The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Jane Austen!

The Penny Post Weekly Review

 November 20, 2011

 News & Gossip 

*Lindsay Ashford on her new book The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen – and how Austen perhaps died from arsenic poisoning, whether intentional or not – has created quite the kerfuffle on the airwaves. Miss Ashford has written a fictional account of what might have happened [and it certainly reveals a good number of Austen family secrets! – all fiction of course…or is it?]

The Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2060743/Im-convinced-Jane-Austen-poisoned-arsenic-A-startling-revelation-Britains-leading-novelists.html

and The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/14/jane-austen-arsenic-poisoning

 [I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Ashford at the Fort Worth AGM – I’ve also read the book! – more on this in a future post I hope… has anyone else read it? – it deserves some conversation!]

*Those who have been following Downton Abbey [and who in their right costume-drama mind is not] will be pleased to know that the series has been granted a third season! – meanwhile we on this side of the pond “patiently” wait until January for Series 2, now finished in the UK – watch your PBS station for details on the re-running of Season 1 prior to the new shows – [do I dare admit that at our WWW (Wild Women Weekend) we watched the entire first season straight through [well, parts 5 and 6 on the Sunday morning – is there anything better than sharing this show with your very own group of fabulous wild women?!] 

Anyway, here is an interview with Dan Stevens – the hero of the piece, soon to be a soldier in WWI who returns home injured – however will Mary fit into this lifestyle change?? http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/11/04/downton-abbey-dan-stevens-interview_n_1075617.html?just_reloaded=1

 
JASNA and JASNA-Vermont News

The JASNA website has added its annual link to Austen-related gifts from various JASNA Regions here: http://jasna.org/merchandise/index.html – a great place to start your holiday shopping, even for those not so Austen-crazed – what a better time than this to convert a few friends…

The JASNA-Vermont Annual Birthday Tea is next Sunday December 4, 2011 – please send in your reservation form if you are planning on attending! – https://janeausteninvermont.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/jasna-vermont-event-annual-jane-austen-birthday-tea/

This at the JASNA South Carolina Region:  I went – wonderful time – will report the full details this week…http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/vince-lannie/Event?oid=3642559
 

The Circulating Library 

*Has anyone read any of these books? Are they any good? – the Jaine Austen mysteries by Laura Levine: http://www.lauralevinemysteries.com/index.html

Humor is the key ingredient in this slick debut by television comedy writer Levine. Freelancer Jaine Austen (her mother loved the classics but couldn’t spell) makes a living writing love letters, personal ads and industrial brochures, but she never expected her work to involve her in murder.

Titles in the series: 

  • Pampered to Death 
  • Death of a Trophy Wife
  • Killer Cruise 
  • Killing Bridezilla 
  • Death by Pantyhose 
  • The PMS Murder 
  • Shoes to Die For 
  • Killer Blonde 
  • Last Writes 
  • This Pen for Hire

*For the Sense and Sensibility bicentenary – an article in Fine Books & Collections:
http://www.finebooksmagazine.com/fine_books_blog/2011/10/by-a-lady.phtml

FB&C asks: Have any FB&C readers attempted to collect all known editions and translations of Austen’s debut title?  Does anyone know of any individual or institution that may have made such an attempt…?

* a great resource: “Fiction in the Hampshire Chronicle 1772-1820” on the Chawton House Library website:
http://www.chawton.org/library/chronicle.html

 
* A new book with a great title:  Freud’s Couch, Scott’s Buttocks, Bronte’s Grave by Simon Goldhill.  There are chapters on traveling to the homes and haunts of Shakespeare, Bronte, Wordsworth, Scott, and Freud, but alas! no Austen – what was Mr. Goldhill thinking?!: http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/F/bo10997683.html

And the press release:  http://press.uchicago.edu/news/2011/November/1111goldhillprs.html 
[with thanks to Joe T.!] 

