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Jane Austen News – Issue 116 – Colin Firth

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? Colin Firth! 


Colin Firth Broods Again

Colin Firth as DarcyIf you’re reading this then in all likelihood the role that you most associate with Colin Firth is the brooding Mr Darcy from the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Well, good news, Firth-Darcy fans: Colin’s next big role is another classic brooding character.

Film companies StudioCanal and Heyday Films are currently working on a new film adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beautiful novel, The Secret Garden. Colin Firth will play the mysterious and complex character of the bereaved Archibald Craven. Julie Walters is also set to star as strict head housekeeper Mrs Medlock. Filming begins this month but there’s no firm news on a release date as of yet.

However, just an aside, it’s not The Secret Garden you might recognise from the book or the 1993 feature film which featured Maggie Smith as Mrs Medlock. The book is set in the Edwardian era in which it was first published, but the new film will be start in 1947 as the partition of India began and Britain was in the post-war aftermath. As well as welcoming Colin Firth back to our screens, it will be interesting to see what the change of setting brings to the story!

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 116 – Colin Firth

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Pride and Prejudice Rehearsals Weeks 1-6

 With four proposals, three Regency dances, two confrontations with Lady Catherine and one kiss with Mr Darcy, rehearsals are well under way.   It has been 6 weeks since our Pride and Prejudice journey began and oh so much has happened! Including all of this…   Meet the Bennet sisters! Jane Bennet (Alicia) Lydia Bennet (Jess) Kitty Bennet (Rose) Mary Bennet (Chloe) (And me!) Lizzie Bennet   And when we’re not in regency dress we like to relax with our other favourite cast member, the Athenaeum’s giant bear, aka Mr Darcy’s understudy…   With less than 7 weeks to go before our first performance, rehearsals have been in full swing. .We started by blocking the play whilst we had use of the stage, focusing on projection, space and entrances and exits. From here we rehearsed in the Function room three times a week, looking at the closer details of each scene. So far I have been particularly focusing on my more ‘main’ scenes including the famous first proposal from Mr Darcy… ‘You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you’. Johnathon (Mr Darcy) and I have been working closely on this scene to achieve the maximum emotion that is portrayed. It has been challenging and at times tiring (as I’m in every scene!), yet we are all thoroughly enjoying this exciting journey! We have all been very busy trying to learn lines… We even had a competition to see who could take a picture with their tote (more…)
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Finding Happiness, Austen Style: Party with Bride and Prejudice

Bride and PrejudiceWelcome to the third of a multi-part series of posts on how to lift yourself out of the blues, Austen style. Kindly reproduced here with permission from its author, Laurie Viera Rigler, who is also the author of the popular Jane Austen Addict novels.   The days are getting shorter. Winter is coming. A dragon has been turned. But are we sad? No. Because we have the cure, and now so do you. It’s called Bride and Prejudice, the life-affirming, Bollywood-meets-Hollywood tribute to Pride and Prejudice. Not only is it a clever, spirited, heart-opening adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, but there are also two other very important reasons for you to watch: 1. Nathan Riggs from Grey’s Anatomy. That’s right, Martin Henderson plays Darcy. 2. Naveen Andrews from Lost. He plays the Bingley role. Need I say more? I needn’t but I will: There’s the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai in the Elizabeth role; Ellaria Sand, that is, Indira Varma, in the Caroline Bingley role; and the most hilarious portrayal of Mr. Collins (by Nitin Ganatra) since David Bamber’s brilliant work in the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle P&P. Just watch the trailer and see if you can resist. Come on, grumpypants—I dare you. This film merits a party. At the very least, invite at least one friend over to watch with you. Or have a party all on your own. You deserve it. To prepare: Be sure to bring in plenty of Indian food. And don’t forget to get some floaty scarves to wave (more…)
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Jane Austen News – Issue 29

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?   Austen and Shakespeare – Pop Culture Throughout Time The new exhibition at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington called Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity includes some of the more goofy material objects that have been made to celebrate Shakespeare or Austen in recent years. Some are more corporate than others – empty shoe boxes with Jane’s name on them, sticking plasters, etc etc, but all show what an amazing influence the two writers still have on the world. What really caught the eye of the Jane Austen News though, were the antique pieces of memorabilia; some of them over 100 years old. Some antique memorabilia included in the exhibition are; a series of 18th-century porcelains showing famous actors as Richard III, a signboard for the Shakespeare’s Head tavern from the late-17th or early-18th century, and antique bellows carved with Shakespeare’s face. We are by no means lacking items celebrating Austen and Shakespeare today, and not all of them are received with open arms; some may be considered tacky or overly commercial. So it’s interesting to see what passed for commemorative merchandise in the past, and to consider what of today’s memorabilia may end up in a similar Austen/Shakespeare exhibition a couple of hundred years in the future. Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity is on show at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street S.E., Washington until the 6th of November 2016. JASNA Announces Essay (more…)
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Jane Austen News – Issue 28

