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Jane Austen News – Issue 131

The Jane Austen News this week is Rosamund Pike

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Behind The Scenes With Rosamund Pike

We mentioned in the Jane Austen News a week or two back that Audible Studios will soon be releasing (it’s due on September 4th) a new dramatised audio adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma. However, it seems that us Austen fans don’t have to wait even that long for a new audiobook recording of one of Jane’s novels.

Rosamund Pike, who played Jane Bennet in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, has narrated the newly released production of Sense and Sensibility. She’s previously narrated Pride and Prejudice for Audible Studios, and done a fantastic job, so we’re very pleased to hear her new recording.

Below is a behind-the-scenes interview in which she explains why she adores Jane’s work and why it’s still so powerful to this day.

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 131

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Jane Austen News – Issue 121

The Jane Austen News loves this shot!

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Janeites on Display in Bradford

Impressions Gallery in Bradford is getting ready for its newest exhibition; an exhibition featuring work by the winners of the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards. Included in the exhibition are photographs in the series Where We Belong by Alejandra Carles-Tolra, who has photographed a community of Janeites as they celebrate Jane Austen’s novels. The series explores the relationships between individual and group identity, as well as themes of femininity and escapism.

The photos naturally involve period clothing and reading, but also more unusual activities which aim to keep Austen’s work alive and well.

I am interested in challenging stereotypes and getting a better understanding of who these people are. What drives someone to dress up as if they were in the nineteenth century.

Alejandra Carles-Tolra

The Jane Austen News loves this shot!

The exhibition will help to inspire the upcoming event at the gallery on Thursday 7th June (2018) from 12:30pm to 1:30pm called Feed Your Mind, in which Marilyn Joice from the Jane Austen Society will be discussing Austen’s life and her famous works on. The event is free to attend.

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 121

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Jane Austen News – Issue 81

The Jane Austen News learns about the C18th human gnomes

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  

Jane Austen In Couples Therapy For Campaign

Audible has launched a new campaign in Australia encouraging people to “grow their minds”, and Miss Austen plays a starring role.

Research commissioned by Audible and conducted by researchers at Sydney University’s Brain and Mind Centre has found that 62 per cent of Aussies want to grow their mind, but 35 per cent are unsure of how to do so. Inspired by this, Audible.com.au has launched its new multi-channel campaign; “Grow Your Mind”, and one of the videos made to support the campaign has a flustered Jane Austen in a bonnet in couples therapy with a negligent reader.

We thought it was good for a giggle.

To help Australians kick start their journey, Audible.com.au has also created the list “The 24 Best Audiobooks to Grow the Mind”, which can be found here (though shockingly Jane’s novels don’t feature!)


Unconventional Pride And Prejudice Is A Hit

Currently playing at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in New York state is what’s being called an “unconventional” stage production of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It includes theatrical acting (naturally), disco music (maybe not so naturally) and men playing women (very Shakespearean) – but it does all this while apparently “staying true to Austen’s original themes”.

This is the trailer/taster from the performance and, while we can’t be sure how “true” it is to Austen’s original themes, it did remind us at the Jane Austen News a little of the UK Austen improv group Austentatious. Either way, a bit of fun if you’re in the area.

 


Jane Austen As A Video Game Surprise

Agents of Mayhem, a sci-fi, open-world, shooter-based video game, might not sound like it has anything at all to do with Jane Austen. At first this is true. It’s literally an imaginary world away from Jane’s world, except that in a bizarre twist, it turns out that Jane Austen is the narrator behind the whole thing!

How?

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 81

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Jane Austen News – Issue 50

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?   

Second Jane Austen Fiver Found 

The Jane Austen News is on the Hunt for Jane fiversThe second of four rare £5 notes which feature a micro-engraved portrait of Jane Austen has been discovered inside a Christmas card in the Scottish Borders.

Mr Huggins-Haig, the micro-engraver behind the images of Jane Austen, spent the note which was to be released in Scotland in Granny Jean’s bakery in Kelso on December the 5th to start the project. This caused a huge surge in custom for the bakery when he revealed the move days later. However, the new owner of the note received it not from the bakery, but in a Christmas card from a relative in the same area who thought it was an ordinary £5. This note is the second of the four Bank of England notes to be found after the first was found in south Wales early in December. Two more of the Austen £5 notes are still ‘on the loose’; one spent in England and one in Northern Ireland (if you’re checking your notes then their serial numbers are AM32 885552 and AM32 885554).

Mr Huggins-Haig said the latest finder wants to remain anonymous but has had the note verified. Both finders of the notes so far want to keep them as art rather than to sell them for the projected £50,000 they’re worth. Mr Huggins-Haig says “they’ve both been found by wonderful people who are very deserving”.


