The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Jane Austen & More!

The Penny Post Weekly Review

27 January 2012

News /Gossip:

This article and book is generating so much online chat that I had to link to it:

“The First Sexual Revolution: Lust and Liberty in the 18th Century.” Adulterers and prostitutes could be executed and women were agreed to be more libidinous than men – then in the 18th century attitudes to sex underwent an extraordinary change… by Faramerz Dabhoiwala  in The Guardian:

-and you might also like to read this essay by  Tony Perrottet on “Guidebooks to Babylon” – note the references to “Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies”:

-and perhaps this whole book on the subject: The Covent Garden Ladies: Pimp General Jack and The Extraordinary Story of Harris’s List by Hallie Rubenhold – Tempus Publishing, 2005:

Oh dear, what would Jane say!

Downton Abbey
  ~ like Dickens, DA now has its own category!

*Downton Abbey, the house as the real star of the show:

*This article on “The Literary Pedigree of Downton Abbey” will give you several books to add to your TBR pile:

*as will this post from JASNA-New Jersey that lists several booklists out there:

*and a visit to the Masterpiece website will give you stories to read, polls to take and videos to view:

countdown to next show [for those counting!]: 2 days and 7 hours…

Now back to Jane Austen!

“Discovering Austen: A One-Woman Show”:

Visit The Library as Incubator Project for an interview with Kristin Hammargren on her upcoming one woman show, Discovering Austen (running Thursday, January 26 – Saturday, January 28, 7:30 p.m. at the Hemsley Theatre,821 University Avenue in Madison,WI).

The Circulating Library

*An article about unfinished books like Dickens’ Edwin Drood and Austen’s Sanditon:

[this lovely image from the article : by Miles Cole]

*Behind Jane Austen’s Door by Jennifer Forest – an ebook, sort of  a cross between Bill Bryson’s At Home and Amanda Vickery’s works on Georgian homelife, but lots shorter: – have just started it, will report when done…

*Romanticism Redefined: Pickering & Chatto and The Wordsworth Circle
from the Alexander Street Press – check if your local academic or public library will be subscribing to this online resource:

-And read this review in Library Journal:

*The Victorian Newsletter:

*The British Newspaper Archive:

•           Books I am Looking Forward to

*as a great advocate of the importance of re-reading, especially Jane Austen, I am happy to add this to my TBRimmediately pile:

Patrica Meyers Spacks,  On Re-Reading: , which includes a video interview with the author:

After retiring from a lifetime of teaching literature, Patricia Meyer Spacks embarked on a year-long project of rereading dozens of novels: childhood favorites, fiction first encountered in young adulthood and never before revisited, books frequently reread, canonical works of literature she was supposed to have liked but didn’t, guilty pleasures (books she oughtn’t to have liked but did), and stories reread for fun vs. those read for the classroom. On Rereading records the sometimes surprising, always fascinating, results of her personal experiment.

Spacks addresses a number of intriguing questions raised by the purposeful act of rereading: Why do we reread novels when, in many instances, we can remember the plot? Why, for example, do some lovers of Jane Austen’s fiction reread her novels every year (or oftener)? Why do young children love to hear the same story read aloud every night at bedtime? And why, as adults, do we return to childhood favorites such as The Hobbit, Alice in Wonderland, and the Harry Potter novels? What pleasures does rereading bring? What psychological needs does it answer? What guilt does it induce when life is short and there are so many other things to do (and so many other books to read)? Rereading, Spacks discovers, helps us to make sense of ourselves. It brings us sharply in contact with how we, like the books we reread, have both changed and remained the same.

-and a review here:

and here at Austenprose:

*Just in time for Valentine’s Day:  Jane Austen on Love and Romance, edited by Constance Moore:

*Simon Dickie: Cruelty and Laughter: Forgotten Comic Literature and the Unsentimental Eighteenth Century.   U Chicago P, 2011. [love the cover!]

with a review here:

*The final book in Michael Thomas Ford’s trilogy of Jane as Vampire will be released on February 28, 2012:

Here is a review from Library Journal:

Ford, Michael Thomas. Jane Vows Vengeance. Ballantine. Feb. 2012.
c.288p. ISBN 9780345513670. pap. $15.

Author-turned-vampire Jane Austen wants to marry Walter, but fending off her soon-to-be mother-in-law and fear of revealing her Big Secret are sucking the fun out. Walter’s invitation to join colleagues on an architectural tour of Europe leads him to suggest a wedding-slash-honeymoon. The wedding party—including their friends Lucy and Ben and Walter’s mom, Miriam, and her dog—arrive in London anticipating the happy event, but it’s not to be. A guest from Jane’s far past arrives to object, and the remainder of the trip continues this inauspicious start, including the search for Crispin’s Needle, said to return a vampire’s soul. If the needle can be found, would it deliver a soul or kill the vampire trying?

Verdict: Ford’s final book in the trilogy (Jane Bites Back; Jane Goes Batty) is nicely connected with characters and ideas to the previous books, but it can also be read as a stand-alone. More architectural detail than literary asides, a fabulous back story for Miriam, and a sometimes overwhelming number of additional elements will surprise readers. Still, the key elements of a charmingly reluctant vampire, supportive friends, and flashes of brilliance offset by poor undead life-skills remain in full force. [Library marketing.]—Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH

*Coming in June 2012: London: A History in Verse, edited by Mark Ford (Belknap, 2012) 

Called “the flour of Cities all,” London has long been understood through the poetry it has inspired. Now poet Mark Ford has assembled the most capacious and wide-ranging anthology of poems about London to date, from Chaucer to Wordsworth to the present day, providing a chronological tour of urban life and of English literature.

