The Janeite Times No. 5


Welcome to The Janeite Times, where we present links to the latest news of interest to Jane Austen fans.

Clueless About Austen No. 1: An interview with the director of an independent film called “Austin Nights” (as in the city in Texas) is a bit out of touch with popular culture, we think:

JT: Do most people pick up on the pun: Austin Nights, Austinites?

MD: No. I’m glad you did. Austinites are what people who live in Austin, TX call themselves. Like Chicagoans, or Houstonians, or Miamians. It’s a subtle way to target your specific market. Or are you thinking of devout Jane Austen fans?

JT: “Devout” Jane Austen fans. Hmm. Are there any left?

MD: I see a lot of her books in the bookstore, sometimes a couple shelves stocked with her words, so yes, I think there are Austenites out there, somewhere, but maybe they’re a dying breed, maybe our collective taste is progressing.

Perhaps this is meant as an ironic commentary on the Austen Zombie Apocalypse, but we suspect not.

Clueless About Austen No. 2: The Los Angeles Times is shocked! shocked! to find out there are Austen-related books being written with teh sexx0rs in them! As we commented on Facebook, it’s kind of sweet that they seem to think this is the first such book. We cheerfully ignored the authoress’s attention-whoring press release saying pretty much that for just that reason (that is, that it most certainly ISN’T the first sexed-up P&P paralit, and we find such claims not only mendacious but tiresome) and are kind of surprised that an august news organ found itself unable to do the same. What’s that you say? The modern press is more concerned with sensationalism and less with actual journalism? We find that hard to believe. (she said sardonically)

The owner of James Stanier Clarke’s “Friendship Book,” which contains a little painting that may or may not be of Jane Austen (but is a darling little painting in any event, and we don’t mind associating the portrait with Jane in our mind), is auctioning the book at Christie’s on “Wednesday” (we guess that means June 15). It’s expected to bring £30-50,000.

ETA: As Cinthia pointed out in the comments, “Wednesday” was actually June 8, and the auction was over by the time we wrote this post. Jane Austen in Vermont reports that the book did not sell and the top bid only reached £28,000. That’s the second example of an unsubstantiated portrait that MIGHT be of Jane Austen failing to reach the reserve price at auction. While we like these images (the Rice portrait and the Clarke “friendship” painting), we don’t know for sure that they are of Jane Austen and we can understand that it’s hard for collectors to commit the big bucks for something unsubstantiated. The BBC reports that the owner has not yet decided whether to attempt a resale.

Speaking of auctions and Jane Austen, check the sofa cushions for spare change: the partial manuscript of Austen’s unfinished book, The Watsons, will be auctioned at Sotheby’s on July 14 with an expected sale price of £200-300,000. We have to say we hope some civic-minded and wealthy Janeite will adopt these items and give them a good home–that is, one where the rest of us can go and visit them. 🙂

And we had to share this link as it’s just so sweet. Cheryl Klein, a well-known children’s book editor (and whom we know to be a Janeite), wrote about a very special and romantic event set up by her gentleman friend. Read and prepare to “Awwwwww!” James is definitely a Mr. Knightley Award winner.

This is an AustenBlog DIY post, so please feel free to leave any interesting Austen-related links you’ve come across in comments.

4 thoughts on “The Janeite Times No. 5

  1. “The owner of James Stanier Clarke’s “Friendship Book,” which contains a little painting that may or may not be of Jane Austen… is auctioning the book at Christie’s on “Wednesday” (we guess that means June 15). ”

    I’m afraid Mags, that the Wednesday was the last one, June 8, and according to what Deb has posted in the JA in Vermont blog, it was NOT sold.


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