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Mr Bingley and Bridget Jones

Mr Bingley and Bridget Jones

Continue reading Mr Bingley and Bridget Jones

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Bridget Jones Diary Part 3 – Lizzy Bennet no more? 

Bridget Jones Diary Part 3 – Lizzy Bennet no more? Continue reading Bridget Jones Diary Part 3 – Lizzy Bennet no more? 

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Jane Austen News – Issue 49

Jane Austen News is Bath!

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?   

 

 Jane Austen’s England – Limited Edition   

Jane Austen Festival 2016American travel company Peregrine Adventures have an excellent Jane Austen literary tour planned for 2017. The limited edition tour is timed to commemorate the 200th year anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and will visit destinations in Southern England significant to Jane Austen’s life (including Bath and the Jane Austen Centre). It will also include towns and cities that inspired her work (such as Lyme Regis), and visit film locations where some of the films based on her novels have been shot. Highlights include a regency dance class with an expert in historical dance, and a talk about regency fashion with a period costume expert. The tour will be led by a Peregrine leader, but there will be various local expert guides at different locations within the tour, some of whom are members of the Jane Austen Society.

Having looked at the full programme we’re rather impressed. So if you’re looking for a thorough tour of Jane Austen’s England, but don’t fancy trying to plan your own, this might be of interest as your summer holiday next year? The eight day tour begins on June the 12th, and we’re looking forward to welcoming the Peregrine tour group to the centre on the 16th.


Trend Setter – Mr Darcy and his Christmas Jumper   

Colin Firth was certainly responsible for the wet-shirt obsession which gripped much of the nation following his performance in 636167664517412268-d-bridget-jones-dvd-29-13635165the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, in which (as we needed to remind you), Firth, while playing Mr Darcy, jumps into a lake on Pemberley estate and emerges as a water-drenched heart throb. However, it seems that Mr Firth, while playing another incarnation of Mr Darcy (stuffy lawyer Mark Darcy in 2001’s Bridget Jones’s Diary) may also be the source of the novelty Christmas jumper trend.

The original sweater went through many designs because it had to be just right. The character of Mr. Darcy is a constipated English prig when we first meet him so we needed something totally ridiculous to pierce that pomposity. And for some reason neither Santas nor X-mas trees nor snowmen worked as well as that red-nosed moose or reindeer we chose. It also had to look home-knit, something his mother knitted for him.

Sharon Maguire, director of all three films in the Bridget Jones franchise.

Mr Darcy – novelty Christmas jumper trend-setter. It’s certainly not a connection we at the Jane Austen News would have automatically made! It’s an interesting thought though.


Lucy Worsley on Jane Austen at Cambridge Arts Theatre

lucyworsleyFor those of you who, like us at the Jane Austen News, have been watching and enjoying the wonderful BBC Television series on Henry VIII’s six wives presented by historian Lucy Worsley, this upcoming event may be of interest. Lucy will be at Cambridge Arts Theatre presenting At Home with Jane Austen on Sunday May 7th 2017, dispelling the myth that she was a cynical, lonely spinster.

During the evening, Lucy will consider what home meant to Jane and tells her story through the rooms, spaces, possessions and places that mattered to her; offering audience members a snapshot of “a witty and passionate woman of her time, who refused to settle for anything less than Mr Darcy.” This event is also a prelude to Lucy’s forthcoming new book, At Home with Jane Austen.

It’s an event that’s a little way in advance it’s true, but it is one that we’re sure will sell out – which is why we’re mentioning it now. (Tickets for anyone wishing to go are available from the Cambridge Arts Theatre website.)


Love & Friendship Tops the Polls Again   

Love & Friendship has triumphed in another top-films-of-the-year chart.love-and-friendship-image-16

In the Sunday World newspaper’s rundown of the best films of 2016 Love & Friendship has come in at number 10, and beat the likes of X-Men: Apocalypse, Star Trek Beyond, Ghostbusters, and other highly anticipated films. The paper published a few of the reasons why Love & Friendship had had to have a place in the top films:

Austen screen adaptations are generally mined for their sweeping romance, but Stillman parks the heaving bosoms for pure comedy, and the resulting film is a joy.

