What’s the Jane Austen News this week? Fanny Price vs. Mary Crawford – The Fallout In the Jane Austen News last week, we mentioned that a Fanny Price vs. Mary Crawford debate would be taking place this week between two Austen-inspired novelists, Kyra Kramer and Lona Manning. The question up for discussion each day this week is different, and given the first two days of debate, there’s at least a week’s-worth of discussions to be had when it comes to Team Mary vs. Team Fanny. On Monday the question was simply one of whose side are you on and why? Who was the real heroine and moral victor in Mansfield Park? Kyra was definitely Team Mary: “Fanny Price was a wet hen with all the vivacity of a damp dishcloth.” “He [Edmund] spoke to Mary like she was filth, just because she had more mercy on Maria than he did. Even though Mary was willing to sacrifice her own brother’s happiness to save Edmund’s sister from ostracization, based on nothing more than Mary’s warm feelings for the Bertram family, he threw her offer back with excessive rudeness and condemnation.” While Lona was quick to defend Fanny and retorted that Mary was using Fanny for her own ends: “Fanny is an audience, not a confidante, for Mary.” “I would argue that Mary is often insincere.” Then, on Tuesday the question was – “Was Fanny Price sweetly timid, or a backstabbing brat?” Lorna argued that Fanny had no choice but (more…)
What’s the Jane Austen News this week?
Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan, among others, have created revealing handwritten homages about Jane Austen in aid of a charity auction which is being held to raise funds for the Royal Society of Literature.
The auction includes Atwood writing on how Austen’s novels “set a bad example”, a new unpublished story by Hilary Mantel based on Pride & Prejudice, Ian McEwan on the “profound influence” of Northanger Abbey on his novel Atonement, Ian Rankin on disliking “stuffy” Jane Austen, and Sarah Waters turning cartoonist for “a good read”.
The auction also includes original works by other prominent authors (including Bath-born Jacqueline Wilson), and an annotated script by Andrew Davies from the BBC’s Pride & Prejudice TV mini-series.
At the Jane Austen News we’re sure the auction will be a huge success with such amazing items up for sale!
I especially liked the scene in which Elizabeth Bennett [sic] stands down Lady de Bourgh. I longed to do the same to my gym teacher, but occasion never offered.
It’s an incredibly common mistake – writing Jane’s last name as “Austin” rather than as it ought to be spelt – Austen with an e – and it’s a mistake that even those who knew Jane personally made!
A royalty cheque which was paid to Jane from her publisher John Murray following the success of Jane’s novel Emma has shown that he also spelt her name wrong. However, it seems that either Jane didn’t really mind, or the fact that she was actually being given money for her writing was enough to let her gloss over the mistake, as she also signed the back of the £38 (plus 18 shillings and one pence) cheque as “Jane Austin”. According to the Bank of England’s inflation calculator, the sum would be worth about £3400 ($4385) today. We can see why she might have chosen not to complain!
The cheque is on display as part of the Which Jane Austen? exhibition at the Bodleian Library.