Web Round-up ~ All Things Austen [and then some…]

Updated! – I completely missed the following: The 2010 Jane Austen Tour at Feelin’ Feminine – the competition began July 19 and runs through August 3rd, so give your creative side full-throttle and see what you can come up with… click here for entry categories [fashion, crafts, visuals, character studies, etc…]


I didn’t do a separate post on the latest issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World – another fully-packed , beautifully presented collection of articles – sometimes we think that everything worth reading / knowing about Jane Austen is on the Internet – and it is such a delight to get this journal every other month and just savor this hand-held treat, to be taken anywhere anytime without needing a “connection” to anything! – so in this issue:

  • Maggie Lane article on grandparents in Austen
  • the story of Queen Adelaide, wife to William IV [successor to George IV]
  • the Austen family wills
  • the business of smuggling
  • Jane Austen on ebooks
  • Henry Cope, the “Little Green Man or Bath Bugaboo”
  • Mags of Austenblog on Austen vs. the Brontes [guess who wins!]
  • letters, Society news, newspaper reprints from 1802, tidbits*

* this news item for instance:  the Austen statue in Lyme Regis  [where I genuflected and then burst into tears] has disappeared during renovation work and no one seems to know where it might be – so if any of you out there may have inadvertently taken off with it , you are to contact Maggie Lane at JARW [in confidence of course]  – and this article from March 2010, “Have you Seen Jane Austen’s Head?”  [unfortunately my picture of said head is on a slide]

[Image from JARW Magazine, No. 46, p.4]


This year the 200th anniversary of Elizabeth Gaskell’s birth is being celebrated ~  here are a few links to follow the festivities – if you are in the Manchester area, there is a lot to choose from:


Amanda Vickery, author of A Gentleman’s Daughter and Behind Closed Doors, can be heard at BBC4 [just seven days left!] on “Wicked Women” – Voices from the Old Bailey.  The upcoming radio piece on July 29 is on the voices of the children who founds themselves in court.  Click here for Ms. Vickery’s website to keep current on her speaking schedule.


The Sotheby’s auction houses have been running amok with letters, cookery and decorative arts items selling like they were going two-for-one – here are just a few for browsing and drooling:

Regency Gilt-Bronze Candlesticks – £2000


And if you are really into your laundry and while scrubbing and folding and ironing you care to give a thought to how it used to be done, the fabulous website Old & Interesting has a new post on the History of Starching Fabric – now what would Henry Tilney have to say about starching muslin…?


The Jane Austen Centre’s website is a treasure trove of all things Jane – their online Magazine includes constantly updated articles on fashion, recipes, history, book reviews [yours truly was just honored to be asked to publish my review of Jennifer Forest’s Jane Austen’s Sewing Box], biographies, craft projects and the best of all, from the pen of Mags of Austenblog,  There Must be Murder, a 12-part novella!


There seems to be an iphone game of P&P and Zombies – but I cannot handle this at all – this is one application my iphone will have to live without – back to the basics for me, a la Austenprose’s efforts to save us all

[Posted by Deb]



On the Air and in your Inbox ~ All Things Austen

                                                                                                                                     penguin_logoPenguin.com has just announced a new program of  “Classics on Air” – the first program [and rightfully so!] is on “Why We Love Jane Austen” with Juliette Wells*, Alan Walker, and Stephen Morrison: listen in for this 30 minute episode…



Elda Rotor of Penguin Classics interviews Jane Austen scholar Juliette Wells about Austenmania, what it means to be a Janeite, etiquette in Austen’s time, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Alan Walker, head of academic marketing, introduces listeners to Excellent Women by Barbara Pym on “Reading the Classics from A to Z.” And Stephen Morrison, associate publisher and editor in chief of Penguin Books, offers up the opening to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in his segment, “First Pages.”


jane austen centre logo

Also today, the Jane Austen Newsletter appeared in my email box, always a happy occurrence:  news items include an article on Sandy Lerner and the Chawton House Library; Jane Austen’s prayers by Linore Rose Birkard; Persuasion, the Twitter version; the National Gallery of Victoria exhibit of fashion during Jane Austen’s lifetime; a quiz on Austen manners; a reminder to vote in the Regency World Awards by June 30th; a follow-up on the production of the movie “Jane Austen Handheld“; and yet another article on the new book by Andrew Norman on Austen’s unrequited love…

You can sign up for the Centre’s monthly email newsletter here.

