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Jane Austen News – Issue 137

The Jane Austen News would lobve to visit!

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


The Man Who Won A Bookshop

When Paul Morris, owner of Bookends bookshop in Cardigan, decided that he wanted to retire, he made the unusual move of raffling his bookshop off instead of putting it up for sale (it was worth an estimated £30,000 if he was to have sold it). Any customer who spent more than £20 in the shop over the past three months was eligible to be entered into the raffle to win the bookshop.

Overall sixty names were put into the raffle hat, and the winner was announced as Ceisjan van Heerden from the Netherlands. He says he will be taking over at the bookshop on November the 5th, alongside his friend from Iceland who is now moving to west Wales. Although, as if this story was remarkable enough, the pair have never actually met – but they have been friends online for nine years.

It might sound strange, but we are sure we can make it work. It is just an amazing opportunity

van Heerden

Mr Morris explained his decision to raffle the bookshop rather than sell it, and at the Jane Austen News we thought it was a charming reason, and we hope that Mr Morris has a fantastic retirement and that Bookends continues to thrive under its new management!

I thought about selling it, but I thought instead, let’s give someone an opportunity in life which they might not otherwise have had. The principle was to make sure the shop continues in good hands. I always wanted to have a bookshop, but I’ve had my stint, and now it’s time for someone else to take over.

Paul Morris

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Jane Austen News – Issue 56

The Jane Austen News gets set to vote

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?   

Jane Austen Fans – Lend Us Your Eyes!     

The Jane Austen News is pleased to announce that over the next few weeks we will be publishing a most interesting letter written by Hans van Leeuwen, a lovely Jane Austen fan from the Netherlands.  

Below is just a taster:

Dear Jane

It is no uncommon occurrence for me to be seen opening a book not written by yourself for the sake of propriety, but hardly have I progressed to chapter two of such a book when I find myself growing increasingly uncomfortable from an anxiousness to replace it by one of your works. How exasperating that I should think it wrong sometimes to be always seen reading the same book or a book by the same authoress! I do, in the end, follow my own inclinations rather than bend to the wishes of others, but only after caring too much about other people’s opinions and patiently putting up with their suggestions to read what they themselves probably have not read. Yet even then I feel the shackles of conventionality, as testified by my continually looking about me when, at length, I have mustered courage enough to go to our library upstairs and choose one of your books again, on which, to your credit, dust never has time to settle.

Hans is hoping to receive remarks and tips for improvements from native speakers of English, preferably Jane Austen devotees, and the purpose of sharing the letter with us is so that some valuable feedback might be gained. 

We hope you might enjoy reading it as much as we did, and that you might share your thoughts in our comments sections as it is published. 


Meeting Young Jane Austen

This week the Jane Austen News heard from Cecily O’Neill; a writer, director and workshop leader based in Winchester. She had exciting news for us that the world premiere of her stage work, Meeting Miss Austen, is going to be performed at the Winchester Discovery Centre as part of the Winchester Festival this year.

In these plays, based on Austen’s Juvenilia, we hear the voice of the teenage Jane, exuberant, saucy and often surreal in tales of love, loss, vice and victuals…

‘The company partook of an elegant entertainment. After which, the bottle being pretty briskly pushed about, the whole party was carried home dead drunk.’ (Jack and Alice)

Cecily also treated us to a sneak peek at one of her most compelling characters – Lady Greville. You can read more about what Cecily had to say about her here.

The performances will be on Saturday 8 July 2017. 8:00pm and again on Sunday 9 July 2017 3:00pm.

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 56

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Jane Austen News – Issue 52

The Jane Austen News visits Derbyshire

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?   

Austen Escapism in Visual Novel 

EYP7zvIn The Lady’s Choice, a text-heavy visual novel that takes its inspiration from Regency-era novels, you play as a woman returning to society after a long absence, and although you’re not necessarily seeking a marriage, you’re quickly introduced to a group of eligible bachelors.

It’s not based only on the work of Jane Austen, but it’s inspired by the Regency novel genre in general, and the result is a novel of charm, intrigue and one with a keen sense of fun and humour.

If you like reading, enjoy role-playing games, and are a Jane Austen fan, this might be a read you’ll rather enjoy (and potentially a good way to get any kids who are obsessed with screens doing some more reading?) then you can find it at itch.io for £5.

As the daughter of a Viscount, and heiress to a small fortune, you are invited back into society even after years of seclusion at your family’s estate.
The upcoming Season is to be spent in Bath, your childhood friend having finally convinced you into it, and only the cream of society will be there. But the fickle and difficult dance that is weaving through society can be a tricky thing to remember, especially when they thrive on any small misstep you may make.


Jane At Home At The British Library

To mark the 200th anniversary since Jane’s death, the British Library and Bodliean Library have combined resources and 0199073fbbf90f38eb0e97e5cd7a8ed1brought together writings from Austen’s formative teenage years for the first time in 40 years, all as part of an exhibition being held at the British Library called Jane Austen Among Friends and Family which is on from 10th January 2017 – 19th February 2017. As well as family letters and memorabilia, shown as part of a temporary display will be one of the Library’s finest treasures – Austen’s writing desk.

The exhibition seeks to illuminate the personal family life of Austen and the exhibits reveal family joys and sorrows which shaped the writer: one letter tells of Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 52

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