What’s the Jane Austen News this week?
Bath One of the Best Literary Breaks in the UK
According to Travel Weekly Bath is one of the top ten UK cities to visit for a literary break. While many authors have lived and visited Bath over the years, including Charles Dickens and Mary Shelley, the focus of Travel Weekly‘s literary break in Bath was, of course, Jane Austen. We were delighted to see that one of their recommended highlights of Jane Austen’s Bath including visiting the Jane Austen Centre, and also staying during September for the Jane Austen Festival.
Other destinations which made the top ten were Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury, Sherlock Holme’s London, Beatrix Potter’s Lake District and Brontë Country (Haworth/Top Withens/Thornton).
Writing Women Onto The Stage Via Jane Austen
Kate Hamill was fed up with the lack of female roles onstage, so she decided to do something about it. The result was her award-winning adaptation of adaptation of Sense and Sensibility.
“I had been an actor for many years,” Hamill said, “and was frustrated because oftentimes when you’re a woman, you’re competing with 400 other actresses to play someone’s wife… girlfriend… prostitute.” She explained the lack of strong, complicated heroines, such as those created by Austen, on stage: “most adapters are not young women.” As such she became an adapter herself.
This spirit of creating the stories (or in this case creating the roles) which you want to read (or play) is very much in the spirit of Jane Austen. When Jane Austen was writing there was a severe lack of strong female characters so she made her own. It seems only fitting then that her work is still helping to promote the work of other women today.
Kate Hamill and fellow actor Andrus Nichols will be bringing their production, which premiered in 2014, back to the Gym at Judson in New York from June 17th–October 2nd.
Jane Austen – Recommended Reading for the First Lady
Actress Alexis Bledel, while in her character of the iconic bookworm Rory Gilmore, from the hit TV show the Gilmore Girls, payed a visit to America’s First Lady, Michelle Obama so they could talk books. The resulting video sketch was published on the official Gilmore Girls Twitter account.
It was done in an attempt to help promoting Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn initiative, which speak to young girls about the importance of education and staying in school. Some of Gilmore’s recommendations included: Shakespeare – “because you can’t go wrong with the Bard” – Marilyn Robinson, Graham Green, “a little Proust” and Jane Austen. (“I mean, come on, Jane Austen!)
We at the Jane Austen News are sure that this is exactly the kind of initiative that Jane would be keen to get involved with!
Five Things That Pride and Prejudice Can Teach Us About Romance
One article that we came across this week is Five Things That Pride and Prejudice Can Teach Us About Romance. These were:
- You don’t have to show your “goods” to get a man’s attention
- It’s OK to not be good at everything
- Don’t settle for less than the best
- It’s OK to challenge each other
- Don’t judge a book by its cover
We’re sure that Pride and Prejudice has far more to teach us about romance than just these five lessons. What other important lessons do you think should have been included in the list?
Did They Make The Right Matches in Sense and Sensibility?
What would have happened if Willoughby and Marianne had ended up together? Would Marianne have been happier with him than with Colonel Brandon? What if Edward had married Lucy? Would Elinor have been so unhappy alone?
One thing that many fans of Jane Austen love about her novels is that the bad characters are punished and the good characters are rewarded in the end. But are they always? This article from Janee Heimdal asks if all of the characters really get the endings they deserve based on their actions.
Edward’s impeccable character deserves to be rewarded, but what about Lucy? She isn’t outwardly awful, but when I imagine Lucy as a villain I see her insinuating herself with Edward’s sister, Fanny. So does like cleave to like in this case? Yes.
Do you agree that everyone in Sense and Sensibility got the rewards, or punishments as the case may be, that their actions deserved?
Dancing Like Jane Austen in California
Jane Austen fans living in California had fun on Saturday learning how to dance like Jane Austen. Hosted by Period Entertainments and Recreational Costuming of Fresno, the dance featured live musicians, light refreshments and the chance to experience a little taste of a bygone era. The dances were taught before they were danced, with calling by popular folk musician Evo Bluesmen.
Mrs Parks’ Regency Rout is one of our favourite Regency dance events to have been held in the past week because it was such a nice blend of the modern and traditional.
Things which the dance had which weren’t 18th Century but were very much needed: central air conditioning, indoor plumbing, electricity and no requirement for women to arrive with an escort.
Attendees were also asked to “Please feel free to gender self-identify and dance with whomever your heart desires, regardless of whether they wear a gown or pantaloons.”
The Jane Austen News hopes that more all-inclusive and accepting dance events like this one will be held in the future!
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.