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Jane Austen News – Issue 107

The Jane Austen News having a ball!

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 

A Bookshop Of Women For All

As a pioneering female author we think that Jane would love this idea.

Penguin has teamed up with Waterstones to mark International Women’s Day by opening a pop-up store in East London. The bookshop will run from the 5th-9th of March and will sell only books written by women to “celebrate the persistence of women who’ve fought for change: those who fight, rebel and shout #LikeAWoman”.

The other unique aspect of the pop-up bookshop is the way in which it will be laid out. Rather than the typical “biography”, “fiction”, “sci-fi” categories, the books will be grouped by “the impact the author has had on culture, history or society”. The categories will range from “essential feminist reads”, to “inspiring young readers”, “women to watch”, and “changemakers”.

A series of literary events will also take place at the boo

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 107

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A Brief Overview of the War of 1812


..And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof, through the night, that our flag was still there…
The Defence of Fort McHenry
Francis Scott Key

Although it would be difficult to discern, simply from reading her novels, the world Jane Austen lived in was one constantly at war. During her lifetime (1775-1817) she saw the American war for independence (known as the Revolutionary War) the French Revolution, Britain’s war with France (fighting Napoleon from 1803-1815) and the War of 1812, which is largely forgotten in light of the other, “major” wars which overshadow it, in both British and American history.

With the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 (and no, the 1812 overture was not written for this war– it was written in Russia, in 1880, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, commemorating Russia’s battle and eventual triumph over Napoleon’s forces) and the introduction of the newest American Girl Doll, Caroline Abbott, interest has been renewed in this war which saw not only at British invasion of Washington D.C., with troops burning the White House, but also the battle which inspired the poem, The Defence of Fort McHenry, which would later be titled The Star Spangled Banner, and adopted as the United States’ national anthem.

war of 1812
The battle which inspired the poem, The Defence of Fort McHenry, by Francis Scott Key.

War of 1812

The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States and those of the British Empire. The United States declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions brought about by Britain’s ongoing war with France, the impressment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support of American Indian tribes against American expansion, outrage over insults to national honour after humiliations on the high seas, and possible American desire to annex Canada. Tied down in Europe until 1814, the British at first used defensive strategy, repelling multiple American invasions of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. However, the Americans gained control over Lake Erie in 1813, seized parts of western Ontario, and ended the prospect of an Indian confederacy and an independent Indian state in the Midwest under British sponsorship. In the Southwest, General Andrew Jackson destroyed the military strength of the Creek nation at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. With the defeat of Napoleon in 1814 on April 6, the British adopted a more aggressive strategy, sending in three large invasion armies. The British victory at the Battle of Bladensburg in August 1814 allowed them to capture and burn Washington, D.C. American victories in September 1814 and January 1815 repulsed all three British invasions in New York, Baltimore and New Orleans.

The White House in Washington D.C. after being burned, 1814

The war was fought in three principal theatres: (1) at sea, warships and privateers of both sides attacked each other’s merchant ships, while the British blockaded the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and mounted large-scale raids in the later stages of the war; (2) both land and naval battles were fought on the American–Canadian frontier, which ran along the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River; and (3) the American South and Gulf Coast also saw major land battles in which the American forces defeated Britain’s Indian allies and repulsed a British invasion force at New Orleans.

Both sides invaded each other’s territory, but these invasions were unsuccessful or temporary. At the end of the war, both sides occupied parts of the other’s land, but these areas were restored by the Treaty of Ghent.

American General Andrew Jackson leads his troops in Louisiana

Early 1800’s in the United States

In the United States, victories at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 and in the Battle of Baltimore of 1814 (which inspired the lyrics of the United States national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”) produced a sense of euphoria over a “second war of independence” against Britain. Peace brought an “Era of Good Feelings” in which partisan animosity nearly vanished. Canada also emerged from the war with a heightened sense of national feeling and solidarity, having repelled multiple American invasions. Battles such as the Battle of Queenston Heights and the Battle of Crysler’s Farm became iconic for English-speaking Canadians. In Canada, especially Ontario, memory of the war retains national significance, as the invasions were largely perceived by Canadians as an annexation attempt by America seeking to expand US territory. In Canada, numerous ceremonies are scheduled in 2012 to commemorate a Canadian victory. The war is scarcely remembered in Britain today; as it regarded the conflict as sideshow to the much larger Napoleonic Wars raging in Europe. As such it welcomed an era of peaceful relations and trade with the United States.

From Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia.

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Happy the Lab’rer

A up cycled floral brooch

Happy the Lab’rer

Happy the lab’rer in his Sunday clothes!
In light-drab coat, smart waistcoat, well-darn’d hose,
And hat upon his head, to church he goes;
As oft, with conscious pride, he downward throws
A glance upon the ample cabbage rose
That, stuck in button-hole, regales his nose,
He envies not the gayest London beaux.
In church he takes his seat among the rows,
Pays to the place the reverence he owes,
Likes best the prayers whose meaning least he knows,
Lists to the sermon in a softening doze,
And rouses joyous at the welcome close.


This poem by Jane Austen was part of a game played by the Austen family. The object was to write as long a poem as book rosepossible with words rhyming with rose. A full list of submissions from the family can be found in the Hands on Regency: Games to Play portion of this magazine.

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Boiled Pudding: The Vicar’s Treat

Mrs. Cassandra Austen (mother of Jane Austen) was known to have a sparkling wit and a fine aristocratic nose (which she was pleased to have passed along to her children). She also had a wonderful sense of rhyme. Not necessarily poetry, but fun light verse. The following is a recipe she submitted to her daughter-in-law Martha Lloyd for her Household Book. As Mrs. Austen was the wife of a clergyman (the Rev. Austen was pastor of Steventon Church) one can well suppose she would know what to feed one.

A Receipt for Pudding

If the vicar you treat,
You must give him to eat,
A pudding to his affection.
And to make his repast
By the Cannon of Taste,
Be the present receipt your direction.

First we take 2 lbs. of bread,
Be the crumb only weigh’d,
For the crumb, the good wife refuses.
The proportions, you’ll guess
May be made more or less,
To the size the family chuses.

Then it’s sweetness, to make;
Some currents you take,
And sugar, of each a half pound.
Be butter not forgot,
And the quantity sought
Must the same with your currents be found.

Cloves & Mace you will want,
With rose water, I grant,
And more savory things, if well chosen.
Then to bind each ingredient,
You’ll find it expedient
Of eggs to put in a half dozen.

Some milk, don’t refuse it,
But boil, as you use it,
A proper pint for it’s maker.
And the whole, when complete,
[Shall be ready to eat]
With care, reccommend the baker.

In praise of this pudding,
I vouch [it] a good one,
Or should you suspect a fond word,
To every guest,
Perhaps it is best
Two puddings should smoke on the board.

The two puddings-yet-no!
For if one will do,
The other comes in out of season;
And these lines, but obey,
Nor can anyone say,
That this pudding’s without rhyme or reason.

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