Jane Austen News - Issue 52
What's the Jane Austen News this week?Austen Escapism in Visual Novel In The Lady's Choice, a text-heavy visual novel that takes its inspiration from Regency-era novels, you play as a woman returning to society after a long absence, and although you’re not necessarily seeking a marriage, you’re quickly introduced to a group of eligible bachelors. It's not based only on the work of Jane Austen, but it's inspired by the Regency novel genre in general, and the result is a novel of charm, intrigue and one with a keen sense of fun and humour. If you like reading, enjoy role-playing games, and are a Jane Austen fan, this might be a read you'll rather enjoy (and potentially a good way to get any kids who are obsessed with screens doing some more reading?) then you can find it at itch.io for £5.
As the daughter of a Viscount, and heiress to a small fortune, you are invited back into society even after years of seclusion at your family's estate. The upcoming Season is to be spent in Bath, your childhood friend having finally convinced you into it, and only the cream of society will be there. But the fickle and difficult dance that is weaving through society can be a tricky thing to remember, especially when they thrive on any small misstep you may make.
Jane At Home At The British Library To mark the 200th anniversary since Jane's death, the British Library and Bodliean Library have combined resources and brought together writings from Austen’s formative teenage years for the first time in 40 years, all as part of an exhibition being held at the British Library called Jane Austen Among Friends and Family which is on from 10th January 2017 - 19th February 2017. As well as family letters and memorabilia, shown as part of a temporary display will be one of the Library’s finest treasures – Austen’s writing desk. The exhibition seeks to illuminate the personal family life of Austen and the exhibits reveal family joys and sorrows which shaped the writer: one letter tells of Austen’s sorrow on the death of her beloved father, while a poem expresses the joy Austen felt on the birth of her nephew.
Mr Bennet Finds P&P Isn't A "Chick Book" Well-known actor and television presenter Matthew Kelly is playing the beloved character of Mr Bennet in the current touring production of Pride and Prejudice (a production which the Jane Austen News is excited to have playing here in Bath this week!), and something he said in a recent interview caught our eye:
Well, I’ll tell you something really terrible – I’d never read Pride and Prejudice before I got this job. I always thought it was a bit of a chick book, you know? But of course I’ve been forced to read it...It's an opinion which Jane Austen fans come across on a fairly regular basis: Jane Austen novels are fluffy romance novels that are just for girls. However we were pleased to read on and find that having read Pride and Prejudice his mind has been completely changed:
It’s marvellous and really witty and entertaining. It’s also astonishing in its satire and not only for the time but also for today. I think, too, it has the first hints of feminism in it. It’s a marvellous story.This opinion change is one that many dubious readers who give Pride and Prejudice a go also find themselves having. The only issue is persuading them to give the book a go first!
Follow Mr Darcy's Example and Propose In Derbyshire?
In a recent article the Derby Telegraph took inspiration from recent productions of Pride and Prejudice when it listed it's top nine places to propose in Derbyshire, all ready of course for Valentine's Day when a higher than usual proportion of couples get engaged.
Top of the list was Stanage Edge which features in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice (pictured).
Coming in third was another Pride and Prejudice location; Chatsworth House, which featured as Mr Darcy's home in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice. The grand staircase and ceiling of the Painted Hall where Lizzy and the Gardiners start their tour of Pemberley appears in the film, as does the Sculpture Gallery - in the scene where Lizzy Bennet sees the bust of Mr Darcy.
So if you're looking to propose to a Jane Austen fan, perhaps Derbyshire is a good place to do it!
Wet Weather Words of Jane
If you're exploring the city centre of Winchester this summer, then when it rains you can be delighted as 12 beautiful quotes from Jane Austen’s writing appear on the floor in front of you. The trail is known as Rain Jane and is being put on to commemorate 200 years since Jane's death. In fact the first (or final quote on the trail, depending on how you look at it) is displayed on a living wall of ivy on the College Street garden, opposite the house where Jane Austen died.
Normally when it rains we'd want to stay inside, but when we're next in Winchester this summer, this trail might just encourage us to grab our brollies and have take a walk on the wetter side.
Northanger Abbey Coming to Bury St. Edmonds Theatre Royal St Edmunds is in the process of rehearsing their new stage adaptation of Northanger Abbey which will be on at the Theatre Royal from February 2nd to February 11th. After this run the production will tour to Lichfield Garrick Theatre, Devonshire Park Theatre, Georgian Theatre Richmond, Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke, Theatre Clwyd, Theatre Royal Windsor, Exeter Northcott Theatre, Derby Theatre, New Wolsey Theatre and finishing its tour at The Dukes Lancaster in May. At the Jane Austen News we always like to hear about new stage productions of Jane's works, but with this production we're particularly looking forward to discovering how Tim Luscombe’s innovative adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel will see the book, The Mysteries of Udolpho, which is referred to often within Northanger Abbey, come to life within the play.
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