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Article: Jane Austen News - Issue 152

Jane Austen News - Issue 152 -
Anne Elliot

Jane Austen News - Issue 152

What's the Jane Austen News this week? 

An Upcoming Recommended Read...Or Maybe Not? 

The British Library's collection of 'obscene writing' will shortly be available to view online.

The ‘Private Case’ of sexually explicit books dating back to 1658 ranges from the hijinks of Roger Pheuquewell to pioneering gay porn in the 19th century, and will shortly be uploaded so that they will be available to be read by a wider audience, and not just those who request to look at them at the library (the collection has been available to the public through the British Library’s rare books collection since the 1960s).

Among the books going online are an 18th-century directory of sex workers in the Covent Garden area of London, copies of John Cleland’s 18th-century novel Fanny Hill (or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure), and Teleny (or The Reverse of the Medal). Teleny, for those who may be curious, tells of the tragic relationship between a young Frenchman and a Hungarian pianist, and authorship of the novel has been attributed to Oscar Wilde and members of his circle in the late 19th century. In total there are over 2,500 volumes in the British Library’s Private Case collection, dating back as far as 1658! These volumes have now been digitised, and are being made available online by the publisher Gale as part of its Archives of Sexuality and Gender academic research resource.
There was essentially a series of cupboards in the keeper’s room from the 1850s, where material that was deemed to be unsuitable was kept locked away – usually because of its obscene nature, so pretty much anything to do with sex. It was added to throughout the 19th century, and this carried on until around 1960, when attitudes to sexuality were changing.

Maddy Smith, curator of printed collections.

At the Jane Austen News we thought that this digitisation news would be of interest to some of our readers due to its historic value as a glimpse into the past. It may not be for everyone though!

Marrying Among The Books 

Hampshire couples who love books might like to know that, should they wish to, they will soon be able to get married in Andover Library.

Hampshire County Council decided that the town’s register office needed to move location, and as it is due to move into the refurbished Chantry Centre where the Andover library is (as a way to have library services and register office appointments “all under one roof”) any couples who might wish to will be able to hold a small marriage or civil partnership ceremony in the library will be able to. A facility to hold a small marriage/civil partnership ceremony will be made available. On hearing the news at an Andover Town Council meeting a few days ago,  one Andover town councillor said: “That’s a stupid idea. You’ll have to walk past Poundstretcher!” However, not all are in disagreement:
for example, those registering the birth of their baby, can also sign their little ones up as a library member at the same time - allowing parents to receive membership information and resources to help support their child’s early days.
At the Jane Austen News we thought that the idea of getting married in a library (though perhaps not one in a shopping centre...) was a lovely one. We can certainly think of some amazing libraries which would make for a magical wedding venue. This then got us thinking - have any of our readers been married in a library? Let us know in the comments below!"

How to Cope According to Anne Elliot  1 - Take Breaks "Anne is the queen of the disappearing act. There are plenty of moments when Anne simply needs a few minutes to process what just happened or to gain control of her emotions before she faces a situation again." 2 - Filter what you hear and what you repeat  "Anne visits her sister and brother-in-law and is caught in the middle of domestic conflict between her sister and her sister’s in-laws. Each party complains to Anne about the other, wanting her to tell the other how they ought to change their ways. Anne, instead of fuelling the gossip and drama, relays only the information that is actually helpful to the other party." The full article can be found here.

Young Jane Austen Fan Wanted in Windsor  Windsor Theatre Guild - a prestigious amateur drama group based in Windsor in Berkshire - is looking for a young woman aged between 13 and 17 to play a leading role in their April production of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, which is to be performed at the Old Court art centre. What the guild are looking for is a young lady to play Margaret Dashwood, the youngest of the Dashwood sisters. Whoever gets to play her will also perform a short mimed sequence as another character - Eliza. Director Karen Hanley, said: "We are having a great time in rehearsals - exploring the era, playing with characterisation and the comedy of the piece. But we have a very large Margaret shaped hole! She is such an important part in the play and we are hoping to find an actress to take on this exciting role". If you are interested, please email

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Here in America people get married in libraries all the time. It’s trendy. A local late 19th century Beaux Arts library building underwent renovations not too long ago in order to host weddings and the subscription library is also a popular destination. I don’t think marrying in a library in a shopping center is all that romantic but I would love to attend a library wedding. I hate wedding receptions and usually bring a book anyway!


We got married in a library. On a Wednesday. Dressed in black. Our witnesses were total strangers. We had no flowers and after the ceremony we went on an all-day hike in a national forest. We broke as many of the stringent and unnecessary wedding traditions as possible.


I actually got married at the New York Public Library this past June. We even had a Jane Austen-themed wedding! It all tied together very nicely— the books, the setting, the theme, and of course the romance.

Lee Axelrod

My daughter and her husband said vows in the Library Room at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Psrk, Colorsdo, USA. this January.
Though not technically a library, it has a large fireplace and lovely bookshelves.


Like a Dollarstore or “Five and dime” store. Very down market! There was another Regency era Hampshire town a couple of years ago that refused planning permission for a UK discount chain (Argos) to set up in a vacant shop in the High Street. Iit was deemed too low-end and would "lower the tone of the town. "


Re getting married in a library: what is a Poundstretcher?


One of a British chain of discount stores.


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