Online Discussion: Sense & Sensibility

from the website:

Masterpiece Classic on PBS will rebroadcast Sense and Sensibility in two parts, on February 1 and 8, 2009. Check local listings for the schedule in your area. Professor Joan Ray, JASNA Past President, will lead an online discussion about the adaptation February 2-13 on the Barnes and Noble Classics Book Club website.

Barnes and Noble Book Clubs are free and open 24 hours a day. Use this link to join the discussion. Sign up is easy: click on the “Register” link (located in the upper left corner of the page, just above the “Classics” banner) and fill in the information when prompted.

January 28, 1813 ~ Pride & Prejudice Published!

It was on this day, happy day indeed! ~  in 1813, that Pride & Prejudice “by the author of Sense & Sensibility” was published by T. Egerton, London. 

Austen received her own copy on January 27, as she states in her letter of January 29,  “I have got my own darling Child from London.”   [LeFaye, Letter 79; Chapman Letter 76].  It was advertised in The Morning Chronicle on Thursday January 28 under “Books Published This Day” in a run of an unknown number of copies, assumed to be around 1500 [see Keynes Bibliography].  The first edition sold out rapidly, a second edition was also printed in 1813 and a third edition came out four years later.  The first edition, published in three volumes, was bound in blue paper-covered boards with a white paper label on the spine.  Austen sold the copyright to Egerton for £110; the book sold for 18s.  Today this first edition is for sale starting at £65,000.  [see for a listing of a few available first editions]… but as we all know the true value of this book is not to be calculated in numbers….  thank you Jane Austen for enlarging so many lives with your brilliance!



First Edition Title Page

Edith Wharton ~ January 24, 1862

I direct you yet again to my Bygone Books Blog for a short post with links on Edith Wharton.


Austen’s Manuscripts

Later Manuscripts [The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen], edited by Janet Todd and Linda Bree, Cambridge Universitry Press, January 2009, is now available.  Priced at $130.  but weighs in at a hefty 872 pages.

Contents include:

  •  Austen’s fiction:  Lady Susan, The Watson’s, and Sanditon
  •  Jane Austen on Fiction, to include her letters to friends and family on writing, her “Plan of a Novel”, and her collection of opinions of Mansfield Park and Emma
  •  Austen’s poems and charades
  • Appendices that include transcriptions of two of the manuscripts, “Sir Charles Grandison”, Prayers, attributed poems, and family poems.
  • Extensive explanatory notes


Mr. Darcy Portrait Sells

The Darcy portrait of Colin Firth that we all wanted in our very own living rooms, has sold at auction for £12,000, nearly double the estimated value; very nice really… the money all goes to charity.

“This painting sold for double its estimated value for the simple reason that the series so captured the heart of the viewing public, particularly the fairer sex,” said Julian Roup, a spokesman for Bonhams auction house.

[see this BBC article]


Happy Birthday, JASNA-Vermont…

birthday-cake2A year today – on 22 January 2008 – our Vermont Region received its official ‘welcome’ to the North American Jane Austen realm! So… Happy Birthday JASNA-Vermont!

It’s been a great year – and some thoughts on our activities can be found written down here, on this blog. We had an appreciative (large!) crowd for our first meeting, which featured Prof. Robyn Warhol-Down, whose talk centered on Pride and Prejudice; she has since joined JASNA. Then came a look at ‘Beginnings’ – JASNA’s own (with thoughts on the founding of JASNA by life members Lorraine Hanaway and Mildred Darrow) as well as Jane’s (with a look into her “first” novel, Northanger Abbey). The fall was ushered in with a thrilling and amusing look at “Austen’s England” by Montpelier resident, John Turner. Then came our big celebration: our Annual Austen Tea, featuring the Burlington Country Dancers (who led most of our audience onto the dance floor!), with music provided by the provocatively-named Impropriety.

For the first time, we share pictures and comments about our December celebration…

Barb F. wrote: “I had a great time, and brought a friend with me who had not attended a JASNA event as yet. I hardly spoke with my friend… so many opportunities to share with those we didn’t know. The gathering brings such friendly people together. I finally had a chance to try English Country Dancing and it was very enjoyable!… My spirits are lightened and energized as I reflect on a wonderful afternoon.”

austenbday1Jeanne V.: “Just wanted to say that the event on Sunday was…a lot of fun. I brought someone who swore she would only watch the dancing and she was scooped up and danced every one! Now, we need to do more dancing…”

George: “I had a great time and am making everyone go to the Montpelier [event] in June.”

Val M.: “Thanks so much for having us. [Everyone] did a wonderful job with the Tea Party. Enjoyed the readings!”


And the food was … scrumptious! Thanks to the caterers connected to our host site, Champlain College (Burlington, VT), and JASNA-Vermont members who pulled out recipes that made everyone’s mouth water:


If you can ‘smell’ the aroma of scones, truffles, cookies and tea, then maybe you will be able to hear the band strike up a long-familiar tune. Members of Impropriety…


 …and The Burlington Country Dancers:

Thanks to Mary Ellen Bertolini for sharing her photos!

Please join us for our next event – which features Prof. Bertolini and Persuasion – on March 1st. And send us your birthday wishes and wants!

Edgar Allan Poe ~ January 19, 1809

I again direct you to my Bygone Books Blog for a celebration of the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, 1809-1849.  Though you may wonder what this has to do with Jane Austen, and I agree that the link is tenuous as best [though indeed, is Emma not a mystery??]   But I did find this link to the Book Mine Set blog that quoted Mark Twain as saying the following about Poe (and we know what he had to say about our Dear Jane!):

Of Poe, [Mark Twain] said,”To me his prose is unreadable—like Jane Austen’s.”

This Book Mine Set blog does a weekly post “The Great Wednesday Compare” pitting two authors against each other. Austen beat out Poe 48-8! [she then went on to beat Lucy Montgomery and Kurt Vonnegut, but lost by 2 points to Dr. Seuss the following week!] Go to the blog and read the many comments…it is quite entertaining! 










And there are of course those action figures…