What’s the Jane Austen News this week?
Editing – With Pins!
Everyone has their own style of editing, and Jane’s style is the perfect example of why Post-It notes are such an amazing invention!
The Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts Digital Edition describes her editing process:
With no calculated blank spaces and no obvious way of incorporating large revision or expansion she had to find other strategies — small pieces of paper, each of which was filled closely and neatly with the new material, attached with straight pins to the precise spot where erased material was to be covered or where an insertion was required to expand the text.
Pinning your corrections to your manuscript is certainly not one we’d come across before. This is why we at the Jane Austen News love the online manuscripts so much; insights like this. Also, the chance to see her first drafts in her own hand is simply amazing.
If you’d like to see them for yourself, Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts Digital Edition can be found here.
Austen’s Emma An Example To Us All
Emma isn’t exactly renowned as being the best example to follow when given a choice between Austen’s heroines. However, this week The Telegraph has made a very good case for why more of us should be like Emma.
More than a quarter of people aged over 65 who live on their own are lonely, and more and more of those of us who are over 65 do now live on their own. But why is this asked James Bartholomew? In most societies for most of human history the elderly have lived with or near their grown-up children. James doesn’t see why this should change? Why can’t we be more like Emma?
George Knightley finally proposes to Emma Woodhouse. Many people will have forgotten that she initially refuses him. Why? … She believes she has an absolute, unbreakable obligation to stay living with her lone, elderly father.
The problem is overcome when Knightley offers to come to live with her at her father’s home after they marry. So all is resolved to make a lovely Austenesque happy ending.
And some people say that Austen’s books aren’t relevant to our modern lives anymore!
All Austen and None of the Others
Who doesn’t love a good Austen adaptation? They have to be some of the most popular TV and films out there.
However…The Spectator has broached the subject – what about those authors not in the classic adaptation canon?
You’ll get Dickens, Tolstoy, Jane Austen and — so garlanded by now in TV adaptation terms that she joins their ranks — Hilary Mantel. You might get the odd better-known Brontë, if you’re lucky, and Hardy always goes down well. Then what? George Eliot — quite wrongly — is usually seen as a bit on the stodgy side and not concerned enough either with love or jokes. In more recent times entire decades seem to be monopolised by Waugh, Wodehouse and Le Carré.
So who does Sam Leith, the author of the article, recommend for adaptation?
I canvassed bookish friends on social media briefly while writing this, and can report as a finger to the wind that there’s considerable enthusiasm for Elizabeth Taylor, Henry Green, Ronald Firbank, George Gissing, Somerset Maugham, Fanny Burney, Naguib Mahfouz, Patrick Hamilton, Honoré de Balzac, Emile Zola, Wilkie Collins, Simon Raven, Arnold Bennett and Joseph Roth.
We think Sam has a point. We still want our Austen adaptations – don’t misunderstand us; we absolutely love them, but there are certainly some other great authors, and some contemporaries of Austen, whose work we’d also love to see getting some recognition on screen.
Coming Soon To The Jane Austen Centre: Mr Darcy
Good news for fans of Mr Darcy! Coming soon to the Jane Austen Centre is a life-size model of Mr Darcy himself.
Within the next couple of weeks Mr Darcy in the (almost) flesh will take up his pride of place in the centre, and will be on hand for our guests to take photos with, stage proposals with, and generally marvel at.
All Roads Lead To Austen
The Jane Austen News came across an interesting read this week while browsing through the many Jane Austen related books that are out there. This one intrigued us because it was a cross between a travel book, a memoir, the book Eat Pray Love, and a book club. All Roads Lead To Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith sees Professor Smith take one year out to travel around six countries and see what Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility mean to readers in those countries. Is Austen universally relevant as well as timeless?
Crossing Austen with a book about exploring South America is a new one on us, and we thought worth a mention as it might be of interest to some of our jet-setting Janeites.
Austen At RidgeCon
Ridgefield Library in Connecticut will be holding their all-ages celebration of popular culture on Friday, August 12th and Saturday, August 13th. Last year the title of the event was Comic Con, but this year the rebranded RidgeCon reflects their more diverse line up. The theme is “What are you a fan of?”, and as well as the expected appearances of Frozen, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, and a vast selection of superheroes and cartoon characters, there will also be an emphasis on Jane Austen – represented in an adult evening on Friday at 7 p.m. for fans of Downton Abbey, Jane Austen, Sherlock Holmes, and other “British fandoms”.
The evening will include a Jane Austen Society of North America card game, signature themed cocktails, Downton Abbey trivia and games, and a drawing for British-themed prizes from UK Gourmet, Harney & Sons and Simpson & Vail.
It sounds like a good evening if you can make it. Tickets and information on the event can be found at ridgefieldlibrary.org.
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