As regular blog readers know, I find few pursuits more enjoyable than the ogling of Jane Austen-related real estate. This week’s wallowing is brought to us courtesy of Country Life, that venerable catalog of How the Other Half – or, really, the Other One Percent – Lives.
It seems that a house is for sale in the fair village of Chawton, Hampshire -- known to Janeites as the site of Jane Austen’s House Museum, aka Chawton Cottage, where Austen spent the last eight years of her
One of the Janeite world’s most enduring mysteries/controversies concerns a charming eighteenth-century oil painting of a young girl in a white dress holding a green parasol. It’s the so-called Rice Portrait, which is – depending on whom you ask – either an immensely valuable and important portrayal of one of the world’s greatest writers as a twelve-year-old, or a picture of some unknown young girl of no particular interest to posterity. For years, the Rice family, descendant
Forty-first in an occasional series of excerpts from Jane Austen's letters. Only hindsight makes anything remarkable out of the letter that Jane Austen wrote to her friend Alethea Bigg exactly 202 years ago today [#150(C) in Deirdre Le Faye’s standard edition of Austen’s correspondence]. It’s a commonplace account of commonplace matters: the weather is pleasant, various young relatives are turning out well, the Austens would like the Bigg family’s recipe for orange wine. Clea
Few expressions of Janeite commitment are as permanent -- not to mention as painful -- as the Jane Austen tattoo. Therefore, I’d have thought – call me crazy! – that it would be worth taking the trouble to verify ahead of time the accuracy of any Austen quotation you planned to etch onto your skin. Apparently, not everyone agrees with me. For every Janeite as careful as Alethea White-Previs, whose impressive array of Austen tattoos features several genuine, take-‘em-to-the-ba
The Janeite world is a-twitter (and a-Twitter) this week over the serendipitous discovery of a Victorian photo album filled with pictures of Austen descendants – the children and grandchildren of her brother Edward, who was adopted by wealthy relatives and took their name, Knight.
It’s an irresistible story: Last November, a history buff in Ireland paid $1,000 for an eBay offering -- and discovered that she’d stumbled across previously unseen documentation tangentially relat
Literary critics turn up in the most unexpected places.
Last November, the Maryland Zoo, in Baltimore, asked the public whether this year’s crop of African penguin chicks should be named for shades of color, types of pasta, or literary characters. Literary characters won, and earlier this month the zoo announced names for the first four of its recent hatchlings.
Three of them – Zorro, Gatsby and Coraline – need not detain us here. No doubt those chicks will grow up into per
Last Thursday, James McAvoy, the excellent Scottish actor who played Jane Austen’s crush Tom Lefroy in the 2007 film Becoming Jane, paid a visit to the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, England, where he Instagrammed a semi-incognito selfie from the gift shop.
You know it’s a slow Jane Austen news week when you’re reduced to discussing an actor from a bad Austen biopic visiting a faux Austen tourist attraction.
I know, I know: Many, many Janeites love this movie and this museum.
Over the weekend, I went to see Clueless: The Musical. It made me miss Clueless: The Movie. Which was probably not the intended effect. The original, immortal Clueless – the 1995 Amy Heckerling movie that updated the story of Emma to high school in Beverly Hills – is witty, charming, energetic and sweet. The new Off-Broadway show is . . . energetic. We get duplicates of the characters, costumes and much of the plot of the original, along with ‘90s-vintage pop songs featuring
Over the last eight years, we’ve marked a plethora of Jane Austen anniversaries: the bicentennials of the publications of all six of her novels (2011, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018) and the bicentennial of her death (2017). It’s lucky we’ve had all that practice, because 2019 will bring us three more notable Austen anniversaries – or, to be exact, three Austen-fandom anniversaries: --Thirty years ago, the Jane Austen Society of Australia (JASA) was founded. A birthday party is alrea