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Jane Austen News – Issue 52

The Jane Austen News visits Derbyshire

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?   

Austen Escapism in Visual Novel 

EYP7zvIn The Lady’s Choice, a text-heavy visual novel that takes its inspiration from Regency-era novels, you play as a woman returning to society after a long absence, and although you’re not necessarily seeking a marriage, you’re quickly introduced to a group of eligible bachelors.

It’s not based only on the work of Jane Austen, but it’s inspired by the Regency novel genre in general, and the result is a novel of charm, intrigue and one with a keen sense of fun and humour.

If you like reading, enjoy role-playing games, and are a Jane Austen fan, this might be a read you’ll rather enjoy (and potentially a good way to get any kids who are obsessed with screens doing some more reading?) then you can find it at for £5.

As the daughter of a Viscount, and heiress to a small fortune, you are invited back into society even after years of seclusion at your family’s estate.
The upcoming Season is to be spent in Bath, your childhood friend having finally convinced you into it, and only the cream of society will be there. But the fickle and difficult dance that is weaving through society can be a tricky thing to remember, especially when they thrive on any small misstep you may make.

Jane At Home At The British Library

To mark the 200th anniversary since Jane’s death, the British Library and Bodliean Library have combined resources and 0199073fbbf90f38eb0e97e5cd7a8ed1brought together writings from Austen’s formative teenage years for the first time in 40 years, all as part of an exhibition being held at the British Library called Jane Austen Among Friends and Family which is on from 10th January 2017 – 19th February 2017. As well as family letters and memorabilia, shown as part of a temporary display will be one of the Library’s finest treasures – Austen’s writing desk.

The exhibition seeks to illuminate the personal family life of Austen and the exhibits reveal family joys and sorrows which shaped the writer: one letter tells of Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 52

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Jane Austen News – Issue 25

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?


 Jane Austen Brings Shakespeare to Cuba   

5753da9cc156dOn Sunday (10th July)  in Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire in the UK, a local actress performed her one-woman show, “Yours Ever, Jane”, in which Jane Austen tells her sister Cassandra all about her latest novel, Pride and Prejudice.

The actress, Sarah Finch, performed for free but asked her audience for donations, and donations towards a very good cause. She is planning on traveling to Cuba in this coming September, where she will be helping the Government open a new Shakespeare centre in Havana.

Sarah said: “Although Cuba has been cut off from the rest of the world until quite recently, they have a passion for Shakespeare. Shakespeare is universal.”

Sarah will be one of several actors who will performing some of the Bard’s most famous scenes, and also teaching aspiring Cuban thespians.

The Jane Austen News is sure Jane would approve!

A Near Miss For Lady Susan

1467831253742American writer-director Whit Stallman has said that he discovered Jane Austen’s Lady Susan, the basis of his film Love & Friendship, completely by accident! In a recent interview he admitted that he only stumbled across it while re-reading Northanger Abbey. “It was included in an edition of that book, which was probably one of the last Austen stories I read.”

He first tried to read Northanger Abbey as a teenager, but happily didn’t get on with it at the time. If he had he may never have found Lady Susan when he picked up a different edition of the book to read it in later years.

“I was a stupid 17-year-old who told everyone how bad and overrated it [Northanger Abbey] was. I’d never read a gothic novel, so I had no idea what she was making fun of. I went back and read it again after loving all of her other stuff and liked it better, of course.”

All we can say is hooray for happy accidents!

The Novella Is The New Novel?     

9781786530059According to sources, the novella is making a comeback.

One of the books that’s helping to revive interest in the genre? Lady Susan – the novella which gives its plot line, if not its name, to Whit Stillman’s new film Love & Friendship. As well as Lady Susan encouraging readers to try a novella, the novella has also been given a modern makeover this year by the best-selling thriller-writer James Patterson, who has launched his “BookShots”. These are books of only 150 pages which are designed to attract people who don’t read to pick up a book.

This sounds like a great idea to all of us at the Jane Austen News. Start with a pacy page-turner, and then move onto to Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. Perfect!

Jane and the Petty Snark     

12362897271728851218Jane is well known for writing into her books her honed wit and delicious sarcasm, but she’s also known as a romance novelist by many. One fan claims to find this idea too much to bear (“they view it as a …  A ROMANCE NOVEL.  Can you imagine? Not a parody. Not a morality tale or comedy. Not a harsh and biting criticism of society. Not a character study. But a…romance novel, the sort of book that a young lady might need to fan herself while reading, lets she be overcome by her own longing and desire.”).

To set things back to rights she’s created Jane and the Petty Snark.

The images are designed to reflect the tumultuous nature of their courtship (and no doubt the marriage which followed, since Darcy would continue to be an entitled ass and Lizzy would continue her impudent ways).   With this in mind,  our young lovers  can be hung to face one another, or to turn their backs.


More of her work and her full post can be found here.

Matthew Kelly = Mr Bennet

ltiBelCyNext year (2017) from January 17th – 21st, a new stage adaptation of Pride and Prejudice will be visiting Bath’s Theatre Royal as part of its 2016/17 UK tour. It is produced by the producers of the recent smash-hits To Kill a Mockingbird and Lord of the Flies and the show tours following sell-out performances at Regent’s Park Theatre.

We knew already that Felicity Montagu (Alan Partridge, Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Durrells) is set to play Mrs Bennet, but we were pleased to hear that the well-known actor and television host Matthew Kelly will be joining her as Mr Bennet.

If you’re in Bath next January then this is the perfect thing to see (perhaps after visiting the Jane Austen Centre?).

The Bad Miss Bennet Abroad

51-0xC+--sL._SX371_BO1,204,203,200_Local author Jean Burnett has just published her second Pride and Prejudice based-book, The Bad Miss Bennet Abroad. Following on from her first novel, Who Needs Mr Darcy?, this book sees Lydia Bennet en route to Brazil as a lady-in-waiting to an Austrian princess. After a very long sea voyage she joins the highly eccentric Portuguese court in Rio where she attracts the attention of the heir to the throne, Dom Pedro. It’s been described as “a light-hearted romp with quirky period features. It’s a perfect holiday read and a great sequel.”

More information on Jean and her novels can be found here.

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.

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