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Jane Austen News – Issue 80

The Jane Austen News needs female friends

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  

Where Are All The Fictional Female Friends?

The Jane Austen News needs female friendsGrazia have been asking this week where all of the female friends in film have gone.

“Epic bromances have always been familiar turf when it comes to our favourite films and TV shows. ‘Boy and his beloved male sidekick’ is a formula that plays out in everything from Starsky & Hutch to Top Gun, Batman, The Hangover and Wedding Crashers.”

This is true, we can think of lots of recent ‘bromance’ films, but not too many that are all about similarly strong, uncomplicated female friendships.

“The mantle of female friendship is all too often sacrificed for entertainment in cinema. Think the competitive spite of Mean Girls, Bride Wars, The Devil Wears Prada and even – at its most extreme – Single White Female.

But why? asks Grazia. After all:

The same chemistry is very much alive and kicking between women in real life. We rely on one another; we laugh, cry and argue together, and spend more time than is healthy propping up each other’s floundering self-esteem.

Yet, for some reason, this delicious and effervescent dynamic is hard to come by in the realm of fiction.

Maybe this is one of the reasons why we love Austen so much; so many of her female characters have a strong, loving and healthy relationship with other female characters (we admit there are exceptions like Caroline Bingley). 

The full article can be found here.


Lone Female Authors Also Seek Friends…

Further to the news piece above, an article by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney asks what’s happened to all of the friends of the female fiction writers, as opposed to the female friends written in fiction.

They argue that friendships between great literary men have become the stuff of legend: William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge tramping the Lakeland fells for example. However the most famous female authors are remembered as solitary eccentrics; Jane Austen being a prime example.

This didn’t feel right to them, so they did some research and discovered that there are actually many examples of famous female writers having writing friends, but not ones that are widely known about.

Jane Austen, they found while looking through old documents, letters, and two hitherto unknown Austen family papers had a close literary friend, a woman named Anne Sharp. Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 80

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Jane Austen News – Issue 79

The Jane Austen News in the future?!

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  

A New Pride and Prejudice is Coming!

Big news!!! Set to air twenty-five years after Colin Firth first set hearts racing while playing Mr Darcy in the BBC’s 1995 series, is a new TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Mammoth Screen, the makers of the hit series Poldark and Victoria, are currently working on a TV adaption of Pride and Prejudice for ITV. The production firm has said that they’ll focus on “the darker tones” of the novel and have commissioned playwright Nina Raine to adapt the book, though the cast is yet to be confirmed. Raine is an interesting writer to choose for the job as she hasn’t adapted novels for TV before, but her play, Consent, which opened at the National Theatre earlier this year has gained strong reviews. She’s keen to show Austen’s “dark intelligence” and prove that Pride and Prejudice was “actually a very adult book; much less bonnet-y than people assume”.

Damien Timmer, the managing director of Mammoth, told Radio Times: “In this age of the box set – with audiences loving to binge on complex, serialised dramas – it feels absolutely right to reassess the great classics. Every generation needs its own adaptation of this perfect novel.”


Jane Is A Big Favourite Worldwide

Pride and Prejudice has won first place in many different polls looking to find the nation’s favourite book, but it’s not just the UK that loves Austen. New Zealanders are also big Austen fans – with Pride and Prejudice coming in the top 15 of the country’s favourite books, alongside the likes of the Lord of the Rings and 1984.

What really struck us here at the Jane Austen News however were the reading statistics that came out just before the new list of the country’s top 100 books. It shows that New Zealanders read an average of 20 (20.6 to be exact) books a year! Although it also showed that around 394,000 New Zealanders didn’t read a single book during 2016.

How do your reading habits compare?


Win A Signed Pullman With Pride and Prejudice Yoga!

If you’re quick you might just have time to enter this great competition…

Neil Gaiman, Philip Pullman, Joanna Trollope, Lamn Sissay and Joanne Harris are all taking part in a five-day yoga challenge organised by The Society of Authors in order to raise awareness of how important it is for writers to look after themselves and each other.

Continue reading Jane Austen News – Issue 79