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Jane Austen News – Issue 166

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


  The Best of Dame Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson with Anthony Hopkins in The Remains of the Day

In issue 163 of the Jane Austen News we looked at a list of the top Dame Judi Dench films. Well this week we were once again intrigued by a list ranking the best films by one of our favourite actresses – Dame Emma Thompson.

Andrew Pulver’s list of the top ten Thompson films was as follows:

10. Love Actually (2003) 

We loved this film. Emma Thompson’s character is utterly relatable and entirely endearing. But unlike in Sense and Sensibility (which we’ll come to later), Alan Rickman who stars opposite her isn’t the honest Colonel Brandon who Emma’s Elinor Dashwood sees her as the knight in shining armour for her sister Marianne, but rather plays Emma’s husband with a wandering eye and the ability to break her heart. If you haven’t seen it before, definitely watch this film and be prepared to cry buckets when that necklace-CD mix up takes place.

9. Junior (1994) 

We had completely forgotten about this one! Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t who we’d typically pair with Emma Thompson, but it did seem to work…

8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban/Order of the Phoenix/Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2004/2007/2011) 

In the Harry Potter series we see Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman on set together again (it’s surprising how many films they both star in). This time we see Emma playing the wonderfully weird Professor Sybil Trelawney with style and some of the most gawky Coke-bottle glasses we’ve ever seen.

7. In the Name of the Father (1993)

“Emma Thompson shows inner steel playing the radical lawyer Gareth Peirce.” We can’t add much to this assessment as we’ve not seen it ourselves.

6. The Children Act (2017)

Emma Thompson plays a judge in this adaptation of Ian McEwan’s recently recently novel of the same name. She’s the ideal combination of incredibly intelligent and emotionally susceptible.

5. The Tall Guy (1989) 

Apparently this has a classic “furniture-smashing, milk-carton-rolling sex scene” in it. Again, we wouldn’t know, as we haven’t seen it.

4. The Legend of Barney Thomson (2015)

“Thompson is totally unrecognisable and completely fantastic as Barney’s mum: a cigarette-chugging chip hooverer, swathed in fake fur and prosthetic jowls. Worth seeking out for her alone.”

3. The Remains of the Day (1993)

Thompson plays Miss Kenton, the slightly less repressed of the two head servants in a pre-war English mansion. Her Miss Kenton to Anthony Hopkins’ Stevens is a sight to behold.

2. Howards End (1992)

This film saw Emma Thompson win her first Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Schlegel. When it comes to Period Dramas, Emma is truly a master.

1. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Well this had to be at number one didn’t it? As well as starring in the film as Elinor Dashwood, Emma wrote the script for the film (and some highly entertaining diaries documenting the filming process). In the eyes of the Jane Austen News, she will always be one of the great champions of Jane Austen’s works.

Also, if you haven’t seen the acceptance speech which she made when collecting her Golden Globe for her screenplay for Sense and Sensibility, it’s a delight:

 

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Jane Austen News – Issue 165

The Jane Austen News for May 8th

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


  The Biggest Bookcase Ever?

One street artist has taken his love for literature to the extreme by creating an enormous bookcase mural in the Dutch city of Utrecht. Boekenkast (the Dutch word for bookcase) is the creation of local artist Jan Is De Man, and can perhaps best be described as a giant optical illusion – featuring humongous books complete with intricate details.

The project began when Jan was asked to paint something to improve the overall vibe of the neighbourhood. To choose which titles would be included Jan toured the neighbourhood to ask locals for their favourite reads for inspiration.

Titles featured on Boekenkast range from classics like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (a fact which we love!), to newer additions like Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Incredibly, the books on show span eight different languages!

When we came across the images we felt we simply had to include it in this week’s Jane Austen News.

The Jane Austen News loves this art work!
Can you spot the spine of Pride and Prejudice?
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Jane Austen News – Issue 164

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


On Beating Writer’s Block

Boxed Calligraphy SetIf you long to be a writer like Jane Austen, then the phrase ‘writer’s block’ is one to be feared. However, we came across a fantastic article this week with great tips on how to beat writer’s block should it hit you.

Tip One: Put on a blindfold

Try training your mind by dressing with a blindfold. Doing so will require you to use all of your other senses, actively engaging your imagination as you feel your way through the clothing, using tactile clues to decode your surroundings. After all, the best books don’t just focus on what characters can see, but also on sounds, smells, tastes, and emotions.

