The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Austen!

The Penny Post Weekly Review

  22 August 2011 

News & Gossip: 

-The Austenesque Extravaganza continues on a daily basis at the  Austenesque Reviews  blog – stop by to participate in the fun and comment to win the various giveaways ! through August:

-The Jane Austen Fan Kit for your iphone: an absolute must-have! 

-The BBC Four: Elegance and Decadence: Age of the Regency – how I hate we don’t get BBC Four; you can get more information to whet your appetite and /or get really depressed you don’t live in the UK at Lucy Worsley’s blog

-But do not completely despair: we do have this on BBC America – The Hour -a six-week series – I loved the first one aired this past week [wednesday night at 10 here in Vermont] – it is peopled with Austen “graduates”: Juliet Stevenson [the perfect Austen narrator], Anna Chancelor[Miss Bingley in 1995, following her role as “Duckface” in Four Weddings and a Funeral [Hugh Grant], and Romola Garai, the latest “Emma’ …

-More on the Pride and Prejudice,  The Musical – this time a lovely personal story with a military twist – a tale of Jane Austen bringing people together [as she does do well…]:

Frances Burney

-The Frances Burney Society invites submissions for the Hemlow Prize in Burney Studies,

… named in honour of the late Joyce Hemlow, whose biography of Frances Burney and edition of her journals and letters are among the foundational works of eighteenth-century literary scholarship. The Hemlow Prize will be awarded to the best essay written by a graduate student on any aspect of the life or writings of Frances Burney or members of the Burney Family. The essay, which can be up to 6,000 words, should make a substantial contribution to Burney scholarship.  The Prize will be awarded in October 2011.  Submissions must be received by September 1, 2011. 

 See here for more details: [scroll down for the information]


-The JASNA-Vermont September meeting, when we will be hosting JASNA president Iris Lutz, will be once again part of the Burlington Book Festival  Iris will be presenting her talk “ ‘in proportion to their family and income’: Houses in Jane Austen’s Life and Fiction.” Join us if you can [more information forthcoming]

-Laurel Ann at Austenprose attended the 20th anniversary of the Puget Sound JASNA Region and tells the tale here:

The Circulating Library:

House of Lords - Pugin & Rowlandson - Ackermann print

see the Rudolph Ackermann information at the Town and Country in Miniature online collection at Augustana College Special Collections:[see the other parts of this exhibit as well]
Websites  & Blogs:

-The Rice Portrait website

-Prinny’s Tailor: a blog by Charles Bazalgette about his ‘many greats’ grandfather Louis Bazalgette who was tailor to the Prince Regent for 32 years.  This blog follows his research – the book is due out next year:

-Jane Austen week of old fashioned dolls and Regency dresses:

-Georgian Gentleman blog You can find information on his “Journal of a Georgian Gentleman” here: 

Robert Rodi of Bitch in a  Bonnet:Reclaiming Jane Austen from the stiffs, the snobs, the simps and the saps  seems to be back in full swing blogging about his take on Mansfield Park: visit if you can and see Fanny redeemed! –

Regency Life & Fashion:

-Fashion:  Getting Dressed in the 18th Century:  love this! [[from the Jane Austen Centre Newsletter]

-Colonial Williamsburg’s online exhibition: just a lovely compilation!
Historic Threads: Three Centuries of Clothing

 [Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg website]

-An exhibition at Fairfax House in York:
REVOLUTIONARY FASHION 1790 – 1820 [from August 29 through
December 31, 2011]:


Book Thoughts:

-Hurray! Stephanie Barron’s latest Jane Austen mystery: – this one featuring her brother Edward:

-The Twelfth Enchantment, by David Liss:  this one I could not resist ordering and it arrived today in my mailbox! – will let you know how it fares…

Lucy Derrick is a young woman of good breeding and poor finances. After the death of her beloved father, she is forced to maintain a shabby dignity as the unwanted boarder of her tyrannical uncle, fending off marriage to a local mill owner. But just as she is on the cusp of accepting a life of misery, events take a stunning turn when a handsome stranger—the poet and notorious rake Lord Byron—arrives at her house, stricken by what seems to be a curse, and with a cryptic message for Lucy. Suddenly her unfortunate circumstances are transformed in ways at once astonishing and seemingly impossible.

