What’s the Jane Austen News this week?
Second Jane Austen Fiver Found
The second of four rare £5 notes which feature a micro-engraved portrait of Jane Austen has been discovered inside a Christmas card in the Scottish Borders.
Mr Huggins-Haig, the micro-engraver behind the images of Jane Austen, spent the note which was to be released in Scotland in Granny Jean’s bakery in Kelso on December the 5th to start the project. This caused a huge surge in custom for the bakery when he revealed the move days later. However, the new owner of the note received it not from the bakery, but in a Christmas card from a relative in the same area who thought it was an ordinary £5. This note is the second of the four Bank of England notes to be found after the first was found in south Wales early in December. Two more of the Austen £5 notes are still ‘on the loose’; one spent in England and one in Northern Ireland (if you’re checking your notes then their serial numbers are AM32 885552 and AM32 885554).
Mr Huggins-Haig said the latest finder wants to remain anonymous but has had the note verified. Both finders of the notes so far want to keep them as art rather than to sell them for the projected £50,000 they’re worth. Mr Huggins-Haig says “they’ve both been found by wonderful people who are very deserving”.
Jane Austen Costume Parade Top Video for 2016
The Bath Chronicle, the daily newspaper for the city, has been looking back over its most popular videos from 2016, and we at the Jane Austen News are very pleased to say that their video of this year’s Grand Regency Costumed Promenade has made their top videos list.
The video shows the promenade coming up Milsom Street and includes Redcoats, Regency ladies in ballgowns, young girls in walking dresses – people in all manor of Regency attire. The promenade set off at 11a.m. from the Assembly Rooms and saw hundreds of Austen fans from all over the world braving the rather miserable weather in their finery to put on a great display for the people of Bath.
The video, which came in at the 8th most watched video of the year for the Chronicle, can be found here.
A Drenched Gent to Rival Mr Darcy?
The books and recent screen adaptation of Poldark have proved to be quite popular among Austen fans, and not just Austen fans
either; many people who are relatively unfamiliar with period dramas have fallen for the Cornwall-set drama which has the talented Aidan Turner in the title role. In testament to this, a steamy bath scene from the second series of Poldark has topped a poll of the biggest television moments of 2016.
Over 2,000 people took part in the RadioTimes.com online poll; thus giving Turner the award for the biggest television moment for the second year in a row (in 2015 his topless scything scene won the poll).
Perhaps Mr Darcy has competition now when it comes to our favourite dripping-wet male?
Checking In With the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan
At the Jane Austen News we love hearing about what Jane Austen societies around the world have been up to, so we really enjoyed hearing about the latest event which the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan (JASP) held.
The society, or at least some of its members (its numbers are growing and now includes members from 45 different countries), meet up once a year for a special tea party in which each attendee picks a character to embody. They get dressed in appropriate attire and then enjoy talking all things Austen over a wonderful tea of scones, sandwiches and cake. This year it was ‘afternoon tea at Netherfield’ and characters included Lady Catharine de Bourgh, Caroline Bingley, and, of course, Lizzy Bennet.
Laaleen Sukhera, founder of the society, explained why she thinks Jane Austen is particularly relevant for women in Pakistan:
It’s always about marriage in our households – the pressure to be well-dressed and respectable, to appear eligible, and to have a male heir. These are familiar pressures, and it’s no wonder that women continue to read Austen with so much investment.
Before the Fall = Pride and Prejudice? Does it?
Before the Fall is a film due to be released in 2017. Currently it’s touring film festivals and receiving accolades as it goes. Many of these are from LGBT groups and advocates as Before The Fall is Pride and Prejudice from a gay perspective. Elizabeth Bennet is now Ben Bennett, a wealthy lawyer, and Mr Darcy is Lee Darcy, a factory worker.
Set in modern day West Virginia, Ben Bennett is an affluent but seemingly arrogant attorney who unknowingly insults Lee Darcy, a detached factory worker wrongly charged with domestic abuse. Both men form an immediate dislike for each other which becomes a significant problem when Ben falls in love with Lee.
To say that Before The Fall takes a fairly liberal approach to the original plot is a bit of an understatement. The main aspects that remain seem to be the surnames and the main characters’ dislike of one another. Despite the fact that it’s barely recognisable as Pride and Prejudice, it looks like an interesting film in its own right.
Welcoming in the New Year with Jane
There’s a saying that you should welcome in the New Year in the way in which you hope to continue for the rest of the year. Well we certainly hope that’s what the South Coast Folk Society had in mind when they scheduled a celebratory afternoon tea dance for Saturday 31st December.
The dance was open to all and no experience or partner was needed to enjoy the dance. Costumes were welcome and a delightful time was had by all.
We thoroughly approve of this as a New Year’s celebration. Well done South Coast Folk Society!
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