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Jane Austen News - Issue 155

What's the Jane Austen News this week? 


Ammonite Arrives in Lyme Regis  
Jane Austen's Sanditon isn't the only Period drama being filmed this year that we're looking forward to. A new film called Ammonite is another film in progress that we're keen to see. As well as Jane Austen, if you've read about some of the other marvellous women from the Georgian and Regency eras, you'll certainly have heard of Mary Anning. Anning is renowned for her discoveries of Jurassic fossils around Lyme Regis, Dorset, and in 2010 she was named as one of the Royal Society’s ten most influential British women in science. Although her work, including the unearthing in around 1811 of a 17-foot ichthyosaur skeleton when she was just 12, went largely uncredited in her lifetime because she was a woman (and a very young woman too), now her life will come to the silver screen in a new Period film. Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan are to star in the film, named AmmoniteAmmonite, will be set in a British coastal town in the 1840s and is understood to follow Anning as she becomes the nursemaid for a wealthy woman from London who visits for a period of convalescence. Ammonite is been developed by See-Saw Films, the British Film Institute and BBC Films, and filming is set to start in March in Lyme Regis. There are no pictures of the film in progress yet, as filming is yet to commence, but when it does start there'll be quite the sight to see as the filming crew want to build a two-storey fake Georgian house front and install a fake stone wall to help take Lyme back to the 1840s.

Austen £10 Note Champion Comes to Bath 

 Back in 2017 Jane Austen became the new face on the English £10 note, replacing Charles Darwin. One woman who played a major role in getting Jane Austen onto the £10 was Caroline Criado-Perez. Before she started her campaign, Winston Churchill was set to be the face of the new £5 note in the place of Elizabeth Fry who had been on the £5 since 2002, meaning that, aside from the Queen, there would be no women featured on the English banknotes. Happily, with a lot of help from Criado-Perez (who met with a great deal of controversy and online bullying for daring to propose that the British currency should not be an all-male affair), Jane Austen ended up being chosen.

Given this, it's hardly surprising that at the Jane Austen News we have a lot of respect and admiration for Ms Criado-Perez, and we were delighted to read that she will be in Bath taking part in the upcoming Bath Festival, taking place from May 17th to May the 26th. Criado-Perez will be talking about her new book, Invisible Women: Exploring Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, on the 26th of May at the Assembly Rooms.
The award winning campaigner and writer [Caroline Criado-Perez] talks to Alex Clark as part of our Hidden Stories collection about her powerful and provocative new book. In a world largely built by, and for, men, she exposes the data bias and gender politics that have a profound effect on the health and wellbeing of women’s lives, making you see the world anew.
We thought that this is something fellow admirers of Criado-Perez might like to know about, should they be in Bath in late May of this year.

Plans for Austen in Winchester Scrapped 

Not too long ago the Jane Austen News brought you the news that Winchester Cathedral had announced plans to install a commemorative statue of Jane Austen within its grounds at Cathedral Close. Jane did have links with Winchester, as it was in Winchester that Jane died in 1817, and it is where she is buried. However, following the announcement of the plans for artist Martin Jennings' statue to be installed, there were many objections to the scheme put forward by the public. One of the primary arguments put forward against the plan was that “the cathedral already has Jane Austen’s gravestone and Winchester has the house she died in. The two seem adequate and certainly reflect her relationship with Winchester”. Following on from the public feedback the cathedral has now decided not to go ahead with the proposed statue.
Since the public launch of the plan to commission a sculpture of Jane Austen in The Close, the Chapter of Winchester Cathedral has welcomed feedback to the proposal. We have listened carefully and, alongside support and enthusiasm for the project, we have also been fully aware of serious concerns expressed regarding the type of sculpture, the location and the timing of this significant commission. As a result of this listening, Chapter has decided, with regret, not to go ahead with this concept. There are other priorities within the cathedral and city that need to be the focus of attention. We are honoured that an artist of the stature of Martin Jennings has worked with us on this project thus far and we thank him for his support and understanding in this decision.

Official spokesperson for Winchester Cathedral

The funds which needed to be raised for the statue were £250,000 and, though fundraising began in December 2018, only £71.65 was received on the cathedral's Just Giving page for the project.

Emma Arrives on Netflix  If you have a subscription to Netflix you might like to know that one of the films which Netflix will be adding to it's library this March is the 1996 film adaptation of Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow. Emma (1996) will be in good company on the site, as at present the streaming site already has available for viewing:
  • Emma (the BBC three-part series from 2009)
  • Pride and Prejudice (the BBC series from 1995)
And if you like adaptations of Jane Austen's stories...
  • From Prada to Nada (a modern latino adaptation of Sense and Sensibility from 2011)
Emma (1996) will be available to view on Netflix from March the 1st, and The Jane Austen Book Club will be available from March the 8th.

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