What's the Jane Austen News this week?Romance At The Centre There was excitement in the Jane Austen Centre this week when one visitor was asked an unexpected question by her boyfriend, Jamie Scott. Charlotte, one of our centre guides, described what happened. "I only saw a little bit because I wanted to give them some private time. But by some luck, they were the only two in their talk. When they got to the writing desks, they were alone in the room with only me! While she was reading some of the information boards he wrote 'Will you marry me?' on one of the cards. "She then sat down at the other desk and he went and gave her his card. I had left at this point to give them a moment, but was just outside with Serena (another of our guides) when she said yes. He gave her the ring he had kept hidden until that moment, and then we came around the corner and congratulated them. She seemed overwhelmed. It was lovely!"
Help Design Jane Austen Benches Basingstoke and Deane is going to honour the 200 year anniversary of Jane Austen’s death by placing 25 specially decorated ‘BookBenches’ in and around the town during Summer 2017. Local artists are being invited to come up with their own Jane Austen related designs which will be put onto benches that look like open books. Eventually the benches will be available as street furniture for the public of Basingstoke and Deane. Director of the Sitting With Jane project, Sally Ann Wilkinson, said: “We look forward to a wide range of designs and different interpretations of all aspects of Jane Austen’s important contribution to literature be brought to life and celebrated by artists. “The BookBench sculpture offers artists the opportunity to visually tell Jane Austen’s stories; the characters as well as her life, and bring enjoyment to thousands of people from around the world.” Those who want to be involved have until December 1st 2016 to get involved through sittingwithjane.com.
If You Love Jane Austen, You Might Also Love.... Jane Austen and the Brontës endure as British literature’s leading ladies (and for good reason)—but were these reclusive parsons’ daughters really the only writing women of their day? This is the question which Shelley DeWees addresses in her new book Not Just Jane – Rediscovering Seven Women Writers Who Transformed British Literature. Within her book DeWees aims to throw light on some of the female writers from the late 18th and the 19th century. Most people have heard of George Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen and Jane Eyre; but there have to be more great female authors from history than that. DeWees introduces us to seven amazing but forgotten female authors as she weaves history, biography, and critical analysis into a narrative which tells the evolution of female life and the changing literary scene. The Jane Austen News is looking forward to having a look at the book and discovering who some of Jane Austen’s contemporaries were.
Jane Austen - The Secret Radical On November 3rd Helena Kelly will be in Bath at Waterstones launching her new book Jane Austen The Secret Radical. Helena argues that Jane's novels don’t confine themselves to grand houses and they were not written for readers’ enjoyment. Helena puts forward that Jane writes about serious subjects and her books are deeply subversive, we just don’t read her properly – and we haven’t been reading her properly for 200 years.
Within Jane's novels are arguments on the subjects of feminism, slavery, abuse, the treatment of the poor, the power of the Church, and even evolution – at a time, and in a place, when to write about such things directly was akin to treason.Reviewers have said ‘However well you think you know the novels, you’ll be raring to read them again once you’ve read this.’ We have to say; we're intrigued...
- Be a people-watcher (and listener)
- Find somebody you trust to edit your work
- In the face of rejection, keep writing
- Suspense, suspense, suspense!
Jane Austen News is our weekly compilation of stories about or related to Jane 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. You can also submit unique articles for publication in our Jane Austen Online Magazine. 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.
Looking forward to reading Jane Austen: The Secret Radical. But did you really mean “arguments against feminism…”? I’m going to guess it’s an editing mistake. Meanwhile, I love getting all the latest Austen-related news!
You’re quite right! I’ve corrected that sentence now. Thanks for letting me know. I’m really glad that you enjoy the Jane Austen News each week. It’s really nice to get feedback.