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Jane Austen News – Issue 159

The Jane Austen News enjoyed this new TED-Ed video

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?


An Animated Lesson on Jane Austen 

This week we came across a wonderful new video on the TED-Ed website.

TED-Ed are original lessons published on the TED website, only instead of an on-stage talk given by a speaker, the Ted-Ed videos feature the words and ideas of educators, that are then brought to life by professional animators.

This video below is given by Iseult Gillespie, who explores the sly societal satire and unique tongue-in-cheek humor of Jane Austen. At the Jane Austen News we thought the video utter charming.

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Jane Austen News – Issue 144

the jane austen news is a new adaptation of emma

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


A New Film Adaptation of Emma

UK production company Working Title Films is in the early stages of producing a new film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. 

The screenplay for the new film is being written by Eleanor Catton (Catton’s name may be familiar as she won the 2013 Man Booker Prize with her New Zealand-set novel The Luminaries, which is currently being turned into a TV series by Working Title Television), and this new film of Emma will be the directorial feature debut of American photographer and video director Autumn De Wilde.

Anya Taylor-Joy (pictured above) stars as Emma Woodhouse. In the past she has appeared in Endeavour, and as the lead in the BBC adaptation of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist.

Details are limited at present, but filming is expected to be underway in the UK next spring.

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Jane Austen News – Issue 141

The Jane Austen News is ready for Sanditon!

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Sanditon Just Down The Road!

There’s exciting news for those of us in the South West/Bristol area.

As you probably already know, Andrew Davies, the writer behind behind the likes of the TV adaptations of Pride and Prejudice 1995 and War and Peace has joined the team at Red Planet Pictures who are planning to film a production of Jane’s unfinished novel Sanditon. It’s set to begin filming in Spring 2019, and who it will star is yet to be announced.

Jane Austen managed to write only a fragment of her last novel before she died – but what a fragment! Sanditon tells the story of the transformation of a sleepy fishing village into a fashionable seaside resort, with a spirited young heroine, a couple of entrepreneurial brothers, some dodgy financial dealings, a West Indian heiress, and quite a bit of nude bathing. It’s been a privilege and a thrill for me to develop Sanditon into a TV drama for a modern audience.

Andrew Davies

As it is in it’s early stages of planning, not many details are known as of yet about the intricacies of the plot/script/costumes etc. However, the latest news to emerge from the Red Planet Pictures press team is that Bristol is going to be one of the main filming locations for the production! Exciting news since Bath is only half an hour away!

Specific locations in the Bristol area have not yet been named, but adverts have been spotted online calling for Sanditon filming crew at Bottle Yard Studios (a well-established studio based in Whitchurch on the outer fringes of Bristol). Who knows, perhaps a few of the Centre staff may be able to snag roles as extras!

Sanditon tells the story of the impulsive and spirited Charlotte Heywood, and her volatile relationship with the charming Sidney Parker. When a chance accident takes Charlotte from her rural hometown of Willingden to the up-and-coming coastal resort of Sanditon, it exposes Charlotte to the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the rise, and the characters whose fortunes depend on its commercial success.

This will be the first time that Sanditon will have been brought to a television audience. The Jane Austen News is really looking forward to it.

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Jane Austen News – Issue 129

The Jane Austen News looks forward to a new dramatisation

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Emma Starring Emma

A new Audible Original dramatisation of one of Jane Austen’s novels is due out in September. The Jane Austen News looks forward to a new dramatisation

In 2017 Audible released a dramatised production of Jane’s Northanger Abbey featuring, among others, Emma Thompson (Elinor Dashwood and scriptwriter of the 1995 Sense and Sensibility film adaptation) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza in the BBC’s Poldark series) as two of the narrators.

To follow on from this hugely popular release, Audible have once more enlisted Emma Thompson to be the narrator of their new Austen adaptation – that of Emma.

Other cast members include Joanne Froggatt (Anna in Downton Abbey), Morgana Robinson (Pippa Middleton in The Windsors), and Aisling Loftus (Sonya Rostova in War & Peace).

The new Audible production of Emma is due for release on September 4th, and at the Jane Austen News the date is firmly marked on our calendar!

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 129

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Austen Superpowers: Self-Awareness & True Love

Jane Austen superpowers in Emma
Austen Superpowers: Self-Awareness & True Love
Kindly reproduced here with permission from its author, Laurie Viera Rigler, who is also the author of the popular Jane Austen Addict novels.

