Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Jane Austen News - Issue 119

Jane Austen News - Issue 119 -

Jane Austen News - Issue 119

What's the Jane Austen News this week? 

If At First You Don't Enjoy... Give Up?
The UK charity The Reading Agency recently commissioned a poll to discover the nation's reading habits, as one way of marking World Book Night which took place on Monday April 23rd. One of the things which the poll found out was that more than a fifth of British readers refuse to give up on a book, no matter how much they are struggling, while some will wait weeks or months before calling time on the unsatisfying book. In school the general message was to read on and get to the end of the book, but The Reading Agency is going against the trend and advising readers to give up on books they do not enjoy. The poll, of 2,000 people, found that 15% would give up if struggling with a book after 1-3 weeks, 11% saying they'd stop after 4-6 days of struggles, 13%  after 2-3 days, and 6% would stop the day after. On the other hand, 22% thought that readers should always finish books they've started. However, Sue Wilkinson, chief executive of The Reading Agency, said that;
At a time when one in five of us will experience anxiety or depression, and world events can leave people feeling confused or scared, reading has never been more important. At a time when so many brilliant books are being written and published, you should never force yourself to read something you're not enjoying. World Book Night is the chance to find a book that works for you.
*** The Top Five Unfinished Books 1. Fifty Shades Of Grey by EL James 2. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring by JRR Tolkien 3. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix by JK Rowling 4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

A Top Performance For Those Down Under
The renowned State Theatre Company will be returning to Canberra Theatre Centre with New York-based playwright Kate Hamill's comedy adaptation of Sense and Sensibility. It will be in the Playhouse from May 29th until June 2nd. The adaptation has been described as "the greatest stage adaptation of this novel in history" and is "gloriously oddball and a fun whirlwind of words". Artistic director Geordie Brookman says, “In the collision of Jane Austen and American actor/playwright Kate Hamill, we’ve found a piece that provides a limitless landscape for comedic invention while digging into the heart and soul of one of the Western canon’s great works.”

Austen Inspires New Best-Selling Author
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is Imogen Hermes Gowar’s first novel, and it's one which has been garnering high praise from readers, publishers and critics. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is a historical novel which is set in the world of Georgian London. The novel was shortlisted for the inaugural Deborah Rogers Foundation Writers’ Award, and was also a finalist in the Mslexia First Novel Competition, and is said to potentially be featuring on the Women’s Prize long-list (the list will be announced on 6 June). We loved the premise of the book when we first read about it (see below synopsis), but we didn't realise that one of Imogen's inspirations was the work of Austen. In a recent interview Imogen explained what she loves about Austen:
Q. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock seems to have an aura of Jane Austen around it.   A. I like Jane Austen’s novels for their intelligence and keen observation: she is very smart about how pragmatically young women had to think about their marital prospects, and that’s certainly something that informed my own writing. But I I think I got more from her letters and juvenilia. Her teenage works (like Lesley Castle or Jack and Alice) are full of wit and exuberance and respond to the frank and even bawdy 18th-century literature contemporary with the period in which The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock is set. We think of Austen as very decorous and proper, but she was still a product of the 18th century, and she knew what was what. Her letters can be very wicked, and I found her humour, voice and observations very useful in my research.
It's so nice to read that more people are enjoying Austen's less well-known early works, as well as her famous novels. The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock Synopsis: This voyage is special. It will change everything.... One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah's ship for what appears to be a mermaid. As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock's marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on...and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course - one on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost. What will be the cost of their ambitions? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?

What Kitty Did Next
If you've ever wondered what happened to Kitty Bennet then you might like to read the new book by Carrie Kablean. Carrie has always felt that Kitty was overlooked in the Bennet household, and that she should be ameliorated, so she wrote her story.
What Kitty Did Next is b
eing published in the UK by Red Door Books on the 28th June (we love the cover which we've been given a sneak peek of!). 
I loved writing and researching it, and I can only hope people will love reading it!
Carrie Kablean
So what's it about?
England, 1813 Nineteen-year-old Catherine Bennet lives in the shadow of her two eldest sisters, Elizabeth and Jane, who have both made excellent marriages. No one expects Kitty to amount to anything. Left at home in rural Hertfordshire with her neurotic and nagging mother, and a father who derides her as silly and ignorant, Kitty is lonely, diffident and at a loss as to how to improve her situation.
When her world unexpectedly expands to London and the Darcys' magnificent country estate in Derbyshire, she is overjoyed. Keen to impress this new society, and to change her family's prejudice, Kitty does everything she can to improve her mind and manners and for the first time feels liked and respected.
However, one fateful night at Pemberley, a series of events and misunderstandings conspire to ruin Kitty's reputation. But Kitty has learnt from her new experiences and what she does next does next will not only surprise herself, but everyone else too.
We shall look forward to reading it on its release.

 Jane Austen News is our weekly compilation of stories about or related to Austen. Here we will feature a variety of items, including craft tutorials, reviews, news stories, articles and photos from around the world. If you’d like to include your story, please contact us with a press release or summary, along with a link.. Don’t miss our latest news – become a Jane Austen Member and receive a digest of stories, articles and news every week. You will also be able to access our online Magazine with over 1000 articles, test your knowledge with our weekly quiz and get offers on our Online Giftshop. Plus new members get an exclusive 10% off voucher to use in the Online Giftshop.

1 comment

[…] Jane Austen News – Issue 119– Jane Austen Centre […]

Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters links for May 27, 2018 | Excessively Diverting

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

All comments are moderated before being published.

Read more

Jane Austen News - Issue 117 -

Jane Austen News - Issue 117

What's the Jane Austen News this week?  Jane Austen Meets Midsomer Murders We're not sure how ...

Read more
Jane Austen News - Issue 120 -
austen's women

Jane Austen News - Issue 120

What's the Jane Austen News this week?  Austen In "Writing The West" Course Jane Austen wasn't...

Read more