*Juliette Wells of Manhattanville College will be speaking at the 2009 JASNA AGM on “The Closeness of Sisters: Pride & Prejudice’s Influence on How We Imagine Jane and Cassandra.”

Fashion Quiz

The Jane Austen Centre in Bath has just sent out its latest online newsletter ~ one of the articles is a fashion quiz, 10 questions to test your knowledge of the clothing of Austen’s day.

The whole newsletter is available here, this month with a few visual-musical treats, sales at the gift shop, Persuasion in French, and much more.  And while there, be sure to look at the Online Magazine which contains many articles of interest.

Cards from the Gift Shop

Cards at the Gift Shop

In My Mailbox ~

I love my mailman ~ it seems he brings me a surprise almost daily!  Today, I find the latest issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World  [Jan/Feb 2009, Issue 37], and here give you some thoughts on the contents:


“End of the Regency” about the soon to be released film on young Queen Victoria [March 2009 in Britain], starring Emily Blunt (on the cover above) as Victoria and Rupert Friend as Prince Albert (he starred in the 2005 P&P as Wickham and was fabulous in Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont

“Write-on” about the importance of correspondence and the ways of letter-writing in Jane Austen’s time

“Why I Dig Jane” a talk with Alan Titchmarsh, popular British TV personality, gardener, and novelist [his latest book, Folly, is set in Bath and currently on the British best-selling fiction list] ~ He confesses that his favorite character is Emma.

“Illustrating Jane Austen” an article on the incomparable Hugh Thomson

“Playing Mary Bennet” on the actress Ruby Bentall, who acted the role of Mary Bennet in the Lost in Austen series (“with spindly glasses and horrible hair”…)

“Pottery and Poetry” which traces the life of Thomasina Dennis, 1770-1809, a comtemporary of Austen’s who worked for the Wedgwood Pottery family.  The article includes some history of Josiah Wedgwood and his business [ironically, this week the Waterford / Wedgwood company announced it is filing for bankruptcy]

“Petticoat Politics” looks at the complex nature of Regency undergarments, never mentioned, but a large part of “dressing Jane” and her contemporaries

“Madame de Stael” and the story of why perhaps Jane Austen refused to attend a London literary salon at which Madame de Stael was to be present (could it have been her tempestuous love-life??)

“My Jane Austen” the column this month by Virginia Claire Tharrington on her months as an intern at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath (she also posted several weekly articles on Austenprose while she was there)

“A Goodly Heritage” by Marsha Huff, President of JASNA, on this past year’s Annual JASNA AGM in Chicago

“Portrait of a Lady” on the Jane Austen Society of the U.K. and the event presented in the fall by History Wardrobe on the fashion of Austen’s time

And Joceline Bury offers three book Reviews:  An Aristocratic Affair by Janet Gleeson, a biography of Henriette Ponsonby, Countess of Bessborough and sister of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire [The American title is: Privilege and Scandal: The Remarkable Life of Harriet Spencer, Sister of Georgiana];  The Immortal Jane Austen by Maggie Lane, a no-frills biography of a mere 50 pages, but laced with many illustrations and highly recommended by the reviewer; and Jane Austen Visits London by Vera Quinn, the charming little book that concentrates only on Austen’s travels to and writings about London [see my comments on this book here.]

So all in all a fine issue, and a perfect way to spend the upcoming weekend, immersed in all things Regency!

On the Block ~ Mr. Darcy…

The portrait of Mr. Darcy (a.k.a. Colin Firth) that was used in the pivotal scene (Elizabeth gazing at Darcy’s portrait hanging in the portrait hall at Pemberley) in the 1995 A&E production of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice will be sold at auction on January 21, 2009 at Bonham’s Gentlemans Library Sale;  the sale also includes a letter from Firth.  The painting is expected to fetch £7,000 and the proceeds will go to charity ~ Oxfam and the Southampton and Winchester Vistors Group [see the Telegraph.co.uk and BBC News online for more information, including a downloadable copy of Firth’s letter at the BBC site ( and note the misspelling of “Pemberly” in the BBC article!)]


Now, wouldn’t we all like this hanging in our very own Great Hall, or anywhere in the house for that matter!