Can self-importance, meddling, and delusion be considered superpowers?

Hardly. And yet, the self-congratulating and clueless titular heroine of Jane Austen’s Emma rises above being the character that Austen thought that no one but herself would like. In the course of the story, Emma has a series of aha! moments about herself. More important, she acts on that self-awareness.

via GIPHY –Alicia Silverstone in Clueless, a brilliant adaptation of Emma.

In a Jane Austen novel, a lady can only earn her cape by acknowledging that there are are huge cracks in what she once thought was the truth.

Once she tears down that wall of delusion and replaces it with wisdom, the heroine-in-training develops more self-awareness, more self-empowerment, and more capability to create happiness than she ever had before. That is what Emma does. For that is what Austen superpowers are all about.

Emma’s Austen superpower #1: Acknowledging one’s cruelty and choosing kindness instead.

Emma realizes – with the tough-love help of her dear friend Mr Knightley – that she really was unconscionably cruel to the babbling Miss Bates at the Box Hill picnic. For Emma, Knightley’s confrontation is a painful moment of self-awareness. But instead of retreating in angry pride or mortification, Emma attempts to make amends, paying a visit to Miss Bates, humbled and penitent, and works hard to restore herself as a friend.

via GIPHY And we couldn’t agree more. Jonny Lee Miller is Mr. Knightley to Romola Garai’s Emma in another fine adaptation.

 

Emma’s Austen superpower #2: Acknowledging one’s vanity as a weakness to be conquered.

Emma is shocked to learn that Frank Churchill, the man who has been openly flirting with her, is actually secretly engaged to a woman he had fake-gossiped about with Emma. What’s more shocking, however, is Emma’s realization of how her own vanity made her the perfect target for Frank’s duplicity. Emma realizes that Frank’s public admiration of her had flattered her vanity. And that flattery had rendered her blind. Though she is miffed at Frank for toying with her feelings when he was in reality engaged to another, Emma takes responsibility for her own vanity and weakness. She is especially pained when she realizes that her public flaunting of being the supposed object of Frank’s affections caused Frank’s fiancée a great deal of pain. She is also humbled and grateful for her lucky escape – imagine how much more painful her newfound self-awareness would have been if she really had fallen in love with such a man.

Emma’s Austen superpower #3: Acknowledging one’s blindness to the fact that what you want has been right in front of you all the time.

Emma has been raised to think well of herself, but she takes it much further than the typical indulged child. Emma is, in a sense, the queen of her little village of Highbury, with all but a few deemed to be her inferior subjects. One of the few neighbors whom she considers to be her equal is her old friend Mr. Knightley, who is her brother-in-law and, though sixteen years her senior, still a relatively young man. And yet Emma has never seen Mr. Knightley as anything but a friend, has never considered marriage to him or any man a possibility, except perhaps to Frank Churchill, and that because of a childhood fancy. That is, until the sneaking awareness of her dawning feelings for Mr. Knightley begin to niggle at the back of her brain after Emma’s former governess Mrs. Weston decides that Mr. Knightley is in love with another young woman in Highbury. But Emma’s true feelings for Mr. Knightley hit her full force when yet another young lady, Emma’s friend and protegée Harriet Smith, announces that not only is she herself in love with Mr. Knightley, but she also believes he returns her affections.

via GIPHY Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma in another excellent adaptation.

It is then that “it darted through her, with the speed of an arrow, that Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself!” That revelation, however is anything but glorious, for what if Mr. Knightley is indeed in love with Harriet? Even if he isn’t, how could a man who scolded her for being cruel to Miss Bates ever think such a woman worthy of his love?

In Jane Austen, self-awareness + right action leads to true love.

For the seasoned Austen fan, it comes as no surprise that Emma’s awakening takes her to to a perfect happily ever after. In the world of Austen stories, true love is the reward for unflinching self-examination and consequent action to bring the world back into balance. Yes, we Austen fans know what happens next. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t going to read and re-read Emma till the book covers falls off. Or stream the movies in between readings. Or ever get bored watching it all unfold.

via GIPHY Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam in Emma

 

Because we could all do with a long hard look in the mirror sometimes. And if Emma can do it, surely we can, too? Maybe all those readings and re-readings and screenings of Emma are getting us ready for our own aha moments. One can only hope. Or better still, observe. And act.

