Those who think that Jane’s novels sanitised life in Georgian England do like to remind Austen fans that life at that time was no picnic. There was civil unrest in countries across Europe, there were high taxes on commodities such as tea and flour, there was a huge disparity between the classes and the quality of life they had, there were hardly any rights for women. We could go on, but we’re sure you’ve heard the negative side of life at that time before.
However, a blog post we found this week reminded us that it wasn’t all bad, and did make us somewhat nostalgic for certain aspects of like in the 1800s.
A few of the things that sawatdeeka feels she missed out on include:
Letters and journals
“When I see a movie character sit at a picturesque desk, get out a fresh sheet of paper, and start scratching away with an ink pen, I’m reminded that in the last twenty years, we have lost the practice of exchanging long, meaty letters and of saving our correspondence.”
Passing time with family and friends
“It would have been delightful to spend more of life sitting together after dinner–with no interference from TV or radio–reading aloud, playing music, talking or singing.”
Sense of wonder
“The world was young leading up to the 1900’s because there was so much to be discovered. English audiences of the late 1700’s were startled to read of experiences with isolated ethnic groups–the world map still had blank spots in it, and there were limited means of reaching faraway places.”
What would you add to sawadeeka’s list?
BBC History magazine recently compiled a list of “100 women who changed the world”, as chosen by ten experts and ranked by its readers.
Marie Curie, the first person to win two Nobel prizes, topped the list, but Jane Austen was the only novelist to make it onto the list at all!
The women on the list of women who changed the world who came above Jane in the rankings are:
1. Marie Curie
2. Rosa Parks
3. Emmeline Pankhurst
4. Ada Lovelace
5. Rosalind Franklin
6. Margaret Thatcher
7. Angela Burdett-Coutts
8. Mary Wollstonecraft
9. Florence Nightingale
10. Marie Stopes
11. Eleanor of Aquitaine
12. The Virgin Mary
Getting to number 13 on the list just goes to show what an amazing writer Jane was, and how strong her legacy is, even to this day! The full list, and background on the women featured on it, can be found here.
We’ve been perusing the programme for the (fast-approaching!) Jane Austen Festival which begins in Bath on September 14th, and one event which caught the eye of the Jane Austen News is that of Rowan Suart, who will be performing her original work Austen Sisters.
Austen Sisters is a 50-minute solo literary recital performed by Rowan Suart herself. It comprises diverting and dramatic readings of Jane and Cassandra Austen’s letters, prose, and poetry – all of which illustrates their sibling relationship. The performance will also build on Jane’s focus on sisters within her works. We have to say that we’re highly intrigued and will be looking forward to seeing it at The Mission Theatre on September 17th.
The airline, Norwegian, has finally seen their Norwegian Boeing 787 aircraft take to the skies on her maiden voyage, complete with its tail fin adorned with a portrait of Jane Austen.
Since Norwegian’s first plane took flight, the airline has been honouring iconic figures on the tail fins of its aircraft – choosing figures who embody the spirit of the airline by pushing boundaries and inspiring others.
The airline chose Jane as its next tail fin figure in December last year. This was done in part to reflect its growth in the UK (Norwegian now flies 5.8 million UK passengers to their destinations every year). Jane will be the eighth UK figure to grace a Norwegian tail fin. Other figures featured are children’s author Roald Dahl, footballer Bobby Moore, aviation pioneer Sir Freddie Laker, poet Robert Burns, and explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.
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