Nearly all of the major poets of British literature have left some poetic record of London: Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Dryden, Pope, Johnson, Wordsworth, Keats, Byron, and T.S. Eliot. Ford goes well beyond these figures, however, to gather significant verse of all kinds, from Jacobean city comedies to nursery rhymes, from topical satire to anonymous ballads. The result is a cultural history of the city in verse, one that represents all classes of London’s population over some seven centuries, mingling the high and low, the elegant and the salacious, the courtly and the street smart. Many of the poems respond to large events in the city’s history—the beheading of Charles I, the Great Fire, the Blitz—but the majority reflect the quieter routines and anxieties of everyday life through the centuries.

Ford’s selections are arranged chronologically, thus preserving a sense of the strata of the capital’s history. An introductory essay by the poet explores in detail the cultural, political, and aesthetic significance of the verse inspired by this great city. The result is a volume as rich and vibrant and diverse as London itself.

*Shannon Hale has a new book coming out on January 31, 2012 – Midnight in Austenland – another story with a different heroine set in the fictional Austenland as in her first Austen book… I liked that book, thought it was great fun, so will give this a try as well… $9.99 on my kindle

* Posh Pocket Jane Austen – 100 Puzzles and Quizzes by the Puzzle Society – came out in April 2011.

*What Austen’s Sense and Sensibility can teach us about Love and Courtship“, at The Daily Beast:

*World Book Night is taking shape for April 23, 2012.  You can see the 25 titles that will be distributed to people in participating countries:  Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is among them! – for the other titles [and a fabulous book list], go here:

You can learn more about this event in the US here:

*On my bedside table?: reading Bleak House, finally…

Websites and Blogs worth a look:

*“Sense and Sensibility in the Dining Room of Chawton Cottage”: by Julie Wakefield

Austen in Academia:

NEH Seminar for college and university teachers: “Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries” June 18-July 20, 2012

“We will read four Austen novels (Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma, and Northanger Abbey) and several novels by her contemporaries, including Anna Maria Porter, Jane West, and Mary Brunton. We will have several speakers join us in person or via Skype, including Jay Jenkins of Valancourt Books, who will talk to us about selecting, editing, and getting published a scholarly edition of an eighteenth- or nineteenth-century novel. We will also be taking a group day-trip to the Spencer Library at the Universityof Kansas.”

Museum Musings – Exhibition Trekking:

*The Cambridge University Library has just opened an exhibition Shelf Lives: Four Centuries of Collectors and their Books January 18 – June 16, 2012

the bookshelf of Sir Geoffrey Keynes, noted bibliographer of Jane Austen (1929) – if you look closely at this bookshelf, you may notice a familiar spine or two of Austen’s works!

article here:

*At the The Folger Shakespeare Library, from Feb 3- May 20, 2012:
Shakespeare’s Sisters: Voices of English and European Women Writers, 1500-1700

Auction News:

Always on the lookout for London materials:

Sotheby’s London November 15, 2011: Lot 14

A New & Correct Plan of London [London, 1760], folding silk fan engraved by Richard Bennett.. Travel, Atlases, Maps & Natural History [L11405] Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 GBP – Sold for: 11,875 GBP

Regency Life

•           Fashion

A little later than our time, but here is an interesting blog post on “Women, Fashion and Frivolity” at the Darwin and Gender blog:

-Note this quote by George Darwin:

Women’s dress retains a great similarity from age to age, together with a great instability in details, and therefore does not afford so much subject for remark as does men’s dress.

 [excuse me? –  a great similarity? an instability in detail? ]

Here is the full text of George Darwin’s 1872 writing on Development in Dress

General History:

*this is fabulous! Postcards of Queen Elizabeth through the ages at Financial Times online

[when there scroll down to view the slideshow]

[image: with thanks to Nerdy Girls!]

Charles Dickens:
– he’s everywhere!

*Dickens in pictures at the Telegraph :

*A tour of Dickens birthplace:

*“Celebrating Mr. Dickens” a symposium at the Universityof Delaware, February18, 2012:

*“Dickens in Lowell”: an exhibit [opens March 30, 2012] ,and symposium celebrating Dickens’s historic visit to Lowell, Massachusettsin 1842 –

*The Yale Center for British Art begins its 2012 film tribute to Dickens with the first film in the series “Dickens’London”, a 1924 12-minute silent film:

– followed by The Pickwick Papers, from 1952:

*The DeGoyler Library at Southern Methodist University is hosting a Dickens exhibit:

Charles Dickens: The First Two Hundred Years. An Exhibition from the Stephen Weeks Collection. January 19-May 12, 2012 – a catalogue is available for purchase:


from Flourishcafe at

For Fun:

*Another image of Jane! A cigarette card from the NYPL Digital Gallery, from a collection of 50 cards of “Celebrities of British History” – here is the Jane Austen card and the verso with a short biography of Austen.  You can see her illustrious company on the 49 other cards at the link below:

 [with thanks to JASNA-New Jersey for the link]

Specific Material Type: Photomechanical prints
Source: [Cigarette cards.] / Celebrities of British history : a series of 50
Location: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building/ George Arents Collection

*Found this on the Cotswold History blog:

Sometimes, entries from 18th century newspapers read more like the introduction to a Jane Austen novel than a Jane Austen Novel. Take this entry from the Gloucester Journal of 17 April 1797:

“Glocester, April 17 – Tuesday last was married at North Nibley, in this county, Mr John Parradice, of Wick, to Miss Sarah Knight, ofNorth Nibley, an agreeable young lady, with a large fortune.”

A groom named Paradise (almost), and a pleasant, rich lady; this story has the potential to make a rather good novel.

