What's the Jane Austen News this week?A Look At Lizzy Bennet's Drawers This week at the Jane Austen News we had great fun reading Bustle's piece on underwear in the time of Jane Austen. At the Jane Austen Centre our guides are often asked what the underwear of the era was like, so it was nice to see that we got a mention in Bustle's article too. In brief (sorry, the pun was too good) Melissa Ragsdale explained why, although the screen adaptations may look terribly genteel and elegant, in real life Regency England it wasn't all tea and cake and comfort. If you like feel like a lot of women and long to get home at the end of the day and ditch your bra and relax in a nice pair of comfy PJs, well, it would have been much worse back in Jane's time...
Unlike Victorian corsets which hooked in the front and laced up the back, older corsets only laced up the back in a zigzag fashion using one string—cross lacing would be invented later on—and stiffened in the front with a carved wooden or bone busk which created a straight posture and separated the bosoms for the “heaving” effect, so popular at the time.Although if you like going commando, you'd have been in luck...
According to the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, 'drawers' (which were like loose shorts, and often crotchless) were invented in 1806, but it wasn't common for adult women to wear them until after 1820. Drawers went on to merge into 'knickers' and 'combinations' during the Victorian era, and modern "panties" didn't exist until the 1920s.To see what else Melissa found out about Lizzy Bennet's underwear drawer you can read the full article here.
- Weddings are the equivalent of the Bath Assembly Rooms - it's where people go to search for suitable partners.
- There is still a 'season' - three months crammed with parties, weddings and balls where girls put on their best jewels and finery and check out the most eligible suitors on offer.
- Inheritance laws still heavily favour male heirs.
- Marrying your daughters to rich men, from good backgrounds, who can take good care of them, is still the main focus of many families.
Austen resonates with us because Regency England is so much like today’s Pakistan. I know her books are 200 years old and set in small English county towns and villages but, really, her themes, her characters, her situations, her plots, they could have been written for us now.At the Jane Austen News we found it fascinating to read all about the parallels between Regency England and Pakistan, and on Austen's popularity there. The full article (well worth a read!) can be found here.
I enjoy games that are about physical challenges, but there’s also a world of amazing drama to be had when the focus is on what’s happening socially in an era of restrictions and startling debauchery. My characters have experienced sweet and tender poetic courtships, hot seductions, shame and subtle triumphs. They’ve loved in secret, made calculating connections and stupid mistakes in the name of friendship.A full review of the game, currently in its free playable prototype stage, can be found here.
I believe [Austen's] dialogue and characters are the best things about her work. From fussy mothers to silly sisters to sensible heroines to malodorous suitors and downright evil dowagers. She has some withering one-line zingers and some delightfully sarcastic ripostes. I play nine characters in this piece and love jumping between their exaggerated selves.Although she plays nine different characters, we were most intrigued by her protagonist who "wants to be a writer who writes pirate novellas under the male pseudonym of Wilbur Smythe and is fighting against expectations of ankle propriety in 1809." If you'd like to see the show it will be touring between the 4th of October and the 15th of November as follows: October 4th – Clonter Opera Theatre, Congleton, Cheshire October 5th – Old Joint Stock Theatre, Birmingham October 6th – Walker Theatre, Shrewsbury October 10th – Stantonbury Theatre, Milton Keynes October 12 – 14 – Greenwich Theatre, London October 16th – Theatre Royal, Winchester October 18th – Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham October 20th – Forest Arts Centre, New Milton October 26th – Canterbury Festival November 2nd – Siamsa Tíre, Tralee, Ireland November 3rd – Friar’s Gate Theatre, Killmallock, Ireland November 9th – Belltable, Limerick, Ireland November 10th – Nenagh Arts Centre, Nenagh, Ireland
- Re-read Sense and Sensibility (of course)
- Have a Sense and Sensibility movie marathon and watch all of the different versions back-to-back (or on consecutive nights)
- Host a Jane Austen tea party
- Host a special Sense and Sensibility book club meeting with your friends
- Hold a competition among you and your friends to design a new cover for Sense and Sensibility
- Hold a charity "dress-like-an-Austen-character" day at work
Jane Austen News is our weekly compilation of stories about or related to Jane Austen. Here we will feature a variety of items, including craft tutorials, reviews, news stories, articles and photos from around the world. If you’d like to include your story, please contact us with a press release or summary, along with a link. You can also submit unique articles for publication in our Jane Austen Online Magazine. Don’t miss our latest news – become a Jane Austen Member and receive a digest of stories, articles and news every week. You will also be able to access our online Magazine with over 1000 articles, test your knowledge with our weekly quiz and get offers on our Online Giftshop. Plus new members get an exclusive 10% off voucher to use in the Online Giftshop.
I visited the Jane Austen Centre last September with the festival going on, and loved it!
zora July 26, 2020