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!

In My Mailbox Today

A treat today in my mailbox ~ the November-December 2008 issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World, the cover graced with the latest Darcy incarnation, Colin Donnell, from the new Pride & Prejudice, the Musical.

A quick summary of the table of contents:

  • Austen Bank Goes Bust:  the story of Henry Austen’s bank failure, a regency economic crisis
  • P&P-the new Musical: by Tim Bullamore with the story behind the story.
  • One for the Ladies:  by Ian Kelly, author of a new biography of Casanova, on his importance as a chronicler of 18th century London life.
  • Lost in Austen:  a review of the series by Hugo Rifkind and JARW editor Sue Hughes.
  • The Jane Austen Font and the Missing X:  by Pia Frauss (see more below)
  • The English Type: by Philip Jansseune, on the type of William Caslon, chosen for the new design of JARW.
  • Christmas in Regency England: by Tim Bullamore.
  • Putting on the Ballroom Blues:  by Chris Coyle on Bath’s assembly rooms paint makeover (and in my favorite color!)
  • Elizabeth Inchbald’s Lover’s Vows: by Caroline Fitton on the novelist and actress and the play that formed the pivotal scenes in Mansfield Park.
  • Finding Pemberley: by JASNA’s own Iris Lutz on her visit to Chatsworth and other Austen-related houses on the JASNA-sponsored tour “Jane Austen’s Great Houses in Fact and Fiction.”
  • Lichfield Conference – Jane Austen and Dr. Johnson: by Marilyn Joice on the JAS conference in September 2008.
  • Book reviews: by Joceline Bury on Jane Odiwe’s Lydia Bennet’s Story, Carol Shield’s Jane Austen, and Penelope Byrd’s Jane Austen Fashion.

I like this new format and the in-depth articles…there are letters, news, news from Nov-Dec 1800, and of course, fabulous pictures throughout! 

The article by Pia Frauss, the creator of the Jane Austen font (and the one that JASNA uses in its logo), writes that she had to invent the capital letter X, as Jane never penned the letter.  You can read the  article and learn more at her website:  Pia Frauss’ Fonts

I highly recommend that you subscribe…a perfect holiday gift for yourself or your favorite Austen lover!