Tip Two: People watch

Look outside your window to see the people in the street. Look at how people dress and at their expressions. Try to imagine what has happened in their lives in the moments before you saw them or what might happen to them later that day.

Tip Three: Visit an art gallery

Head to your local art gallery (or search online for art collections). Look at the pieces and each time you hear yourself think “I don’t like that,” or “I like that one,” ask yourself why or why not. Art is an interpretation of the world each person sees, and as well as spurring new ideas, it can be insight into your own mind and that of the artist.

Tip Four: Try free writing

Free writing is where you pick a topic and let your imagination run wild. Try not to stop to think. Keep your pen moving. You can write to a prompt, or write as a character. The faster you go, the closer to your natural voice your free writing will get, and it’s sure to take you in unexpected directions.

(Also, why not try getting yourself an inspiring set of stationery to write with…? As it’s stationery week this week, this is the prime time to do it!)

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Jane Austen News – Issue 163

The Jane Austen News includes a Judi Dench film-off!

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 

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Jane Austen News – Issue 161

The Jane Austen News from New York

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?


 Pemberley in New York

If you loved the scenes of Pemberley in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and wished that you could visit the location where it was filmed,  then you might be able to do the next best thing if you’re able to get to New York between June 28th and September 18th 2019.

David Korins, the set designer for the musical Hamilton is behind the new exhibition which is due to open at Sotheby’s in New York on June 28th. It sees the essence of Chatsworth house and estate (which was the filming location for the series Death Comes to Pemberley in 2013, and the exterior filming location for Pemberley for the 2005 Pride and Prejudice film) translated for the smaller space of the galleries of Sotheby’s.

The exhibition will feature 45 artworks, decorative objects, pieces of jewelry, clothing and archive materials — all drawn from the Devonshire Collection, accumulated over about 500 years by the Cavendish family, and held at Chatsworth House. However, Korins realized that he didn’t just want to make the artwork and objects part of the exhibition; he wanted to include the details of the house itself. In the form of blown-up 360-degree sculptures, Mr. Korins will magnify small details — table legs, moldings, chair feet, corners of rooms — and use them as vitrines and set pieces for the artworks and objects on display.

Chatsworth Exhibition Rendering

The Duke of Devonshire said he’s thrilled by Mr. Korins’s imaginative design for the exhibition. “I think he has a brilliant way of getting across a grand space in a smaller space,” he said. “I think the architecture of this exhibition will focus attention on the works, and we’ll look at them in a different sort of way.”

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Jane Austen News – Issue 160

Jane Austen News

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?


Plans for Jane Austen in Bronze in Bath 

Jane Austen NewsPlans are in the works to honour Jane Austen, perhaps Bath’s most famous resident, with a life-size monument.

The Jane Austen Centre hopes to erect a bronze statue of the famous author at a location in the city later this year. The statue will be based on the Jane Austen waxwork which was unveiled at the Centre to global media interest in July 2014, and which was created through work undertaken by forensic artist Melissa Dring.

The sculptor of the bronze statue will be world-renowned Mark Richards, whose previous work not only includes the Austen waxwork but also Winston Churchill, Prince Philip and The Queen.

The exact location of the bronze statue is currently under discussion.

Not only will it be good to honour Austen the author, it will also be good to go a little way to redress the fact that less than 3% of all statues in the UK are of historical, non-royal women.

Paul Crossey, Jane Austen Centre Managing Director

What do you think? Is there an ideal location for a Jane Austen statue in Bath that springs to mind?

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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 158

The Jane Austen News is Red Nose Day

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?


‘Such Fun’ With Colin Firth 

The popular British comedian Miranda Hart did something many of us can only dream of doing; she got to cuddle up with a copy of Pride and Prejudice, by a roaring fire, alongside Mr Darcy himself – Colin Firth!

The video below in which Miranda gets very cosy with Mr Firth, appeared in a Red Nose Day charity segment, which saw her take on a different challenge every day for the last month.

The idea was spawned from her book Miranda’s Daily Dose of Such Fun!, which offers 365 ideas of small activities that can help brighten up each day, while also helping to spread joy to others.

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