What’s the Jane Austen News this week?
Jane Austen Honoured on Coins
The Royal Mint will be doing a good job of honouring Jane Austen in its newly released tender this year as, as well as Jane Austen being the new face of the ten pound note, she will also be one of the three famous British historical figures featured on the new coins from the Royal Mint.
They’re due to come into circulation from spring and in addition to Jane Austen on the two pound coin, there will be a special fifty pence marking the achievements of Sir Isaac Newton whose wide-ranging work paved the way for the introduction of the ‘old standard’ system for valuing a nation’s currency (Sir Isaac was the one-time Master of the Royal Mint). Another commemorative two pound coin will also be released to remember the Royal Flying Corps and its contribution to the defence of Britain’s skies in the First World War.
This year is set to be a stellar year for currency collectors!
An Evening With Mr Wickham
On Sunday March the 5th, Pride and Prejudice fans near Huddersfield, (especially those fans of the BBC’s 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice) will be in for a treat.
Adrian Lukis who played the caddish Mr Wickham in the 1995 production will be in afternoon conversation with Huddersfield’s Jane Austen expert, Catherine Curzon, about his experiences, career and what Jane Austen has meant to him. Afterwards there will be a display of dances from Jane Austen’s era given by Regency Rejigged, and audience members are more than welcome to join in with the spirit of the afternoon and come in period dress.
The event, which is part of Huddersfield Literature Festival, is also held as part of the celebrations this year marking 200 years since Jane Austen’s death in 1817.
Encouraging Literary Visitors to England
In order to encourage more visitors to the UK, the government is promoting the ‘Great Britain’ campaign this year which celebrates a ‘Year of Literary Heroes’. This will include marking milestones such as the 20th anniversary of the publishing of the first of JK Rowling’s great Harry Potter books – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the 125th anniversary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes collection, and also the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen.
2017 was already set to be a huge year for Jane Austen fans as numerous events are being held across the country to mark the anniversary, but in addition to these there will be great events held as part of the Year of Literary Heroes. The British Library will offer Harry Potter fans the chance to see previously unseen material from JK Rowling in a new exhibition, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work will be promoted to encourage visitors to locations in London associated with Sherlock, as well as locations in Bristol where the latest BBC series of Sherlock has been filmed.
We’re glad to say at the Jane Austen News that it’s clear that this year will be a great year for Literature fans to come to Britain!
Williamsburg Yorktown Hosts Month-Long Tribute to Austen
Residents of Yorktown Virginia are in for a treat this month. The Williamsburg Regional Library in Yorktown are hosting a free month-long tribute to Jane Austen which they are dubbing “JANEuary”.
As part of JANEuary, every Thursday an Austen-based film will screen at 2 p.m. in the library theatre and there will be a lecture following the screening of Austenland. Love & Friendship is due to be shown on Jan. 12, Austenland on Jan. 19 and Sense & Sensibility on Jan. 26.
The library will also host an afternoon of Austen-themed entertainment on Jan. 29, from 1-5 p.m., featuring lectures, an Austen trivia contest, period dance, Austen-themed crafts and an Austen fan survey. The event has been dubbed Austravaganza and some of the lectures will include; one contrasting Austen’s actual life to how her life has been portrayed in films; a lecture about sewing and dressmaking in Austen’s era; and a discussion about the custom of tea in Austen’s day followed by a complimentary cup of tea.
Pride and Prejudice – A Historical Fantasy
If you like reading different adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, and you enjoy fantasy novels, then Heartstone, Elle Katharine White’s debut historical fantasy novel, might be one for you.
White takes key elements of Austen’s beloved novel and fuses them with her own brand of magic, crafting a modern epic fantasy involving gryphons, direwolves, banshees and lamias.
They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.
Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again.
Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house.
Farewell to Jane Austen Foundation Founder
On a final note in this week’s newsletter, we’d just like to pay a brief tribute to Richard Boyd from Mississippi who we learnt died on Sunday 1st of a pulmonary arterial hypertension. Richard Boyd was a co-founder of the Jane Austen Foundation of Louisiana, which stages Old Mandeville’s Jane Austen Literary Festival every spring, and he was also responsible for the Jane Austen Poetry Reading being held as part of the festival.
At the Jane Austen News we’re very glad that there are people out there like Richard championing Jane’s work across the world and we wanted to say thank you to him for what he’s done.
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