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Jane Austen News – Issue 8

Jane Austen news 7

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?

Mr Darcy’s Shirt Is Off To America 

08-pride-prejudice-mr-darcy-shirt.w529.h529-529x445Mr Darcy’s famous wet shirt will soon be causing waves in America. As part of an exhibition titled Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity, the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington will be displaying the shirt alongside relics including a bundle of wood collected at Shakespeare’s birthplace, a bottle of Austen-inspired Bath Gin (“Gin of a different persuasion”), and Will and Jane action figures.

”The Shirt”  (the minimalist label that will be given to it during the exhibition), belongs to British costume supply house Cosprop. Apparently they receive several requests a year for items of Mr. Darcy’s clothing.

Treat Mental Health by Reading Austen

Reading-a-book-001“Literature and mental health: Reading for wellbeing” is a free course recently offered by the University of Warwick through it’s open learning platform. It was designed to teach anyone who wished to learn how to cope with the trials and tribulations of modern life through the reading and analysis of classic works.

Shakespeare’s King Lear looked at dementia and ageing, Austen’s Sense and Sensibility at heartbreak, and the World War 1 poets at post-traumatic stress disorder. It asked for approximately four hours per week as a time commitment, and offered a certificate at the end. It was so popular that Paula Byrne, Austen biographer and compiler of the programme, hopes that the course will be run in the future a few times reach year.

For details of future courses visit the University of Warwick’s website at

 “Dear Emma” – Jane’s Heroine Goes To College    

dear-emmaAnother novel based on the work of Miss Austen has just been released in the US. This time the main characteristics of Emma are given to a college girl in charge of her college newspaper’s agony aunt column.

“Heaney’s modern take on Jane Austen’s “Emma” is both honest and earnest, right down to its characters’ use of Snapchat and depictions of an anxious protagonist with very little life experience in the world of romance.” – Candace Smith, New York Daily News

A Jane Austen Reading Room

Living Rooms Project; project to reinterpret the period rooms at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Department of Decorative Arts, Textiles and Sculpture; Jennifer Komar Olivarez, curator-in-charge

The Minneapolis Institute of Art has restyled their Queen Anne period living room into an Austen-inspired literary retreat in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Emma. Their new Jane Austen Reading Room contains a pair of bookshelves stocked with a huge range of books related to Austen and, above the fireplace, two portraits – one of Jane and on of Edward Austen— look out into the room. Also included is a modern reproduction of Jane’s traveling writing desk. The MIA’s hope is that it will allow fans of Jane’s work to sample a little of the environment that she lived in.

Thirteen Austen Characters In One Woman


Actress Rebecca Vaughan is taking her one-woman, much-loved, Edinburgh sell-out show back on the road this year. Austen’s Women was first directed by Olivier Award winner Guy Masterson, and it was he who persuaded Rebecca to grace the stage alone, playing Emma Woodhouse, Lizzy Bennet, Mrs Norris, Miss Bates and nine other Austen women during critical moments from Jane’s works all by herself. Rebecca first premiered her show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009, but it remains fresh and dear to her heart to this day.

“If you love Jane Austen you can come to the show and feel you’re getting the real Jane. I also want people who have never read her to come and realise how brilliant and clever she was.”

Tour dates can be found here: 

Literary Tour of England Raising Funds For Library

festival-2010-21Greenwood Public Library in Indiana is planning a literary tour of the UK from the 7th to the 17th of September this year. Included in the tour will be a visit to the Harry Potter studios, to Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-Upon-Avon, to locations that appeared on Downton Abbey, and also a special pub dinner at the Eagle and Child Pub in Oxford, where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien would meet to discuss their projects.The tour will also come to Bath to experience the famous Jane Austen Festival which takes place from 9th to the 18th of September.

As well as giving those going the literary trip of a lifetime, the tour will also give back to the library itself, as a percentage from each booking will go to help with the cost of the library’s upkeep. We’re looking forward to meeting the Greenwood Library contingent when they visit in September!

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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