Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 161

The Jane Austen News from New York

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?


 Pemberley in New York

If you loved the scenes of Pemberley in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, and wished that you could visit the location where it was filmed,  then you might be able to do the next best thing if you’re able to get to New York between June 28th and September 18th 2019.

David Korins, the set designer for the musical Hamilton is behind the new exhibition which is due to open at Sotheby’s in New York on June 28th. It sees the essence of Chatsworth house and estate (which was the filming location for the series Death Comes to Pemberley in 2013, and the exterior filming location for Pemberley for the 2005 Pride and Prejudice film) translated for the smaller space of the galleries of Sotheby’s.

The exhibition will feature 45 artworks, decorative objects, pieces of jewelry, clothing and archive materials — all drawn from the Devonshire Collection, accumulated over about 500 years by the Cavendish family, and held at Chatsworth House. However, Korins realized that he didn’t just want to make the artwork and objects part of the exhibition; he wanted to include the details of the house itself. In the form of blown-up 360-degree sculptures, Mr. Korins will magnify small details — table legs, moldings, chair feet, corners of rooms — and use them as vitrines and set pieces for the artworks and objects on display.

Chatsworth Exhibition Rendering

The Duke of Devonshire said he’s thrilled by Mr. Korins’s imaginative design for the exhibition. “I think he has a brilliant way of getting across a grand space in a smaller space,” he said. “I think the architecture of this exhibition will focus attention on the works, and we’ll look at them in a different sort of way.”

Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 75

The Jane Austen News analyses genius

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  

  Austen Letter For Sale  

letter written by Jane Austen is due to be auctioned for the first time on July the 11th.

Sotheby’s auction house have the letter for sale as part of the English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations sale, in which there will also be for sale two other fragments of correspondence between the two women (the lots are expected to sell altogether for as much as £162,000!).

The letter, dated 29-30 October 1812, was sent to one of Jane’s favourite nieces, Anna Lefroy, and shows how much enjoyment Austen had in making fun of the Gothic thriller genre (as she does to great effect in Northanger Abbey). The letter is addressed as a note, not to Anna herself, but to the author Rachel Hunter, whose 1806 novel Lady Maclairn, the Victim of Villany the two had recently read.

 Although the content was known, the letter itself has not been seen by scholars and it is very exciting to have it become available.

Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s specialist in books and manuscripts, declaring the letter a significant document.

 


Pride and Prejudice in Silk

We’ll shortly be adding an exciting new display piece to the Jane Austen Centre. Award-winning textile artist Linda Straw has kindly donated her beautiful Pride and Prejudice wall hangings to the Centre and they’ll be going up on display within the next few days!
In the past Linda has exhibited major works in Waterperry House, at exhibitions across the UK, at San Diego’s International Quilting Symposium, and even as far away as Tokyo! She is known the world over amongst the textile community, and specifically quilt makers, for her highly intricate and detailed machine-made quilts with examples being in the collections of global institutions such as the V&A and Art Institute of Chicago.
She developed her unique quilting method in 1981 by combining appliqué, quilting and embroidery, and the technique (known as the Linda Straw Method) has been widely taught in workshops throughout Britain, Ireland, Europe and America.
In the past Linda used the Pride and Prejudice wall hangings, which feature all of the major characters from the book, to illustrate the technique she spoke about during workshops and lectures, but now Linda has now retired she wanted to find an appropriate home for her work. We feel truly honoured that she chose us.

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 75

Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 48

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  

One Austen £5 Note Has Been Found
The Jane Austen News is on the Hunt for Jane fiversOne of the four £5 notes which carry a mini 5mm engraving of Jane Austen has been found.

The note was first paid to staff at the Square Cafe in Blackwood, South Wales, by the engraver Graham Short. Unfortunately no one recognised who he was at the time and staff unwittingly gave the note away in change. When it was announced in the national news that the £5 had been spent at the cafe customers flocked to the cafe and staff checked all to the notes in the till but it was already gone.

The note turned up later in the purse of an elderly art fan who wishes to remain anonymous. She said she is going to give the note to her granddaughter as an investment rather than reaping the reward. The note is said to be worth £50,000. She is one generous grandmother!


Jane Austen Letter Massively Exceeds Estimate  

lot-124-austen-letter-to-cassandraThe recent auction at Sotheby’s, in which a letter written by Jane Austen and early copies of her novels went up for sale, has had some astounding final sale prices. The letter written by Jane Austen to her sister Cassandra at the age of 25 sold for £150,000 – almost four times the lower estimate that was predicted for its sale (£40,000 – 60,000)!

The letter was a window into the daily life of Jane Austen, and is one of a series of letters written by Jane to Cassandra when Cassandra was away visiting their brother Edward at Godmersham Park House in Kent from October 1800 through to February 1801.

The letter includes an important reference to Harris Bigg-Wither.

