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The Jane Austen Shopping Club – Our New Gold Membership

gold membershipA look at Jane Austen’s letters readily confirms that she, like many of her modern fans, had a love affair with shopping! Her notes to her sister, Cassandra, are full of this bargain and that deal picked up on her travels. What would she think of entire shops full of merchandise dedicated exclusively to her?! If this sounds like heaven to you, you’ll love the Jane Austen Gift Shop’s new Gold Membership! Annual membership is just £25, and the benefits include: 10% off all orders at all times (no minimum order value; excludes tickets, magazine subscriptions and handmade costume) FREE metal Jane Austen pin badge worth £3 Priority access to selected new lines Exclusive behind the scenes updates on forthcoming products Tailored special offers and discounts It’s a great way to save money while joining the growing community of Jane Austen fans and supporters of handmade, unique products. Of course, it also gives you an excuse to treat yourself and your friends more often! Join HERE today! (more…)
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Jane Austen Online Biography

Jane austen biographyIf you’ve ever longed for more information about Jane Austen’s life but haven’t time to visit the library, you are in luck! Many full length biographies of Austen’s life are available to read or download online with little or no cost. Reviews of these works can be found on JASA’s website. A Memoir of Jane Austen by Her Nephew The first Jane Austen Biography by James Edward Austen-Leigh (1798-1874, son of James Austen, Jane’s oldest brother) was written in 1870. Austen-Leigh had the benefit of not only knowing his famous Aunt, but also being privy to family memories and stories. Jane’s brother Henry had written a brief biographical forward in Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, but this was the first complete book dedicated to her life. Though not completely unbiased, this work provides much of what we know of Jane’s life, including the infamous “squeaking door” vignette. La Brocca offers it here, for free download or online perusal. Jane Austen: Her Homes and Her Friends This biography by Constance Hill was first published in 1901. It’s 23 chapters are available to read online free of charge, courtesy of “In Celebration of Women Writers”, hosted by The University of Pennsylvania. Jane Austen and her Times First Published in 1905, this is one of the early biographies of Jane Austen. Many of the Austen biographies available online were written by women and this work, by Geraldine Edith Mitton is no exception. Cathy Dean has provided the complete text (19 chapters and two appendix (more…)
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Mr Darcy’s Christmas Calendar – Book Review

Some of my earliest memories of Christmas involve the endless waiting for the big day and the delight we took in counting down the hours with an Advent calendar. Sometimes the tiny door would reveal a portion of the Nativity story, other years we would be greeted with a festive sentiment, and by far our favorite days were the ones greeted by a chocolate or treat. My children share my enthusiasm as well as a tradition of countdown calendars with their grandmother and I have three ready to go come December 1. Last year, however, I was given the most amazing Christmas countdown calendar of all. A treasured gift from a treasured friend.

Proceeds from Mr. Darcy's Christmas Calendar will go to benefit the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation.
Proceeds from Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Calendar will go to benefit the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation.

When I first saw the cover of Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Calendar, I thought it was a traditional advent calendar, with a gorgeous image of Jane Austen’s Chawton Cottage home dusted with snow and trimmed for Christmas. Each tiny window and door looked numbered and perforated and I thought, “What a wonderful idea!! Someone should have thought of this long ago!” I could only surmise whether the recipient would be treated to quotes or chocolate upon opening. Continue reading Mr Darcy’s Christmas Calendar – Book Review

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Jane Austen in the Digital Age: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

By Priyanka Chavda Jane Austen’s influence has continued to grow since her publication in the 19th century, and one of the most loved novels, Pride and Prejudice has seen an array of adaptations from the 1995 BBC adaptation with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle to Gurinder Chadha’s Bride and Prejudice. The attempt to re-connect with the author and her classic works, and open it to modern audience has taken a new direction. One such success was made by American video production company Pemberley Digital, who adapt classic works onto new media platforms. Utilising social media – Youtube, Twitter, Tumbler, Pinterest to name a few they open classic literature to a wider audience whilst telling an enriched and innovative story. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, introduces audiences to the well-loved characters from the novel but with a slight twist. Bernie Su and Hank Green, the creators have a wider scope, free from the costumes and Regency setting they are able to modernise Austen’s novel though the world of social media. Rejuvenating the novel whilst remaining faithful to the original the adaptation recaptures Austen and presents Pride and Prejudice in a whole new light. The cast of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries connected with audiences through Twitter, Blogging and Youtube. Narrated by 24-year old graduate Elizabeth Bennett (played by Ashley Clements) from California, the series is a video diary on her life since completing college and moving back home, her overbearing mother, her relationship with sisters and Mr Darcy. Each 10 minute clip shows (more…)
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Marrying Mr. Darcy – A Review