*Do you like Sherlock Holmes? – there is some good stuff at Victoria Magazine

http://www.victorianamagazine.com/archives/12989 and http://www.victorianamagazine.com/archives/12964 

And while we are on Mr. Holmes, visit the website for the Sherlock Holmes Society of London:
http://www.sherlock-holmes.org.uk/ – where you can order your Christmas cards for 2011 complete with Holmes and Watson in the “Blue Carbuncle”…

And you can get on your Kindle with the touch of your keyboard, a new Holmes-inspired book: Barefoot on Baker Street by Charlotte Anne Walter:
http://www.amazon.com/Barefoot-Street-Sherlock-Holmes-ebook/dp/B005CD789G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1317030802&sr=8-2

 This all in preparation for the second installment in the Holmes / Watson – Downey / Law due out it is said on of all days, December 16th! Would Jane Austen like Sherlock Holmes?? what do you think??

 
Websites and Blogs worth a look 

*Harvard University has set up a page Jane Austen: Online Resources http://www.hup.harvard.edu/features/austen/austen-resources.html

Harvard recently published the annotated editions of Pride and Prejudice and PersuasionEmma, NA, MP, and S&S are forthcoming.  Note that our esteemed Austenblog and Jane Austen’s World blog are both included in the resource list! Congratulations to Mags and Vic!

*One can never have enough of London, as Samuel Johnson so wisely opined – so here is yet another site to visit to satisfy your London wanderlust: the online exhibition Glimpses of London’s Past at the University of Otago: http://www.library.otago.ac.nz/exhibitions/london/index.html

Norden map of London 1593

[via Vic at Jane Austen’s World]

*Another Jane Austen blog to spend your spare minutes visiting: Vicariously Jane Austen at  http://vicariouslyjaneausten.com/ 

*An oldie but worth a listen:  Claire Tomalin on Jane Austen at TTBOOK.org:
http://ttbook.org/book/claire-tomalin-jane-austen
[TTBOOOK = To the Best of Our Knowledge – check out the various interview podcasts…]

*Old Print Giclees – reproducing prints of all sorts – here is a Gibson print – you can own your own [and very affordable], either on paper or canvas in any size – check out the website for other print selections on various subjects:  http://old-print-giclees.com/?wpsc_product_category=gibsonbook

"She Finds Some Consolation in her Mirror"

Museum Musings – Exhibition Trekking 

*The V&A:  Number 11 Henrietta Street – follow this audio and transcript for a tour through the house next door to Henry Austen’s No. 10: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/the-henrietta-street-room/ a tad larger than this image!

*The First Ladies Exhibit at the Museum of American History, opened November 19, 2011 http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/exhibition.cfm?key=38&exkey=1674&utm_source=Monthly+newsletter+subscribers&utm_campaign=50a804aaae-oct2011monthlynews&utm_medium=email

 The First Ladies explores the unofficial but important position of first lady and the ways that different women have shaped the role to make their own contributions to the presidential administrations and the nation. The exhibition features more than two dozen gowns from the Smithsonian’s almost 100-year old First Ladies Collection, including those worn by Frances Cleveland, Lou Hoover, Jacqueline Kennedy, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. A section titled “Changing Times, Changing First Ladies” highlights the roles played by Dolley Madison, Mary Lincoln, Edith Roosevelt, and Lady Bird Johnson and their contributions to their husband’s administrations. The First Ladies encourages visitors to consider the changing role played by the first lady and American women over the past 200 years.

*Robert Burns at the Morgan: http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/exhibition.asp?id=55

Burns - Auld Lang Syne

 
Regency Life 

*Fashion: video of Regency fashions as worn by Jane Austen, courtesy of the Yorkshire Post from an exhibit at Fairfax House that runs through December 31st:  http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/at-a-glance/main-section/video_autumn_fashions_as_worn_by_jane_austen_1_3702171

*Music: a reminder about the Jane Austen Music Transcripts by Gillian Dooley: http://dspace.flinders.edu.au/jspui/handle/2328/15193

 – and see this Regency Musical Timeline blog: http://regencymusicaltimeline.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2007-05-16T10%3A42%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=7 – no longer updated it seems, but a few good posts there worth looking at…
 

Shopping 

*Begin your holiday gift giving by sending all your friends this Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar – London again!  http://www.jacquielawson.com/advent/london [click this link not the picture for the demo]


And for Fun! 

