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Article: News for Austen Enthusiasts : May 2023

News for Austen Enthusiasts: May 2023
Alison Larkin

News for Austen Enthusiasts : May 2023

Jane Austen : Volume The First

It crept up on us, tentative and sparing, but it now seems that summer is well on its way here in Great Britain. It has been a leisurely month, with Brits enjoying several consecutive four day weeks thanks to an additional bank holiday courtesy of the coronation. Jane Austen news remains a full time pursuit however and never rests! Here's what you might have missed whilst lounging in the sun. 

Mantel was working on Austen Novel 

We were devastated to hear that literary titan Hilary Mantel had died last year at the age of 70. The author, who is most famous for her Wolf Hall trilogy, specialised in meticulously well-researched historical fiction, and was apparently working on a mash-up of Jane Austen stories when she passed unexpectedly in 2022. Now, there's a lot of rubbish Jane Austen inspired fiction out there, but we trust the titan Mantel was safe hands. We are so sorry to hear that she was unable to finish the project. 

Edward Austen Knight pub for sale! 

Sometimes it feels like we're a property blog, rather than a Jane Austen one! It feels like properties relating to Austen's life and family are always popping up on the market. This month it is  The Rose and Crown, in Upper Farringdon near Alton that is up for sale. The ale house was believed to be built by Jane's brother, Edward Austen Knight, and is on the market for a cool £995,000. Pocket change!

Bridgerton spin-off makes a splash

Most Janeites will know a thing or two about guilty pleasures, so the success of Bridgerton amongst Austen fans is hardly a surprise. Luckily, we didn't have to wait long for our latest fix, with Bridgerton spin-off Queen Charlotte coming to Netflix this month. The spin-off, which follows the early life of Queen Charlotte, has garnered a generally positive response from fans and new initiates to the fandom. Have you seen it yet? Did you enjoy it?

Women's Prize Discoveries announces shortlist of exciting new talent

We at the Austen blog love to champion women writers and the Women's Prize for Fiction offers us a great opportunity to discover new voices. The Women's Prize Discoveries competition offers women writers the opportunity to submit the start of their work in progress with the chance of winning prizes and mentorship to help develop their budding writing careers. This year's shortlist has been announced now! 

New Austen Pod on the scene! 

Successful fiction podcast producer Realm has just announced The Jane Austen Podcast, hosted by comedian and writer Alison Larkin. The podcast will work its way through Austen’s novels, with hilarious and engaging narration and interviews with actors, writers and others with one thing in common - a love of Austen. First up - Pride and Prejudice. 

Check out the podcast on Realm >>

Is marriage all it’s cracked up to be? 

When you first think of the endings of Austen’s novels, you might think of them as being typical happily-ever-afters - the girl gets the boy she wanted all along. However, we rarely get to see what happens after the ever-after, at least not for our protagonists. Don’t get me wrong, we do get to see plenty of marriages in action in Austen’s novels, but they’re quite rarely enjoying the marital bliss that we’d hope for in our protagonists. That begs the question - is marriage all it’s cracked up to be? In an article for the Guardian, author Naoise Dolan discusses fiction, marriage, and if it’s time for a different kind of happily ever after. 

Read the article at the Guardian >>

Did this season of Ted Lasso follow the plot of Sense and Sensibility?

At the end of season two of Ted Lasso, the heartwarming Apple TV show about a troubled Premier League football club, one of the show’s main characters, Keeley (Juno Temple), was gifted a copy of Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, prompting some fans to speculate that the following season might find itself paralleling the plot of the novel. Well, season three is out now and the verdicts are in. 

Find out whether the predictions were right (NOTE: potential Ted Lasso spoilers within!) >>

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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