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Lady Susan Gets the Ending She Deserves?

Jane Austin News

Lady Susan Gets the Ending She Deserves?

3000Now to a retelling of a different kind. Lady Susan, the epistolary novella Jane Austen wrote in her youth, will soon be coming to the cinemas in the form of Whit Stillman’s new film Love and Friendship, and John Mullan, author of the book What Matters in Jane Austen?, has been looking at whether the story lives up to Austen’s other work.

Continue reading Lady Susan Gets the Ending She Deserves?

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Fashion and Mourning in Lady Susan

Jane Austin News

Fashion and Mourning in Lady Susan

love-and-friendship-image-16Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh, the costume designer for the film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan, has been speaking about the choices she made to show Lady Susan’s transition from mourning widow to social butterfly.

Continue reading Fashion and Mourning in Lady Susan

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Jane Austen’s Juvenilia: Beautiful Proto-Feminism

Jane Austin News

Jane Austen’s Juvenilia: Beautiful Proto-Feminism

Continue reading Jane Austen’s Juvenilia: Beautiful Proto-Feminism

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The Leading Ladies of Love & Freindship (sic) Talk Austen Adaptations

Jane Austen News

The Leading Ladies of Love & Freindship (sic) Talk Austen Adaptations

Continue reading The Leading Ladies of Love & Freindship (sic) Talk Austen Adaptations

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Jane Austen News – Issue 21

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?

Jane Austen’s Games  

21b577346404b837c1d7e37c268e9628Card games are by no means a new invention. Yes there are new ones invented all the time, and games that were popular in the past can lose favour and get forgotten, but the basic concept is everlasting.

Jane was a big fan of card games (though admittedly not all), so we were pleased to come across a new article this week which listed a few Regency favourites which she would have imagined her characters playing, as well as playing herself.

  • Whist – In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Collins’ lack of skill at whist (among other things) reveals him to be a rather dim sort of fellow.
  • Piquet – Mrs. Goddard, the school mistress from Emma, is very fond of piquet.
  • Casino – Miss de Bourgh, plays casino, while Lady Catherine prefers the more old-fashioned quadrille.
  • Cribbage – Played by Lady Bertram in Mansfield Park.
  • Lanterloo – On Elizabeth’s first visit to Netherfield Park, she declines an offer to play lanterloo with the others, as she suspected them to be “playing high.”

An interesting collection indeed. Some of which we still play today. The article with details on the different games’ rules can be found here.

Lady Susan In Review
“The book was better than the movie” is a common refrain among book lovers. We like film adaptations, but more often than not, especially if you read the book before you saw the film, nothing can quite live up to the original words on paper.

One reviewer writing for The Guardian online took this view (I really like Jane Austen so I want to see the film but before I see it, I decided that I must read it”),  so before she went to watch the new film Love & Friendship, she decided to read the novella, Lady Susan, which the film is based on.

Here are a few of her thoughts:

I like this novel because it has elements of later novels – Lady Susan is very like the witty coquettish Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park.

I also like the other qualities of narrative technique that she uses as it is written in letters and the use of different narrative voices was very new at the time.

However the story is not very well developed as Jane Austen was said to be learning to write at the time and was only 18.

Overall however I would give it 3.5 stars as it is a light but serious read.

What do you think? Would you give the novella a higher rating or is 3.5 stars about right?

Jane Arguments We’ve All Had Before     
67d52150-0fae-0134-e761-0a315da82319At the Jane Austen News we are glad to see that Bustle have published another Jane Austen themed listicle. Keep spreading the word about Jane we say. This time they’ve identified eight of the arguments that a Jane Austen fan has almost certainly had to debate at some point.


  • Who is the best Mr Darcy?
  • Which Pride and Prejudice film is the best one?
  •  Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: yes or no?
  • Which Jane Austen novel is the best?
  • Which heroine is the best?
  • Which Jane Austen hero would you most want to know in real life?
  • Was Jane in love with Tom Lefroy?
  • “You know the characters aren’t real right?”

