Web Round-up ~ All Things Austen!

Just to share several sites / posts recently discovered / re-discovered:

Tony Grant at his London Calling blog has written another two posts on Jane Austen:  Jane Austen and the Vicars and The Cobb and the Undercliff at Lyme Regis, complete with great photographs and Tony’s commentary.  [Visit his blog and search “Jane Austen” for his other photographic treks to Austen sites.] 

Mr. Grant has recently joined the Jane Austen Today blog as a weekly columnist – he has written on Jane Austen being fit and the recent post on Jane Austen’s World Cup football team [and thankfully we tied with the UK in the first game, though they may have won if they had had Mr. Darcy as the “goalscorer supreme’!]

Tony also alerted me to the website Geograph Britain and Ireland – a collection of photographs that represent every square kilometer of the UK.  You can search any town relating to Jane Austen and find numerous current depictions of the area:  Steventon, Lyme Regis, London, Bath, Chawton, etc… [Tony has contributed a number of his photographs as well…]

Worting House in Hampshire

[see below for the Austen connection*] 

Janeite Marti sent me this link to the Two Nerdy History Girls  post on the history of chocolate – there is a link to a video from American Heritage Chocolate on how chocolate was made in Colonial Williamsburg… YUM! –  subscribe to the “two nerdy girls” [both historical fiction writers] blog for other great articles…

Here is a great blog idea – “letters written to fictional characters by actual people” – visit the blog at Letters with Character – visit here for two Austen-related letters:  one to Elizabeth and one to Mr. Darcy. [what would YOU write to an Austen character?? ]

When Masterpiece Theatre produced and aired the Jane Austen programs two years ago, they also created “The Complete Guide to Teaching Jane Austen” which is available in a 24-page pdf file on their website – a wonderful resource for viewing and discussing all the films, not just the 2008 versions.  Print it out and settle in for another marathon film adventure!

This guide offers ideas and tips on how to teach the works of Jane Austen, using film as another avenue into her world. The guide has been organized so it can easily be adapted for various needs. Sections that explore universal themes—Novel to Film, the Art of Adaptation, Self-Discovery, Society and the Self, Satire and Irony—provide questions and activities that can be used for any of Austen’s works. Before and After Viewing questions have been provided for each film so you can thoroughly explore whatever title you choose to teach. Other features include an essay about Austen’s continued popularity, biographical information, and an exploration of the role of biography in an author’s work.

[from the PBS / Masterpiece Theatre website]

The Dolphin Hotel in Southampton where Jane Austen danced away in the “Assembly Room” has been refurbished as the Mercure Southampton Centre.  There is a “Jane Austen function room” suitable for weddings, etc., if you would like to celebrate in the same space Austen did on her 18th birthday in 1793.  Austen lived in Southampton from 1805-1809 prior to her move to Chawton in 1809.

Robert Rodi at the Bitch in a Bonnet blog that I alerted you all to awhile back, has finished his summing up of Pride & Prejudice – lovely final words, worthy of a repeat:

Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I laugh.  It’s the laughter of philosophy; the clear, cold laughter of those who reside in the abyss but are untouched by its sweat-soaked, writhing tumult.  We laugh, because Austen lifts us above the fray and nimbly escorts us to a farther shore, where there are kindred spirits waiting.  We can’t stay there long; but we can return whenever we like…again, and again, and again, and again. 

…makes you want to run right to your bookshelf and begin it all again, doesn’t it?

And speaking of P&P, Laurel Ann at Austenprose starts her month-long reading [no mash-ups, zombies, vampires, slashing heroines for Laurel Ann – yea!! – back to the real thing for her, thank goodness…] – it all starts on June 16th, so begin your reading of chapters 1-7 NOW and join in the analysis and discussion…

Visit Gillray’s Printshop of Historical Absurdities of the 18th and 19th centuries – there are many of them, so an endless treasure chest of information…

And finally, for the fashion-conscious, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich Connecticut has a new exhibit on The Dressmaker’s Art:

The Bruce Museum’s major summer exhibition, The Dressmaker’s Art: Highlights from the Bruce Museum’s Costume Collection, organized by guest curator Adrienne Saint-Pierre, features twenty-four elegant gowns and dresses along with displays of lavishly embellished accessories and underpinnings such as taffeta and lace petticoats, primarily taken from the collection of the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut. Additional items are on loan from the Fairfield Museum and History Center.

[Ball gown, c1895, Worth, Paris]

The earliest gown is from 1820 and the exhibit displays fashions through the early 20th century – visit the Museum’s website for more information – a delight to have this exhibit here in New England!

*Jane Austen and Worting House:  A visit by Jane Austen, probably one of many unrecorded, paid on the evening of Thursday December 20 1798 and mentioned by her in a letter dated December 24 to her sister Cassandra. In it she described a ball of the Basingstoke Assembly for which the authoress to be, then in her dancing days, was staying at Manydown with her friend Catherine Bigg – one of Squire Bigg-Wither’s seven daughters.  She wrote:

I spent my time very quietly and pleasantly with Catherine. Miss Blachford is agreeable enough. I do not want People to be very agreeable as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.- I found only Catherine and her when I got to Manydown on Thursday. We dined together and went together to Worting to seek the protection of Mrs Clarke with whom Lady Mildmay, her eldest son, and a Mr and Mrs Hoare………. Our ball was very thin, but by no means unpleasant………There were 31 People and only 11 Ladies out of the Number, and but five single women in the room….There were twenty dances, and I danced them all, and without any fatigue………My black cap was openly admired by Mrs Lefroy, and I secretly imagine by everybody else in the room.

[Letter 15, December 24-26, 1798, Jane Austen’s Letters, ed. Deirdre Le Faye, quoting the Bigg-Wither – Worting  House website]

[Posted by Deb]

6 thoughts on “Web Round-up ~ All Things Austen!

  1. Hi Susan – a member of our Vermont Austen group alerted me to your blog post on chocolate – so now happily subscribed – so much to read, so little time! – but look forward to continuing to follow you…
    Thanks for checking in!


  2. Thanks for the info! I am a determined reader attempting to understand and love the wonderful Austen world. Jane is after all one of the writing world’s super heroes (if not the ultimate one:o)…so glad to see the resources you have here! Looking forward to reading more!


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