Jane Austen Costume Parade Top Video for 2016   

The Bath Chronicle, the daily newspaper for the city, has been looking back over its most popular videos from 2016, and we at the15436176-large Jane Austen News are very pleased to say that their video of this year’s Grand Regency Costumed Promenade has made their top videos list.

The video shows the promenade coming up Milsom Street and includes Redcoats, Regency ladies in ballgowns, young girls in walking dresses – people in all manor of Regency attire. The promenade set off at 11a.m. from the Assembly Rooms and saw hundreds of Austen fans from all over the world braving the rather miserable weather in their finery to put on a great display for the people of Bath.

The video, which came in at the 8th most watched video of the year for the Chronicle, can be found here.


A Drenched Gent to Rival Mr Darcy? 

The books and recent screen adaptation of Poldark have proved to be quite popular among Austen fans, and not just Austen fans

_93180008_635163ad-7d23-4854-9a02-bfd5a46f6160either; many people who are relatively unfamiliar with period dramas have fallen for the Cornwall-set drama which has the talented Aidan Turner in the title role. In testament to this, a steamy bath scene from the second series of Poldark has topped a poll of the biggest television moments of 2016.

Over 2,000 people took part in the RadioTimes.com online poll; thus giving Turner the award for the biggest television moment  for the second year in a row (in 2015 his topless scything scene won the poll).

Perhaps Mr Darcy has competition now when it comes to our favourite dripping-wet male?


Checking In With the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan   

At the Jane Austen News we love hearing about what Jane Austen societies around the world have been up to, so we really japs2enjoyed hearing about the latest event which the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan (JASP) held.

The society, or at least some of its members (its numbers are growing and now includes members from 45 different countries), meet up once a year for a special tea party in which each attendee picks a character to embody. They get dressed in appropriate attire and then enjoy talking all things Austen over a wonderful tea of scones, sandwiches and cake. This year it was ‘afternoon tea at Netherfield’ and characters included Lady Catharine de Bourgh, Caroline Bingley, and, of course, Lizzy Bennet.

Laaleen Sukhera, founder of the society, explained why she thinks Jane Austen is particularly relevant for women in Pakistan:

It’s always about marriage in our households – the pressure to be well-dressed and respectable, to appear eligible, and to have a male heir. These are familiar pressures, and it’s no wonder that women continue to read Austen with so much investment.


Before the Fall = Pride and Prejudice? Does it?  

before-the-fall-slideBefore the Fall is a film due to be released in 2017. Currently it’s touring film festivals and receiving accolades as it goes. Many of these are from LGBT groups and advocates as Before The Fall is Pride and Prejudice from a gay perspective. Elizabeth Bennet is now Ben Bennett, a wealthy lawyer, and Mr Darcy is Lee Darcy, a factory worker.

Set in modern day West Virginia, Ben Bennett is an affluent but seemingly arrogant attorney who unknowingly insults Lee Darcy, a detached factory worker wrongly charged with domestic abuse. Both men form an immediate dislike for each other which becomes a significant problem when Ben falls in love with Lee.

To say that Before The Fall takes a fairly liberal approach to the original plot is a bit of an understatement. The main aspects that remain seem to be the surnames and the main characters’ dislike of one another. Despite the fact that it’s barely recognisable as Pride and Prejudice, it looks like an interesting film in its own right.


Welcoming in the New Year with Jane  

There’s a saying that you should welcome in the New Year in the way in which you hope to continue for the rest of the year. Well Printwe certainly hope that’s what the South Coast Folk Society had in mind when they scheduled a celebratory afternoon tea dance for Saturday 31st December.

The dance was open to all and no experience or partner was needed to enjoy the dance. Costumes were welcome and a delightful time was had by all.

We thoroughly approve of this as a New Year’s celebration. Well done South Coast Folk Society!


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 36

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 

Jane Austen’s Daily Quote App

Jane-Austen-app1Good news! The android version of the Jane Austen quote app has been updated!

As with the older version of the app it is still free and provides a new Jane Austen quote straight to your phone at a time to suit you every day. However, it now loads much faster, with quicker quote loading and a smoother user experience all round. Plus the app is still loaded with lots of other Austen goodies; free articles from the Jane Austen Centre online magazine and easy access to the Online Giftshop and Centre news.

To get the update users with the old version will have to uninstall their version and install the new one. On the other hand if you don’t have the app yet but would like to download it, you can get the Jane Austen Daily Quote app for Apple and Android devices from iTunes or Google Play.


Jane Austen – Master Beer Brewer   

spruce2This week the Jane Austen News has come across a lovely little blog post which talks about Jane’s penchant for brewing beer – perhaps not the first thing to come to mind when you think of Jane.

Here are a few great facts from Nick Hines’ post on VinePair:

  • Beer was safer than water and was considered a daily necessity just like food.
  • It was the woman’s role to provide the beer.
  • Jane’s beer of choice was spruce beer; a beer brewed using the buds of a spruce tree, which give off citrus and pine flavours.

