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Jane Austen News – 12

A house to rival Pemberley in Pride and PrejudiceWhat’s the Jane Austen News this week? Reworked Pride and Prejudice Set To Top Summer Book Charts       In recent years, as part of a project that has paired six writers with Austen’s six novels and asked them to reimagine them for the twenty-first century, we’ve seen Alexander McCall Smith bring out Emma, Joanna Trollope write a new Sense and Sensibility, and Val McDermid setting Northanger Abbey at the Edinburgh Fringe. This summer it’s the turn of Curtis Sittenfeld who has taken what is arguably Austen’s best loved novel, Pride and Prejudice, and brought it a couple of hundred years forward in time; planting the Bennet clan in Cincinnati. The new Pride and Prejudice book is called Eligible, and in it Lydia and Kitty are gym-obsessed, Mrs Bennet is a shopaholic and Elizabeth is a journalist. And the big issue in Eligible? There’s still a burning need to get married, but the other big problem is that of 40 year-old Lizzy and Jane’s ticking biological clocks and their desire for babies. Whatever the various opinions may be of the new version of Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, one thing that most people can agree on is this: as everyone gets hold of their copy to see what the fuss is about, Eligible looks set to top the summer book charts. The Illustrated Biography of Jane Austen   More book news – another new release that has caught the eye of the Jane Austen News is that of Chronicle Books’ new illustrated biography (more…)
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The Journal of Eveline Helm, Part Three – Beau Nash

Beau NashDear Reader, I hope that this journal of my time in Bath should prove to be helpful to you. In reading it may you be spared the numerous faux pas and embarrassments that I was not. I truly feel that if this work should prevent even one other young lady from public ridicule in the Assembly Rooms of Bath then it will have been wholly worthwhile. Humbly yours,  Eveline Helm. June, 1797   It was not particularly late when I turned for bed last night following the surprisingly delicious dinner that Mrs Drewit found for us, that of steak and kidney pie, which she purchased from one of the more salubrious inns within the town. To be perfectly frank I had been grateful that Mrs Drewit had found us anything at all, and I had by no means been expecting to enjoy whatever it turned out to be. I would have felt lucky to have been served with umble pie, my hopes were so low in relation to the odds of her success. I therefore made sure to thank Mrs Drewit heartily for her efforts and for providing such an excellent meal, but it was not long, barely a half hour later when we were gathered around the fire in the withdrawing room, before I felt my eyelids begin to droop. The travelling had taken its toll and I felt I really must bid my Aunt and Uncle goodnight, even though it was only a half past nine in the evening (more…)
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Jane Austen News – 11

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? Lady Susan’s Little Black Book      Penguin launched their innovative Little Black Classics range in February last year, and have already sold more than 2.2 million titles from the range worldwide. Originally there were 80 to choose from (or collect), and Jane’s short story The Beautifull Cassandra was number 33. We were delighted to see the little-known story getting some attention. Now we’re just as happy because, given how successful they’ve been, and to celebrate the first Penguin Classic released in 1946, Penguin has added another 46 titles to the series. Among these will be Jane Austen’s early epistolary novella Lady Susan.  Definitely a must-read before the film adaptation comes out later this year under the title Love and Friendship. Another Never-Before-Seen Film Due  Lady Susan, a never-before filmed story from Jane Austen, is expected in cinemas this May, to great anticipation. As if this wasn’t good enough, now there’s another never-before-filmed Austen novel to look forward to. Holliday Grainger and Max Irons (both pictured here) are going to star in the adaptation of Sanditon, which will be shot in the UK this June. The adaptation will be directed by Jim O’Hanlon who directed the 2009 BBC TV adaptation of Emma. “Sanditon is that rare and wonderful thing – a genuinely original, never-before-filmed novel by one of the world’s favourite novelists. It has everything audiences have come to expect from classic Jane Austen – comedy, romance, and a dazzling cast of characters for them to fall in love with.” – Director, Jim O’Hanlon Jane (more…)
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Jane Austen News – 10

Pride and Prejudice bookmarkWhat’s the Jane Austen News this week? The Love and Friendship Trailer is Here!      Whit Stillman’s Jane Austen film adaptation, Love and Friendship, starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny, is set to open the San Francisco International Film Festival on April 21st. Great news! Even better, we can now finally see a trailer for the upcoming film, which is set to be released in the UK on the 27th of May, and you can find the latest official trailer here. We can hardly wait! Staying In the Estate That Inspired Pride and Prejudice  Rumor has it that Austen started writing Pride and Prejudice after a rejuvenating stay at Goodnestone Park; an English manor in Kent—and that a double wedding held at the mansion inspired the double weddings of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, and of her sister Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley. Now the estate will be available to stay in for the first time this coming July, and it gives guests the chance to step back into 18th-century England. It has 12-bedrooms, formal dining rooms, cozy drawing rooms, and, of course, a vast classic library! It’s not cheap, but it is stunning! You can have a look at a few of the photos of the estate here. A Thesis That We’ll Want To Read   On the whole our impression of university thesis’ are that they are pretty heavy going, and generally have very complex titles about sub-atomic particles, or maybe the life cycle of the Amazonian tree frog. But one (more…)
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Jane Austen News – Issue 9

