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Article: News for Austen Enthusiasts : January 2023

News for Austen Enthusiasts : January 2023
Austen Blog

News for Austen Enthusiasts : January 2023

Jane Austen Volume the First
Is it just me, or is January the longest and the shortest month? I can't believe it's already whizzed by - it feels like it was just Christmas Day. On the other hand, it felt like pay day would never come and that the promise of earlier sunrises was all a lie! We got here eventually though. Even through the dark and drear of January, Jane Austen news never rests. Here's all the news from January.

Austen Blog calls for new contributors! 

Okay, so this one is from us. We're always looking for new contributors to our blog and what better time of year to try something new? Whilst we love sharing our love of Austen, we know the blog really shines when we get to hear from her fans worldwide! 

Welcoming a new generation of Austen fans

We're in the Observer! It seems that Jane Austen continues to be a favourite amongst young readers, with Gen Z also unable to resist her wit and romance. The Observer's David Barnett talked to our own Alice Hodges about the young fans who still come through the doors of the Jane Austen Centre. It seems that TikTok may be to thank for the resurgence of Austen's popularity, with Austen being one of the most meme'd authors online. 

Austen-inspired play delights Australian audiences 

We love hearing about international Austen events, so we were thrilled to hear about Lewis Treston's play Hubris and Humiliation, which is currently making its debut at the Sydney Theatre Company. The play, which combines Regency sensibilities with a queer cast and distinctly Australian sense of humour is making waves, receiving a five star review from The Guardian. It's running until March 4th, so run, don't walk, to get your tickets! 

 Chawton plants trees for 250 years of Cassandra Austen

With 2023 marking the 250th birthday of Austen's beloved sister and confidante Cassandra, the Jane Austen House museum at Chawton have been raising funds to plant an orchard in her memory. More than £3000 was raised towards the planting of six trees, one for each of Austen's major novels, outside the house in Hampshire. 

Will the Metaverse change publishing? 
There seems to be a lot of chat about how emerging new technologies might change the way we think about literature. Just recently, the advent of ChatGPT, an AI that, with just a few details, can write your essay for you, has called into question whether or not there is any need for humans to write things anymore (which this writer personally thinks is a silly argument!). Now, Forbes Magazine is asking what the Metaverse could mean for the future of publishing. In this article the writer suggests that perhaps in the future, we could get inside Austen's novels and interact with her characters ourselves, in real time. A fascinating prospect!


Dynevor exits Bridgerton's third season

Phoebe Dynevor, who starred in the first two seasons of Bridgerton as Daphne Bridgerton, the polished daughter of a reputable family who falls in love with a rakish Duke. The breakout star of the show, Dynevor's character moved from star to supporting character in the second season, and it seems like she might not appear in the third season at all. We'll all miss her if so! 

Read more at Buzzfeed >

Austen-inspired novel named Waterstones Book of the Month 

Gill Hornby's Godmersham Park was selected as the Waterstones Fiction Book of the Month for January. The historical novel follows Anne Sharpe, a governess charged with the care of young and excitable Fanny Austen. When their extended family comes to visit, Anne can't help but be drawn into the orbit of Jane Austen herself. 

Check it out on the Waterstones website >

As always, we would love to know if we have missed anything, as well as all your thoughts on the news! 

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