Jane Austen News reads Persuasion onlineWhat’s the Jane Austen News this week?  Editing – With Pins!      Everyone has their own style of editing, and Jane’s style is the perfect example of why Post-It notes are such an amazing invention! The Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts Digital Edition describes her editing process: With no calculated blank spaces and no obvious way of incorporating large revision or expansion she had to find other strategies — small pieces of paper, each of which was filled closely and neatly with the new material, attached with straight pins to the precise spot where erased material was to be covered or where an insertion was required to expand the text. Pinning your corrections to your manuscript is certainly not one we’d come across before. This is why we at the Jane Austen News love the online manuscripts so much; insights like this. Also, the chance to see her first drafts in her own hand is simply amazing. If you’d like to see them for yourself, Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts Digital Edition can be found here. Austen’s Emma An Example To Us All      Emma isn’t exactly renowned as being the best example to follow when given a choice between Austen’s heroines. However, this week The Telegraph has made a very good case for why more of us should be like Emma. More than a quarter of people aged over 65 who live on their own are lonely, and more and more of those of us who are over 65 do now (more…)
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Jane Austen News – Issue 24

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? Virginia Woolf on Jane Austen    This week one of the favourite things that the Jane Austen News came across was a forgotten gem from the archives. In January 1924 Virginia Woolf published a review of Jane’s novels, and it made for most interesting reading. In it Woolf suggests that Jane was getting bored and, had she lived, she would have taken gone through a significant change in her writing style. It is impossible to say too much about the novels that Jane Austen did write; but enough attention perhaps has never yet been paid to the novels that Jane Austen did not write. There is a peculiar dullness and a peculiar beauty in Persuasion. The dullness is that which so often marks the transition stage between two different periods. The writer is a little bored. She has grown too familiar with the ways of her world. Had she lived a few more years only, all that would have been altered. The full article of Woolf on Austen can be found here. Why Screenwriting is Not For Austen Screenwriter Anymore Acclaimed scriptwriter Maggie Wadey, who has written some of the major Austen productions of previous years, such as the BBC’s 1987 Northanger Abbey and ITV’s 2007 Mansfield Park, has announced that she can’t see herself ever returning to the world of scriptwriting. That industry has changed so much over the past ten years. Before you used to go to a director and pitch your (more…)
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Jane Austen News – 13

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? A Mystery and A First Edition of Persuasion       An English teacher named Eleanor Capasso from Ayer-Shirley Regional High School in Massachusetts recently received a rather mysterious package. Opening the parcel Capasso found that the English department of the school had been sent what appears to be a first edition of Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion. It was a little tattered (as you can see) but that did nothing to lessen her excitement. She hurriedly got on the trail to find out more about it. Capasso said the book was sent to the school by Alice B. Bantle. Bantle explained in the letter which accompanied the book that she had found it in a box of auction house “junk” in her mother’s garage. Bantle had read the inscription on the inside of the book, and seeing that the original owner was a woman named Lillian M. Flood who had won the book as a prize in May 1900 at Ayer High School, Bantle sent the book to the school in the hope that it could be reunited with the it’s rightful owners. The owners are yet to be found, but Capasso is currently in the process of trying to trace the Flood family via the town’s record office. Mr Darcy Teaching Romance To Sports-Mad Men Of Today   At Jane Austen News we were delighted to discover that Mr Darcy is inspiring some of the men of today to be a little more romantic. In an (more…)
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Mr. Darcy the Duck (Series)- a Review

 

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Just in time for the holidays,  of Kids’ Book Review looks at this delightful children’s series which is sure to melt your heart.

mr darcy - fieldMr Darcy is a reserved and gentle duck, living quietly in the beautiful Pemberley Park. Despite his wonderful home, he feels lonely but he is too shy to accept the invitation from Lizzy and her sisters to attend Sunday afternoon tea.

Sound familiar? The author, Alex Field, adores Jane Austen and created her character of Mr Darcy to reflect Austen’s original from Pride and Prejudice – a little shy and a proper English gentleman. Bingley, Caroline, Maria, Lizzy and Lizzy’s four sisters fill out the Austen-inspired character list.
Mr Darcy is a sweet story about shyness and the encouragement and enjoyment that can be found in friendships. Accompanied by gorgeous Peter Carnavas illustrations, the story is gently told with the stubborn Mr Darcy no doubt delighting children and amusing parents who are familiar with the ‘real’ Mr Darcy. Continue reading Mr. Darcy the Duck (Series)- a Review

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