What's the Jane Austen News this week?Third Jane Austen Fiver Found The third of the four specially engraved £5 notes which feature a tiny portrait of Jane Austen has been found, leaving only one of the £5 notes still in circulation and yet to be claimed. The latest note was found in a small bar called 'Charlie's Bar' in Northern Ireland, which incidentally is where the engraver responsible for the notes, Graham Short, said he originally spent it. It was found by an elderly lady who wishes to remain anonymous. She also isn't looking to profit from her find. In fact she sent the £5 note back to Mr Short with a note asking him to use it to help young people - "if it sells for a lot of money it will be better if young children could benefit from it." Mr Short's friend and fellow artist, Tony Huggins-Haig, who launched the project, said around 5,000 people have called up falsely claiming to have found it. We can see why it's so highly sought after, even by those who aren't Austen fans, as each of the notes is insured for at least £50,000, but Mr Huggins-Haig believes the notes could actually sell for up to £100,000.
Jane's Men - Attractive in Anonymity
John Sutherland, author of numerous books on Literature and Emeritus Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London, has proposed that one of the reasons Austen's heroes resonate so well with her readers is because they are so anonymous in their appearance, and therefore, open to personal preference and interpretation.
Recently John Sutherland and Amanda Vickery were commissioned by UKTV to come up with a convincing illustration of what Darcy might have looked like when Austen first created him. They found it a challenge as all we are told about Darcy is that he is 28, “handsome”, has a good “mien” and £10,000 a year. "What we came up with was more the Justin Bieber end of the hunk spectrum than Dolph Lundgren. Or Firth. " said John.He suggests that there are a couple of possible explanations for Austen's lack of detail.
The first is that Austen wants us to fill in the blanks ourselves. The second is that Austen was what is called “aphantasiac” — she didn’t think pictorially, whether it was places, locations or people. Some creative people are like that. They think, principally, of design. Look for portraiture in Mondrian.
What do you think? Does Darcy's unclear face help him? Or does Colin Firth's portrayal of him do his popularity more favours?
Come and Stay in Jane's Old Home!
Bath is by no means lacking when it comes to lovely places to stay. However, thanks to Airbnb, now you can stay in the house in which Jane Austen first lived in when she came to live in Bath in 1801 - that of 4 Sydney Place.
Admittedly the apartment in Sydney Place is decorated in a modern style, but it is beautifully presented and offering one gorgeous bedroom as well as two sofa beds, making it suitable for four people to stay in. There are nods to Austen inside - as you enter the flat there's a Pride & Prejudice quote on the wall, and heading upstairs will bring you to the main accommodation and the master bedroom, which offers the best of Georgian architecture with hardwood flooring and a period fireplace. One reviewer describes the apartment as 'historically enchanting'.If you're planning on staying alone or with one other person then the property will cost you £149 per night (there is a £30 extra charge for extra guests). Another thing to note is that the cost per night rises to £199 per night if you plan to stay at the weekend. It would certainly be a nice thing to write on a postcard home though - "I'm staying in Jane's house in Bath".
- The quote – “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” from Pride and Prejudice (Miss Bingley, Chapter XI).
- A portrait of Jane Austen commissioned by James Edward Austen Leigh (Jane Austen’s nephew) in 1870, adapted from an original sketch of Jane Austen drawn by her sister, Cassandra Austen.
- An illustration of Miss Elizabeth Bennet undertaking “The examination of all the letters which Jane had written to her”– from a drawing by Isabel Bishop (1902-1988).
- Jane Austen’s writing table – the central design in the background is inspired by the 12 sided writing table, and writing quills, used by Jane Austen at Chawton Cottage.
- "We are all fools in love." - As said by Charlotte Lucas in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice film.
- "You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope…I have loved none but you." - As said by Captain Wentworth in Persuasion.
- "In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." - As said by Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.
- "I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun." - Another one from Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.
- "If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more." - As said by My Knightley in Emma.
- "A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman! He ought not; he does not." - As said by Captain Wentworth in Persuasion.
- "The happiest hours of my life were what I spent with her." - As said by Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility.
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