*A reminder that the website for the Jane Austen Centre in Bath has a section on Music Videos:

Watch them all and choose your favorite [very hard to do!]

Copyright @2012, Jane Austen in Vermont

The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Jane Austen!

The Penny Post Weekly Review

December 12, 2011

News /Gossip

Author Lev Raphael on “Thank you Jane Austen”

A website I just stumbled upon [yet not new!] Why Jane : A Truth Universally Acknowledged.

JASNA ~  National & Regional News

A new blog:  a gentleman [we shall call him Janeite Kirk] who belongs to not just one but TWO Boston Jane Austen Reading Groups came to our JASNA-Vermont tea this past week and he told me their blog with some fine pictures and many links to “All Things Jane Austen”:
Austen in Boston: A Jane Austen Reading Group
They also have a facebook page here:

JASNA Eastern PA is having a Jane Austen Day celebration on April 28, 2012.  You can read all about it on their website, where you will find a link to their youtube videos: – they also have a facebook page:, and a youtube channel:

Vermont News 

[Image from: Cactus Creek Daily]

Hooked in the Mountains – Stuck in Vermont, and you can visit the website of the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild here: 

The Shelburne Museum has posted information on the use of LED lights to illuminate your collections:

The Circulating Library 

The British Library has made available its British Newspaper Archive
Just type in “Jane Austen” and you will be kept busy for hours!

And read this review of the archive at The Digital Victorianist: 

And for other newspaper archives, see this link at the Library of Congress to their Newspaper Resource List and also Newspaper Archives on the Web  

  • Books I am Looking Forward to… 

From the National Portrait Gallery:
Imagined Lives: Portraits of Unknown People

Eight internationally acclaimed authors have invented imaginary biographies and character sketches based on fourteen unidentified portraits. Who are these men and women, why were they painted, and why do they now find themselves in the Collection of the National Portrait Gallery? With fictional letters, diaries, mini-biographies and memoirs, Imagined Lives creates vivid stories about these unknown sitters from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

For your iphone, ipad and such: Ebook Treasures: We already know that Austen’s History of England is available from the British Library, but look at this, a 14th Century Cookbook:

“The Forme of Cury is the oldest surviving cookbook in the world, dating from the late 14th century. Originally made by the cooks of the court of Richard II, very few copies survive, and this one, from the John Rylands Library in Manchester, is probably the best and earliest. Written in Middle English, the script can be hard to interpret, and some of the recipes unfamiliar. The book gives an incredible insight into medieval kitchens, as well as medieval life itself.  The book contains one hundred and ninety-four recipes which reveal the amazing variety and elaboration of the dishes available to the elite, including stews, roast dishes, jellies, tarts and custards. Among the recipes are ‘Chyckens in gravey’, ‘Blank manger’ (a white savory stew, from which the word ‘blancmange’ derives),‘Furmente with porpays’ (porpoise in wheat porridge), and ‘Crypses’ (fried pastries). 

The manuscript is still in a very worn, and possibly original, binding and it may well have been used as a practical cookery book in an aristocratic or royal kitchen. However, unlike modern recipe books, the Forme of Cury doesn’t give exact quantities or cooking times, so a lot is left to the skill and imagination of the cook. 

This iBook contains the complete manuscript along with transcriptions from the Middle English. iTunes £3.99 ” [from the website]___________________________________

 An Introduction to the Tokens at the Foundling Museum, by Janette Bright & Gillian Clark. Price:   £5.00

[with thanks to the Two Nerdy History Girls for the heads-up]

Michael Dirda of the Washington Post reviews Death Comes to Pemberley – this is on the top of my TBR pile… 

For those non-vegetarians out there with an interest in the Meat of London, here is a tasty read [and perhaps an unsettling one?]: 

Meat, Commerce and the City: The London Food Market, 1800–1855 by Robyn Metcalfe –  all you ever wanted to know about the Smithfield Meat Market, due out in March 2012 from Pickering & Chatto.
[image from Victorian]

Tides of War, by Stella Tillyard  

An epic novel about love and war, set in Regency England and Spain during the Peninsular War (1812-15), by the acclaimed historian and bestselling author of “Aristocrats.” Tides of War opens in England with the recently married, charmingly unconventional Harriet preparing to say goodbye to her husband, James, as he leaves to join the Duke of Wellington’s troops in Spain….

And read a review at

A book about the plague, Ralph Tailor’s Summer by Keith Wrightson – visit the publisher Yale Books where you can read a fascinating extract from the preface.

And it is always a good habit to check out the newest titles at GirlebooksThe Female Quixote, by Charlotte Lennox.

Robert Adam - Wikipedia

If architecture is your passion, here is a new work, also published by Pickering & Chatto:  Robert and James Adam, Architects of the Age of Enlightenment, by Ariyuki Kondo, available now… 

  • Articles of Interest 

Lynda A. Hall. “A View from Confinement: Persuasion’s Resourceful Mrs. Smith.” Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies 7.3 (Winter 2011).

And John Mullan with another of  his “Ten Best” at The Guardian– Austen makes the list yet again!

Charles Dickens ~ his 200th birthday!

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens is getting a good number of  exhibitions all over in celebration of his 200th birthday: you can check the various happenings at the Dickens 2012 website.  

Here are a few of the current offerings: 

*Dickens Christmas Tour at National Gallery:

*Dickens at the British Library: A Hankering after Ghosts: Charles Dickens and the Supernatural, British Library,London, until March 4 2012

Info at:

And here:

Dickens and London at the Museum of London:

Bleak House 1st ed. - Museum of London

*There is also the Dickens Exhibition at The Morgan Library.  Here is the online component you can visit without leaving home: you can view 20 pages of A Christmas Carol and read a letter penned by Dickens…

Dickens - Morgan Library

*Penelope Wilton reading Claire Tomalin’s Dickens biography at the BBC:
[with thanks to Tony G.!]