*Buy your own London Taxi! from London Taxi Exports – see the story at Mary Ellen Foley’s Anglo-American blog: http://mefoley.wordpress.com/2011/11/08/drive-your-own-london-taxi/

*And finally, How Shakespearean are you?  – visit the Oxford Words blog to find out:
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/08/how-shakespearean-are-you/  

So, I couldn’t resist typing in: 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

Result??

Your English is 96 percent Shakespearean.

You ARE William Shakespeare!

No surprise there!

Copyright @2011 Deb Barnum of Jane Austen in Vermont 

Jane Austen Cards for Every Occasion!

Jane Austen at home in Bath

I received the information on these cards just before I was off on a holiday, so just now getting to post about them…. 

Tony Heaton’s “Greetings from England” line of cards and limited edition prints are quite lovely, our interest being of course those connected to Jane Austen [though certainly not limited to Austen only [isn’t that a name of a blog out there somewhere?] as I for one cannot resist the Shakespeare, the Hardy,  or a number of the grand stately houses he depicts.   Mr. Heaton, MDesRCA, kindly sent me several samples of the Jane Austen set – I will be ordering a number of each to sell at our meetings to benefit our JASNA-Vermont group.

Here is a sampling of what you will find when you visit the Greetings from England website:  

[the images below are very small – go to the website to see a full-size image – the cards are quite large (8×6) and suitable for framing if you did not want the expense of a limited print (which are 12×18)]

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre:

 

Thomas Hardy’s cottage:

 

Wordsworth’s cottage:

The Cerne Abbas Giant:

There are many Heritage sites in the UK – from Westminster Abbey, The Tower of London, Greenwich’s Royal Naval College, to the coastline of West Dorset and East Devon…

Tower of London

And for Jane Austen? – for that is why we are here after all…

Chawton Cottage

Royal Crescent, Bath

and Jane Austen’s Bath:

There are a number more, so please visit the site to see these and more full-sized images at:  http://www.greetingsfromengland.co.uk/

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And this lovely little surprise, as I find if all does not come back to Jane Austen, it is sure to come full circle to Vermont:

The American Museum in Britain – Vermont Quilt

Detail of one side of a Log Cabin-Barn Raising quilt made by
Sarah Bryant of Mount Holly, Vermont, New England USA – 1886

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*All images from the Greetings from England website, copyright Tony Heaton, and used with permission.  Please request permission directly from Mr. Heaton for re-use of any kind.  Mr. Heaton also creates home portraits – contact him at his website for further information.

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

Shakespeare?

There is much in the news today about this portrait being a true likeness of Shakespeare:

shakespeare-portrait-309

 Up to now only two images have been accepted as authentic representations of what Shakespeare may have looked like. One is the engraving by Martin Droeshout published in the First Folio of 1623. The other is the portrait bust in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon; the monument is mentioned in the Folio and therefore must have been in place by 1623. Both are posthumous –- Shakespeare died in 1616. The engraver, who was only in his teens when Shakespeare died, must have had a picture, until now unidentified, to work from. Professor Wells believes it to be the one he has revealed today and that it was done from life, in about 1610, when he was 46 years old.

[From the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust website]

The portrait [now called the Cobb Portrait after the owner] will be on public view at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon Avon beginning April 23, 2009.

See this article at Time.com;  and another at the NYTimes for a full report.

Jane Austen only Number 4??

                        Breaking news from the Mirror.UK:  8/19/08.  Enid Blyton beats JK Rowling and Jane Austen to be Britain’s best loved author of all time: 

Noddy creator Enid Blyton yesterday beat literary heavyweights Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters to the title of Britain’s bestloved author of all time.

The late writer, who still sells eight million books a year worldwide – over a million of them her Famous Five novels – topped a 2008 Costa Book Awards poll to find the top 50 most cherished authors.

Children’s writers swept the board, with Blyton followed by Roald Dahl and Harry Potter creator JK Rowling.

A spokesman for Costa said: “Enid Blyton has kept millions of children entertained over the years with tales of mystery, adventure and magic.

“This research demonstrates how influenced we are in later life by the authors and books we read as a child.”

Top 10: 1 Enid Blyton; 2 Roald Dahl; 3 JK Rowling; 4 Jane Austen; 5 William Shakespeare; 6 Charles Dickens; 7 JRR Tolkien; 8 Agatha Christie; 9 Stephen King; 10 Beatrix Potter.