What’s the Jane Austen News this week?
Results From Elle Magazine’s Super Fan Survey
Elle magazine recently conducted a “super fan survey” in which they asked people who who considered themselves to be massive Pride and Prejudice fans questions on everything from where they were when they first read the book, to which Mr Darcy scene on screen has been the hottest. Few will be surprised to learn that the winning scene was Colin Firth emerging from the lake (54% of the votes), although a surprise entry on the list was Colin Firth emerging from the lake in Love Actually… (2%)
Other results were that:
- 18% thought that Colin Firth has played Mr Darcy too much!
- In times of trouble some fans ask “Am I being Jane enough?”
- 55% of fans have read Pride and Prejudice 3 times or less while 24% have read it between 5 and 20 times, and 0.02% (we assume one fan) has read the book 35 times!
Can anyone beat 35 times?
The Owners of That First Edition of Persuasion Found
A short time ago the Jane Austen News reported on a first edition of Persuasion that had been found in a garage in the U.S. and then sent to Ayer Shirley Regional High School – as the inscription on the flyleaf said that the book’s first owner was Lillian M. Flood, who had received it as a prize speaking award at Ayer High School in 1900.
Ayer Shirley Regional High School English Dept. head, Eleanor Capasso, was determined to find Lillian’s descendants who the book would now belong to, and after the story was spread online Capasso received help from people she’d never met in the form of phone calls and e-mails. Using these and public records Capasso managed to trace the owners – Lillian’s grandsons Peter and John Moses, to the Bronx where the book will now be sent. Peter and John said they are both “big Austen fans”, so we are glad the book is going to a good home and that it’s owners were found at last.
Is Jane Austen On A Bank Note A Bad Thing?
Jane Austen fans were delighted to learn that Jane was going to be the person featured on the new £10 bank note in 2017, but The Guardian newspaper reporter Eve Livingston was not convinced. In an article published online she argued that:
While the increased presence of women on currency has largely been hailed a feminist success, those struggling at the sharp end of economic inequality might be forgiven for any resentment towards what is largely a symbolic achievement […] Indeed, what those celebrating this new cast of banknote characters fail to recognise is the inappropriate nature of the symbolism that emblazons women on the very thing most likely to oppress them. This is all grounded in a form of feminism that focuses on representation at the expense of any real change to the material lives of our most disadvantaged women.
This makes a lot of sense, but at the same time we at the Jane Austen News can’t bring ourselves to feel that our favourite author on the £10 bank note is in any way a bad thing. Personally we can’t wait to see the new notes in circulation.
Matches and Matrimony – Jane Austen In Video Game Format
The Jane Austen News knows well that Jane Austen’s novels have been the subject of countless adaptations and been portrayed through art, film, poetry – practically very medium you can think of. However we didn’t know that they had been turned into a computer game! Matches and Matrimony has six suitors to pursue and three different novels all bound into the one game.
On its website it says that you can:
Become the heroine of Jane Austen’s most popular novels! Create your own storyline from the intersecting stories of 3 of Miss Austen’s books as you pick your daily routine and choose your own path to happiness and fortune. With 9 different endings to be discovered, Matches & Matrimony can be played again and again as you create your own classic tale of romance.
The Jane Austen News is intrigued to see how it translates, so as there’s the option of downloading a free 1-hour trial edition of the game, we know what we’ll be doing this evening! For other curious fans, the game is available to download here.
Lieutenant Price = Lieutenant Molesworth Phillips?
On Friday (29th April) emeritus Professor Jocelyn Harris spoke at the University of Otago in New Zealand on the subject of the Mansfield Park character Lieutenant Price (the brother of heroine Fanny Price) and her theory that he is a satire of the real life Lieutenant Molesworth Phillips, of the Royal Marines.
In 1779, Lieutenant Molesworth Phillips reported the only eye-witness account of the explorer Captain Cook’s death, and subsequent biographers believe him. But Jocelyn suggested that Phillips is unreliable and self-serving. Austen’s reasons to attack Phillips included his ill-treatment of his wife, Fanny Burney’s sister Susan, and his failure to save Cook, who was mentor-by-proxy to Austen’s brothers.
Being in New Zealand the Jane Austen News couldn’t get to the lecture, but with a synopsis such as that we wish that we had. If anyone reading this attended then please do let us know how it went and of any conclusions it came to.
Baby Names for Book Lovers
At the Jane Austen Centre we’ve had a fair few visitors who tell us that they were named after one of Jane’s heroines, or that they themselves named one of their children after Elizabeth Bennet or Elinor Dashwood, so at the Jane Austen News we were interested to read through a list that Bustle recently published with suggestions on what the ideal baby name for a literature fan might be.
Some of the suggestions included; Hermione (after the Harry Potter character of course but also a character in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale), Matilda (of Roald Dahl fame), and Veda, because it means knowledge when translated to English. Jane however only made it to number five on the list! We definitely think it deserved to be higher up in the ranking!
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