 Museum Musings ~ Exhibition Trekking 

Yale Exhibition - Adapting the Eye

Yale Centre for British Art: Adapting the Eye: An Archive of the British in India, 1770–1830 [October 11, 2011–December 31, 2011] 

 Organized to complement the Center’s major exhibition on Johan Zoffany, who spent six productive years in India, Adapting the Eye explores the complex and multifaceted networks of British and Indian professional and amateur artists, patrons, and scholars in British India in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and their drive to create and organize knowledge for both aesthetic and political purposes. Selected from the Center’s rich holdings, the exhibition includes a diverse range of objects from both high art and popular culture, including albums, scrapbooks, prints, paintings, miniatures, and sculpture, demonstrating how collecting practices and artistic patronage in India during that period constituted a complex intersection of culture and power.

Auction News 

At auction this coming week:  Bonham’s Fine Books and manuscripts, December 15, 2011:

 Lot No: 5159  WALKER, MRS. ALEXANDER. Female Beauty, as Preserved and Improved by Regimen, Cleanliness and Dress. London: Thomas Hurst, 1837.

8vo (183 x 107mm). With 11 lithographed illustrations, 10 hand-colored, each with hand-colored overlay, showing how physical characteristics (thick waist, broad jaws, short limbs, etc.) can be camouflaged in order to enhance one’s appearance. Later morocco by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, spine gilt, a.e.g. Custom slipcase. Some staining to spine, minor foxing throughout, offset from plates.  Estimate: US$500 – 700. 

And more of Mr. Dickens! Lot No: 5177: DICKENS, CHARLES. 1812-1870.

A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843.

8vo. [viii], 166, [2] ad pp. Hand-colored engraved frontispiece and 3 hand-colored plates. Original cloth blindstamped and gilt, a.e.g. Custom morocco pull-off case by Scroll Club Bindery. Pp 64-70 lightly foxed, binding slightly cocked and faded.

Provenance: Jerome Kern (morocco book label); Frank Brewer Bemis [1861-1935],Bostoncollector, whose collection was dispersed by Rosenbach and Goodspeed (bookplate). 

FIRST EDITION, THE KERN-BEMIS COPY. Second issue of the text, with “Stave One” on page [1], title page in red and blue dated 1843, and yellow endpapers, but first state of the binding (the closest interval between blindstamped border and gilt holly wreath being 14-15 mm not 12 mm, and the upper left serif of D intact). Todd calls this binding point a “desideratum … encompassing all the others,” and of greater importance in priority than the textual points (The Book Collector, 1961, pp 449-454). Eckel, p 116; Sadleir 684.  Estimate: US$4,000 – 6,000.

 Lot No: 5284 : GEORGE III. 1738-1820.

Document Signed (“George R.”), 1 p (with conjoined docketed blank), folio, St. James’s, May 25, 1781, being a pay warrant for General Henry Seymour Conway for the Royal Horse Guards for the year 1779, additionally signed by CHARLES JENKINSON, Earl of Liverpool, toned, tape stains at upper and lower right corners, small chips at edges, matted and framed.

Provenance: with Thomas F. Madigan,New Yorkautograph dealer (signed letter of authenticity, October 26, 1935). Estimate: US$800 – 1,200.

 Prices Realized at Auction: 

Mr. Dickens yet again!: A complete set in fine bindings of the first editions of Charles Dickens’s Christmas Books. Five volumes, uniformly bound, London, 1843-1848. Includes A Christmas Carol. Sold for $6,480. [Swann]


Dance Card for the Union Ball in Honor of the Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, $3,840 at Swann Galleries of New York on December 1.

A dance card issued to the guests atLincoln’s inaugural ball in 1861. Courtesy of Swann Galleries.These cards, with die-cut decorative border and a ribbon through one corner, were issued to guests at the inauguration ball inWashington,D.C.on March 4, 1861. On the second of the four pages are listed the twenty-three planned dances that will take place to the music provided by L. F. Weber’s band, while on the third is space to write in one’s partner for each dance. On the rear panel are printed the names of Lincoln and his vice president, Hannibal Hamlin, around an illustration of a bald eagle, captioned “The Constitution.”  [Invitations to the ball appear from time to time and sell for upwards of $8,000, but Swann could find no previous record of a dance card at auction.]

From the ever-interesting Booktryst website:

$7,500. for two albums by Paul Garvani: La Boite aux Lettres [the mailbox] [c1839] at Booktryst: 


Had to share this lovely illustration!


If you have not been following Austenonly’s posts on antique clothing at auction, take a look here: 

London sitings:

*Tony Grant at his London Calling blog on “Tea, just like Jane – Twinings”

*A tour of Dr. Johnson’s London

Reason enough to go to London in May [like one needs a reason…]:  
The Chelsea Flower Show

 Regency Life and Customs 

  • History 

*While searching in the eBritish Library Journal, I came upon this article on “‘Most Secret and Confidential’: The Pressed Copy Nelson Letters at the British Library” by Colin White  – with images [notice Nelson’s writing desk]:

also this article on political poetry of the late Georgian period – all poems about William Pitt: 

and this on Peter Pindar: ttp://

*A blog by the author Sarah J. Waldock: Renaissance and Regency Rummage Repository, where you can find a number of posts about Nelson and the Royal Navy, and other historical goodies…. You can follow her on Twitter as well here:!/SarahJWaldock

  • Cookery:  [via Austenonly, so thank you Julie for these delicious links!] 