[If , however, this is a little out of your league, you can always buy the Mr. Darcy keyring at the Jane Austen Centre for £2.99 … ]


Round-up…all things Austen, week of Sept. 14…

Lots out there this week, much about Lost in Austen (which I have not yet watched…oh woe is me!), and a few other tidbits of interest…

Fashion on Main, an exhibit at the University of Texas; see the site for a search-able database of the collection (though the “search” feature is under construction; you can browse the site), and references to other fashion resources.

 And more on fashion in the time of Marie Antoinette, read this post on the Queen’s modist (clothing creator) at the Paper Crown Queen Blog, where there is a host of information and pictorials on crowns.

And the ongoing saga of “Lost in Austen” and the many reviews and opinions thereof:  see Austenblog for its usual candid round-up of comments, and also today for Episode 3, and Jane Austen’s World Blog for a nice review of Episode 2, and another review at Austenprose.

See the Times-Picayune (LA) write-up of a Jane Austen Festival in Mandeville, LA on September 13 (alas! I missed it!….but there is another in March, so put it on your calendar if you happen to be in Louisiana): an Austen “Regency Revisited” Day at the Mandeville Trailhead Pavilion.  Organizers of the Jane Austen Festival host a morning of music, dancing, a fashion show and workshop, 10 a.m.-1. Period dancing with free lessons begins, at 10 a.m. The public is invited to bring costumes/outfits/accessories and experts will demonstrate how to convert them into Regency style apparel, appropriate for the festival in March. Free. For details, visit http://www.janeaustenfestival.org/. or call 985.624.5683.

And here is a journalist from the Herald.ie  who has had it with adaptations of classic literature, especially Austen “who has colonised television in a way that no other dead author has managed.”  But alas!  she informs the reader that the gorgeous Rupert Penry-Jones of Spooks (MI-5 in the U.S.) and the ITV Persuasion, will play in a new television version of John Buchan’s oft-filmed The Thirty-Nine Steps.  Can’t wait!

Austenprose continues to offer us the journaling of Virginia Claire Tharrington, the intern at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath:  see her first post and this week’s.  We are all SO envious!

Jane Odiwe tells of her newest book being published by Sourcebooks next year:  Mrs. Brandon’s Invitation, a sequel to Sense & Sensibility.

Several reviews of Marsha Altman’s The Darcys and the Bingleys, are sited at Austenprose; see Jane Austen Today for an interview with the author.

An article in Piecework Magazine is mentioned on Austenblog; also see the comment from the current President of JASNA, Marsha Huff, referencing a Persuasions article on the coverlet that Jane Austen, Cassandra and their mother made (the quilt now hangs in Chawton), so you, too, can make a replica of this quilt.  [See also my previous reference to the JASA article on this topic.]

Ms. Place at JA’s World continues the column with Marjorie Gilbert and her creation of a regency gown… this week is about the necessary regency undergarments.

Excellent sleuthing by Laurel Ann at Austenprose who writes “The Legend of the Lost Sequel“, about the publishing history of D.A. Bonavia-Hunt’s Pemberely Shades.  

See the article in the Western Daily Press about the Crazy for Jane movie premiere at the Bath JA Festival. The documentary tells the tale of contemporary publishers rejection of Jane Austen novels…shame on them!

In my Mailbox today…..a few more all things Austen

In my email box today:  The Jane Austen Centre’s latest newsletter, filled with all sort of interesting articles about afternoon dress, calling cards, the new P&P musical, Stoneleigh Abbey, an Austen quiz and a word search puzzle for a rainy afternoon, and of course, information on the upcoming Jane Austen Festival in Bath from Sept. 19-28.   (you can purchase a DVD of the festival events “Crazy about Jane” on the website)The newsletter also references ( click here ) an interesting musical montage from the newest Northanger Abbey on YouTube….

Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine

Beginning August 1, “Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine,”  published by the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, will offer a subscription discount of twenty percent to members of the Jane Austen Society of North America. The offer is not yet “live,” but you can read about it on this preview page: http://www.janeausten.co.uk/regencyworld/page.ihtml?id=12

JASNA has a 2-page article in each issue of the magazine, and favorites Maggie Lane and Sheryl Craig are also regular contributors.  The contents of the current and all back issues can be viewed online with one sample article downloadable from each issue.

Also see Laurel Ann’s post on Jane Austen Today about the latest July Newsletter from the Jane Austen Center.  You can sign up for this online newsletter at the Center’s website….and be sure to take the     “Pride & Prejudice” Quiz …[you might just find you need to re-read the book, a perfect thought for a summer’s day!]