Posted on

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…)
Posted on

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…)
Posted on

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…)
Posted on

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…)
Posted on

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…)
Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 7

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? Sir Walter Scott’s Emma on Show Sir Walter Scott, the eminent Georgian reviewer and novelist, reviewed work from some of the most famous literary names of the era. Now a show titled “Rave Reviewer: Scott on Frankenstein, Emma and Childe Harold”, will tell the story of his engagement and interaction with some of the most famous literature of the early nineteenth century – including the works Jane Austen. In the exhibition visitors will be able to view handwritten documents from Scott himself, from Mary Shelley and from Lord Byron, all of which bring to life the story behind preparing a work for publication and review. Scott’s own first edition of Emma will also be on show. “Rave Reviewer: Scott on Frankenstein, Emma and Childe Harold” will be on display in Abbotsford House, Melrose, Scotland from Saturday 2nd April 2016 until the end of the season on November 2016. Did You Know?    Helen Amy, the author of The Jane Austen Files, has written an article for BBC History Extra magazine with 8 lesser-known Jane Austen facts. Did you know that there’s no mention on Jane’s gravestone that she was an author? Or that Jane’s cousin is said to have saved her life when she was a child? The full article is free to read here. Jane Austen’s Juvenilia: Beautiful Proto-Feminism Devoney Looser, Professor of English at Arizona State University, has published a wonderful article that highlights the fire and feminism in what is possibly Jane’s most satirical work (more…)
Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 6

Jane Austen NewsWhat’s the Jane Austen News this week? LA Regency Ball is a 60 Second Sell-Out! The team behind the Pasadena-based re-enactment evening, ‘The Jane Austen Evening’, which is now in its 18th year, was amazed by the popularity with which its most recently held event was met. When tickets went on sale for the event at 12pm last November 14th,  it had already sold all of the 500 tickets it had available by 12:01 pm! LA Weekly reporter Renee Camus, who reported on this amazing achievement, also explored why Jane Austen themed balls are becoming increasingly popular. Her full article can be found here. The Leading Ladies of Love & Freindship (sic) Talk Austen Adaptations Kate Beckinsale, who is due to play Lady Susan Vernon in Whit Stillman’s upcoming feature film based on Austen’s Lady Susan, and Chloe Sevigny, who will take the role of her American friend Alicia Johnson, have been speaking about the issues and joys that come with adapting Austen’s work for the big screen. “It’s really difficult to have lunch or get through doorways — I had a hat the size of a cartwheel!” Their video interview can be seen at: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/kate-beckinsale-chloe-sevigny-jane-858805 Love and Friendship, the title that Whit Stillman has chosen for the film, is due to be released in the UK on September 2nd. Free Debates for North American Austen Fans Much in the same way that in Karen Joy Fowler’s novel, The Jane Austen Book Club, the members go through and discuss each of Jane’s (more…)
Posted on

The Journal of Eveline Helm, Part Two

Dear 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 Although I am, as I have said before, most impatient to see the city of Bath itself, I am as yet unable to. This is because the journey in my Uncle’s chaise took a little more than eight hours, which was as expected. As we left not too long after a relatively late ten o’clock breakfast, we arrived in Bath at a quarter past seven, which is, of course, just in time for dinner; a meal which we were all more than ready for. Unfortunately there was no dinner waiting for us, as we had not sent the few servants whom my Uncle had brought with us on ahead in order to make the necessary arrangements. On our arrival therefore, whilst James, my Uncle’s valet, and Mr Johnson, his butler, were taking our bags inside and depositing their contents into their appropriate places, our cook, Mrs Drewit, made the bold move of going out into town in the now empty chaise to try and procure us some sustenance. My Uncle, meanwhile, was busy making further arrangements that I (more…)