We are reminded what a witty, socially observational writer Austen was, and how she and Stillman make great collaborators two centuries apart.

Droll, funny and refreshingly unsentimental, Love & Friendship is one of the sharpest and wittiest takes on Austen yet.


Northanger Abbey in Eastbourne  

image-7As part of the celebrations in 2017 to mark the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, an ambitious stage adaptation of Northanger Abbey will be presented from Monday February 20th to Wednesday February 22nd at Devonshire Park Theatre.

The adaptation, by acclaimed Austen specialist Tim Luscombe, has been described as “a delight – witty, fast moving and stylish – and a perfect way to celebrate a great writer.” Previously Tim Luscombe’s version of Mansfield Park was produced and toured in 2012 and 2013. This adaptation of Northanger Abbey will be directed by Artistic Director Karen Simpson with an eight-strong cast and was first produced by York Theatre Royal in 2004, Salisbury Playhouse in 2007 (followed by a tour), and in 2010 at the Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, and in 2013 in Chicago at the Remy Bumppo Theatre.


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.

Don’t miss our latest news – become a Jane Austen Member and receive a digest of stories, articles and news every week. You will also be able to access our online Magazine with over 1000 articles, test your knowledge with our weekly quiz and get offers on our Online Giftshop. Plus new members get an exclusive 10% off voucher to use in the Online Giftshop.

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Jane Austen News – Issue 30

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?

 

Are Retellings A Good Idea? Austen & Shakespeare     

LS3016_54_GI_51246881You have probably heard that in 2013 HarperCollins launched the Austen Project, commissioning contemporary updates of Jane’s six completed novels. Well, less well publicised has been the Hogarth Shakespeare initiative, which, in a similar vein to the Austen Project, is giving eight of Shakespeare’s plays to a selection of today’s best-selling novelists for some modern retellings.

Shylock is My Name is Howard Jacobson’s take on The Merchant of Venice. Jeanette Winterson has written The Gap of Time based on The Winter’s Tale. Then came Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler which is a remake of The Taming of the Shrew.

The Austen Project has had a few criticisms from reviewers, but the Hogarth Shakespeare initiative has a couple of problems that the Austen Project did not, which has left some critics cold to the idea. For example, how to deal in a modern society with a plot hinging on misogyny in The Taming of the Shrew, and one based on anti-Semitism in The Merchant of Venice. Also, changing the format from a play that happened over the space of a few hours, to a form that takes much longer, usually a few days at least, takes some thought and much deeper access to characters’ psychology.

The next in the Shakespeare series is due out this October; Hagseed by Margaret Atwood, based on The Tempest. We at the Jane Austen News thought that fans of the Austen Project might like to know and compare the relative successes of the books from the two initiatives.      


Musical Jane At The Fringe

promise-and-promiscuity-jane-austen-musical-ed-fringeGiven the size of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the number of performers taking part and shows on offer, it would have been somewhat incredible if there wasn’t at least one Jane Austen themed piece of theatre to see.

This year Penny Ashton fulfils that requirement with Promise and Promiscuity. She presents a rather down-to-earth/tongue-in-cheek view of Jane’s world in an hour-long comedic romp through material based on Jane’s famous novels. Ashton’s one woman show gives the audience an insight into the lives of Miss Elspeth Slowtree and her family and general acquaintance. They navigate through a complex social world and dance the ‘wriggly maggot’, deal with marriage proposals, explore the role of the woman in society, and get mixed up with Horatio Nelson’s bodily functions.

Within the play are 33 direct Jane Austen quotes, as well as references to plenty of modern pop songs. Ballads, arias, and jaunty tunes are another feature; written to the tune of well-known classical pieces.

So now to wait and see if it will prove to be a successful blend of modern and old, or if it will be too much for more purist fans.


