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Jane Austen News – Issue 28

Jane Austen News reads Persuasion online

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?

 Editing – With Pins!     

News: Pins in Jane Austen 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     

Mr-Woodhouse-Emma-Woodhouse-George-Knightly-jane-austen-12820609-405-270Emma 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 live on their own. But why is this asked James Bartholomew? In most societies for most of human history the elderly have lived with or near their grown-up children. James doesn’t see why this should change? Why can’t we be more like Emma?

George Knightley finally proposes to Emma Woodhouse. Many people will have forgotten that she initially refuses him. Why? … She believes she has an absolute, unbreakable obligation to stay living with her lone, elderly father.

The problem is overcome when Knightley offers to come to live with her at her father’s home after they marry. So all is resolved to make a lovely Austenesque happy ending.

And some people say that Austen’s books aren’t relevant to our modern lives anymore!


All Austen and None of the Others      

evelinaWho doesn’t love a good Austen adaptation? They have to be some of the most popular TV and films out there.

However…The Spectator has broached the subject – what about those authors not in the classic adaptation canon?

You’ll get Dickens, Tolstoy, Jane Austen and — so garlanded by now in TV adaptation terms that she joins their ranks — Hilary Mantel. You might get the odd better-known Brontë, if you’re lucky, and Hardy always goes down well. Then what? George Eliot — quite wrongly — is usually seen as a bit on the stodgy side and not concerned enough either with love or jokes. In more recent times entire decades seem to be monopolised by Waugh, Wodehouse and Le Carré.

So who does Sam Leith, the author of the article, recommend for adaptation?

I canvassed bookish friends on social media briefly while writing this, and can report as a finger to the wind that there’s considerable enthusiasm for Elizabeth Taylor, Henry Green, Ronald Firbank, George Gissing, Somerset Maugham, Fanny Burney, Naguib Mahfouz, Patrick Hamilton, Honoré de Balzac, Emile Zola, Wilkie Collins, Simon Raven, Arnold Bennett and Joseph Roth.

We think Sam has a point. We still want our Austen adaptations – don’t misunderstand us; we absolutely love them, but there are certainly some other great authors, and some contemporaries of Austen, whose work we’d also love to see getting some recognition on screen.


Coming Soon To The Jane Austen Centre: Mr Darcy

Final-Coming-Soon-300x198Good news for fans of Mr Darcy! Coming soon to the Jane Austen Centre is a life-size model of Mr Darcy himself.

Within the next couple of weeks Mr Darcy in the (almost) flesh will take up his pride of place in the centre, and will be on hand for our guests to take photos with, stage proposals with, and generally marvel at.

Keep your eyes peeled on the centre Facebook page and Twitter feed for updates and sneak previews!


All Roads Lead To Austen
51Gkv0yGSNLThe Jane Austen News came across an interesting read this week while browsing through the many Jane Austen related books that are out there. This one intrigued us because it was a cross between a travel book, a memoir, the book Eat Pray Love, and a book club. All Roads Lead To Austen by Amy Elizabeth Smith sees Professor Smith take one year out to travel around six countries and see what Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility mean to readers in those countries. Is Austen universally relevant as well as timeless?

Crossing Austen with a book about exploring South America is a new one on us, and we thought worth a mention as it might be of interest to some of our jet-setting Janeites.


Austen At RidgeCon
21b577346404b837c1d7e37c268e9628Ridgefield Library in Connecticut will be holding their all-ages celebration of popular culture on Friday, August 12th and Saturday, August 13th. Last year the title of the event was Comic Con, but this year the rebranded RidgeCon reflects their more diverse line up. The theme is “What are you a fan of?”, and as well as the expected appearances of Frozen, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, and a vast selection of superheroes and cartoon characters, there will also be an emphasis on Jane Austen – represented in an adult evening on Friday at 7 p.m. for fans of Downton Abbey, Jane Austen, Sherlock Holmes, and other “British fandoms”.

The evening will include a Jane Austen Society of North America card game, signature themed cocktails, Downton Abbey trivia and games, and a drawing for British-themed prizes from UK Gourmet, Harney & Sons and Simpson & Vail.

It sounds like a good evening if you can make it. Tickets and information on the event can be found at  ridgefieldlibrary.org.


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.

Don’t miss our latest news – become a Jane Austen Member and receive a digest of stories, articles and news every week. You will also be able to access our online Magazine with over 1000 articles, test your knowledge with our weekly quiz and get offers on our Online Giftshop. Plus new members get an exclusive 10% off voucher to use in the Online Giftshop.

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Jane Austen News – Issue 24

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?

Virginia Woolf on Jane Austen   

b8844fe2755032bbb75aa0691cf52a53d89d65ddThis 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

MaggieCastle0316_0019Acclaimed 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 idea. He would ask you for another and another and then decide which one he liked best. Then you would be left to go off and work on it.

Now it is completely different. First of all the production team comes to you. They have set criteria for you to check off on what they are looking for, and then you are under this enormous pressure to write up someone else’s idea and huge deadlines. It’s not for me anymore.

At the Jane Austen News we want to wish her well with her new project (a memoir/novel about her mother) and say that her unwritten future work will be missed and her previous work will be treasured.


Jane Inspiring Congress     
03mag-03talk-t_CA0-blog427What does the political world need? More fans of Austen maybe?

One endorsement of Jane Austen this week came from Mark Takano, the first openly gay and Asian member of congress, who says that one thing that those who are young and gay should do is read Jane Austen:

I look at so many young gays, and I think: You know what? Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Before you rush into anything, read Jane Austen. A good man is really hard to find, you know?

If only more people read Jane Austen, perhaps the world, the political one included, would be a better place.


