Fifty-fifth in an occasional series of excerpts from Jane Austen's letters.
I recently finished reading my eighth biography of Jane Austen, and I’ve barely scratched the surface. By my count, which may well be incomplete, Austen has been the subject of at least two dozen book-length biographies aimed at adult readers, plus another five intended for children.
What’s especially odd about this rabbit-like multiplication of life studies is the slimness of the record on which th
Fresh off their successful Lockdown Literary Festival earlier this month, the indefatigable folks who run Chawton House, the stately home in Hampshire, England, once owned by Jane Austen’s brother, have another treat in store for us. This one, I must admit, sounds like an even greater challenge than the multiple-speakers-across-multiple-time-zones feat that was the online literary festival. This time, we won’t be hanging out in the library talking about books; we’ll be stroll
Nothing beats hearing a soothing, familiar voice read an engrossing story aloud. I loved the read-aloud experience when I was a child doing the listening, and I loved it again as a parent sharing books, and closeness, with my children. Perhaps it’s the uncertainty of coronavirus quarantine that makes us yearn for the comforting rituals of childhood: baking bread, doing jigsaw puzzles, playing board games. And, for Janeites, listening to one of our favorite actors read to us f
For some unaccountable reason, lately I find myself fantasizing longingly about travel to exotic destinations. (Not even that exotic! The mall would be fine!)
In other words, I’ve been in the perfect mood for discovering a boutique hotel in Ontario, Canada, whose rooms are named after famous artists, including Jane Austen. The Arlington Hotel is located in the quaint little town of Paris, about seventy-five miles west of Niagara Falls. (Yes, Ontario boasts both a London and
Like everyone else, the Janeite community has been battered by pandemic and lockdown, with iconic tourist sites closed and financially struggling, while beloved annual events face cancellation or indefinite postponement. Amid all this gloom and doom, it’s encouraging to find green shoots of optimism—most imminently, the online Lockdown Literary Festival, sponsored by Chawton House in Hampshire, England, which starts tomorrow and runs through Sunday. The festival will include
Better late than never: Although it appeared more than a month ago, I’ve only just stumbled across a cogent and fascinating analysis of the costuming in Autumn de Wilde’s recent feature-film adaptation of Emma, by the fashion and culture writers Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez. The film has already been widely praised (and occasionally disparaged) for its striking and self-conscious visual style, all pastels and florals and mouthwatering hats. It’s the most eye-candy-laden
For those of us who love our Jane Austen adaptations, the coronavirus quarantine has been the best of times and the worst of times. The new film of Emma migrated to streaming way ahead of schedule—but the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis canceled its world premiere of Kate Hamill’s stage adaptation, which had been scheduled to open last month. The online performance of Paul Gordon’s musical version of Pride and Prejudice drew a robust international audience for its free premier
When Elinor Dashwood learns (as she thinks) that the love of her life, Edward Ferrars, has finally married his longtime fiancée, she is surprised at the intensity of her sense of loss. “Elinor now found the difference between the expectation of an unpleasant event, however certain the mind may be told to consider it, and certainty itself,” Jane Austen tells us in chapter 48 of Sense and Sensibility. “She now found, that in spite of herself, she had always admitted a hope. . .