For Janeites, the highlight of this month’s online social calendar was the Jane Austen Society of North America’s first-ever virtual conference, which took place October 9-11. And now comes word that next month will have its own opportunity for online Austen celebration: the one-day Austen Con, sponsored by 24 Carrot Productions, a theater company in Melbourne, Australia. Austen Con, which was held in person in 2018 and 2019, features some of the now-becoming-standard offerin
Pandemic life has made clear, at least to me, that online interactions are no substitute for the in-real-life kind. Still, it’s heartening to see artists and cultural organizations seizing the opportunity to create high-quality virtual experiences for those of us who don’t have better choices right now. The latest example of this lemonade-out-of-lemons approach is “Jane Austen’s House From Home,” a menu of online experiences designed to introduce visitors to Chawton cottage,
Back in March, a trio of young British academics decided to counteract the loneliness and isolation of lockdown by producing a series of short videos about ideas, culture, and the arts. The videos go up twice a week, with a rotating cast of academics and their guests talking about everything from wrestling to social history to Shakespeare. The intended audience for the videos -- which you can find on YouTube or on the purpose-built website A Bit Lit -- is high school students
The past eighteen months have brought us a couple of made-for-the-small-screen Jane Austen spinoffs: the Lifetime movie Pride and Prejudice: Atlanta in June 2019 and the ITV/PBS series Sanditon, which began airing in the United States in January 2020, after premiering a few months earlier in Britain. Notably, both shows aimed to expand Jane Austen’s mostly all-white world to include important characters of color (or, in the case of P&P: Atlanta, a virtually all-Black cast). A
Fifty-seventh in an occasional series of excerpts from Jane Austen's letters. “Only think of Mrs Holder’s being dead!” Jane Austen wrote to her sister, Cassandra, in the letter Austen finished exactly 207 years ago today (#92 in Deirdre Le Faye’s standard edition of Austen’s correspondence.) “Poor woman, she has done the only thing in the World she could possibly do, to make one cease to abuse her.” It’s hardly news to any reader of Jane Austen’s letters that the great author
Sanditon, the much-hyped TV adaptation of the novel Jane Austen left unfinished at her death, is probably not getting a second season, but the enthusiasm of its uber-fans, the #SanditonSisterhood, is the gift that keeps on giving. Last month, as you’ll recall, the Sidney-and-Charlotte brigade commissioned a sand artist to create a huge mural of Sanditon’s young lovers on the beach near Bristol, where the currently canceled show was filmed. The fans hoped to bring IRL attentio
Even before the coronavirus curtailed recreational travel, the Internet-assisted ogling of Jane Austen-adjacent real estate was one of the cheapest and most satisfying pastimes available to Janeites. How much the more, then, can we now appreciate the listing of two UK properties with strong Austenian links and price tags that place them solidly in the Lottery Fantasy category of homeownership. * The Berkshire vicarage where Jane Austen’s nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh spent
After the year we’ve had, we’re all going to deserve a holiday-season treat. And it looks like the Janeites among us will be getting one. The U.S. rights to Modern Persuasion, a romantic comedy starring Alicia Witt that updates Austen’s last completed novel to pre-pandemic New York, have just been sold to Samuel Goldwyn Films. While the new movie doesn’t quite have a release date, it does have a release month: December. No word yet, as far as I can see, on whether the movie w
Mark your calendars, Janeites! The day we’ve barely dared to imagine in our most fervid fantasies is nearly here! On October 28, we’ll finally get to read. . . a previously unknown Jane Austen novel!
Or so you might believe were you to stumble across this listing on Amazon’s UK site, which promises imminent access to a volume entitled Jane Austen's Lost Novel: Its Importance for Understanding the Development of Her Art.
The book appears to be an annotated transcription of a