarts library in the Harry Potter movies) to the clinically modern open-plan Stuttgart City Library, the breadth of styles here means that there is probably a dream bookish haven for any book lover! You can read the article here: https://www.vogue.co.uk/miss-vogue/article/beautiful-libraries
Back in 2009, Gwen Bevan, the great-great-granddaughter of Jane Austen’s niece, Fanny Knight composed a dozen piano pieces, each reflecting a different aspect of Bath as Jane Austen would have known it. These pieces have been deliberately composed to be tuneful and expressive, without being difficult to learn and have been transcribed into a handsome book of sheets music and illustrations called “A Carriage Ride in Queen Square”, with an accompanying CD of the pieces being played.
The Jane Austen Centre is pleased to present an exclusive audio extract from the CD – Gwen’s musical interpretation of Great Pultney Street.
“They arrived at Bath. Catherine was all eager delight–her eyes were here, there, everywhere, as they approached its fine and striking environs, and afterwards drove through those streets which conducted them to the hotel. She was come to be happy, and she felt happy already. They were soon settled in comfortable lodgings in Pulteney Street.” Northanger Abbey
ITV’s Sanditon, the dramatisation of Austen’s unfinished final novel, was highly anticipated, but to generate extra buzz for its launch, ITV came up with a rather novel form of promotion. It commissioned the renowned landscape painter, David Downes, to create a huge mural painting on a advertising billboard in Charminster, a suburb of Bournemouth in Dorset. Continue reading Sanditon Celebrated With a 12 Metre Painted Mural