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Jane Austen News – Issue 37

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 

Big Money for New Austen Tenners? 
25083733_churchill-fiver-news-xlarge_transhrea7q0u4luctrhf7ldujk6lmambxgbkvpl81kzjdamOn the 13th of September the UK’s new five pound note was released for general use, and they caused a stir for those lucky enough to be given the sought-after low serial number notes.

Those given some of the million notes with “AA01” serial numbers soon found that their notes might be worth more than their face value, and soon the ebay listings began popping up. In fact one man who received three of the AA01 notes managed to sell the set for £456!

As well as a new polymer design to help the notes to last when in use, the new £5, £10 and £20 notes also feature a fresh set of important figures from UK history. The five pound note features Winston Churchill, the twenty pound note set for release in 2020 will feature JMW Turner, but the ten pound note due for release next year will feature Jane Austen. Three Winstons raised £456, and now at the Jane Austen News we’re wondering what kind of price a set of three “AA01” Austens could command.


The Cate Morland Chronicles – By Women, For Women    
maxresdefault-3The cast and crew behind The Cate Morland Chronicles, the new web adaptation of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, have said that one of the things they feel proudest of when it comes to the series is the fact that the crew is almost entirely made up of women, with the exception of one assistant director. Ellen Lloyd who wrote the script for the web series said that they originally wanted to have an all-woman cast, but they had to find some men for the web series. Lloyd says that series like The Cate Morland Chronicles show women can produce shows just as well as men can. We at the Jane Austen News are sure that Austen would approve of the efforts the cast and crew have put in, especially when it comes to female empowerment.


What To Expect From National Bookshop Day   

screen-shot-2016-10-02-at-20-06-44Around 2,000 bookshops across the UK and Ireland will be celebrating Bookshop Day this Saturday (Saturday 8th October) with special events, author visits, competitions, bespoke window displays and previews of some of the books which are set to be Christmas bestsellers. 

Titles by Margaret Atwood (Toppings in Bath will be hosting an event with Margaret Atwood), Michael Palin, Graham Norton, Ben Fogle, Jeremy Paxman, Miranda Hart, P.D. James and more will be hitting the shelves

National Bookshop Day will be an opportunity for bookshops and book-buyers to celebrate their love of books and bookshops, and the vital role that bookshops play in our communities. Customers and booksellers are being invited to share their love of bookshops on Bookshop Day with the hashtags #OnlyOnTheHighStreet and #BookshopDay.


Learning to Write Fiction With Austen   
9781408866061Rebecca Smith, the five-times great niece of Jane Austen, has just released her new book, The Jane Austen Writer’s Club,  which examines the major aspects of writing fiction; -plotting, characterisation, openings and endings, dialogue, settings, and writing methods. The basis for her book is the advice which Austen gave in letters to her aspiring novelist nieces and nephew, and Smith’s book also provides varied exercises for writers to try, using examples from Austen’s work.

Exercises include:

  • Show your character doing the thing he or she most loves doing. In the opening scene of Persuasion, Sir Walter Elliot looks himself up in the Baronetage, which is the Regency equivalent of Googling oneself. That single scene gives us a clear understanding of the kind of man he is and sets up the plot.
  • Use Jane Austen’s first attempts at stories to get yourself started. Write a very short story inspired by The Beautifull Cassandra, a work of eighteenth-century flash fiction.

With Jane Austen being one of the nation’s most well-loved authors, there could hardly be anyone better to teach us how to write.


Colin Firth’s Doppelgänger?    

marcus-field-colin-0If you can’t find your own Mr Darcy, then how about trying to arrange a meeting with Marcus Fields?

Marcus was told way back in 1995 when the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice came out that he was a dead ringer for Firth when a friend turned up at his 29th birthday party with a present: a framed photo of Mr Darcy to put on his wall. The photo was held up next to him for comparison, at which point other guests laughed and agreed. The joke stuck.

With the release of the new Bridget Jones he is once again being likened to Firth, those he doesn’t necessarily agree with the comparison”

My nose is big and bent beside his perfect Hollywood hooter; my jaw was never as square, my eyes too narrow to rival those almond-shaped beauties. But somehow my misshapen physiognomy, much aided by similarities of colouring and unruly locks of hair, has enough of a likeness for both confusion and amusement to be aroused.

What do you think? Is Fields a good doppelgänger for Mr Darcy?


Renaming Jane’s Novels     
writing-923882_960_720We at the Jane Austen News had a good giggle at the results from the first week of the National Association of Scholars’ new “Update the Classics: Add a PC Subtitle” contest, which were published in the US online magazine The College Fix . The task they were set was to add a politically correct subtitle to transform classic books “into something today’s sensitive yet resentful students can’t resist,” and the association chose Jane Austen novels as the first week’s target.

First place went to Darel Veal for Sense and Sensitivity Training (which the association said was not technically a subtitle, but was clever and succinct). The runners-up were; (Wo)Mansfield Park, Censor Sensibility, Personsfield Park: Local Theater as an Act of Subversion, Northanger Abbey: Anger is our True North, and perhaps our favourite suggestion, Manspread Park – Combating Patriarchal Postures across England’s Quaint Garden Benches.

Do any of our readers have any other ideas?


Jane Austen Day with Charlotte

Jane Austen News is our weekly compilation of stories about or related to Jane 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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