Harris seems still in a poor way, from his bad habit of body; his hand bled again a little the other day, & Dr Littlehales has been with him lately.

Jane accepted and then rejected Harris’ offer of marriage two years after this letter was written.

Jane’s bibliocatch (cup and ball) game, estimated at between £20,000-£30,000, went unsold.


Jane Austen Class so Popular it’s on Pause  

   
hm_jf17_lynch-portrait_0Deidre Lynch, Bernbaum professor of literature since 2014, has found that her class Jane Austen’s Fiction and Fans, is now so popular that she’s had to temporarily stop offering it.

Lynch has been offering the class since 2014, and in the two years since it first began it’s become almost to big to handle anymore. The other issue, apart from its sheer size she says, is that “the materials we use in Houghton Library are getting worn away by the wear and tear.” She asks her students to examine primary evidence—the scrapbooks, commonplace books, and custom-illustrated texts of everyday nineteenth-century readers—to analyze the reading lives of people in Austen’s time: their habits, tastes, quirks, interactions. She also asks her students to create their own “fan art”. One student re-composed the music to a film adaptation; other people have written songs; one person, (with totally charming results says Lynch) made Harriet Smith’s box of favourite treasures.

At the Jane Austen News we’re sad that the class has had to be put on hold, pleased that it was so popular, and jealous that we can’t go and take part ourselves! It sounds like an amazing class!


The Mysteries of Udolpho on the Radio  
If you’ve ever wanted to read The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe, one of the books which Jane Austen was satirising The Jane Austen News is looking forward to the Mysteries of Uldolphowhen she wrote Northanger Abbey, but haven’t found the time to open the cover on the 704 page novel (give or take depending on print size), then this might be of interest.
On New Year’s Eve at 2:30pm on Radio 4, the BBC will be broadcasting Hattie Naylor’s one hour adaptation of Ann Radcliffe’s gothic masterpiece. It will also be available online on the BBC’s radio iplayer shortly afterwards. They’re broadcasting it to accompany the episodes of Northanger Abbey which Hattie Naylor has also adapted, and which are being broadcast on weekdays at 10:45am on Radio 4 from December 19th to December 30th (also available online afterwards).
If you want to understand some of the in-jokes that Austen was referencing when she wrote Northanger Abbey, then this adaptation of Udolpho is a good opportunity.
Emily St Aubert is forced to leave France and go and live with her Aunt and her new husband, Count Montoni, in his isolated castle in Italy. Before long Emily discovers that the castle is a place of nightmares and Montoni a desperate man who will stop at nothing to terrorise both his wife and his niece. 
In this dramatisation Hattie Naylor has taken the core of the four volumes of the novel to explore those edicts most at the heart of the Gothic Novel.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley    
image-6A number of Jane Austen fans in the US have been enjoying a festive Jane Austen based production called Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.

In this charmingly imagined sequel to Pride and Prejudice, the ever-dependable Mary Bennet is growing tired of her role as dutiful middle sister in the face of her siblings’ romantic escapades. When the family gathers for Christmas at Pemberley, an unexpected guest sparks Mary’s hopes for independence, an intellectual match, and possibly even love.

In brief: Lady Catherine De Bourgh has died, and her estate, Rosings, has passed into the hands of a distant cousin, Arthur de Bourgh. As Arthur was an old school chum of Mr. Darcy’s, he has taken it upon himself to invite him over for Christmas. When he arrives, it becomes obvious almost immediately that he and Elizabeth’s book-loving sister Mary are a perfect match. Period-appropriate high jinks ensue.

It was all quite funny and touching. The four of us that went all liked it, as did the audience. It was totally sold out for its run, and they even added shows.

Tamara Church, California

A charming idea. We’re somewhat sad at the Jane Austen News that we can’t make it to the show ourselves!


Lizzy and Darcy Do (Rap) Battle    

If you liked Hamilton (the latest Broadway smash-hit musical) you might like this new piece of theatre from a group of actors at New York Public Theater. Now dubbed BARS Medley, the project takes literary classics and puts a contemporary spin on them.

As part of this project, Darcy’s first proposal to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice is reworked as a hip-hop rap battle between the two and involves narrators coaching the pair through a boxing ring show down (no punches are thrown). Even if you’re not a fan of rap, you have to admire the work play between the two.

To watch the battle between the two in the video below, skip to 6:33.


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.

Posted on

Jane Austen News – Issue 45

Jane Austen News

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  

Wentworth Woodhouse to be Restored    

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-11-41-51Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond has come under fire recently after he announced in his autumn statement that he is going to give £7.6m of the budget towards repairing a huge Grade I-listed building called Wentworth Woodhouse. He claims that he will be saving a stately home that inspired Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but these claims have been rubbished by the Jane Austen Society.

Hammond told MPs that the grand house in Rotherham: “is said to be the inspiration for Pemberley in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.” Chatsworth House in Derbyshire has a similar claim and is one house which there is evidence of Jane Austen visiting (two years before Pride and Prejudice was published, though after she wrote what is thought to be the first draft in the form of First Impressions).

