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Jane Austen News – Issue 157

The Jane Austen News looks at women on bank notes

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?


The Current Women on Currency 

When Jane Austen was announced as the new face of the £10 note we were thrilled, and now thanks to an article written for International Women’s Day, we’ve been introduced to other remarkable women who’ve been honoured on currencies around the world. These are just a few of them:

Syria

Syria’s 500-pound note features Queen Zenobia, a 3rd-Century ruler of the Palmyrene Empire who is most famous for leading a revolt against the mighty colonizers, the Roman Empire.

Sweden

Opera singer Jenny Lind is currently on the 50 krona note, and Selma Lagerlöf – the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature – is on the 20 Krona note.

Australia

Australia has one woman on either the front or back of every banknote currently in circulation. These include: social reformer and writer Dame Mary Gilmore (back of the $10); 19th-century businesswoman Mary Reibey (front of the $20); social worker and the first female member of an Australian parliament Edith Cowan (back of the $50), and famous soprano Dame Nellie Melba (front of the $100 note).

Turkey

The 50-lira note currently in circulation features turn-of-the-century novelist and women’s rights activist who died in 1936, Fatma Aliye Topuz on its reverse side.

Norway

The first of the two women featured on Norwegian notes is Kirsten Flagstad, who can be found on the 100 krone note while the second, Sigrid Undset, is featured on the 500 krone note. Flagstad is known as the greatest Wagnerian soprano of the mid-20th century and Undset was a novelist who received a Nobel prize in literature.

Switzerland

Sophie Taeuber-Arp is on the 50 franc note. She was one of the foremost figures of the rebellious Dada art movement and her multimedia works bridged the gap between fine and applied arts.

What a fantastic collection of women!

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Jane Austen News – Issue 96

The Jane Austen News hopes Giles is converted!

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  

 


To Lop and Crop or Leave Alone?

There has long been a debate around whether the books Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters are a bit of fun or an absolute travesty.

Jane Austen spin-offs are subjected to huge amounts of criticism, both good and bad. Usually these debates as to their merits, or lack of, take place online or in the media. However, now the universities are getting involved and there’s even been an academic essay written on the subject, analysing whether the “lopping and cropping” of Austen is a good or a bad thing.

Sydney Miller, a PhD candidate in English at the University of California, Los Angeles, has published her essay titled “How Not to Improve the Estate: Lopping & Cropping Jane Austen”. The abstract reads thus:

This essay reads Quirk Classics’ monstrous mash-ups, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, asdeliberately excessive and unnatural alterations that speak to a preoccupation with improvement that is both thematized within Austen’s own work and symptomatic of Austenmania’s broader project of renovating the literary landscape that is Jane Austen’s estate. While the mash-up enterprise is, no doubt, an exercise in making Austen’s novels worse, the essay frames the Quirk travesties in terms of Susan Sontag’s “Notes on Camp,” asking whether it is possible that these imprudent “improvements” might actually be good because they are bad. Insofar as the enhanced editions make manifest the Camp sensibility that has long been latent in Austen’s prose, they tease promising critical insight; however, the increasingly derivative mash-ups ultimately fail in their campiness precisely where Austen succeeds: for hers remains a secret of style.

What do you think? Are spin-offs like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters a good or a bad thing? A good way to get more readers introduced to Austen who might not otherwise try reading her (i.e. read the spin-off and then read the original)? Or are they a destruction of good literature?

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 96

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