A timeless author and a master brewster?! (As the female brewers of the age were called.) Jane really was one talented lady.


Six Ways Jane Austen Has Shaped My Relationships    

What's the Jane Austen News this week asks EmmaJane Austen has sometimes been accused of giving people unrealistic expectations when it comes to relationships. After all, not everyone can be so devoted as Colonel Brandon, or as (eventually) eloquent in their devotion as Mr Darcy, but one post on Bustle caught the eye of the Jane Austen News because it was extolling Jane’s novels as being a help, not a hinderance, when it comes to forming good relationships. And how?

  1. They make you more forgiving of your family’s quirks (e.g. “thank goodness my mother is not Mrs Bennet”).
  2. They prove that character is more important than charm.
  3. They make you more understanding of your friend’s choices (Lizzy on Charlotte’s marriage anyone?).
  4. Look after your siblings.
  5. Appreciate second chances.
  6. Patience is a virtue.

We’re know there are more reasons why reading Austen is helpful for relationships, but this is certainly a good starter list!


Bridget Jones Needs A Man Like…   

first-photos-from-the-new-bridget-jones-s-baby-movie-rumor-has-it-she-doesn-t-know-who-763555…Always? That’s the conclusion of some disheartened Bridget Jones fans this week having seen the new film.

In the most recent Bridget Jones film, Bridget is pregnant and unsure who the father is. Bridget is a strong, modern woman, and yet she spends the film trying to choose which of the two potentials she needs to have as the father of her baby. The implication being that she is unable to cope alone.

When Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice (which was the inspiration for Bridget Jones) the sad fact was that unless Lizzy wanted to become a poor spinster then she did need a man so Austen can’t be criticised for her fixation on marriage. Things have changed a lot in 200 years though, and so it’s a shame that despite major advances in gender equality (female suffrage anyone?) it would seem that the mainstream message for women is still the same: you need a man. At least this is the conclusion of quite a few disappointed Jones fans. Thoughts?


Colin Firth Too Ginger?!   
colin-firth-pride-and-prejudice-darcy-colin-firth-16177744-700-771Fans of the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice have this week been shocked to discover that Colin Firth was nearly dismissed for the part because he was too ginger! Scriptwriter Andrew Davies said, “I was a bit doubtful about Colin at the time because of his colouring…He didn’t have those dark curls back then.”

Luckily producer Sue Birtwhistle was a very vocal supporter of Firth and was “absolutely convinced that he would be wonderful”. She persuaded Davies and the team agreed that Colin would have to dye his hair for the part. “He did go dark and he stayed dark ever since,” Davies said.


Poldark Vs. Darcy     

ross_poldark_had_a_mr_darcy_moment_in_series_2_episode_4___but_who_wore_the_white_shirt_best_Poldark took a leaf out of Mr Darcy’s book this weekend as in episode 4 of series 2 he went rushing into the water at Nampara Cove to aid Demelza; while wearing a white shirt that very much echoed the one Colin Firth was wearing when leapt into that lake in Pride and Prejudice.

Now the Radio Times are asking who wore it best? Colin or Aidan? (Though there are surely a few people asking whether we have to choose between them. Let’s have both!)


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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Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall by Winston Graham, A Review

ross poldark

Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall by Winston Graham, A Review

A review by Laura Hartness, the Calico Critic.

sam_9429-600x600In the first novel in Winston Graham’s hit series, a weary Ross Poldark returns to England from war, looking forward to a joyful homecoming with his beloved Elizabeth. But instead he discovers his father has died, his home is overrun by livestock and drunken servants, and Elizabeth—believing Ross to be dead—is now engaged to his cousin. Ross has no choice but to start his life anew. Thus begins the Poldark series, a heartwarming, gripping saga set in the windswept landscape of Cornwall. With an unforgettable cast of characters that spans loves, lives, and generations, this extraordinary masterwork from Winston Graham is a story you will never forget.

In recent years I’d heard voices in the Austenesque community raving about how much they loved the old Poldark television series, originally broadcast from 1975-1977. Discussions of the program became more frequent when news of the latest visual version was released. As my local public library had DVD copies of the two seasons of the old show, I decided to bring them home and give them a try.  At first I was surprised at the low production values, and the somewhat soap-ish style of acting from some of the performers, but the more I watched, the more I was pulled into the series.  The 18th-century story of Captain Ross Poldark, Demelza Carne and the myriad characters created by author Winston Graham was simply a delight. I practically binge-watched all 29 episodes, and lamented the series’ conclusion.  To know that a new version was in production was exciting, and I hoped that the material would be handled just as well, if not better than it had been in the 70’s.  As of now I’ve only viewed one episode of the new Poldark starring Aidan Turner, and while it has a much different feel this time around, I’m enjoying it. Continue reading Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall by Winston Graham, A Review

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