There are some really tough questions in that list, and we’re sure that more than a few of those familiar dilemmas will continue to inspire some very passionate discussions!

Longbourn – Love It or Loathe It    

imgID69592094.jpg.galleryNot everyone was a fan of Jo Baker’s bestselling book, Longbourn, which looks at Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from the servants point of view. Given how well-loved and popular they are, it’s a dangerous undertaking to write an adaptation/sequel/novel-that-is-based-on Jane Austen’s work. In an interview talking about her latest book, Jo explains part of the reason why, despite the potential backlash, she decided to write Longhorn.

I really just did it for my own entertainment. I love Jane Austen but always thought her books never really spoke to me. My family are very much from a working class background, so back then I was never going to be wearing a pretty dress like the Bennets, I was more likely to be scrubbing the floor.

Writing for the love of writing. What better reason is there?

(Those who read and enjoyed Longbourn (as we at the Jane Austen News definitely did), might be interested to know a bit more about her latest book, A Country Road, A Tree. It looks at the life of another of her literary heroes – the playwright Samuel Beckett, and focuses in particular on the incredible, but barely known, story of the time he spent in Paris during the Second World War.)

Emma at the Tithe Barn – Not Long to Go Now 
imgID69736729.jpg.galleryTomorrow sees the opening night of the Bradfordians production of Emma, which will be performed at the beautiful Tithe Barn in Bradford-on-Avon from June the 15th until June the 18th.

It’s rare to see a Jane Austen play performed in such an atmospheric, outdoor venue, and so close to Bath too!

It should be a lovely evening out to see a beautiful costume Georgian production in our fabulous Tithe Barn – you cannot get a better venue than that. We encourage people to bring a picnic beforehand for a wonderful evening out.

Phil Courage, Chairman of the Bradfordians

If you’re coming to Bath to visit the Jane Austen Centre this week, or happen to live nearby, then why not add to the Jane Austen experience by going to see Emma afterwards? Given the quality of the Bradfordians’ previous productions, we’re sure it will be a wonderful performance!

Tickets are available via 01225 860100, or www.wiltshire

Pride and Prejudice at Cambridge     
imageWe never get tired of hearing about new adaptations of Jane Austen. The latest we’ve found will soon be showing is Simon Reade’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice at the Cambridge Corn Exchange (UK). It’s so far enjoyed sell-out performances at Regent’s Park Theatre but will moving to the Corn Exchange on October 4th until the 8th for a number of 2.30pm and 7.30pm performances.

Tickets range from £22.50 to £32.50, and are available from the box office on 01223 357851 or online via

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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Love and Friendship – The Main Players

Love and Friendship – The Main Players

A still from the upcoming film Love and Friendship

Before you see the film you can now meet the main players in Love and Friendship in these wonderful short clips given to us by Curzon Films.








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Henry Cecil, 1st Marquess of Exeter

Henry Cecil, 1st Marquess of Exeter (14 March 1754 – 1 May 1804), known as Henry Cecil from 1754 to 1793 and as The Earl of Exeter from 1793 to 1801, was a British peer and Member of Parliament and inspiration for Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem, The Lord of Burleigh. His private life was the subject much society chatter and reads like the plot of a Georgette Heyer novel. He has, undoubtedly been the inspiration for countless tales of romance and intrigue.

Henry Cecil 1st Marquess of Exeter in 1803, a year before his death, painted by Henry Bone.
Henry Cecil 1st Marquess of Exeter in 1803, a year before his death, painted by Henry Bone.

Exeter was the son of the Hon. Thomas Chambers Cecil, second son of Brownlow Cecil, 8th Earl of Exeter. Thomas Chambers Cecil led a profligate life, and although for a time an MP he was forced to live abroad in Brussels, where he married Charlotte Garnier, a lady of uncertain origin, said by some to be a Basque dancer. When Henry was born in 1754 he was the heir presumptive to his uncle Brownlow Cecil, 9th Earl of Exeter, and for this reason was sent when still a baby to Burghley House to be brought up. Continue reading Henry Cecil, 1st Marquess of Exeter