Now this is a community event I can get behind. Over the weekend of January 10-12, the city of Modesto in California’s Central Valley is hosting an all-Jane-Austen-all-the-time event called, naturally, JaneCon. The centerpiece of the weekend is the local opera company’s two performances of Mansfield Park, British composer Jonathan Dove’s operatic adaptation of the novel. Blog readers will recall that this 2011 piece, originally written for two pianists performing on a single
Fiftieth in an occasional series of excerpts from Jane Austen's letters. The holiday season can be difficult for those of us who find compulsory socializing to be hard work. Although Jane Austen’s letters are filled with accounts of balls, dinners, and visits, her occasional acerbic remarks about the company suggest that she too sometimes found herself longing for solitude. Such a remark makes its way into the letter that the 23-year-old Austen finished writing exactly 221 ye
Another of those Janeite dream jobs -- arguably, the biggest Janeite dream job of them all -- has opened up: Jane Austen’s House Museum, aka Chawton cottage, is looking for a new director. The most recent incumbent, Mary Guyatt, left her post earlier this month to take a position overseeing restoration of the Houses of Parliament in London. Chawton cottage is the most important Jane Austen site in England, the place where Austen lived for the last eight years of her life and
Today’s Jane Austen happening is what hasn’t happened yet: Almost exactly three years after an artist engraved tiny portraits of Jane Austen on a set of British £5 notes and then secretly put four of them into circulation, one of the enhanced fivers apparently remains undiscovered. Back in December of 2016, as blog readers will recall, the neo-Roald-Dahl story of the Austen fivers sent the British press into a frenzy of excitement. Because previous works by artist Graham Shor
Jane Austen experienced her share of literary rejection. One publisher declined even to look at the manuscript that eventually became Pride and Prejudice; another agreed to publish the forerunner of Northanger Abbey, only to sit on his acquisition for years.
So Austen’s ghost is probably coping with the lowering news that the much-hyped TV adaptation of Sanditon won’t be renewed for a second season.
And the early signs seemed so promising! Here was the novel Jane Austen lef
“Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance,” I texted my husband. I was not providing dampening commentary on our nearly twenty-nine-year union, or even channeling Charlotte Lucas. No, I was trying out my new “What Would Jane Austen Say?” app, downloaded from Apple minutes earlier for $2.12, including tax. “And thus the digital dumbs us down further,” he texted back. I surveyed my twenty Austenian choices and then clicked on the most apposite. “One man’s style must
As the holidays approach, you may be bracing for the arrival of that winter perennial, the fruitcake -- baked months earlier, soaked in alcohol, and stashed in a cupboard until gift-giving time.
Here in my little corner of the Janeite universe, I’ve got a few well-preserved morsels of my own: incidental Austen mentions that I’ve been saving up all fall, waiting for the right moment to unwrap the cheesecloth and present them to you. Feel free to sip from a snifter of aromatic
These days, it takes a lot for an instance of Austenian inaccuracy to surprise me. I hardly turn a hair when quotes from Austen screen adaptations are attributed to Austen’s novels, or when movies that barely gesture toward her plots brandish titles implying a close relationship to the original, or when cosmetic and hygiene products unknown to the Regency claim an association with her brand. So hats off to Republic World, an online news platform from India, for pulling me up
My husband seems befuddled, even a tad shell-shocked. His maiden viewing of a Jane Austen-themed Hallmark Christmas movie – Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen, which premiered last Saturday night – has paused for its first commercial break, and he has a question. “People watch this?” he says. “For fun?” After nearly four years of Austenesque Hallmark movies, my expectations of each new offering have hit rock-bottom. Seventeen minutes into Saturday’s broadcast, it is no surprise to