New Bridget Jones Novel On The Way 

_90685639_012723674Fans of Pride and Prejudice will know that Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones is based on Austen’s Lizzy Bennet. The Bridget Jones books became hugely popular with established Austen fans as well as those who’d never read any of Jane’s work before. So, assuming that the overlap between Pride and Prejudice fans and Bridget Jones fans still exists, we at the Jane Austen News thought you might like to know that a new Bridget Jones novel is on its way.

On September the 16th this year (2016), the film Bridget Jones ‘s Baby will be released in UK cinemas. A month after this the book Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries written by Helen Fielding will also be released. Both the film and the book follow Bridget’s not so smooth journey into motherhood after she gets pregnant, along with the awkward question of who the father of the baby is.

The new book will be set after the events in The Edge of Reason but before those of Fielding’s last Bridget Jones book, Mad About The Boy, so rest assured, Mark Darcy will feature heavily.


Perception The Perfect Sequel Name?      

515QiMbLJ7LThere have been plenty of sequels, and prequels for that matter, written about Pride and Prejudice. Lots of sequel, with lots of things in common; the same characters, the same tone of voice, some have the same basic plot lines, but they don’t usually have  the same name…

In September 2015 Dennis R. Fortier released a sequel to Pride and Prejudice titled Perception, in which “Jayne, the beautiful, charming, intelligent daughter of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy falls in love with young Jeffery Richards. Unfortunately, Richards is the son of parents in service and the irregular romance causes plenty of concern and scandal that echoes far beyond the hallowed halls of Pemberley.” Now a second book called Perception is to be released. Due out next year the new Perception is written by Terri Fleming and it’s going to include Elizabeth and Darcy (of course) but will follow primarily Kitty and Mary Bennet.

It would be interesting to know if the respective authors find it to be an advantage or a disadvantage to have another Pride and Prejudice based book on the market with their book’s name.


Examining Jane Austen’s Fashion 

Jane Austen NewsOn Saturday 5 November 2016 and on Saturday 12 November 2016, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry, UK, will be hosting the two-part event Pride, Prejudice and Petticoats: Regency Fashion from Jane Austen to Cranford.

In the course attendees will explore women’s clothing from 1800 to the mid-1830s, examining details of surviving garments in museum collections and comparing them with contemporary images and descriptions.

Also explored will be the social background to fashion. This includes how it was bought and made, and what can be learnt about this from the books and letters of writers such as Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell. By the end of the course “you will come to historical fiction and costume drama with a new understanding of the clothing of this period.”

So for Austen fans in the Coventry area, this might be an event to add to the calendar. Tickets are limited and priced at £46 when booked via eventbrite.


Jane’s Chawton Raises School Funds 

AH-Chawton-Ball2Guests attending this year’s Chawton Hamper Ball enjoyed a wonderful evening of music, magic, food and drink, while simultaneously raising funds to buy new IT equipment for the village primary school. The event was hosted by Chawton House Library on July 9, under a marquee provided by the Jane Austen Society, and it attracted more than 130 people.

A raffle was also held as part of the Ball to raise funds for St Michael’s Hospice in Basingstoke. Prizes included a private aircraft flight over Chawton, private tours of Chawton House Library and Jane Austen’s House in Chawton, flatscreen televisions, beauty treatments, and Country Market vouchers.

The total amount raised for the hospice was over £400, and the total raised for the primary school over £2,000!

Jane keenly encouraged her nieces to write, so it seems only appropriate that Chawton, her home after she left Bath, is helping to raise funds to inspire and educate the next generation. Perhaps a few may even go on to be authors like Jane. Who knows.


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.

Don’t miss our latest news – become a Jane Austen Member and receive a digest of stories, articles and news every week. You will also be able to access our online Magazine with over 1000 articles, test your knowledge with our weekly quiz and get offers on our Online Giftshop. Plus new members get an exclusive 10% off voucher to use in the Online Giftshop.