Jane Austen newsWhat’s the Jane Austen News this week? Get Creative With Our Free Jane Austen Competition     This Easter, between March 27th and April, we’ll be asking Jane fans young and old to colour our Jane Austen Easter Egg in the most creative way they can. Flowers, embroidery patterns, illustrated characters from Jane’s novels – let your imagination run wild! Inspire us! The artists behind the winning Jane Austen Easter Eggs will win themselves some of our favourite Jane Austen goodies from our lovely gift shop. Full details can be found here.  Emma Hamilton Emma Hamilton was perhaps best known for being the mistress of Lord Horatio Nelson. She was lampooned by the press and decried for her common accent and scandalous love life. However, there was far more to her than the cartoonists of the time would have had you believe. Now her descendants are looking to educate the world about her achievements and influences, including the fashion revolution she inspired, with the Emma Hamilton Society which is due to launch on Emma’s birthday – April 26th. You can read more about Emma and her life on the Society’s website: http://www.emmahamiltonsociety.co.uk  Charlton Heston – An Unlikely Fan     Actor Charlton Heston, best known for his impressive roles in Ben Hur and Planet of the Apes, was a lesser-known Austen fan it seems. In his vast collection two storey library in his Beverley Hills home he had shelves dedicated to rare books, and on those shelves he had The first collected edition of (more…)
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Easter Colouring Competition at the Jane Austen Centre

Easter colouring competitionEaster colouring competition – win our  Jane Austen treasure trove!   Between the 27th of March and the 9th of April we’ll be asking Jane fans young and old to colour our special Jane Austen Easter Egg in the most creative way they can. Flowers, embroidery patterns, illustrated characters from Jane’s novels – let your imagination run wild! Inspire us! The artists behind the winning Jane Austen Easter Eggs will win themselves some of our favourite Jane Austen goodies from our lovely gift shop.   There are two separate categories, one for under 12’s and one for 12 – 113. Although if you’re over 113 and want to enter then please do! (And let us know! Maybe we can find the world’s oldest Jane Austen fan.)   To enter, all you have to do is pop into the Jane Austen Centre in Bath and pick up one of our entry forms from the gift shop, colour it in, and then return it to us by the 9th of April.   If you live overseas or you’re unable to make it to the centre then don’t worry, you can also download the form here: and enter via e-mail.   Just colour in your entry and send us a photo of your finished Easter colouring competition artwork along with your details to: austensocialmedia@gmail.com by midnight on April 9th (2016). We’ll collect them all and and our judge will decide the winner. After the result, we’ll also be posting some of the best entries (more…)
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In your Easter Bonnet

Easter is still two weeks away, and yet, somehow the delightful tradition, begun in childhood, of having something new to wear Easter Sunday morning, has me scrambling. The girls (8 and 10 respectively) plead their case last year, not to have to wear gloves and hats to church, but one still feels the need to be turned out fresh and new to celebrate not only the Saviour’s triumph over death, but also spring’s triumph over the cold of winter. A Wet Sunday Morning by Edmund Blair Leighton. In Jane Austen’s novels and letters, Easter is seen more as a time of travel (Mr. Collins to be ordained, Darcy travling to Kent, Mrs. Rushworth staying in Twickenham, along with Jane’s mention of herself, Henry and Edward all traveling at different times during Easter) rather than a season for new clothes. However, the long held habit of beginning a new season with new clothes can be dated back at least to the 16th century, with only a look at Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (“Did’st thou not fall out with a Tailor for wearing his new Doublet before Easter?”) or even the great Samuel Pepys, who wrote: 30 March (Easter Day) 1662 Having my old black suit new furbished, I was pretty neat in clothes to-day, and my boy, his old suit new trimmed, very handsome. The almanac writer, Poor Robin (1661-1776) notes, At Easter let your clothes be new Or else be sure you will it rue. An image from Atelier de (more…)
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Jane Austen News – Issue 8

Jane Austen news 7What’s the Jane Austen News this week? Mr Darcy’s Shirt Is Off To America  Mr Darcy’s famous wet shirt will soon be causing waves in America. As part of an exhibition titled Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington will be displaying the shirt alongside relics including a bundle of wood collected at Shakespeare’s birthplace, a bottle of Austen-inspired Bath Gin (“Gin of a different persuasion”), and Will and Jane action figures. ”The Shirt”  (the minimalist label that will be given to it during the exhibition), belongs to British costume supply house Cosprop. Apparently they receive several requests a year for items of Mr. Darcy’s clothing. Treat Mental Health by Reading Austen “Literature and mental health: Reading for wellbeing” is a free course recently offered by the University of Warwick through it’s open learning platform. It was designed to teach anyone who wished to learn how to cope with the trials and tribulations of modern life through the reading and analysis of classic works. Shakespeare’s King Lear looked at dementia and ageing, Austen’s Sense and Sensibility at heartbreak, and the World War 1 poets at post-traumatic stress disorder. It asked for approximately four hours per week as a time commitment, and offered a certificate at the end. It was so popular that Paula Byrne, Austen biographer and compiler of the programme, hopes that the course will be run in the future a few times reach year. For details of future courses visit the University (more…)