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Jane Austen News – Issue 107

The Jane Austen News having a ball!

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


A Bookshop Of Women For All

As a pioneering female author we think that Jane would love this idea.

Penguin has teamed up with Waterstones to mark International Women’s Day by opening a pop-up store in East London. The bookshop will run from the 5th-9th of March and will sell only books written by women to “celebrate the persistence of women who’ve fought for change: those who fight, rebel and shout #LikeAWoman”.

The other unique aspect of the pop-up bookshop is the way in which it will be laid out. Rather than the typical “biography”, “fiction”, “sci-fi” categories, the books will be grouped by “the impact the author has had on culture, history or society”. The categories will range from “essential feminist reads”, to “inspiring young readers”, “women to watch”, and “changemakers”.

A series of literary events will also take place at the boo

kshop during the short time it is open. The proceeds of these will go to Solace Women’s Aid. Customers at the shop will also be able to buy books to donate to the charity, which gives support to survivors of domestic violence in London.

Women’s voices being heard and taken seriously is key to achieving gender equality, and with the Like a Woman bookshop we’re making room for those voices to be elevated and celebrated.

What a wonderful idea. We’re sure that Jane would thoroughly approve.

(N.B. In case you wondered, the authors included in the image above are, in no set order: Maya Angelou, JK Rowling, Alice Walker, SE Hinton, Agatha Christie, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Harper Lee, Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Louisa May Alcott, Mary Shelley, George Eliot, Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Virginia Woolf, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ayn Rand, Margaret Mitchell, Edith Wharton, Zora Neale Hurston)


Investing in Antiquarian Austen? A Jag Might Be Better

According to an article published on The Times online, antiquarian books are among the worst collectibles you can invest in. Instead the article recommends investing in classic cars.

That’s not to say that rare books will bring you no return on investment. A study conducted by the London Business School and Credit Suisse found that if investors in rare books were to sell them, they would make seven times their money since 1900 (in real terms, i.e. allowing for inflation). Sounds good. Only classic cars would get you a two hundred and forty two-fold return… For a real-life example, a 1963 Jaguar E-Type roadster is being auctioned at Bonhams auction house this March, and its guide price is between £130,000 and £160,000. It originally cost £2,250 new; the equivalent cost today being £45,500.

Investors in antique jewellery made thirty times their money, and philatelists wishing to sell their stamps would make twenty times their money.

However, return on investment aside, we’d still rather collect old books. There’s something endlessly romantic about old books, and imagining the journeys they’ve been on before they came to us.


Jane Austen in Canada

Any Jane Austen fans who are based in, or near to, Toronto might like to have their diaries at the ready for this piece of Jane Austen News.

There’s a Jane Austen afternoon planned for March 4th from 1pm-4pm at Toronto’s First Post Office Museum. The afternoon will begin with a lecture which, richly illustrated with historical sources, will explore the enduring fascination of the ballroom as known to Jane Austen and her contemporaries.

Questions such as how often the dances took place, how young ladies found partners, what the dances involved and whether they’re still danced today will be answered within the lecture. There will also be a Q&A session after the lecture for any extra questions guests may have, as well as tea and treats, and letter-writing with quill pens and sealing wax.

More information on the event can be found here.


Unleashing Mr Darcy… Again

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but the Hallmark Channel’s Unleashing Mr Darcy, a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, was a big hit with some. It saw the basic story of Pride and Prejudice take place not in the English countryside, but at a dog show:

Elizabeth Scott is fishing for direction in her life and gets the opportunity to professionally show her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in a fancy New York dog show. Dog show judge Donovan Darcy comes across as aristocratic and rude and a chain of misunderstandings unfold during the competition, complicating their mutual attraction. In true Jane Austen fashion, Elizabeth and Donovan begin to see the error of their ways and it turns out Mr. Darcy is far more kind and interesting than Elizabeth ever imagined.

If it was a film you really rather enjoyed, you might like to know that plans are afoot for a sequel.

There aren’t many details currently available, but what we do know is that the film will be called Marrying Mr Darcy, and that, according to Ryan Paevey (who played Donovan Darcy), the filming for it will take place this summer.


Regaled With Regency Poetry

This week the Jane Austen News was sent this delightful poem from one of our readers, Ian Watson, who was so kind as to let us share it with you. It was originally written to be read out at his dance group’s Christmas dinner. We’re sure it brought a great smile to the faces of all. It certainly diverted us excessively.

Regency Costume Etiquette

My first time at a Regency Ball
My costume I wore proudly
But the MC stopped me at the door
And disparaged me (quite loudly)

“Boots are not allowed” he said,
“For dancing on this floor
Take them off immediately
And leave them by the door

Your cravat it isn’t starched enough
It just won’t do at all
Untie it: throw it well away
Before you attend this ball

Your jacket’s beautifully made
And such a splendid fit
Alas the style’s Victorian
So please get rid of it.

I’m afraid your waistcoat’s pointed
An 1830’s style
Unbutton it, remove it
And add it to the pile

That shirt is buttoned down the front
Far too modern in my view
Yes that’s right, slip out of it
I’m afraid it’s far too new

I see you’re wearing trousers
Not hose and breeches, to the knee
They’ve got to go: don’t argue
They’re just not Regency

Those under things aren’t period
Such draws I can’t abide
So take them off, and now, at last
You’re free to come inside”

Now I’m sure the MC knows his facts
But it does seem rather rude
To dance ‘Mrs Bennet’s Fancy’
Completely in the nude.


Jane Austen Day with Charlotte

Jane Austen News is our weekly compilation of stories about or related to Austen. Here we will feature a variety of items, including craft tutorials, reviews, news stories, articles and photos from around the world. If you’d like to include your story, please contact us with a press release or summary, along with a link. You can also submit unique articles for publication in our Jane Austen Online Magazine.

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