Food History Jottings:  the new blog of Ivan Day – and his website on the history of food: 

  • Fashion  [with more thanks to Julie at Austenonly!] 

*Australian Dress register 

*New fashion blog:


If you are into hair collecting [a little late for our Regency tastes, but what good Victorianist is not into hair…], here is a short essay on the topic at Paul Fraser Collectibles.

And then you might like to add this to your collection: Lord Nelson’s hair for £49.95, or Napoleon, and the Duke of Wellingon, all the same price – also Dickens and Steinbeck and Paul McCartney, etc – but alas! – no Jane Austen!  

 – you can view them all here: 
Did I mention that the hair is only 1/16th of an inch?

For Fun

This from How to be a Retronaut, always a fun place to visit : Harry Hill’s Take on Tate  

Harry Hill's Take on Tate

You can purchase the book of postcards here:

And this is way too much fun to look at – The Love Diagrams of Jane Austen at Diana Peterfreund’s website: [visit her site for diagrams of the other novels]

 And finally, this is all over the airwaves, and we will have to wait until December 16th for it all to be unveiled, but visit the website of The Austen to whet your appetite and ponder.…  

**And, see you all on the 16th for the
Jane Austen Birthday Soiree!**

 Copyright @2011 Jane Austen in Vermont

The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Jane Austen!

The Penny Post Weekly Review

  October 30, 2011

News / Gossip: JASNA

For those who did not go to the AGM [and for those who did because the sound was flawed] – here is the video previewing the upcoming AGM in New York City next October [via Kerri]:

You can follow the 2012 AGM plans here:

[how easily we forget our cowboys and barbecued spare ribs! – how fickle we are!]

And even further into the future – here is the JASNA AGM 2014 on Facebook: “Mansfield Park in Montreal” [Fanny supporters unite!] –

A review of the play S&S in Fort Worth: spoiler alert! Gender bias!

The Circulating Library

“The Making of a Homemaker” – a Smithsonian Institution online exhibition about the domestic guidebooks written for the 19th century American housewife: many images

Image: Mrs. Lydia Green Abell. The Skillful Housewife’s Book: or Complete Guide to Domestic Cookery, Taste, Comfort and Economy. New York: R. T. Young, 1853.

  • Articles of Interest

Gemmill, Katie. “Jane Austen as Editor: Letters on Fiction and the Cancelled Chapters of Persuasion.”   ECF 24.1 (2011): 105-122

“Seen but Not heard: Servants in Jane Austen’s England”  by Judith Terry:
[via Christy S.]

  •  Books I am Looking Forward to…

Persuasion, An Annotated Edition, edited by Robert Morrison [in the same series as the Annotated Pride and Prejudice edited by Patricia Myers Spacks] –

The Jennifer Kloester biography of Georgette Heyer:  a not so glowing review in The Guardian:

I think I might weigh in after reading it myself – I thoroughly enjoyed the Hodge biography…

If you have read Bill Bryson’s At Home and Amanda Vickery’s Behind Closed Doors [and etc. regarding her titles] – and need another fix for your domestic matters obsessions, here is a must-have: If Walls Could Talk by Lucy Worsley [image US and UK cover: note that it is not available in the US until 2/2012 and has a different cover] – Ms. Worsley recently aired her Elegance and Decadence, The Age of the Regency on BBC4, also not available here until when ?? [though it is available for streaming, on youtube, etc.]  [makes one want to abandon the colonies for good and head to the mothership?]

You can follow Lucy Worsley’s blog here: where there is a link for the book…

US cover

UK cover

If you like to buy Jane Austen’s six novels in various forms by cover, editor, etc, here is a new take on cover art:

A review by Claire Harman [of Jane’s Fame fame] of P.D. James’s Death Comes to Pemberley here:—

  • On my bedside table

Claire Tomalin’s Dickens:,,9780670917679,00.html

And speaking of Dickens, a reminder about the exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum:

Websites and Blogs worth a look:

I’ve looked at this before, but a friend [thanks Joe!] reminded me to give it another look:  Jane Austen’s family on

“A Dude Reads Jane Austen” at the Gone Reading blog:

And visit the Gone Reading blog to find out about their reading foundation – have a look and give if you can!

A group blog by British historical fiction authors: English History Authors

“Britain leaves us awed by ancient castles, ruins and museums. History pours out a legacy of battles, a developing monarchy, a structured class system, court-inspired behaviors and fashions, artwork and writings that have created an international hoard of Anglophiles. From among them have come forth those who feel that they must fuel the fire. Welcome to the happy home of English Period Authors. We have come together to share, inspire and celebrate and to reach out to our cherished readers.”

“What links Jane Austen, John Nash, Humphry Repton and Blaise Hamlet?” at the Georgian Gentleman blog:

Blaise Castle – Humphry Repton
[via Two Nerdy History Girls]

Thrifty Jane blog – interviews with various Austen characters, esp the “thrifty” sort! [i.e. Mrs. Norris, Lucy Steele, Lady C, etc…]

Jane Austen Confessions:

Recipes from Colonial Williamsburg:

A reminder of this site, Bath In Time:

[image: Inside the Assembly Rooms, 1805]

A post on Ackermann’s many prints, reproduced on this blog: [via Jane Austen’s World blog]:

Ackermann’s Library 1813

Any interest in English Handwriting?? – here is an amazing online course for free – makes me want to dig out my old calligraphy pens and settle in for a winter class!:

‘The Earle of Essex his instructions to his sonne’

and here is more handwriting information:

A post by Simon Beattie on the man who tried to kill King George III in 1800:

Museum Musings – Exhibition Trekking:

I’ve posted on this before and now the exhibition is open:

