In fact, rather than making my own announcement, I am going to let the wonderful Caroline Jane Knight, Jane Austen’s 5th great niece, tell you all!
If you haven’t yet heard, Jane Austen’s House Museum is raising funds to purchase a letter written by Cassandra Austen to Fanny Knight a couple of weeks after Jane Austen’s death. The letter is currently on loan to the museum and on display there. They have from May to July to raise £10,000. They have already raised money for the purchase via the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Collecting Cultures scheme, but need to raise the additional money from individual givers.
The letter was written on July 29, 1817. Cassandra is responding to a letter from Fanny.
Nothing of the sort could have been more gratifying to me than the manner in which you write of her, and if the dear angel is conscious of what passes here, and is not above all earthly feelings, she may perhaps receive pleasure in being so mourned.
Cassandra is past her first grief and making arrangements for the disposition of Jane’s things, including a lock of her hair; she inquires whether Fanny wants it set in a ring or a brooch. Being the executrix of Jane’s will, these are necessary actions, but one can imagine the heartbreak–and healing–that accompanied them.
You can read the whole letter at Molland’s. The letter (dated July 29) is about two-thirds of the way down the page.
You can donate through the campaign’s Just Giving page, or send a check directly to the Museum. Do try to send something–even just a small amount. Lots of people giving small amounts adds up to a big amount. Let’s do this, and bring the letter home.
JASNA Louisville has announced that they have established the Jackie Johnson Memorial AGM Scholarship to pay the registration and hotel costs to attend the AGM. The scholarship is open to any member in good standing of JASNA as of May 1, 2015, who has never attended an AGM. If you’ve always wanted to go to the AGM and can’t afford it, this is a great opportunity!
It’s not a lottery; you have to write an essay. Jane wouldn’t want it to be that easy. The essay prompt and directions can be found at the link above.
The scholarship honors Jackie Johnson, a member of JASNA Louisville who passed away in 2014. What a wonderful way to honor her memory. Even if you don’t want or need the scholarship, go read the link and learn about Jackie.
The campaign is over and won!
UPDATE about online donation: Alert Janeite Cinthia sent along the news that the Museum is now accepting online donations at http://www.justgiving.com/jamt/Donate. The donation amounts appear to be in your local currency (for me, it appeared in US Dollars) so if you want to check how much the Museum will actually get, use a currency converter. (Google “currency converter” and one will pop up at the top of the page.)
YES! Jane Austen’s House Museum has announced a fundraiser to raise money to purchase Jane Austen’s turquoise ring from Kelly Clarkson (see our previous post and the lively discussion that followed). We will contact the Museum and try to get more information. Let’s do this, Janeites!
UPDATE: We heard from Louise West, the director of the museum. She sent us a donation form. She said for international contributors, it will be better to use a credit card; with a check, they will lose money because of the exchange rate. For UK contributors, we imagine a cheque will be the best way to donate. Please download, print, and post your contribution–do not send a credit card number by email!
Also, if they do not receive enough money to purchase the ring, they will keep your donation for the operation of the museum, unless you let them know differently. (Seriously, just let them keep it. The Museum does great work and is a wonderful place to visit.)
Louise also sent the following statement about this fundraising effort:
We do want to stress that we are not wanting to buy the ring because we don’t approve of Kelly Clarkson’s ownership. Indeed we are very encouraged that someone who is young and very popular wants to own the ring; it says a lot about Jane Austen’s reputation among young people. We are trying to buy it now because we wish to keep the ring at Jane Austen’s home as we feel this is the most appropriate place. We tried to raise money before the auction but didn’t have enough time. Hopefully we now have.
Everyone please donate! Don’t forget to use airmail postage if necessary. Take the time to go to your local post office and make sure you have the right amount of postage. Let’s do this!
Press release after the jump:
To anyone who was planning to come to the Jane Austen program today at Ardmore Library that was mentioned in GLWJ, it has been postponed due to impending winter weather. We have rescheduled the event for November 19, and I’ll still be giving the presentation. More details to come! I’m disappointed, and really kind of surprised that an event in October had to be cancelled for snow!!!
Here are two videos promoting the upcoming Jane Austen Day in Philadelphia next April. More details to come…right now you are just to be teazed by Miss Elizabeth Bennet. After all, “We can all plague and punish one another.”
Look for more videos featuring the Delightful Creature to come!
GLWJ is a regular feature (when we remember to post it) with upcoming local events of interest to Austen fans. If your hometown isn’t on the list, keep checking back; you never know when Jane will come to your town.
October 29, 2011 (that’s this Saturday!), Ardmore, Pennsylvania – At 2 p.m., there will be a Jane Austen Celebration at Ardmore Library, with speaker Margaret C. Sullivan (hey! that’s the Editrix!). I will be speaking about Chawton Cottage and Jane Austen’s life and writing there, with occasional digressions into other places she knew and where she lived. I’d love to meet AustenBlog readers there! Please pre-register for this event by calling the library at (610) 642-5187. ETA: The event has been postponed due to impending winter weather and rescheduled for November 19. More details to come!
Through November 12, 2011, Salisbury, Wiltshire – The Salisbury Playhouse presents Persuasion, a new adaptation of the novel by Tim Luscombe. Tickets are £12-20.
November 10-20, 2011, Atlanta, Georgia – Theater Emory presents a stage adaptation of Persuasion at the Mary Gray Munroe Theater. Tickets are $20, $6 for Emory students.
November 13, 2011, Waltham, Massachusetts – Gore Place, the historic estate in Waltham, will offer Jane Austen tours of the 1806 Governor Gore mansion at 1 and 3 p.m. From the press release: “This special themed tour brings the beautiful Regency Period home to life as a guide in period dress uses quotes from Austen’s novels and letters to describe country life in Austen’s time. With its marble halls, circular stair and soaring ceilings, the mansion is the perfect setting for this great event.” Admission is $14 adults, $10 members and children 5 to 12. “Capacity is limited and advanced tickets suggested. To order, call (781) 894-2798.” Also, attendees will receive 10% off tea at the Tea Leaf on Moody Street in Waltham (reservations required; call (781) 891-1900).
April 28, 2012, Philadelphia – Jane Austen Day presented by JASNA’s Eastern Pennsylvania Region. The theme is “Elizabeth Bennet: Delightful Creature.” More on this in another post!