What’s the Jane Austen News this week?
The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen – Volume II
The author Collins Hemingway officially launched his new book; The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Volume II – a new historical novel based on Austen’s life, on Saturday 10th September the first day of Bath’s 2016 Jane Austen Festival.
Volume I of The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen trilogy was released on the 24th of June 2015, while volume III has no release date at present. But for now we’re happily getting stuck into volume II.
The fiction trilogy addresses the enduring rumors of whether Jane Austen had a lost love or a tragic affair, why Jane Austen prematurely put on her “cap of middle age”, and why, after her death, did Jane’s beloved sister Cassandra destroy her letters and journals.
Reviewers have praised The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen for the quality of the writing, its compelling love story, its sensitive treatment of the historical Austen, and its meticulous research.
Success at The Jane Austen Festival
So as mentioned above, this week saw the beginning of the 16th Jane Austen Festival in Bath. After a pre-festival get together on Friday 9th, Saturday saw the festival officially opened with the Grand Regency Costumed Promenade.
The sight of so many Jane Austen fans marching through Bath (in somewhat disappointing weather but that did not dampen any spirits) was truly a majestic one.
If you couldn’t make it to the city to see it in person, here are a few photos from the event:
We’re very much looking forward to the rest of the festival!
In Defence of Including Austen With Kant and Hegel
Dean Brian T. Kelly of Thomas Aquinas College in California has defended the study of Jane Austen’s Emma alongside other more ‘academic’ texts looking at the subject of The Beauty of Truth and Sincerity.
During their first semester students read Emma in between Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and George Friedrich Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit because, the Dean says, “her work promotes a profoundly healthy and sane view of human life and reality as a whole.”
Jane Austen’s novels are witty, suspenseful, charming, and eminently sensible. Her work is suffused with a wholesome, feminine sanity. My only regret is that we don’t have room in the seminar to require seniors to read Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice as well.
At the Jane Austen News we are so glad to see evidence like this that there are respected academics out there championing Jane’s work. Certainly the Dean does not share the view which some of his students have; that Emma is just a “chick book”.
Jane and Other World-Changing Women Book
Kate Pankhurst has just published her gorgeous new children’s book; Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World. The book was born out of illustrations Kate did for another publication and contains the stories of various famous names like Coco Chanel, Amelia Earhart, and Jane Austen!
Opposite is one of the illustrations of the book, that of Emmeline Pankhurst who is a distant relative of Kate. We at the Jane Austen News think her work is beautiful and are really looking forward to seeing her illustration of Jane.
I wanted to find a real cross-section of women whose stories show that it’s possible to excel at anything if you put your mind to it. Someone like Jane Austen was an obvious choice, but what was really lovely was digging out the stories of women whose names are far less well known, but whose achievements are no less extraordinary.
Jane Bennet’s Advice for Introvert Dating
Not everyone is a Lizzy Bennet, some people are more like Jane; a bit more reserved and shy but just as loving. The trouble is that being shy can make those of us who are more introverted nervous when it comes to dating. So, based on Jane Bennet’s romantic adventures, Verily has found four keys pieces of advice for the introverted.
- Affirm a man in his interests.
- Ask yourself how you would feel if the person you liked moved on because they didn’t know how you feel.
- Live your life and leave the door open. (Jane didn’t sit about waiting for Bingley to return – she “diverts” herself.
- Ask friends for help. (Not what Jane did, adds the article, but just think what might have happened if she had.)
The full article and advice can be found here.
Preservation or Demolition for Austen House
There are worries that parts of the historic town of Tonbridge could be lost forever following the presentation of plans to demolish a property linked to Jane Austen’s family.
180 High Street is more than 200 years old, and despite a campaign to save the building, believed to have been home to Henry Austen – a cousin of Jane Austen’s father, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council finally approved its demolition last summer after a planning saga lasting years.
Despite its age the property is not a listed property, and this was cited by inspectors as one of the main reasons that there are no grounds for it to be saved. In an attempt to avoid its demolition, local resident Suzannah Niklas started an online petition, and argues that it should be preserved as a tourist asset. The argument goes on and currently the petition, which was begun in 2011 but is still live, is a long way short of its required 5000 signatures.
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