Marrying Mr. DarcyMarrying Mr. Darcy: Winning in Marriage is Entirely a Matter of Chance! A review by Meredith Esparza from Austenesque Reviews Awhile back I met Erika Svanoe on Twitter and I saw that she was running a Kickstarter campaign for her new game, Marrying Mr. Darcy. As a Janeite who loves to play games (especially Jane Austen related games) I knew I had to support her campaign and obtain a copy of this new game for myself! Several months later (because the Kickstarter was super successful!) I became the happy owner of this new and unique card game. I decided to coerce my family to play it with me! I thought it would be fun to share our experience playing the game with you all, so I wrote up a review! Game Overview: Marrying Mr. Darcy is a card game with elegantly designed cards, full of heroines, suitors, events, and character cards. The object of the game is to accumulate the most points. There are two stages of the game in which to collect points – The Courtship Stage and The Proposal Stage.   During The Courtship Stage points are earned by collecting Character cards – there are 4 types of Character cards highlighting various attributes – Wit, Beauty, Reputation, and Friendliness. Event cards determine when each player receives, steals, or loses Character cards. The Proposal Stage is very brief, it is when all the players attempt to match their heroine with 1 of the 6 possible suitors. Each suitor has different (more…)
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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for the iPhone: Fun, but faulty…

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a franchise in possession of a large fanbase must be in want of a video game adaptation. However hasty or flawed the execution of said game may be, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of media conglomerates that a video game is considered the rightful final step in a multimedia enterprise. “My dear gamers,” said Freeverse to us one day, “have you heard that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is available for the iPhone at last?” We replied that we had not heard so, but, being great admirers of the zombie-slaying genre in general and Seth Grahame-Smith’s ingenious adaptation of the Jane Austen classic in particular, we resolved to examine said game with alacrity. With a heavy heart, dearest readers, I must tell you that although the wry concept of the game is beyond reproach, its execution is wanting in many respects. Most grievous of all, I have been unable to carry the game to its proper conclusion; not because I did not wish to do so, for the game is in most regards diverting and congenial, but rather owing to a game-halting fault for which I was unable to find resolution. Read on to discover not only the merits of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for the iPhone (US$2.99), but also the inauspicious traits it possesses which, to my sorrow, render it unworthy of either praise or recommendation unless resolved with haste. (I’ll abandon my mimicry of Jane Austen’s (more…)
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Chat with Jane Austen Fans Around the World

e who’s ever searched for Jane Austen on the internet has, at some point, come across the The Republic of Pemberley. As the oldest and largest Austen Forum, they are known far and wide for the variety of topics they cover and the number of posters they attract. But what if you are looking for a different type of discussion, information or simply a place to meet like minded people? Whether you have a question about the Regency and Georgian England or simply wish to discuss some small piece of Austenia, there are a wealth of other boards out there, happy to receive visitors. Austenblog, the newest board on the scene is a compendium of news about Jane Austen in popular culture. This site has links to upcoming film and book information and hot off the press news and photos. It is updated daily and the editors welcome comments and questions. Mollands, an extension of Tilneys and Trapdoors, offers yet another choice for the Janeite who wishes, if not tea, at least conversation. The nine continuous topics are not all Austen related, but include “The Chawton Round Table” (conversations about Jane), “Inkstaind Wretches” (for posting fan fiction, poetry and other scribblings), “The Stacks” (to talk about books, books, and more books) and range from sports to movies to space simply to sound off. Truly not only good company, but the best. The International Movie Database offers message boards for each film, so if you have comments, scoops, questions or just (more…)
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Digital Jane: Jane Austen E-books online

In Jane Austen’s day, books were sold in a rather humble state. The pages were removed from the printing press, folded, sewn, and bound in plain paper-covered cardboard, the folds uncut. The owner could then take this embryonic volume and have it bound to suit his own taste and pocketbook: anything from a modest cloth covering to handsome tooled leather and gilt edges. Mr. Darcy had more to do to maintain the family library at Pemberley than simply place an order with a bookseller. Modern readers also have variety in our volumes. We are all familiar with hardback books, as well as the larger trade paperback and smaller mass-market paperback books. Now we have yet another selection: electronic books, or e-books, books in electronic format that can be viewed on a computer screen or a handheld device. The most popular format for e-books is Adobe Acrobat, which have the document extension .pdf (which stands for Portable Document Format). The software to read such documents, called Adobe Acrobat Reader, can be downloaded for free at the Adobe site. The software is popular because it is compatible with Windows, Macintosh, or Unix-based operating systems. There is even a version for the Palm operating system, allowing many users to read .pdf documents on their handheld devices. Microsoft Reader is a proprietary e-book format and the reader is also free to download. You must register for the Microsoft Passport to activate the reader. Microsoft Reader is only available for computers that run Windows 98 (more…)