With the world undergoing an industrial transformation, and with Englandon the cusp of revolution, Lucy is drawn into a dangerous conspiracy in which her life, and her country’s future, are in the balance. Inexplicably finding herself at the center of cataclysmic events, Lucy is awakened to a world once unknown to her: where magic and mortals collide, and the forces of ancient nature and modern progress are at war for the soul of England. . . and the world. The key to victory may be connected to a cryptic volume whose powers of enchantment are unbounded.

Now, challenged by ruthless enemies with ancient powers at their command, Lucy must harness newfound mystical skills to prevent catastrophe and preserve humanity’s future. And enthralled by two exceptional men with designs on her heart, she must master her own desires to claim the destiny she deserves.

[From his website: ]

But see this interview at The Big Thrill where he talks about Jane Austen [and why we are here after all…] :

What is it about this time and place that compelled you to use it as the background for your story?

There are a number of factors that drew me here.  For a long time I’ve wanted to write a novel that was in communication with Jane Austen, but which deal with the economic and political issues that are absent, or at least at the margins of, her novels — the war with France, a series of devastating harvests resulting in food shortages and grain riots, an on-going economic recession, and, most importantly, changes in the labor market brought on by the industrial revolution.  This novel incorporates elements of the supernatural — specifically folk and scholarly magic as actually practiced by people who actually believed it worked — and there’s really no better time to write about such beliefs since the early industrial revolution was a period of profound change.  I wanted to write about a world that was on the verge of a major alteration, and England, at the beginning of industrialization and before the end of the Napoleonic Wars, works perfectly.

[I’m adding this because I like this answer!]  If you could meet just one historical figure, who would it be?

I have a great deal of affection for Henry Fielding, who helped pioneer the novel and the modern police force, was a brilliant legal mind, a wide-ranging intellectual, and a guy who could hang out and enjoy several bottles of wine (yes, several bottles!) while chatting with his friends.  My kind of guy.

-For a good read of something that Jane Austen read, try Patronage by Maria Edgeworth (1814) recently reviewed in The Guardian

-A book review of Revolutionary Imaginings in the 1790s: Charlotte Smith, Mary Robinson, Elizabeth Inchbald, by Amy Garnai (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), about other writers that Jane Austen read and admired:

Articles of interest:

-This late edition news:  from Tracy Kiely of Murder at Mansfield Park fame [and other Jane Austen mysteries], Battle of the Bonnets– get your fightin’ gloves on for Bronte v. Austen, legal style!  [with thanks to Kerri S for the link]

Museums / Exhibits

-National Portrait Gallery: Art for the Nation: Sir Charles Eastlake at the National Gallery – 27 July – 30 October 2011: “This exhibition illuminates the life and work of the Gallery’s first director, Sir Charles Lock Eastlake (1793–1865), a man described by one contemporary as ‘the Alpha and Omega’ of the Victorian art world.”


The “Keep Calm & Carry On” theme that has been splattered everywhere from cards to books to wall hangings and t-shirts – here is a new contender!×10?ref=sr_gallery_8&ga_search_submit=&ga_search_query=jane+austen&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_facet=handmade

-and one of my all-time favorites:

For Fun:
[what! SHOPPING isn’t fun?!]

-These are past our time period but How to Be a Retronaut offers this great collection of Victorian photographs, sure to bring you a daily chuckle:  don’t an awful lot of these husbands and wives LOOK ALIKE?! [not to mention a tad grim?]

Better Book Titles – I already posted on this about Mansfield Park, newly titled: “I Couldn’t Even Finish the Spark Notes” – – but add your comments for other Austen titles here:

Signing off – stay tuned for the next edition…

Copyright @2011 Deb Barnum of Jane Austen in Vermont

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