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Article: News for Austen Enthusiasts : October 2022

Jane Austen - Volume the First

News for Austen Enthusiasts : October 2022

Who amongst us has already started our Christmas shopping? I have always been a relatively last minute gift-buyer, but with the budget stretched thin this year, I'm trying to spread the spending out a bit more. Plus, a friend from my book club told
me that she does all of her Christmas shopping by the end of November so that she can use her December pay check to enjoy the seasonal fun. That sounds like an exceptional idea to me. I've already bought a stack of books for various family members, though admittedly this wasn't entirely in the spirit of giving and generosity - it helped me finish filling in my Waterstones loyalty card. Everyone wins, I guess!

Here is all the Jane Austen and bookish news you might have missed in October!

Valuable Austen edition fetches £375,000
A unique three-volume first edition of Emma has been purchased for the whopping sum of £375,000, making it the most expensive edition of an Austen novel ever sold. The edition, acquired for sale by rare book dealers Peter Harrington, is the only extant copy of an Austen novel to contain an inscription written by the author herself. The buyer has decided that it is proper the copy remains in England, so it has been given to Chawton House for safe keeping. 

Penguin Michael Joseph acquires Austen murder mysteries 

A four way auction took place last month to determine the new home of debut author Jessica Bull's new Miss Austen Investigates series, with Penguin Michael Joseph securing a two-book six-figure deal. The first instalment, Miss Austen Investigates: The Hapless Milliner, is due to hit bookshelves early on in 2024. An exciting one for your to-be-read pile! 


Austentatious hits the road!

Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel hit the road last month, taking the hit West End production on tour. The show, in which top comedians improvise their way through some of your favourite beats and scenarios from Austen's work,  has been all over England last month, including Austen's hometowns of Bath and Winchester. Sadly, the national tour is now over, but you can still catch the show on the West End. 


Did these sisters influence Austen and the Bronte sisters?

Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters are some of the most influential writers in the English language, but who influenced them? Academic Devoney Looser has been working on uncovering the influence of the now mostly forgotten Porter sisters, who published a combined 26 novels and achieved great fame in their own lifetimes. 

Find out more about Devoney Looser's new book here >>  

Booker Prize winner announced

Whilst this news is not necessarily Austen related, we know that many of our readers like to stay on top of what's going on in the wider literary world. The Booker Prize, one of literature's biggest awards, this year went to The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka.

Learn more about the winner here >>

Penguin opens up WriteNow submissions for budding novelists! 

Ever thought about writing a novel? Penguin has opened up applications to their award-winning writing programme for writers from under-represented backgrounds. This year they're looking exclusively for writers of commercial fiction (as opposed to literary fiction) with a great hook for a page-turning read. Entries close on the 8th of January.

Find out how to submit your work >>

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

If you don't want to miss a beat when it comes to Jane Austen, make sure you are signed up to the Jane Austen newsletter for exclusive updates and discounts from our Online Gift Shop. 

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