***

Austen Superpowers: Self Awareness & True Love was written by Laurie Viera Rigler – the author of the Jane Austen Addict series. Visit her at her website www.janeaustenaddict.com

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Jane Austen News – Issue 110

the jane austen news

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Emma Changes The Face of Fiction

200 years after it was first published, John Mullan, professor of English at University College London and a specialist in eighteenth-century literature, is arguing that Jane Austen’s Emma belongs alongside the works of Flaubert, Joyce and Woolf as one of the great experimental novels.

Mullan argues that Emma was not revolutionary because of its subject matter, but was revolutionary in its form and technique. “Its heroine is a self-deluded young woman with the leisure and power to meddle in the lives of her neighbours. The narrative was radically experimental because it was designed to share her delusions.”

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 110

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Finding Happiness, Austen Style, with Emma, our favourite matchmaker

Finding happiness with Emma

Welcome to the fourth of a multi-part series of posts on how to lift yourself out of the blues, Austen style. This time, with Emma.

Kindly reproduced here with permission from its author, Laurie Viera Rigler, who is also the author of the popular Jane Austen Addict novels.

Does the following sound familiar to you?

You’ve found the perfect certain someone for your friend, neighbour, colleague, or other unsuspecting acquaintance. There’s just one small problem: Said friend has told you that no way, no how is he/she interested in that perfect certain someone. And yet, you know better–just as you always do. Just as Emma, the eponymous heroine of Austen’s novel, always did.


Hold on a minute. Did Jane Austen write two versions of Emma? Or could it be that you, like Emma, are turning into the queen of know-it-all? Heaven forbid. After all, look what happened to Emma. She very nearly totally screwed up her life. But never fear. We’ve got a little game for you to play. It’s called “Emma, Reformed Matchmaker.” All you need to do is follow the rules:

    1. You’ll need to play with a single friend (preferably a single friend who would like to be in a couple. Otherwise, we might need to come up with another game entitled, “Emma Reformed Bulldozer”).
    2. Each of you sits down and writes a list of qualities that your friend’s perfect, future mate should possess.
    3. Do not reveal what is on your lists until both of you are finished writing.
    4. Now share. You may be surprised to find that your lists differ greatly. When you read your friend’s list, refrain from exclamations of horror unless one of the items on that list includes “must be incarcerated in a maximum security prison.”

    5. Now, give your list to your friend to take home with her. Tell her she is free to cross out whatever she doesn’t like on your list and keep whatever she does like. Or burn the whole thing.
    6. If she cares to share her final list with you, you may keep your eyes open for appropriate candidates and discreetly point them out to her. That’s “point them out,” not shove them in her face. Remember, you are “Emma, Reformed Matchmaker.”
    7. If your friend doesn’t care to share her final list, then graciously wish her all the best in finding her dream partner and promptly change the subject. Then, take her to Ford’s (or other local emporium of your choice) to buy a new dress. Or draw her picture. Without a potential mate watching the proceedings.
    8. By the way, you can also make one of those lists for yourself. It can be quite magical!
    9. See? You’re a better, happier human being already.

Now that you’ve had a successful run at self-improvement, and thus happiness, Austen-style, you deserve to have an Emma film festival, which consists of three, no, make that four, very clever films indeed:
The Gwyneth Paltrow/Jeremy Northam movie
The brilliant Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone and directed by Amy Heckerling
The Romola Garai/Jonny Lee Miller miniseries 
Kate Beckinsale/Mark Strong-starrer

Four fabulous films means you get to invite at least four friends over to have a viewing party or slumber party. Do stock up on provisions, for a private screening of four films “without sitting down to supper, [would be] pronounced an infamous fraud upon the rights of men and women.”

Still wanting more? It’s time for a re-read of Emma with your new reformed matchmaker perspective. What? You haven’t read the book?? My dear, make haste to your nearest bookseller or librarian.You might even consider listening to an audiobook of Emma. Try the one narrated by none other than Mrs. Elton, that’s Juliet Stevenson, who played that role to perfection in the Gwyneth Paltrow film. It’s brilliant. She’s brilliant. At least, her friends say she is.

Feeling happy just reading all these suggestions? Good. You’ll feel even better after you follow them all. Because we know what’s good for you. Just like Emma.

If you have suggestions of your own, please share in the comments. Till then, wishing you lots of Emma-inspired happiness!!

***

Laurie Viera Rigler is the author of the Jane Austen Addict series.

