What's the Jane Austen News this week?Jane Austen Avoids Clichés Among many others, one of the statistics writer Ben Blatt has included in his new book, Nabokov’s Favourite Word is Mauve: The Literary Quirks and Oddities Of Our Most Loved Authors, is the number of clichés famous authors use in every 100,000 words. Using modern technology to complete lots of complicated statistical calculations he has discovered that Jane Austen used 45 clichés per 100,000 words, Virginia Woolf 62, and Khaled Hussaini 71. This is relatively few when compared with the likes of James Patterson (160 per 100,000 words), Tom Wolfe (142 per 100,000 words), and Salman Rushdie (131 per 100,000 words). An interesting statistic from a fun book, but at the Jane Austen News it did make us wonder - is part of the reason that Jane has so few because clichés simply weren't as prevalent at the time when she was writing? After all, there weren't nearly as many books being published then as there are now. Then again, perhaps Jane was just too filled with inspiration to need them!
Five Reasons to Follow Jane to Bath!
- Wonderful views (Bath skyline and the rooftop pool of the Thermae Spa got special references)
- It's commutable to London (90 minute train journey from Bath Spa to London Paddington)
- It's a stable investment (In the past five years, prime property prices in Bath have increased 24.4 per cent)
- It has a thriving arts scene (Festivals, theatres, museums, Jane Austen....)
- Country get-aways close by (The exclusive Babington House to name only one)
Rarely Seen Jane Austen Portrait on Show
In 1869, Rev James Edward Austen-Leigh (Jane Austen's nephew) commissioned a portrait of her from the artist James Andrews to accompany his Memoir Of Jane Austen, the influential, first full-length biography of Jane to be written. The portrait was snapped up by a private collector for £164,500 at an auction in London in 2013. However as part of an exhibition to mark the bicentenary of Jane's death, the portrait will be returning to the UK and will form part of an exhibition running at at The Gallery in Winchester Discovery Centre, from May 13th to July 24th. The exhibition will also feature manuscripts of some of her early writings, including a spoof History Of England, Austen’s silk pelisse coat (featuring a pattern of oak leaves), her purse and her sewing materials case.
Getting the Reluctant to Read Jane Austen "To my great surprise, it is really fun to read (in a weird and respectful way) since it literally adds to Austen’s prose with some proficiency in the deadly arts but stays true to the characters and setting. No wonder it has sold millions of copies in the last eight years." It's a controversial book to say the least, but Mariana Ruiz at GeekDad blog has suggested that one way to persuade the reluctant reader to give Austen a go is to give them a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. "This is a book I would heartily recommend to any young lady, and I rather think it’s an improvement on the original version. Of course, you may disagree, but I can defend my opinion with my blade, as Lizzy would do." We certainly disagree that Seth Grahame-Smith's zombie version is better than Pride and Prejudice in its original form, but if giving Grahame-Smith's book to the more dubious readers gets more people introduced to Austen then that is certainly an idea we can defend!
Jane Austen Unites the Community in Bethlehem (Pennsylvania)
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