Perusing an article on a new YA rewrite of S&S, we were a bit startled to read this sentence:
[book title*] is a contemporary retelling of another, equally amazing classic tale by the Edwardian authoress
Huh? What Edwardian authoress would that be?
Jane Austen. She meant Jane Austen.
You know, we’re hardened now to hearing Jane Austen referred to as Victorian. We still roll our eyes, but it no longer makes us twitch, because we’ve heard and read and seen it so many times. After all, Queen Victoria had a really long reign. We’ve even heard Jane referred to as Old English, which just makes us laugh. But really? Edwardian? Is this what the overwhelming popularity of Downton Abbey has brought us to? We hope we don’t have to remind our Gentle Readers that there’s about 100 years between Austen’s novels and the adventures of the Crawleys et al. We hope this article isn’t a test balloon of sorts for a whole new flight of historical ignorance: “Edwardian” replacing “Victorian” as a catchall term for “old-timey.” It’s like they learned a new word from reading articles about the costumes in DA or something and started throwing it around like they know what it means.
:: dresses up in Edwardian cricket whites, takes up Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness, smashes dopey story over the fence. What do you mean they don’t do that in cricket? ::
*book title redacted because the book and its author are not responsible for these shenanigans, and we respectfully request that our Gentle Readers keep that in mind.
Here’s a fascinating video about contemporary bindings of early editions of Jane Austen’s novels and how they affect the value of the books.
This made our icy tar-coated heart melt like an ice cream cone in the sun.
Blue Ridge Community College student Madeline Delp rolls across the Patton Auditorium stage in her wheelchair while rehearsing the role of Miss Jane Bennet in an adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel “Pride and Prejudice.”
[. . .]
Then, in this her final semester at BRCC, Delp discovered that the drama department would produce a stage version of one of her favorite books — “Pride and Prejudice.” She decided she simply had to be a part of it.
Encouraged by English instructor Sam Sonnier and other faculty members, she approached Treadway, director of the drama program at BRCC, asking if it would be possible for her to audition for a part.
Without any hesitation, Treadway said yes. Delp was cast, and Treadway began to work with student services and the maintenance department to make all the necessary arrangements.
We hope Mr. Bingley appreciates this fiesty version of Jane Bennet. Performances at the college in North Carolina started yesterday and continue throughout the month. If any Gentle Readers attend, we would love a report or review.
This looks like something Janeites might like: a Kickstarter campaign to make an art print inspired by the infamous silhouette that may or may not be of Jane Austen. In any event, it’s really quite lovely. The proprietors have reached their Kickstarter goal, so it looks like it’s going forward; and it’s not too late to get involved. Various contributions will get you swag, from £10 for a small print to £30 for a large print, with associated booklets featuring the Thomson illustrations of Pride and Prejudice.
Cross-posted to This Delightful Habit of Journaling
So I guess it’s kind of obvious that I’m burned out on Austen blogging, but that doesn’t mean I’m not paying attention to what’s going on in Janeworld. I suppose I’ve just been waiting for something to bring me out of my funk. So I guess I should thank Adelle Waldman for her article in Slate, as it aroused my ire sufficiently to get me blogging again; but really it just made me cranky, and made me get the Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness out of hibernation.
Why do so many of Jane Austen’s smartest readers consider her weakest novel to be her best? Persuasion, the story of kind, helpful Anne Elliot—who made a mistake years ago and is still suffering for it when the book opens—is didactic and full of crude, overdrawn characterizations.
Okay, this is the opening paragraph. I’ll give her some slack.
*caresses Cluebat lovingly*
It is also the least funny of Austen’s books.
Oh, really? But wait, she’s read it several times. No one else has, of course. No one could possibly pull several funny quotes out of her butt. Could they? Read more…
While Darcy’s name appears in the title of this Austen inspired modern day setting book, don’t assume it’s a take on Pride and Prejudice. It’s a nice blend of multiple Austen novels. Kay Ashton is working on illustrating all of Austen’s novels. Shortly after buying a bed & breakfast in Lyme so she can work on finishing her book The Illustrated Mr. Darcy a film crew working on an adaptation of Persuasion comes to town and the cast takes over her B&B. All the girls are crushing on the actor playing Wentworth, Oli Wade Owen. But sadly I did not find him likeable when Wentworth is my favorite Austen hero. I kept thinking if this were a real movie I’m not sure I could watch it.
Kay has some Emma-like traits and tries setting Gemma, who is playing Anne, up with the screenwriter and producer Adam while as readers we know Adam likes Kay. A couple times I just wanted to reach into the book and shake Kay.
It was kind of fun realizing certain parts of the storyline were from different Austen novels which I think makes this a highly discussable novel because some people may have caught things that you didn’t and vice versa. Makes you want to re-read it with a notebook handy (because as a librarian I would never mark in my book[Witness! --Ed.]) to write down all the homages to Austen’s novels.
Since this was a modern take on Jane Austen I wasn’t sure if everyone would end up with who I wanted them to… of course I can’t answer that without having a *spoiler alert* so I won’t. This book is the second in the Austen Addicts series. You don’t have to read book 1 for this book to make sense. I didn’t. But now I want to.
I can have no hesitation in assuring you that it was most gratifying to me to receive such a testimonial to the merits of my late sister’s works, and thereby to learn that their celebrity had reached across the Atlantic.
[. . .]
Of the liveliness of her imagination and playfulness of her fancy, as also of the truthfulness of her description of character and deep knowledge of the human mind, there are sufficient evidence in her works; and it has been a matter of surprise to those who knew her best, how she could at a very early age and with apparently limited means of observation, have been capable of nicely discriminating and pourtraying such varieties of the human character as are introduced in her works.—In her temper she was chearful and not easily irritated, and tho’ rather reserved to strangers so as to have been by some accused of haughtiness and manner, yet in the company of those she loved the native benevolence of her heart and kindliness of her disposition were forcibly displayed. On such occasions she was a most agreable companion and by the lively sallies of her wit and good-humoured drollery seldom failed of exciting the mirth and hilarity of the party. She was fond of children and a favorite with them. Her Nephews and Nieces of whom there were many could not have a greater treat than crouding around and listening to Aunt Jane’s stories.
I think for this year’s gift, I will tat Jane some pretty snowflakes. Not especially useful, perhaps, but pretty! What gift do you have for Jane Austen, Gentle Reader?