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Film Costumes up for Auction on Ebay

Grab yourself some film costumes bargains! Anne Eliot's Spencer An unusual auction of original film costumes from Jane Austen’s Persuasion and Miss Austen Regrets go under the Ebay hammer starting tomorrow 15th of March. In a surprising move BAFTA and EMMY award winning designer Andrea Galer has decided it is time to move on these much loved items. In colaboration with The Jane Austen Centre Online Giftshop, Ms Galer has handpicked many costumes and accessories that are likely to be fought over by Austen and film fans. Andrea Galer says, ‘Having made these costumes which have helped Sally Hawkins and Oliver Williams really feel their way into character, I no longer need to own them. In moving them on I want other people to be able to feel that connection with the skills and materials of the past.’ David Baldock, Director of The Jane Austen Centre in Bath says, ‘Having worked with Andrea in the past we were lucky enough to have been able to purchase a number of her film costumes. These costumes now enhance our exhibition display. The costumes and accessories have been of immense interest to fans of Austen and Regency fashion.’ Everyone can get involved as all of the items will start the auction at 99p! There will be a total of 21 lots spread over a 2 week auction window. You can find all these items until Sunday 25th of March 2012 here:  http://stores.ebay.co.uk/thejaneaustencentre (more…)
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Miss Austen Regrets: An “Imagined” Biography

I am greatly pleased with your account of Fanny; I found her in the summer just what you describe, almost another sister; and could not have supposed that a niece would ever have been so much to me. She is quite after one’s own heart; give her my best love, and tell her that I always think of her with pleasure. Jane Austen to Cassandra October 7, 1808 The problem with biopics about Jane Austen is that there is so much that isn’t known for sure that at least part of the story will have to be fiction. In itself, that is not a problem, unless either the fiction is presented as truth or if the fiction is the kind of adolescent romantic twaddle that Jane Austen herself would have abhorred. Becoming Jane failed on both of those counts, and while Miss Austen Regrets does not succeed spectacularly, it is almost the Jane Austen biopic that many Janeites have hoped for. Olivia Williams is excellent as Jane Austen approaching her fortieth birthday. Sharply intelligent, sarcastic and funny but still warm-hearted: yes, this is the woman who could have created Mary Crawford and Lucy Steele and Augusta Elton. What a joy to see Jane Austen not a pathetic lonely-heart spinster but a woman who had opportunities to marry but clear-sightedly chose to remain single and pursue a career. We see her take a shrewd interest in the business of authorship, switching publishers to one that will get her more exposure and (more…)
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Reverend Brook Edward Bridges and the Bridges of Goodnestone Park

We were agreeably surprised by Edward Bridges’ company… He had been, strange to tell, too late for the cricket match, too late at least to play himself, and, not being asked to dine with the players, came home. It is impossible to do justice to the hospitality of his attentions towards me; he made a point of ordering toasted cheese for supper entirely on my account. Jane Austen to Cassandra 27 August, 1805   Reverend Brook Edward Bridges was born in 1779, the son of Sir Brook William Bridges, 3rd Bt. and Fanny Fowler. He was one of thirteen children born into a family where all of the sons were named Brook (Brook, Brook William, Brook Henry, Brook Edward, Brook George, etc.) With so many younger sons in one family, it is not surprising that so many made the church their profession As a clergyman, Bridges hade lifetime holdings at Wingham, in Kent and the vicarage at Lenham as well as serving in other parishes, including his home church in Goodnestone. In 1809, he married Harriot Foote, with whom he had several children, one of whom became the 8th and last Baronet, Reverend Sir George Talbot Bridges (b. 10 May 1818, d. 27 Nov 1899). He travelled often between Ramsgate in Lenham due to his wife’s illness and need for sea air, often stopping at Goodnestone or Godmersham to spend the night. Ironically, hie wife outlived him by nearly 40 years, dying in 1864. Rev. Bridges died in Wingham in (more…)
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Tatting and Lace Making

Tatting, one of the easisest ways to create handmade lace, is an easy art form to pick up– and quite addictive. Thought to have originated in Italy in the 16th century, it gradually made its way across Europe until, in the late 18th century, it could be found decorating all types of items from reticules to bonnets, caps and handkerchiefs. Imitation tatting can be purchased, but nothing beats the real item. Costume designer Andrea Galer supports this dying craft as she uses handmade lace in her items. All the lace as seen in Miss Austen Regrets, Mansfield Park and Persuasion is made by hand by craftswoman in Sri Lanka. The women had lost everything in the Tsunami and the lace making project allows them to rebuild their lives as well as the incredible craft. You can view and purchase your own Austen garments, made by Andrea Galer, at our online shop. Click here. Handwork allowed a woman to sit still and be useful at the same time. It enabled her to show off her industriousness, good taste and delicate hands. Small piece of work such as lace making, were acceptable items to occupy one’s time with, while visiting, and could be brought to a friend’s house for a cosy bit of work over tea and conversation. At the time when tatting was introduced in England, Netting was already a popular past time and many ladies, including Queen Anne, Queen Charlotte and Madame Pompadour chose to be painted with or holding (more…)