Dorothy Jordan – NPG

[and while there, don’t forget to sign up for the Fortnum & Mason luxury hamper giveaway! –

And visit Austenonly for a review of the accompanying book:

The Charleston Museum (in South Carolina) will be offering a documentary film series on quilts: [be sure to watch the video at this link]

And also visit the upcoming exhibit Coat Check: [image] Nov. 12, 2011 – March 4, 2012

Coat c1830

Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome:   this exhibit was at the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth, but I was unfortunately unable to go – Laurel Ann at Austenprose did see it on the Sunday as she was leaving later than me – she said I must buy the book, so here you go, another lovely art book to peruse:

Exhibit info here:

and here at the National Gallery of Canada:

Winterthur Museum:
“With Cunning Needle: Four Centuries of Embroidery”

and the upcoming conference:
[via Two Nerdy History Girls]

Continuing Education:

Check out this Colorado Romance Writers, Inc. Online Workshop Series
class for NOVEMBER 2011!

Writing Between the Sexes (Using gender differences to
create believable characters)

Instructor: Leigh Michaels
Date: October 31 – November 25, 2011

DESCRIPTION: Have you ever read a mystery where the heroine sounds like
an oversexed gangster? Or a romance where the hero sounds more like a
girlfriend than a man? Chances are, the oversexed heroine was created by
a male author; the tender, emotional hero by a woman. Men and women
think, act, and talk differently – which causes problems for writers
who are trying to create characters of the opposite sex. Learn about the
most common gender differences, and use them to create believable
characters of the opposite sex. (And along the way, you may get some
great ideas about how to deal with your husband, boyfriend, boss, big
brother, or other assorted males — or for the first time, understand
what’s really going on inside the head of your wife, girlfriend, mom…)

Fee: $20 CRW Members; $25 Non-CRW Members. FMI about the workshops or
speakers, or to register:


The Jane Austen Centre is beginning its holiday shopping marketing:  here are some  ideas from the “Pemberley Collection”:

“The popular colours of Regency England” 

Sage and other variants were very fashionable during the Regency period as a green dye that did not fade or darken was invented. However, it was literaly the colour to die for – the pigment contained a poisonous copper arsenic compound! 

Plum is a much nicer word than ‘Puce’, which was popular in the Regency period. The purplish pink shade was named after the French word for ‘Flea’ as it resembled the shade of the blood sucking insect after a meal. Yuck! 

Teal and shades of blue were also in demand. In Jane Austen’s time dyes were expensive, pigments made of natural substances and the resulting hues rather muted compared to our modern artificial dyes, hence this lovely soft shade of teal would have been considered as being quite bright!

[from the Jane Austen Centre website]

[sage, plum and teal being my favorite colors – I knew I was born in the wrong century!]

For Fun

A joke on twitter – Victorian London:

“Why are a chimney sweep and a bugler good partners at cards?

One can follow soot, the other can trumpet.” joke, 1884

This just strikes my funny bone: “The Invisible Mother” at How to be a Retronaut:

And finally, absolutely nothing to do with Jane Austen or the 18th or the 19th century:

Swim caps from the 50s – thankfully we have come a long way baby…: [via How to Be  a Retronaut]

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum of Jane Austen in Vermont

The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Jane Austen

The Penny Post Weekly Review

  October 1, 2011


Vermont as you know suffered unfathomable damage from the winds and rain of Irene.  We were largely spared here in the Burlington area, but other parts of the state were hammered – you have seen the many pictures on the national news of flooding, senseless deaths, extensive property damage to homes and businesses and farms, covered bridges falling into the rivers – it has been a nightmare – but now the big concern is that the greater world thinks that Vermont is “boarded up” so to speak – not a place to visit this fall, that season that brings the annual leaf-peepers to our lovely state – so I take a minute here to give a shout-out for the State of Vermont – We Are Open for Business! – road crews have been working non-stop to get roads and towns back into shape – so if you want to help out in any way, hop in your car [or plane or train or bike] and come for a visit, go to the restaurants and eat local, shop in the stores  (buy books from the local bookshops!), walk in the woods, hike the mountains – it is all here, just as before, and we are waiting with open arms!


You can visit this website for information on I am Vermont Strong:  where you can buy a t-shirt to help the recovery! – and a  fine example of social networking sites making a difference: 

the Facebook Page:


So, a few events of interest, set in Vermont:

[image – Richard and Gordon]

 Bringing the music of PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND to Vermont…

Richard Wood & Gordon Belsher 

Come and spend an evening of fiddling, singing and tapping
your toes to a mix of Irish, Scottish and Maritime tunes. 

201 Bridge St

Tickets $15 per person (kids under 14 FREE)
Emailpeihouseconcertinvt [at] comcast [dot] net or
call 802-324-0092 for more information
Light refreshments will be provided 

Richard Wood : 
Gordon Belsher: 


Our very own Burlington Country Dancers ~ their Fall schedule: 

Elley-Long Music Center, 223 Ethan Allen Avenue, Colchester,VT
First and Third Fridays (Sept. thru May) w/ LIVE MUSIC
7pm – 7:30pm Session for more experienced dancers – $1
7:30pm – 9:30pm Dancing for all – $8 ($5 student/under 30) 

2011 DATES (All Fridays):

  • Sept. 16 ~ Impropriety (Lar Duggan, McKinley James, Laura Markowitz, Ana Ruesink)
  • Oct. 7 ~ Old Stage Road (Carol Compton, Albert Joy, Margaret Smith)
  • Oct. 21 ~ Lar Duggan, Dominique Gagne, Peter MacFarlane
  • Nov. 4 ~ Aaron Marcus, McKinley James, Laura Markowitz, Ana Ruesink
  • Nov. 18 ~ DANCE PARTY with Guest Teacher Tom Amesse (from NYC) and with Frost & Fire (Hollis Easter, Viveka Fox, Aaron Marcus)
  • Dec. 2 ~ Old Stage Road (Carol Compton, Albert Joy, Margaret Smith)
  • Dec. 16 ~ Aaron Marcus, McKinley James, Laura Markowitz, Ana Ruesink

