Among many others, one of the statistics writer Ben Blatt has included in his new book, Nabokov’s Favourite Word is Mauve: The Literary Quirks and Oddities Of Our Most Loved Authors, is the number of clichés famous authors use in every 100,000 words.
Using modern technology to complete lots of complicated statistical calculations he has discovered that Jane Austen used 45 clichés per 100,000 words, Virginia Woolf 62, and Khaled Hussaini 71. This is relatively few when compared with the likes of James Patterson (160 per 100,000 words), Tom Wolfe (142 per 100,000 words), and Salman Rushdie (131 per 100,000 words).
An interesting statistic from a fun book, but at the Jane Austen News it did make us wonder – is part of the reason that Jane has so few because clichés simply weren’t as prevalent at the time when she was writing? After all, there weren’t nearly as many books being published then as there are now. Then again, perhaps Jane was just too filled with inspiration to need them!
Five Reasons to Follow Jane to Bath!
In the Financial Times Property Listings this week was an article promoting Bath as an incredible place to live, and advising readers to follow in Jane’s footsteps and become a resident of the city. The five reasons to live in Bath were:
Wonderful views (Bath skyline and the rooftop pool of the Thermae Spa got special references)
It’s commutable to London (90 minute train journey from Bath Spa to London Paddington)
It’s a stable investment (In the past five years, prime property prices in Bath have increased 24.4 per cent)
It has a thriving arts scene (Festivals, theatres, museums, Jane Austen….)
Country get-aways close by (The exclusive Babington House to name only one)
The Financial Times kept to just the five reasons, but we can think of plenty more!
Rarely Seen Jane Austen Portrait on Show
In 1869, Rev James Edward Austen-Leigh (Jane Austen’s nephew) commissioned a portrait of her from the artist James Andrews to accompany his Memoir Of Jane Austen, the influential, first full-length biography of Jane to be written. The portrait was snapped up by a private collector for £164,500 at an auction in London in 2013. However as part of an exhibition to mark the bicentenary of Jane’s death, the portrait will be returning to the UK and will form part of an exhibition running at at The Gallery in Winchester Discovery Centre, from May 13th to July 24th. The exhibition will also feature manuscripts of some of her early writings, including a spoof History Of England, Austen’s silk pelisse coat (featuring a pattern of oak leaves), her purse and her sewing materials case.
What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 2017 Is The Year Of Literature Next year is a milestone for quite a few heroes of British literature, and to celebrate VisitEngland has declared it the ‘Year of Literary Heroes’. Among the anniversaries being celebrated are the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, and publication anniversaries for Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes and Enid Blyton. 2017 will be mark the 75th anniversary of Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five, and it will be twenty years since the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! As well events surrounding these, there will also be special programmes of events to celebrate the wartime poet Edward Thomas in Petersfield, Hampshire, an exhibition on writer Arnold Bennett, and a festival dedicated to children’s author Arthur Ransome – the writer of Swallows and Amazons. So it seems 2017 is the year to visit England if you’re a fan of literature. Of course there will be plenty of special events on across the country to mark the 200th anniversary of Jane’s death, and we’ll keep you up to date with what’s set to be going on. A Christmas Dinner at Chawton Library Best-selling author Edward Rutherfurd (his debut novel Sarum, a 10,000-year story set in Salisbury, was on the New York Times Bestseller List for 23 weeks) will add star appeal to the Christmas supper at Chawton House Library next month. Offering an opportunity to partake of a festive meal in the atmospheric oak-panelled rooms where Jane dined with her family, the black (more…)
What’s the Jane Austen News this week? Colin Firth Doesn’t Think Mr Darcy Is Attractive Colin Firth has confessed that he doesn’t understand why Mr Darcy is so popular. In fact he said that he took the role not to be a heart-throb but because he “thought it would be quite fun and liberating to play someone who was completely and utterly dislikeable, unsympathetic, judgemental and snobbish.” While speaking to the Daily Mail he also said; I didn’t have to think about bringing charm to the role – the way I saw it, I just had to stand there and make everyone hate me … then this weird thing happened where people liked him, which wasn’t what I was expecting at all! We’re 20 years on and I still don’t understand it. He may not understand how it happened, but he most definitely did make Mr Darcy a success. And Adrain Lukis Doesn’t Think Mr Wickham Is That Bad From one actor with an unusual take on his character to another. Many would consider Mr Wickham, with his attempted, and later successful, elopements and his constant lying, to be the villain of Pride and Prejudice. However, Adrian Lukis who played him in the 1995 BBC production doesn’t see him that way. While speaking to reporter Flora Thompson he said I do not see Wickham as an out-and-out villain. People are not meant to see him as that – he is an adventurer, he doesn’t have any money – (more…)
What’s the Jane Austen News this week? Lucy Worsley Films Jane Austen Documentary On August the 3rd Lucy Worsley, who has presented programmes including The First Georgians: The German Kings Who Made Britain and If Walls Could Talk, was filming at Jane’s birthplace and childhood home, Steventon rectory, as part of a BBC2 documentary about Jane Austen’s life which will be aired next year as part of the marking of the bicentenary of Jane’s death. While the rectory itself is no longer standing as it was flooded (which resulted in the entire village having to move somewhere less damp), an excavation in November 2011 revealed its foundations and the drainage system that failed in 1819. As well as filming in Steventon, the crew have also been filming in Lyme Regis, Stoneleigh, Kent, Bath, Chawton, and other places which are connected to Jane. We at the Jane Austen News are very much looking forward to seeing the documentary when it airs! Should Minor Characters Remain Minor…? There’s a big market for new books based on Jane’s novels. There are the modern retellings of her novels (The Austen Project), follow-on novels about what happened next to the likes of Lizzy and Mr Darcy and Marianne and Colonel Brandon, and there’s also a big trend for writing books based on Jane’s more minor characters. Lydia Bennet is a popular character to write about, as are Mary and Kitty. However, this week Charlotte Jones writing for the Guardian has asked whether these characters should keep in their place (more…)
Today marks the release of the official Pride and Prejudice movie trailer from Lionsgate Films, and we have to say it’s looking like a high-quality production!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a re imagining of Jane Austen’s classic novel written by Seth Grahame-Smith. It’s the same story you know and love, with the added scare factor of hundreds of regency zombies and a fair bit of amended dialogue.