What's the Jane Austen News this week?Jane Austen Money Worth A Mint? The £10 notes are nearly ready for release to the general public, and given what happened with the £5 notes, it seems likely the same could happen with the new £10 note when it comes to low serial numbers being worth more than their face value. If you find a note with the serial code beginning ‘AA01’ you may be holding a couple of hundred pounds in your hand - as these numbers are popular with collectors. Another code to hold onto is the 'AK47' code notes; some of these on the £5 note have sold for as much as £1,000. It's not just notes though. A new limited edition £2 coin featuring Jane Austen is also being put into circulation. The coin will only be available in a very limited number of places but it can be purchased from the Royal Mint website already. These will be uncirculated coins and can cost between £10 and £825. The bottom line is, if you find a Jane £2 coin, it could be worth a mint!
Mr Tilney - Top Austen Hero At last, Bustle has given the woefully underrated Mr Henry Tilney his day in the sun. Usually he's overshadowed by Mr Darcy, but one Austen fan and writer for the online magazine has explained why Henry Tilney deserves far more recognition than he gets as a hero, and is, in her (and some at the Jane Austen News') opinion, the best of all of Austen's heroes.
- He's Good-Looking — But Not Too Good-Looking
- He's The Funniest Of Jane Austen's Heroes
- He's Very Sarcastic
- He's Forgiving
- He's A Good Brother
"That gentleman would have put me out of patience, had he stayed with you half a minute longer. He has no business to withdraw the attention of my partner from me. We have entered into a contract of mutual agreeableness for the space of an evening, and all our agreeableness belongs solely to each other for that time. Nobody can fasten themselves on the notice of one, without injuring the rights of the other. I consider a country-dance as an emblem of marriage. Fidelity and complaisance are the principal duties of both; and those men who do not choose to dance or marry themselves, have no business with the partners or wives of their neighbours."
Henry Tilney (talking with tongue firmly in his cheek) on the social etiquette of dancing.
Gyles Brandreth Drowns Mr Darcy
I loved Mr Darcy. He was devilishly handsome, absurdly arrogant and my idea (everybody’s idea!) of an English romantic hero. In fact, I realise I must have been fourteen at the time and the reason I loved the novel so much was that I convinced myself that I was Mr Darcy! And then, at school, we put on a stage version of Pride and Prejudice and I went to the auditions with high hopes and great expectations and – yes, you’ve guessed it - I was cast, not as Mr Darcy, but as the ridiculous, pompous, po-faced, vain and vain-glorious clergyman, Mr Collins. I couldn’t believe it. Half a century on, I still can’t believe it. But from that moment, I turned on Mr Darcy. I had loved him. Now I loathed him. And I’ve loathed him ever since.
Excepting Mr. Darcy's housekeeper Mrs. Reynolds, in a part of the book in which she extols her employer's virtues to a surprised Elizabeth Bennet, servants account for only 17 lines of dialogue. In total, servants speak 877 words across Austen's six novels. To put this in perspective, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, another minor character in Pride and Prejudice who is an arrogant example of the upper classes of the time, speaks 2383 words. As part of the same social hierarchy satirised in her books, Austen could not intimately know them and so, her novels did not have fleshed out servant 'characters'.A good point? Just an excuse? Let the Jane Austen News know your thoughts in the comments below. The full article can be found here.
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[…] Jane Austen News – Issue 78 – Jane Austen Centre […]
Of course Jane Austen’s servants are seen and not heard. She didn’t write about servants or the darker side of Regency life. Her critics lack knowledge of writers, novels and society at that time. Jane wasn’t unaware of the seedier side of life, as we know, but she was I’m sure acutely aware of her audience. The number of literate people with means to buy her novels was very small at the time she first published her novels. It wasn’t until after her death that she became popular-when mass printing became available and mandatory schooling laws came around. Also, no one wrote about servants back then unless the servant became elevated or was a secret heiress or something.
What upper class person of means would want to buy a novel where the servants spoke their minds? They would expect servants to be seen and not heard and that’s what they get in their novesl. Jane didn’t write for audiences 200 years later or perhaps she would have been so obliging as to tell us every minute detail of every character’s life. If she had done that, I bet she wouldn’t have sold very many copies of her books and they wouldn’t be around today. I read to be entertained and not see the seedier side of life. If I want that, I’ll read a newspaper or watch the news on TV.