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Jane Austen News – Issue 146

The Jane Austen News is The Return of the Hero

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


The Two Kinds of Jane Austen Fan

E.M. Dadlez, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Central Oklahoma, this week published an article which puts Jane Austen fans into two separate camps. One side is for Pride and Prejudice and Emma, while the other one emphatically embraces the Austen of Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility. “One cannot love both, not equally, not without reservations about one or the other set of works, even if one likes and admires all of Austen’s writing.”

We were intrigued by this and read further.

The heroines of these novels are near opposites, but each novel provides the same clear, strong focus on issues involving autonomy and autonomous agency. They just do so from diametrically opposed perspectives.

Perhaps the kind of preference which Austen lovers are wont to note involves a preference for one or the other of the following: an interest in forging independence or an interest in respecting that of others, an interest in self-development and autonomous agency, or an interest in recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others. Emma and Persuasion are both stories of change and self-development and maturation, one chronicling a turning inward and self reflection, the next describing a turning outward and a venturing forth into the world.

At the Jane Austen Centre, visitors do often say that they have a strong preference for either Emma or for Persuasion, but perhaps this might explain why. A highly interesting hypothesis either way.

The full article can be accessed here.

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Jane Austen News – Issue 42

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  National Library Protests in The UK  There was a protest in London on Saturday (5th November) as authors joined hundreds of members of the public (around 1,800) in the first national demonstration to protect library services. The march was held in response to the string of library closures which have been taking place across the UK over the past five years as the government looked to make cuts to local council spending. According to research by the House of Commons library service and the BBC, around one in eight council-run libraries has been closed or passed out of the public sector since 2010. In addition to this, total spending by councils on library services fell by a fifth between 2010 and 2015, and other research also showed that a quarter of all library jobs have been done away with since May 2010; 8,000 jobs in total. To help supplement this 15,500 volunteers have been called upon to take their place. Even this is not enough to stop the library erosion. Alan Gibbons, children’s author and one of the march organisers, had this to say: Libraries are places of learning and opportunity. They are community hubs in areas where there is no other collective meeting place. They provide advice, books, computers, storytelling, information and education. Any government that allows them to close can’t claim to want a literate society. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Are There Too Many Adaptations?     (more…)
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Fashionable Furniture: The Library Table

“How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
-Pride and Prejudice

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts was an illustrated, British periodical published from 1809-1829 by Rudolph Ackermann. Although commonly called Ackermann’s Repository, or, simply Ackerman’s, the formal title of the journal was Repository of arts, literature, commerce, manufactures, fashions, and politics, and it did, indeed cover all of these fields. In its day, it had great influence on English taste in fashion, architecture, and literature.

Many of the English fashion plates that remain from the Regency era are from Ackermann’s and while a wide assortment of topics were covered in each issue, fasshionable furniture was also highlighted. The following library table, from the January, 1814 issue, is suggested as the perfect piece for smaller homes and city apartments. Jane Austen spent time in London in 1814, with her brother Henry (his wife, Eliza, had passed away the previous year) Perhaps she wrote parts of her upcoming novel, Emma (1815) at a desk like this one, while staying at his home in Henrietta street.

Continue reading Fashionable Furniture: The Library Table

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