~ All dances taught & walked through by Wendy Gilchrist, Martha Kent, Val Medve ~ Casual dress ~ Please bring a sweet or savory ‘finger food’ snack ~ We change partners frequently throughout the evening, so there’s no need to bring your own partner (a Mr. Darcy might be lurking, or is that a Mr. Knightley without a partner?…) 

See their website for more information:

And save the date for the next Across the Lake weekend event:  June 8-10, 2012


UVM’s OLLI Program: English Country Dancing in Jane Austen’s World
Instructor: Judy Chaves
Date: Mondays, October 24, 31,  November 7 and 14
Time: 5:30-7pm
Location: Ira Allen Chapel (October 31 in Waterman Lounge) at UVM
Price: Members – $60 / Non-members – $85

Do you enjoy 19th-century British literature? If you’ve ever read any of Jane Austen’s novels or seen any of the recent film adaptations, you know that English country dance plays a prominent role in the culture of the time. The forerunner of American contra dance, English country dance is done in two facing lines (sometimes in squares, less often in circles) and requires no more than a knowledge of left from right and the ability and willingness to move to simply wonderful music. Through a combination of lecture (not much) and dance (as much as we can), you’ll learn the basics of the dance, gain an insider’s appreciation of the vital role it played in the lives of Austen’s characters, understand the etiquette and logistics underpinning Austen’s dance scenes–and have a great deal of fun in the process. You may come by yourself or as a couple!

For more info:


 A Jane Austen Lecture: Norwich Public Library, November 2, 2011, 7pm 

In Want of a Wife: Romance and Realism in Pride and Prejudice 

Jane Austen is considered a realist of social relations – and yet, Pride and Prejudice incorporates an element of the fairy tale: it fulfills the wishes of its poor and not conspicuously beautiful heroine.  Dartmouth Professor Emeritus James Heffernan examines how Jane Austen does it. 

[Part of the Vermont Humanities Council 1st Wednesdays program] – visit here for more information on this and other events:


 News & Gossip ~ JASNA style: 

The AGM in Fort Worth is only a week and half away! [and alas! I am without proper attire! – though my jeans and cowgirl boots are at the ready!] – check out the meeting link at JASNA website for the schedule and latest news:

But even if your attire may not be quite proper, you can improve your mind by extensive reading: – here is the JASNA reading list for Sense and Sensibility [most available online]: 

Next year’s 2012 AGM is in New York City, “Sex, Money and Power” – Call for papers has been issued – due by November 1, 2011:

The winners of the annual essay context have been named – visit here to read the three top essays, all on S&S: 

Books I am Looking Forward To:

The 4th edition of Jane Austen’s Letters, edited by Deirdre Le Faye is due November 2011 from Oxford UP:  [image] 

This new fourth edition incorporates the findings of recent scholarship to further enrich our understanding of Austen and give us the fullest and most revealing view yet of her life and family. In addition, Le Faye has written a new preface, has amended and updated the biographical and topographical indexes, has introduced a new subject index, and had added the contents of the notes to the general index.  [from the Oxford UP website]

Marvel Comics  has done it again – this time Northanger Abbey, hitting the stores on November 9, 2011


SENSE AND SENSIBILITY by Jane Austen; with illustrations by Niroot Puttapipat (11 colour and 21 b&w silhouettes); Palazzo Editions: September 2011; £20

Link here for an article on this new edition:

Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine from Yale UP:

Websites  worth a look:


Gillian Dooley’s website Jane Austen’s Music, where you can download various pieces: 

And for the Mary Crawford wannabe in you: Paul Lewis : JANE AUSTEN SUITE for harp solo – Four movements: Prologue; Country Dance; Romance; Ride away. Goodmusic GM058:  

In 1998, inspired by close acquaintance with two antique gilded harps, I decided to compose a work in a style that would remind them of their younger days! To think myself into a thoroughly Regency frame of mind I played through antique music books until I was so immersed in the style of the period that I could close the books and continue playing in the same vein without any anachronistic intrusions. The books were a leather-bound volume of popular piano salon pieces by long-forgotten composers, written out in a neat copperplate ink script: “The Manuscript Books of Mary Heberden, Datchett Lodge, 1819 & 1826” and a similar collection of harp pieces compiled by one Eliza Euphrosina Saris at about the same time. By these means I hope to have produced music of the kind which Jane Austen might have imagined her fictional heroines playing, the sort of music that all well-bred young Regency ladies would have wanted to perform before an admiring audience, no doubt silhouetted with their harps before the French windows, making the most of the opportunity to display their slender fingers upon the strings and their delicate ankles as they moved the pedals. (Paul Lewis)


Museum Trekking: 

Bath Preservation Trust:  the website links on No. 1 Royal Crescent: The Whole Story Project – some great images here:

Royal Crescent Kitchen

and through October 30, there is a Jane Austen exhibition:  Putting Pen to Paper:

 This special temporary exhibition brought to you from the Bath Preservation Trust includes a rare set of Jane Austen’s first editions on loan from a private collection. Visitors to this inspirational exhibition can learn more about the life of Jane’s novels as the story reveals the craftsmanship of book production in the 18th century and the importance of reading in Jane Austen’s Bath. 

