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 Austen News is looking forward to this release very much.
Stressed and Anxious? Read Emma
Television producer, poet, and best-selling author, Daisy Goodwin, (author of the likes of The Fortune Hunter and My Last Duchess) has compiled her list of books that she recommends for reading when you need help to get through the “trickier times in life.” First on the list is Emma.
Fiction is a less painful place to find that sense of perspective. Mr Woodhouse, the neurotic hypochondriacal father of Emma in Jane Austen’s eponymous novel, is always fretting about the evils of fresh air and is convinced a walk in the rain is tantamount to signing a death warrant.
As well as Emma, her recommended books include Sue Townsend’s The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾, and John Lanchester’s novel Capital.
Bridget Jones Diary Part 3 – Lizzy Bennet no more?
Helen Fielding, author of Bridget Jones’s Diary and its sequels The Edge of Reason and Mad About The Boy, made no secret of the fact that her first Bridget Jones book was heavily influenced by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, to the point where it’s hero is also named Mr Darcy. Her books captured readers hearts, just as Jane’s novels do (hardly surprising with Mr Darcy in them…), and were such a huge hit that soon Bridget Jones’s Diary the film was made and released.
But is Bridget really a modern Lizzy Bennet? It has recently been announced that a third Bridget Jones film based on Fielding’s novels is to be released this September, and in in Bridget betrays Darcy. Jane Austen News won’t elaborate because we don’t want to give out any spoilers, but we wonder what Miss Austen would make of the actions of Fielding’s version of Lizzy Bennet…
Export Deferral Strikes Again
In recent years Ed Vaizey, UK Culture Minister, has used an export ban to fight items of great value and historical significance leaving the UK. One of his interventions helped to recover a ring which had been owned by Jane Austen from X-Factor US winner Kelly Clarkson (and it caused quite a media storm at the time). Now he’s using it again to try to keep a 400-year-old drawing by Renaissance master Paolo Veronese in the country.
How it works is when a private owner wants to take a work of significant value out of the country the export ban can be put in place, after which there is two months when someone can apply to buy the work (with proof of funds). If the owner turns down the offer, the work will remain in the country for 10 more years. If no one comes forward, then the work simply leaves the country.
New Old Dances in Emma – Coming to a Barn Near Us Soon
At the Jane Austen Centre we’re looking forward to a new production of Emma. Performed by Bradfordian’s Dramatic Society, it will taking place near us in June in Bradford-on-Avon’s atmospheric tithe barn.
And it will contain a first! The society are working with some of the local branch of the Jane Austen Dancers on dances that have only recently been discovered in a Bath archive. Dated 1814, the dances have been fully choreographed and set to music. Emma will be their first public outing for generations. We’re looking forward to tickets going on sale on their website soon.
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