Impressions Gallery in Bradford is getting ready for its newest exhibition; an exhibition featuring work by the winners of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards. Included in the exhibition are photographs in the series Where We Belong by Alejandra Carles-Tolra, who has photographed a community of Janeites as they celebrate Jane Austen’s novels. The series explores the relationships between individual and group identity, as well as themes of femininity and escapism.
The photos naturally involve period clothing and reading, but also more unusual activities which aim to keep Austen’s work alive and well.
I am interested in challenging stereotypes and getting a better understanding of who these people are. What drives someone to dress up as if they were in the nineteenth century.
The exhibition will help to inspire the upcoming event at the gallery on Thursday 7th June (2018) from 12:30pm to 1:30pm called Feed Your Mind, in which Marilyn Joice from the Jane Austen Society will be discussing Austen’s life and her famous works on. The event is free to attend.
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.
As a pioneering female author we think that Jane would love this idea.
Penguin has teamed up with Waterstones to mark International Women’s Day by opening a pop-up store in East London. The bookshop will run from the 5th-9th of March and will sell only books written by women to “celebrate the persistence of women who’ve fought for change: those who fight, rebel and shout #LikeAWoman”.
The other unique aspect of the pop-up bookshop is the way in which it will be laid out. Rather than the typical “biography”, “fiction”, “sci-fi” categories, the books will be grouped by “the impact the author has had on culture, history or society”. The categories will range from “essential feminist reads”, to “inspiring young readers”, “women to watch”, and “changemakers”.
A series of literary events will also take place at the boo
Pride and Prejudice has been performed many many times on stage by various companies in plenty of different styles. However, on April 21st it enjoyed its premiere as a ballet. Performed by the American Repertory Ballet at McCarter Theatre Centre in Princeton, New Jersey, Pride and Prejudice has been choreographed by the ARB’s Artistic Director Douglas Martin, and the production features ARB dancers performing to live accompaniment by the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor John Devlin.
Douglas Martin, an Austen fan, spent years on this adaptation and it shows in its level of attention to detail. For example, the dancing is set to music by Ignaz Pleyel, a popular composer during Austen’s lifetime who is largely unknown today, and it takes pains to look at the detailed relationship of four of the Bennet sisters, as well as that between Darcy and Lizzy.
According to Martin it’s not a typical ballet either. The choreography echoes that of some of the popular dances of the time, including the minuet, though Martin has adapted a few moves and made them “more balletic.” It also includes quick set and costume changes (some costume changes have to be completed in 20 seconds!) and the action is driven by acting and not just by dances.
At the Jane Austen News we can see how the romance of Pride and Prejudice would recommend itself to becoming a ballet. We just wish we could have been there to see it!
Unveiling Jane’s £10 Note
Although it won’t enter general circulation until September this year (just in time for Bath’s Jane Austen Festival!), the official unveiling of the new Jane Austen ten pound note has been announced. It’s due to take place on July the 18th on the anniversary of the date of her death in Winchester Cathedral, where Jane is buried.
Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said in a statement that “Jane Austen certainly merits a place in the select group of historical figures to appear on our banknotes. Her novels have an enduring and universal appeal and she is recognised as one of the greatest writers in English literature. As Austen joins Adam Smith, Boulton and Watt, and Winston Churchill, our notes will celebrate a diverse range of individuals who have contributed in a wide range of fields.”
Below is a video released by the Bank of England which goes into a bit more detail about their decision to put Jane on the banknote.
Awhile back I met Erika Svanoe on Twitter and I saw that she was running a Kickstarter campaign for her new game, Marrying Mr. Darcy. As a Janeite who loves to play games (especially Jane Austen related games) I knew I had to support her campaign and obtain a copy of this new game for myself!
Several months later (because the Kickstarter was super successful!) I became the happy owner of this new and unique card game. I decided to coerce my family to play it with me! I thought it would be fun to share our experience playing the game with you all, so I wrote up a review!
Game Overview: Marrying Mr. Darcy is a card game with elegantly designed cards, full of heroines, suitors, events, and character cards. The object of the game is to accumulate the most points. There are two stages of the game in which to collect points – The Courtship Stage and The Proposal Stage.
During The Courtship Stage points are earned by collecting Character cards – there are 4 types of Character cards highlighting various attributes – Wit, Beauty, Reputation, and Friendliness. Event cards determine when each player receives, steals, or loses Character cards.
The Proposal Stage is very brief, it is when all the players attempt to match their heroine with 1 of the 6 possible suitors. Each suitor has different requirements (i.e. you must have 5 Wit points to be eligible for Mr. Darcy). Rolling the dice determines if a suitor proposes or not, leaving the possibility of winning the suitor you want totally up to chance. If you are unlucky with the die, you may end up an Old Maid!
We played one game and it last a little over an hour.
The event cards were full of fun and entertaining tasks. As a Janeite I loved catching all the references and nods to scenes and gatherings that take place in Pride and Prejudice. All of us players, found the cards to be interesting, varied, and great inducements for laughter and merriment. (especially from the men!)
At the Proposal Stage, it was quite interesting to see who we each ended up with. I can’t believe that no one married Darcy!!!
There were one or two Event cards, that left us a little confused as to what we should do and the strategy of using Cunning Points and cards was a little overwhelming at first. In our game, it was perhaps unique that the Mr. Darcy proposal card came up in the first round. (Mr. Darcy becomes engaged in the first round…game over.) Since I wanted to experience real gameplay, I declined Mr. Darcy’s proposal (how shocking, I know!)
The Hubby: 7/10 A fun game, but sometimes the amount of rules felt a little overwhelming. I really enjoyed the attractive graphics and overall card designs in Marrying Mr. Darcy.
The Gamer: 7/10 I like how each heroine had different strengths and how some of the event cards were specifically beneficial for them. That made the gameplay interesting.
The Mother: 7/10 It took awhile to understand, but once we got going it was easy to get the hang of it. I liked how there was more than one option of suitor for each heroine.
The Janeite: 9/10 I love how this game was still fun and playable even if you had no knowledge of Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen! A perfect game for Janeites who want to share their love for Jane Austen with their significant others, family members, and friends (without them feeling tortured or bored!) The game is elegant and the artwork stunning. Literary-based games are the best!
Meredith Esparza is music studio director and private piano instructor living off the coast of North Carolina with her very own Mr. Bingley. She is a long-time admirer of Jane Austen and an avid reader. For more than five years her blog, Austenesque Reviews has been devoted to the reading and reviewing of numerous Jane Austen sequels, fan-fiction, and para-literature. She loves being able to connect with readers and authors online through a shared love and admiration for Jane Austen. Visit Meredith at her blog Austenesque Reviews, follow her on Twitter as @austenesque and on Facebook as Austenesque Reviews.