Why We Should Love Austen’s Heroes (hint: it’s not for their looks)   

Jane Austen news 7On the blog of Oxford University Press, blogger Talia Schaffer has been asking when Mr Darcy became sexy. After all she says, in Pride and Prejudice he is described as a “fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien,” and Austen says that his bad manners give him “a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance.” Edward Ferrars is similarly not described as an Adonis, he has “no peculiar graces of person or address. He was not handsome, and his manners required intimacy to make them pleasing.”

So why were Austen’s heroes so heroic? Because they were what a women wanted in a man back then.

When a woman married in the eighteenth or nineteenth century, she consigned herself wholly into a man’s power. The moment she married, she ceased to be a legal person of her own. With no right to custody, no capacity to keep any money she earned, no legal capacity to sign her name to any contract, and no possibility of divorce, she was absolutely dependent on the man she had chosen for her entire lifetime.

Today physical attraction is more important says Talia, but in Austen’s time, finding a man who would treat you as a human being was hard enough!

Lizzie has learned at last that “gratitude and esteem [are] good foundations of affection.” The alternative, love at first sight, is so distasteful it can hardly even be named.


Jane Austen Regency Day Goes Off In Style! 
AD26-107-16bWe’re delighted to see that the 2016 Jane Austen Regency Day in Alton was a huge success this year.

Along with market stalls there were petting animals from Mill Farm Cottage, horse-and-carriage rides from Gosport Carriages, Maypole dancing performed by the pupils from Alton Convent School, and singing from the Roughditch Folk Group. Then in the evening the Regency Ball at Alton Assembly Rooms was completely sold out!

We look forward to see what next year’s event has in store!


Four Reasons To Watch Love & Friendship     

Love and FriendshipAs if we needed an excuse to watch anything Jane Austen related, Verily have published four very good reasons why we ought to watch Love & Friendship.

First, it’s really very funny (Verily have equated it to Monty Python!) thanks to Austen’s dialogue and the cast’s substantial and discreet acting abilities.

Second, it’s not Austen as you’ve ever seen her before. Love & Friendship is a sharp departure for Austen, as the story is told from the perspective of the narcissistic antagonist.

Third, “Austen captures human frailty like no other.”

And fourth, the characters who ought to, get their comeuppance! Endlessly satisfying!


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.

Don’t miss our latest news – become a Jane Austen Member and receive a digest of stories, articles and news every week. You will also be able to access our online Magazine with over 1000 articles, test your knowledge with our weekly quiz and get offers on our Online Giftshop. Plus new members get an exclusive 10% off voucher to use in the Online Giftshop.

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Mr. Darcy the Duck (Series)- a Review

 

darcy3

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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Mr Darcy’s Christmas Calendar – Book Review

Some of my earliest memories of Christmas involve the endless waiting for the big day and the delight we took in counting down the hours with an Advent calendar. Sometimes the tiny door would reveal a portion of the Nativity story, other years we would be greeted with a festive sentiment, and by far our favorite days were the ones greeted by a chocolate or treat. My children share my enthusiasm as well as a tradition of countdown calendars with their grandmother and I have three ready to go come December 1. Last year, however, I was given the most amazing Christmas countdown calendar of all. A treasured gift from a treasured friend.

Proceeds from Mr. Darcy's Christmas Calendar will go to benefit the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation.
Proceeds from Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Calendar will go to benefit the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation.

When I first saw the cover of Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Calendar, I thought it was a traditional advent calendar, with a gorgeous image of Jane Austen’s Chawton Cottage home dusted with snow and trimmed for Christmas. Each tiny window and door looked numbered and perforated and I thought, “What a wonderful idea!! Someone should have thought of this long ago!” I could only surmise whether the recipient would be treated to quotes or chocolate upon opening. Continue reading Mr Darcy’s Christmas Calendar – Book Review

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Mr Darcy information from The Jane Austen Centre

Mr Darcy

Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice with DarcyMr Darcy,  Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, is one of Jane Austen’s most beloved male heroes from her novel Pride and Prejudice. He has a large estate of Pemberley which sits in Derbyshire and he has claim to a fortune of ten thousand a year. The Pemberley estate is extremely large with many acres of land to its claim. “It was a large handsome, stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills (174).” He inherited it from his father, who has died five years before the book begins. He has in his care a younger sister by the name of Georgiana Darcy whom he has sent to be educated in London. Mr Darcy’s best friend is Charles Bingley whom he stays with for most of Pride and Prejudice at his estate of Netherfield. It is while he is at Netherfield that local rumours begin to circulate about his eligibility.  Mr Darcy holds particular hatred for a soldier named Mr. Wickham with whom Darcy grew up and attended school. Mr. Wickham was a favourite of Darcy’s father as a child but grew up to be an indulgent fellow with no principles and eventually betrayed his friendship.
Mr Darcy’s first description in Pride and Prejudice is when he walks into the room at the first dance of the novel, “he soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien.” However, he is soon found to be and extremely disagreeable, proud man with no consideration for anyone. As the novel progresses he becomes quite taken with Elizabeth Bennet, the second daughter of the Bennet family, a girl of twenty with no fortune. She has sworn to hate him. It is an attraction that tortures him throughout the novel as he weighs the evils he perceives in the connection against the strength of his passion.
Mr Darcy has been portrayed by Matthew MacFadyen, Colin Firth, David Rintoul, and Laurence Olivier. The most famous portrayal of Mr. Darcy was by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice in 1995. Modern twists of the story include Bridget Jones’s Diary in which the Mr. Darcy character is also played by Colin firth, the Bollywood film, Bride and Prejudice and the chaotic approach, Lost in Austen.

Brighten up your home with your very own Mr. Darcy portrait