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Jane Austen News – Issue 160

Jane Austen News

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?


Plans for Jane Austen in Bronze in Bath 

Jane Austen NewsPlans are in the works to honour Jane Austen, perhaps Bath’s most famous resident, with a life-size monument.

The Jane Austen Centre hopes to erect a bronze statue of the famous author at a location in the city later this year. The statue will be based on the Jane Austen waxwork which was unveiled at the Centre to global media interest in July 2014, and which was created through work undertaken by forensic artist Melissa Dring.

The sculptor of the bronze statue will be world-renowned Mark Richards, whose previous work not only includes the Austen waxwork but also Winston Churchill, Prince Philip and The Queen.

The exact location of the bronze statue is currently under discussion.

Not only will it be good to honour Austen the author, it will also be good to go a little way to redress the fact that less than 3% of all statues in the UK are of historical, non-royal women.

Paul Crossey, Jane Austen Centre Managing Director

What do you think? Is there an ideal location for a Jane Austen statue in Bath that springs to mind?

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Jane Austen News – Issue 53

The Jane Austen News is Dan and Lisa's Wedding

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?   

Pride and Prejudice Comes to Bath 

photo09This week in Bath we had the cast of Regent’s Park Theatre’s touring production of Pride and Prejudice on stage at the Theatre Royal, and we were lucky enough to be able to ask Ben Dilloway who plays Mr Darcy a few questions about performing in the city.

 

JAC: What has been the highlight of embarking on this tour during the 200th Anniversary year so far?

Ben: Bath has to be a highlight. The words of the play flow so easily in such a place and it feels great to have the Jane Austen Centre just around the corner, especially on such an important anniversary year.

JAC: Have you had to fight off many Mr Darcy fans?

Ben: Not as yet! Luckily the Austen crowds are utterly distinguished and keep all extremities of emotion firmly under their bonnets.

JAC:  How does it feel to be performing in Bath, considering its connection to Jane Austen? Has the cast felt a greater sense of connection with her while staying here?

Ben: I would say so, with such a city, steeped in history, its almost second nature to speak these words and adhere to the otherwise seemingly dated social norms.

JAC: How does adapting Pride and Prejudice for the stage add to the story and its themes?

Ben: It’s a real challenge to fit such a huge amount of information from the book into a mere two hours and thirty minutes. It’s certainly added to the energy of everyone’s desires.

JAC: Why do you feel Jane’s work is still important and relevant today?

Ben: If anything it is more modern than old. It talks of timeless things such as love, and debunks the trivial social expectations of the time. 

JAC: Well said. Thanks Ben!

 


New Jane Austen Statue Planned 

_93667520_mediaitem93667519A maquette (a wax or clay model from which a work is elaborated) for a new statue of Jane Austen has been unveiled. The maquette is about two thirds the size of the £100,000 life-sized bronze sculpture which is to be placed in Basingstoke town centre in July to mark the bicentenary of the author’s death.

the team We’re looking forward to seeing the final work and having a look at what similarities the statue has with our own Jane Austen – a waxwork completed by an FBI-trained forensic artist and her award-winning, internationally renowned team in 2014.

The maquette has been made by sculptor Adam Roud who said that he wanted his vision of Jane to have “poise and dynamism”.

She is walking in the square and someone has just said ‘good morning Jane’. She was a real person with her own character and hopefully I can get across she was a headstrong woman of her time, but is relevant to us today because of her novels.


Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 53

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The Elgin Marbles – The Partheon Marbles of Greece

The Elgin Marbles also known as the Parthenon Marbles, are a collection of Classical Greek marble sculptures (made mostly by Greek sculptor Phidias and his assistants), inscriptions and architectural pieces that were originally part of the temple of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens. Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin claimed to obtain in 1801 a controversial permit from the Sublime Porte, which then ruled Greece.

7th_Earl_of_Elgin_by_Anton_Graff_around_1788
Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin and 11th Earl of Kincardine by Anton Graff (around 1788)

 

From 1801 to 1812, Elgin’s agents removed about half of the surviving sculptures of the Parthenon, as well as sculptures from the Propylaea and Erechtheum. The Marbles were transported by sea to Britain. In Britain, the acquisition of the collection was supported by some, while others likened Elgin’s actions to vandalism or looting.

Following a public debate in Parliament and the subsequent exoneration of Elgin, the Elgin marbles were purchased from Elgin by the British government in 1816 and were passed to the British Museum, where they stand now on display in the purpose-built Duveen Gallery.

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The Duveen Gallery of the British Museum

After gaining its independence from the Ottoman Empire, Greece began major projects for the restoration of the country’s monuments, and has expressed its disapproval of Elgin’s removal of the Marbles from the Acropolis and the Parthenon, which is regarded as one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments. Greece disputes the subsequent purchase of the Marbles by the British Government and urges the return of the marbles to Greece for their unification.

In the beginning…
In November of 1798 the Earl of Elgin was appointed as “Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of His Britannic Majesty to the Sublime Porte of Selim III, Sultan of Turkey” (Greece was then part of the Ottoman realm). Before his departure to take up the post he had approached officials of the British government to inquire if they would be interested in employing artists to take casts and drawings of the sculptured portions of the Parthenon. According to Lord Elgin, “the answer of the Government … was entirely negative.”

Parthenon_pediment_statues
Statuary from the east pediment

Lord Elgin decided to carry out the work and employed artists to take casts and drawings under the supervision of the Neapolitan court painter Giovani Lusieri. According to a Turkish local, marble sculptures that fell were burned to obtain lime for building. Although the original intention was only to document the sculptures, in 1801 Lord Elgin began to remove material from the Parthenon and its surrounding structures under the supervision of Lusieri. Continue reading The Elgin Marbles – The Partheon Marbles of Greece

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