Visit her at her website www.janeaustenaddict.com

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Jane Austen News – Issue 36

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 

Jane Austen’s Daily Quote App

Jane-Austen-app1Good news! The android version of the Jane Austen quote app has been updated!

As with the older version of the app it is still free and provides a new Jane Austen quote straight to your phone at a time to suit you every day. However, it now loads much faster, with quicker quote loading and a smoother user experience all round. Plus the app is still loaded with lots of other Austen goodies; free articles from the Jane Austen Centre online magazine and easy access to the Online Giftshop and Centre news.

To get the update users with the old version will have to uninstall their version and install the new one. On the other hand if you don’t have the app yet but would like to download it, you can get the Jane Austen Daily Quote app for Apple and Android devices from iTunes or Google Play.


Jane Austen – Master Beer Brewer   

spruce2This week the Jane Austen News has come across a lovely little blog post which talks about Jane’s penchant for brewing beer – perhaps not the first thing to come to mind when you think of Jane.

Here are a few great facts from Nick Hines’ post on VinePair:

  • Beer was safer than water and was considered a daily necessity just like food.
  • It was the woman’s role to provide the beer.
  • Jane’s beer of choice was spruce beer; a beer brewed using the buds of a spruce tree, which give off citrus and pine flavours.

A timeless author and a master brewster?! (As the female brewers of the age were called.) Jane really was one talented lady.


Six Ways Jane Austen Has Shaped My Relationships    

What's the Jane Austen News this week asks EmmaJane Austen has sometimes been accused of giving people unrealistic expectations when it comes to relationships. After all, not everyone can be so devoted as Colonel Brandon, or as (eventually) eloquent in their devotion as Mr Darcy, but one post on Bustle caught the eye of the Jane Austen News because it was extolling Jane’s novels as being a help, not a hinderance, when it comes to forming good relationships. And how?

  1. They make you more forgiving of your family’s quirks (e.g. “thank goodness my mother is not Mrs Bennet”).
  2. They prove that character is more important than charm.
  3. They make you more understanding of your friend’s choices (Lizzy on Charlotte’s marriage anyone?).
  4. Look after your siblings.
  5. Appreciate second chances.
  6. Patience is a virtue.

We’re know there are more reasons why reading Austen is helpful for relationships, but this is certainly a good starter list!


Bridget Jones Needs A Man Like…   

first-photos-from-the-new-bridget-jones-s-baby-movie-rumor-has-it-she-doesn-t-know-who-763555…Always? That’s the conclusion of some disheartened Bridget Jones fans this week having seen the new film.

In the most recent Bridget Jones film, Bridget is pregnant and unsure who the father is. Bridget is a strong, modern woman, and yet she spends the film trying to choose which of the two potentials she needs to have as the father of her baby. The implication being that she is unable to cope alone.

When Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice (which was the inspiration for Bridget Jones) the sad fact was that unless Lizzy wanted to become a poor spinster then she did need a man so Austen can’t be criticised for her fixation on marriage. Things have changed a lot in 200 years though, and so it’s a shame that despite major advances in gender equality (female suffrage anyone?) it would seem that the mainstream message for women is still the same: you need a man. At least this is the conclusion of quite a few disappointed Jones fans. Thoughts?


Colin Firth Too Ginger?!   
colin-firth-pride-and-prejudice-darcy-colin-firth-16177744-700-771Fans of the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice have this week been shocked to discover that Colin Firth was nearly dismissed for the part because he was too ginger! Scriptwriter Andrew Davies said, “I was a bit doubtful about Colin at the time because of his colouring…He didn’t have those dark curls back then.”

Luckily producer Sue Birtwhistle was a very vocal supporter of Firth and was “absolutely convinced that he would be wonderful”. She persuaded Davies and the team agreed that Colin would have to dye his hair for the part. “He did go dark and he stayed dark ever since,” Davies said.


Poldark Vs. Darcy     

ross_poldark_had_a_mr_darcy_moment_in_series_2_episode_4___but_who_wore_the_white_shirt_best_Poldark took a leaf out of Mr Darcy’s book this weekend as in episode 4 of series 2 he went rushing into the water at Nampara Cove to aid Demelza; while wearing a white shirt that very much echoed the one Colin Firth was wearing when leapt into that lake in Pride and Prejudice.

Now the Radio Times are asking who wore it best? Colin or Aidan? (Though there are surely a few people asking whether we have to choose between them. Let’s have both!)


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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