This exhibition will be the first opportunity to see a complete collection of Jane Austen’s first editions in Bath. These treasures will be exhibited alongside tools used in the book binding process. Stamps and rollers will show the exquisite designs used by gilders to create the perfect library for their clients. Beautifully coloured illustrations from later editions will highlight Jane’s narrative, defining her characteristic hallmark of accuracy and attention to detail. 


And while there, stop by at the link on Bath Maps

National Portrait Gallery:

if lucky to be in London, do not miss the exhibition on The First Actresses: Nell Gwyn to Sarah Siddons, 20 October 2011 – 8 January 2012 

[Image: Mrs. Robinson as Perdita]

 Yale Center for British Art:  an exhibit on John Zoffany begins October 27, 2011. – Zoffany [1733-1810]- a painter of many Georgian families, including Queen Charlotte:

On My Bedside Table:
[I heartily confess to a table full of fan fiction! – and thoroughly enjoying all! – more on each in the coming weeks…]

And here is a book I just discovered: My Brother and I, a Jane Austen Sequel from a Completely Different Viewpoint [i.e. Edward Benton the farrier’s apprentice, employed at Pemberley], by Cornelis de Jong  – go here for more info  [this one I might send to my kindle…]

For fun: 

With thanks to the always interesting Two Nerdy History Girls: take a few moments to watch both these very funny videos from the BBC– a spoof of Downton Abbey “Uptown Downstairs Abbey” and almost as good as the real thing! – these will just have to do until we here in the US “patiently” wait for the real season 2 next year : 

[and watch out for Kim Cattrall hiding behind her dark locks and the perpetually falling butler!]

Have a fine week one and all!

The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Austen

The Penny Post Weekly Review

  August 7, 2011

It’s been way too long since the “weekly” Penny Post has arrived in your mailbox – I am afraid to change the name to “monthly” (though more accurate today!)  because then I shall not be diligent enough to get it out at all! – so some of this may be old news, but I am including it if it is worthy of a mention in case you missed it on the first go-round on the blog-sphere … 

News & Gossip:

Book Giveaway! – Don’t forget to comment on the Rachel Brownstein interview post to be included in the drawing for a copy of Why Jane Austen? – deadline is Wednesday August 17.

Chawton House Library: Jane Austen’s SENSE AND SENSIBILITY: a bicentennial celebration – Saturday 17 September 2011:

The Austenesque Extravagana is in full-swing at the Austenesque Reviews blog – join the fun – it lasts all month! :

The Circulating Library:  

The John Murray archive at the National Library of Scotland [Murray was Jane Austen’s publisher]:

Dickens and Massachusetts: A Tale of Power and Transformation – at UMass Lowell:

At the Circulating Library: A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837-1901 offers a biographical and bibliography database of nineteenth-century British fiction. Currently, the database contains 7335 titles by 2494 authors (more statistics). The database is hosted by the Victorian Research Web, a major and free research resource for Victorian scholars:

The English Novel 1830-1836

British Fiction, 1800-1839

Thackeray exhibit at the Houghton Library

Websites, blogs, etc: 

Indie  Indie Jane is a new blog and community that celebrates and supports independent/non-traditionally published Austenesque literature:   [currently discussing Sense & Sensibility:  ]

A blog just about teapots!:

Museums / Exhibitions: 

The Royal George Warship , 1756

George III ship models at the National Maritime Museum
[see other online collections here as well]

Caricature exhibition at the Library of Congress

Articles of Interest:

A follow-up on these posts on TEA by Mary Ellen Foley: here are the links to all 5 posts: 

[And see also this link ]

Henry Tilney alert!:

Thoughts on the sale of The Watsons at The Culture Concept:

WashingtonPost:  Five Myths about Jane Austen:

A blog post on the gardens at Jane Austen’s Chawton house:

On Georgette Heyer, at Abebooks: 

On Princess Diana – Magazine covers, 1981-1997: 

Byron memorial book found at a Church book sale [and thankfully donated to the Library!]: 

Diana Birchall shares her latest trip to England in ongoing posts – these so far, with tons of fabulous photographs!:

Tiles stolen from Wiltshire church where Jane Austen’s uncle was the vicar and where he is buried:

Book Thoughts:


Lev Raphael’s take on P&P – Pride and Prejudice: The Jewess and the Gentile:

To Put Asunder: The Laws of Matrimonial Strife by Lawrence A. Stotter
– ISBN 9781587902109 – Price: $ 150.00   
From the website: 

Taking its cue from Matthew 19:6, “What, therefore, God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” this book describes humankind’s actions in doing just that. 

A readable selected history of family law, To Put Asunder traverses more than two thousand years of continuing attempts by various societies to inhibit the desires of men and women, kings and commoners, to terminate their unsatisfactory marriages. The stories revealed are surprisingly engaging when the reader is introduced to the lives and personalities of some who were directly affected by family law.

The Supernatural Jane Austen series website [by Vera Nazarian]:

The Regency Period:

Amanda Vickery on The Old Bailey:

A short article at How to Be a Retronaut on the science of phrenology in 1831:


Meissen gold-mounted Royal snuff box made for Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland: sold for 1.3 million 

The Snuff box collection at Bonhams auction sold for:  £1,700,000 ($2.7m) in London, on Tuesday July 5:  
[see the auction link for listing of all the snuff boxes and sale prices]


18th century shoes at The American Duchess [thank you Marti!]


Jane Austen Limoges boxes on sale:

For Fun: 

Word Fighter game

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice Trivia Game:


If you find any especially interesting Austen-related bits, please email me – I will include items in next week’s Penny Post Weekly Review!

Copyright @2011 by Deb Barnum, of Jane Austen in Vermont