What’s the Jane Austen News this week?
Jane Austen’s Games
Card 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
At 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
Not 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
Tomorrow 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 music.org.uk.
Pride and Prejudice at Cambridge
We 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 www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk.
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