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Jane Austen News – Issue 118

The Jane Austen News dreams of Pemberley

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


A Dictionary of 19th Century Language

Oxford Dictoionary of 19th Century LanguageThis week the Jane Austen News has put our book recommendation for the week as the first item in the news as we’ve had  such a lovely time exploring the Oxford Illustrated Dictionary of 19th Century Language.

The illustrated dictionary is a new release this month and, unlike most dictionaries, is one we found ourselves reading more like a novel than a reference guide. Rather than dipping in and out for a definition for an unfamiliar word, we found ourselves too intrigued to stop at one definition, and instead felt drawn to keep turning pages.

Oxford University Press’s website describes the book thus:

This browsable and unique dictionary explains the interesting words found in 19th century texts studied at secondary school. With clear explanations, panels, and an illustrated section of photographs and artworks on the themes of transport, crime, fashion and more, it is an essential guide to help students enjoy 19th century literature.

 

A one-of-a-kind dictionary that makes sense of the language of 19th century texts for GCSE students and  beyond. Over 3000 words and meanings, including example sentences, and help with unfamiliar usage and dialects. Includes an illustrated section of photographs and artworks which brings alive the social context, politics and scientific developments in the 1800s.

We’d say that this is a good book for anyone who enjoys reading 18th and 19th century literature, not just students. In fact we enjoyed it so much that it was the inspiration for this weeks quiz.

If you’d like to find out more, or purchase your own copy (we couldn’t resist stocking it), you can do either or both here.

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 118

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Jane Austen News – Issue 101

one of the new costume dramas to watch

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? Costume Dramas! 

 


Historical Accuracy Vs. Diversity

We love costumes dramas. Some of our favourite recent viewings have been the hit costume dramas shown over Christmas. We had the sumptuous The Miniaturist, we had a new three-part adaptation of Little Women, and we’ve had a Call The Midwife Christmas special. Over the past few years we’ve had Downton Abbey, The Crown, Lark Rise to Candleford, Cranford, War and Peace… We could go on.

However, while we’ve very much enjoyed these, in an interview about being based in Britain, actress Thandie Newton has highlighted a problem about having a dominance of costume dramas in the British entertainment industry.

I can’t work, because I can’t do Downton Abbey, can’t be in Victoria, can’t be in Call The Midwife … there just seems to be a desire for stuff about the royal family, stuff from the past, which is understandable, but it just makes it slim pickings for people of colour.

Part of the problem is that if every costume drama is adapted from a book which only features upper-class white characters, then that’s all there will be on TV. Historical accuracy is one thing, but should it come at the cost of diversity within the acting world? Some within the television and film industry are calling for script writers to write scripts which allow for a more diverse range of actors to be represented within the cast. Afterall, if Maxine Peake can play the male role of Hamlet at the National Theatre, why can’t an actor like Idris Alba play Colonel Brandon?

What are your thoughts?

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 101

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