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Jane Austen News – Issue 40

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 

The Jane Austen Centre Wins Award  

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-20-55-25The Jane Austen News are very pleased to announce that on Wednesday (19th October 2016), the Jane Austen Centre was awarded bronze in the Small Attraction of the Year category at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards 2016/17. Our guide ‘Lizzy Bennet’ (the lady in burgundy in the photo opposite) attended the awards as one of an audience of 288 guests who witnessed 66 trophies being presented to tourism businesses at the first ever Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards ceremony held at the hotel DoubleTree by Hilton.

To get to this stage each the Jane Austen Centre had gone through a rigorous three-stage judging process, taking into account websites, reviews, social media, visits by industry ‘mystery visitors’ and finally a judging panel. Now all at the centre will be entered into the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February 2017, with eligible finalists also considered for the national Visit England Awards later in 2017. Fingers crossed!


The Challenges of Making a Jane Austen Video Game 

screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-13-42-15Judy L. Tyrer, founder of 3 Turn Productions, has just released a beta (trial version) for Ever, Jane, which is her massively multiplayer online game (MMO) set in Austen’s own setting, Regency Period England. There have been a few things that needed tweaking however in order to blend modern games with Austen’s novels, and Tyrer has been recently speaking about the challenges she’s faced in marrying the two very different worlds up.

Usual stats like “strength” have been adjusted for the setting to include status, kindness, duty, and happiness. Also the guild systems, where players create alliances with one another, are being worked on. In Ever, Jane you can adopt, marry, divorce, and disown to gain loyalty or frustrate your enemies.

Dancing needs some attention too, but they are developing “automatic dancing shoes” that will automate the process of dancing so players will be free to type to each other while dancing. At the moment dancing and intimacy is a difficult match to make as you have to concentrate on the steps.

So it’s got some elements that need ironing out, but do we really mind when the beta version is free to play?


Why Did Jane Never Marry?        

Expert David Lassman writing for History Extra magazine has nicely summarised Jane’s various lost and almost-loves, and has explained why her feels it was that Jane Austen never married. After all, Jane was not without her share of suitors and she did have a few potential husbands throughout her lifetime. One of these was Harris Bigg-Wither. Lassman has this to say about the gentleman:

I believe it was with a pragmatic mind that Jane accepted Bigg-Wither’s proposal. And then throughout the night, either within her solitary thoughts or in discussion with her sister, she pondered on what she might be losing herself, and changed her mind. It might have been the dutiful daughter who accepted the proposal, but it was the aspiring writer (and true artist) who descended the stairs the following morning, took Harris to one side, and declared she had made a mistake and the marriage was off.

He’s also nicely addressed what caused the “Was Jane Austen Gay?” media storm, and what it was that stopped the storm in its tracks. The full article can be read here.


In With The New and In With The Old   

New Jane Austen portraitWe’ve recently updated our free weekly Jane Austen quiz and we’ve been loving the positive feedback our new style of quizzes are getting. We at the Jane Austen News really appreciates the feedback and all of your kind comments. All of this talk of quizzes got us thinking more about our quiz and we thought, what if one quiz isn’t enough? After all, who doesn’t like a good quiz? So with this in mind we thought we should share some of our previous old-style quizzes with you as well.

We’ll be adding new-old quizzes to our quiz archive page each week, so make sure to check back each week to have a look at them. To have a look at this week’s quizzes from weeks gone by click here 


Jane Costumes for Halloween?    
Halloween is just around the corner, so of course talk about Halloween costumes is increasing; what are the best costumes, what are the funniest, the scariest, the most original? One idea we were expecting to see for Halloween costumes were any based on Jane Austen. However, Bustle have surprised us with their new article 5 Jane Austen Inspired Costumes for the Perfect Literary Halloween.

We have to say having looked at them we’re not sure how a; Regency or Georgian they are, or, b; how much like Halloween costumes some of them are…

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Photo credit to sadieltrombetta.


Jane Austen Costumes on Display in Yorkshire  
screen-shot-2016-10-23-at-12-57-14Now from one costume story to another. Stunning costumes worn by the stars in screen portrayals of Jane Austen’s and Charlotte Bronte’s best loved novels went on show in Harrogate, North Yorkshire on Monday 17th October. The exhibition includes

  • the wedding dresses worn by Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet in the 1995 film of Sense and Sensibility
  • the bridegroom outfits worn by Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman in Sense and Sensibility
  • the patterned gold and cream dress worn by Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet in the ever popular BBC TV 1995 Pride and Prejudice
  • the classic Mr Rochester outfit worn by Michael Fassbender in the 2011 film Jane Eyre

As well as a selection of beautiful wedding dresses from the Harrogate costume collection.

The exhibition in on until 31st December 2016.


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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