In a statement to the Guardian, the Jane Austen Society said there is no evidence Austen ever went to the Wentworth Woodhouse, or that Fitzwilliam Darcy could have afforded to live there. It is Europe’s largest private home, sits on 82 acres of land and has over 350 rooms. It took 25 years to build in the 1700s and at one time employed 1,000 staff, including a bear keeper and a “state bed maker”! It would have been costly to own and run indeed!

It is thought that once restored over the course of the next fifteen years, and with a total cost of around £42m, it may become a National Trust property.

Whether it has a Jane Austen connection or not (its name certainly provides surnames for two of Jane’s main characters and was owned by an Earl Fitzwilliam at the time Jane knew of it), it is an incredible building!


Jane at Sothebys  

       
For those with deep pockets and a love of Jane Austen, Sotheby’s upcoming auction; English Literature, History, Children’sscreen-shot-2016-11-28-at-11-32-33
Books and Illustrations
might be worth having a look at. Scheduled to take place on Tuesday December the 13th, the auction sees not only items such as one of the six handwritten manuscript copies of J.K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard going up for sale, but a significant number of items from Jane’s life as well.

Included in the sale are;

– A vividly descriptive letter to her sister Cassandra, describing the details of her daily life, and estimated to fetch between £40,000-£60,000!

– To mark 200 years since its first publication, a first edition copy of Emma. (Estimated at £8000-£12,000).

– Jane Austen’s bibliocatch (cup-and-ball game). She has been said to have been able to successfully catch the ball 200 times in a row!

– And Anna Lefroy’s manuscript continuation of her aunt’s final unfinished novel, Sanditon.


Dementia Friendly Classics

detail_2x_1477525691-3493The Jane Austen News came across a new publishing company this week called Dovetale press, who have started to publish some of the world’s best-loved classics but in a dementia-friendly format. The books released so far have included adaptations of one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, and a selection of poetry called Poetry for the Restless Heart.

Dr Rimkeit, a psycho-geriatrician and co-founder of Dovetale Press explained that;

It’s about helping people re-discover the joy of doing something they once loved, especially those who have been avid readers. People living with dementia, even severe dementia, maintain a sophisticated command and appreciation of language… Readers enjoyed the original style and rhythm, and didn’t want the text oversimplified like a children’s book, which can be demeaning

The Jane Austen News hopes that maybe soon the New Zealand based publisher might do a dementia friendly version of one or two Austen classics…


Unusual Adaptations and Spin Offs       screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-11-43-44

There’s never a shortage of new Jane Austen adaptations and spin-offs, but this week the Jane Austen News came across a
couple with some of the most unusual titles we’ve ever seen.

Mr Darcy’s Mail Order Bride by J. Dawn King sees a Pride and Prejudice variation set in 1869 in the Wild West:

When lonely Charles Bingley convinces his good friend, Will Darcy, to write a letter offering marriage to Miss Jane Bennet, she likewise convinces her sister, Elizabeth, to pen the reply. Elizabeth is struck by the beauty of the letter and responds by opening her heart to the Oregon wordsmith, who she believes to be Mr. Bingley. It’s love at first letter—for both the couples. Misunderstandings and bad impressions abound as the true identities of the authors are discovered.

The other title released this week is Darcy Swipes Left by Jane Austen and Courtney Carbone, which places Pride and Prejudice alongside smartphones and dating apps:

Imagine: What if Lizzy Bennet and Mr. Darcy had smartphones and dated IRL (in real life)? A classic is reborn in this clever adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice!

Don’t miss: Lydia taking selfies with soldiers, Mrs. Bennet’s humble-brag status updates, Lizzy texting from her long walks, and Darcy swiping left on a dance card app.

Certainly Pride and Prejudice in texting speech is not one variation we thought we’d see…


Celebrating Jane Austen Day   
imageresizer-29On December 16th, Jane Austen’s birthday, we will be celebrating Jane Austen Day once more. In the past we’ve gone out and asked members of the public what Jane Austen means to them, and spread the word that it is Jane Austen Day, and perhaps it might be a good day to pick up one of her novels and rediscover her. It’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate her novels, her life, and to promote her in the hope that more people will pick up a copy of Persuasion, or Pride and Prejudice, or, maybe, just maybe, her entire collection!
This year though we’re asking you what you’d like to see. Would you like us to show you some of the places in Bath which feature in her novels? Would our costumed guides sharing their favourite quotes with you be a nice way to celebrate? What would be a nice way for us to mark her birthday? Also, if you’re doing something special to celebrate we’d love to hear about it. Let us know!

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.

Join Waitlist We will inform you when the product arrives in stock. Just leave your valid email address below.
Email Quantity We won't share your address with anybody else.
MENU