The Janeite word of the moment, it would appear, is “fragment.” * Last week, Jane Austen’s House Museum launched an urgent appeal for donations to fund the purchase of a recently rediscovered portion of an 1814 Austen letter. * A few days later, the British broadcaster ITV released tantalizing on-set photos from its shoot of Sanditon, the upcoming eight-part television mini-series based on the novel Austen left incomplete upon her death in 1817. * And yesterday it was announc
Six years ago, the singer Kelly Clarkson was forced to part with a charming little piece of jewelry she had just picked up at auction in England: a turquoise ring that had once belonged to Jane Austen. Upon hearing that a precious bit of the nation’s cultural heritage was about to depart for America – oh, the horror! – the UK government slapped an export ban on Clarkson’s ring. Jane Austen’s House Museum, aka Chawton cottage, launched a public appeal that collected the $250,0
Forty-fifth in an occasional series of excerpts from Jane Austen's letters It’s hardly news to dedicated Janeites that the Jane Austen we encounter in her letters – personal correspondence never intended for strangers’ eyes -- wasn’t always nice, at least in the sweet, simpering, derided-by-Henry-Tilney sense of the word. (See under: dead baby joke.) So it shouldn’t be a shock to encounter Austen cold-bloodedly discussing the recent sad fate of a Southampton acquaintance. “Mr
Although Jane Austen is a quintessentially British writer, her admirers in North America are legion. Indeed, the Jane Austen Society of North America, with more than five thousand members, is considerably larger than the original Jane Austen Society in the UK. So it’s good news that the North American Friends of Chawton House, which raises money for the research library housed in a Hampshire mansion once owned by Austen’s brother Edward, has upgraded to a spiffy new website.
Two years ago, Dutch journalist Karin Quint ran an admirably efficient Kickstarter campaign that ultimately raised more than $17,000 to fund an English translation of her illustrated Dutch-language guidebook to Jane Austen’s England. (Read about it here and here.) I contributed my small mite and received a copy of Quint’s beautiful and well-organized book during the summer of 2017, when we were all busy commemorating the bicentenary of Austen’s untimely death. Alas, I have no
“Can a book change the course of your life?” asks the cover headline on the latest issue of my college alumni magazine. Inside, seventeen professors supply an answer – yes, of course – and name the books that shaped them (more or less: a couple of people cheat and just name books they happen to like a lot). Some of the choices are charming — apparently The Giant Golden Book of Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Reptiles set the curator of Yale’s natural history museum on his car
The family-friendly Christmas show is a staple of local arts companies. Every December, the main stage in the regional theater near me is given over to performances of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, perfectly calculated to sell a boatload of tickets to nostalgic grandparents and fresh-faced young ‘uns. At about the same time, every ballet company in the land is hauling out its version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, with much the same goal. And now, it seems, Jane Austen has joined
By now, contemporary updates of Pride and Prejudice are legion. On the page, we’ve had P&Ps set in the worlds of lawyers, rock stars, evangelical Christians, and Midwestern doctors, to name but a few. On screen, we’ve seen the story peopled with matchmaking families in India, confused singletons in England, committed Mormons in Utah, and dog-show aficionados in New York. Nevertheless, Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta, which aired Saturday night on Lifetime, stands out from its pr