The Emmy nominations were announced recently, and all the brouhaha over Game of Thrones et al. has left me hankering to award some prizes of my own.
As regular blog readers know, one of my perennial themes is the proliferation on the Internet of quotes from Jane Austen movies masquerading as the words of the novelist herself. It would be fair to say that I do not look kindly upon these sloppy mistakes, so easily avoided in this age of searchable e-texts.
Still, there’s a ce
The fascinating Reading with Austen project, a digital recreation of Edward Austen Knight’s library at Godmersham Park in Kent, got some further publicity last week via an article in the literary/historical journal Lapham’s Quarterly. As blog readers will recall, Reading with Austen, which went live last fall, features publication information and, where available, digital images of the more than twelve hundred books listed in an 1818 catalogue of the Knight family library. We
Seventy years ago this week, the premier Janeite pilgrimage site welcomed its first pilgrims.
On July 23, 1949, Chawton cottage, the house in the southern English county of Hampshire where Jane Austen spent the last eight years of her life, opened to the public. Admission cost £1/6d, the equivalent of £2.34 (about $2.91) today.
Chawton cottage, now known as Jane Austen’s House Museum, is more than an Austen residence. It is the place where, after four years of unhappiness i
South Asians never seem to tire of Jane Austen. We’ve had an Indian TV show based on Sense and Sensibility. We’ve screened cinematic updates of three different Austen novels, all set in contemporary times on the Indian subcontinent. We’ve seen a new Jane Austen Society taking root in Pakistan. Last week, my Google alert brought two reminders of this Subcontinental Austen phenomenon: an account of three new Pride and Prejudice updates by authors of Indian or Pakistani descent
Forty-sixth in an occasional series of excerpts from Jane Austen's letters. Jane Austen’s brothers were a reproductively prolific lot, at least the four who reproduced at all. With the help of six wives, three of whom perished in the process, they produced thirty-three sons and daughters, most of whom survived to adulthood. Twenty-five of those little girls and boys arrived during Jane Austen’s lifetime, and three dozen of her surviving letters -- more than twenty percent of
It’s always encouraging when excellent contemporary writers turn out to have great taste in literature (i.e., taste that agrees with my own). Reassuring. Suggests a well-ordered universe. That kind of thing. So two weeks ago, I was delighted to read this interview with the wonderful British novelist Kate Atkinson. (If you haven’t read Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Case Histories, or Life After Life, you should repair those omissions immediately.) Asked which book she would
The success of the screen adaptations of Jane Austen’s novels has been attributed to many factors: romantic plots, attractive stars, witty dialogue, stately mansions. And, of course, great-looking clothes. No surprise, then, that Austen tourist venues frequently display costumes from the movies, even though, as modern reproductions worn by contemporary actors playing fictional characters, these outfits fall at least three degrees of separation short of historical reality. Now
On this holiday of freedom from tyranny, including the tyranny of conventional expectations, it seems appropriate to spend a moment admiring the calm, unembarrassed self-assurance of Zack MacLeod Pinsent, a twenty-five-year-old Brit who dresses in Georgian clothing every minute of every day, without so much as a JASNA meeting for excuse. Most of us were introduced to Pinsent last week, when the BBC posted a two-and-a-half-minute story that included footage of him boarding the
The dog days of summer are approaching, and perhaps that’s why the amount of Stupid Jane Austen Stuff coming my way seems to have ramped up recently. The hot weather softens the brain, I guess, rendering journalists incapable of CHECKING THE ACCURACY of anything they post online about one of the world’s most famous authors. Or so I conclude from the following: 1. Bad Quoting: For once, it’s not a movie quote masquerading as a book quote. It’s a book quote understood in a sens