We know that some of you are not a fan of Keira Knightley's portrayal of Lizzy Bennet in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, or of Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma from 1996. If this is you then you're not alone. Paula Byrne, author of The Genius Of Jane Austen: Her Love Of Theatre And Why She Is A Hit In Hollywood, while speaking at the Hay Literary Festival, has said that actresses Keira Knightley and Gwyneth Paltrow were too ‘nasal’ and ‘unlovable’ to play heroines like Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse.
I didn’t like Keira Knightley at all. I thought she was completely wrong for Elizabeth Bennet. Jane Austen made it clear she was not writing heroines who were drop dead beautiful, she was writing about a new kind of heroine. Keira Knightley was not just right for the role.
Strong words indeed. And Gwyneth?
You don’t really want to feel like strangling Emma – you get annoyed with her, the character, because she’s such a horrible snob and gets things wrong. But we find her lovable as well and Gwyneth Paltrow was not lovable enough for me.

Persuasion Swaps Bonnets for Bikinis?! 
A new stage adaptation of Persuasion, which has been playing at Manchester's Royal Exchange, has taken the story of Persuasion from its 18th Century setting and planted it firmly in 2017, and it's had rave reviews from it's Guardian newspaper reviewer, despite being initially dubious. At the Jane Austen News we can see why Lyn Gardner wasn't sure. "A visit to Lyme Regis features a bikini foam party, those devoted to crinoline may take fright." She was soon won over though. "Do not fear. I took about 25 minutes to be persuaded, and then I was hooked. A small sign of how unexpectedly invested the audience became in the production – which in less capable hands might simply have replaced 19th-century trappings for those of 2017 – is that when Anne and Wentworth eventually kiss there was spontaneous applause." If you'd like to see the production it's playing in Manchester until June 24th.
Jane Austen for the Reluctant Homeboy
Miranda Logan in Australia sent us this video link earlier this week in case it might be of interest. We agree, it certainly is. Especially so if you have a teen or 'reluctant homeboy' who needs to know about Jane Austen for school, college...or just because everyone ought to know about Pride and Prejudice! [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Nm61IoNdHg[/embed]  
 Old Money = New Fertiliser   We're due for a new £10 note in September - the special one with Jane Austen as the featured great British figure. We're very much looking forward to it, but have you, like us, wondered what will happen to the old £10 notes when Jane's ones come into circulation this September? There are approximately 723,000,000 paper ten pound notes in circulation, so it makes sense that the Bank of England already has a plan for what to do with them? Until 1990 old notes were incinerated and the energy was used to heat the Bank of England building. However when the building got a heating system upgrade this wasn't possible any longer, and now it turns out that the Bank of England has a new way of getting rid of its old notes - by recycling them with a composting treatment. This recycling method was put into place for all paper-note waste in 2011, using them as a soil improver for agriculture. Not the answer we were expecting, we have to say!