Join a Kickstarter campaign for a Jane Austen art print


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.

If you need a last-minute gift for a Janeite…


The ever-alert Baja Janeite’s daughter spotted what might be the ultimate luxury Janeite gift item from Kate Spade. Perhaps a bit spendy, but to misquote Mr. Tilney, the pleasures of late holiday shoppers in this world are always to be paid for, and we often purchase them at a great disadvantage.

We also find we must observe that, since Ms. Spade did not use the obvious choice, Pride and Prejudice, for her handbag (not that there’s anything wrong with that), perhaps she is truly a fan of Miss Woodhouse. Or maybe it’s just the holiday sugar rush (seriously, EVERYONE IS GIVING US CANDY AND WE’RE A LITTLE WIRED) that is breaking through the ice coating our tarlike spinster Janeite purist heart.

We would also like to announce the winners of the Jane Austen’s Birthday giveaway: Sansanee, Suzanne, Nancy Piccione, Julianne Donaldson, Kim, Valerie, Marybeth, haliegirl, Ben M., and Nancy Kelley. You should have received an e-mail from us at the address you left; if not, let us know. Congratulations to all!

Special sales celebrating Jane Austen’s birthday


Just like the title says–here are some retailers celebrating Jane’s Birthday (which should be an international holiday in our opinion) with special sales and offers.

Austentation’s Etsy store – the entire store is on sale, today only–December 16 through midnight U.S. Eastern time.

Girlebooks – 25% off all ebooks (not just the Austen ones) with the code jane2011, December 16 only.

Jane Austen Fankit App for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch – free today only; regular price is 99 cents, so no great tragedy if you miss it. We wish they would make an app for Android.

“I will marry Mr. Papillon”


An auction will take place tomorrow, June 3, 2010, at Michael J. Bowman, Newton Abbot, in Devon, of some papers related to the career of the reverend John Rawstorn Papillon.

Of Jane Austen interest; four papers relating to the career of the Reverend John Rawstorn Papillon (1763-1837), comprising; ordination paper making him a Deacon on December 26th 1786 from John, Bishop of Rochester, two papers relating to his institution to Tunbridge Vicarage, dated 5th March 1791 and his Chaplaincy to James, Earl of Lauderdale, dated 14th February 1792, contained in an old (possibly contemporary) tin carrying case bearing handwritten label describing contents. (Papillon was a Fellow of Queen’s College, Cambridge from 1788 to 1791. He became Rector at Chawton in 1802, the village where Jane Austen moved to with her mother and sister six years later. It became an Austen family joke that one day Jane would marry John Papillon. Both John and his sister, Elizabeth, appear frequently in the surviving letters of Jane Austen. It might be considered that the authoress has drawn more than a little from John Papillon in the creation of her character ‘Mr Collins’)

They were doing so well until the last sentence. Estimated price is £300-400, quite affordable for a budding Austeniana collector (though this is perhaps rather marginal).

Gentle Readers who were so kind as to peruse our piece on Catherine Knight last week will remember that Mr. Papillon was the rector at Chawton when the Austen ladies moved there, and that Mrs. Knight kindly suggested that Jane might marry the bachelor.

Pemberley is the final station stop for the Janeite Express


Pride and Prejudice Subway PosterThe lovely and talented Teresa AF has designed a very cool poster for P&P fans, and has it for sale on her website. (Click on the image at left to see a larger version.)

The Pride and Prejudice subway poster, inspired by a vintage New York subway sign, is not only a list of places in P&P but an expression of Elizabeth Bennet’s journey to self-knowledge and a happy ever after.

The poster is 11 3/4″ x 36” (29.8 cm x 91.4 cm) and designed to fit into an inexpensive standard poster frame (not included). There are two versions available, based on beta user feedback: one with Jane’s spelling of Kenelworth, and one with the real spelling of Kenilworth. 😉 The posters are $15 plus shipping.

Disclaimer: Teresa is a Friend of AustenBlog but we would have posted this on the blog even if she weren’t, because it is that cool.

Stake out your own bit of ivory


We’ve all heard the famous quotation from Jane Austen’s letter to her nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh:

By the bye, my dear E., I am quite concerned for the loss your mother mentions in her letter. Two chapters and a half to be missing is monstrous! It is well that I have not been at Steventon lately, and therefore cannot be suspected of purloining them: two strong twigs and a half towards a nest of my own would have been something. I do not think, however, that any theft of that sort would be really very useful to me. What should I do with your strong, manly, vigorous sketches, full of variety and glow? How could I possibly join them on to the little bit (two inches wide) of ivory on which I work with so fine a brush, as produces little effect after much labour?

The “little bit (two inches wide) of ivory” was a metaphorical reference; Jane was describing a pocket diary that was made of sheafs of ivory bound together. The owner would write little notes to herself in pencil, which could later be erased after being transferred to a more permanent medium. She meant that her works were on a smaller scale; in another letter she talked about her novels being about “four or five families in a country village.” In a time when romantic novels on the grand scale, what Walter Scott referred to as “the big Bow-wow strain,” were in vogue, no doubt Jane’s novels would seem to many to be impossibly small in scope; however, we submit that Jane purposely worked on that intimate scale, and not because she felt herself incapable of more; she simply preferred it, and felt it best.

Interestingly, many years ago when the Editrix was studying fiction writing at an Institution of Higher Learning, the students were encouraged to fix their works on that very intimate scale. In that, as in many things, Jane Austen was ahead of her time.

In any event, now you can buy a pocket diary with “bits of ivory” for your own. It’s spendy, but if you can’t afford it, the photos are wonderful, and you can understand exactly to what the “bits of ivory” referred.

Jane Austen’s Garden Gifts Available


Jane Austen’s House Museum has produced a new line of gifts inspired by photographs from the Head Gardener, Celia Simpson. The gifts, titled the Garden Range, feature botanical illustrations from classic English flowers such as Sweet Peas, Nasturtiums and Foxglove, and include a Christmas card, individual greeting cards, stationary, bookmarks, key rings and note pads. Also, wrapping paper designs are available: a botanical design, a Christmas botanical, Chawton Cottage, and an illustration of Mr. Darcy (inspired by Colin Firth surrounded by hearts). All purchases benefit Chawton Cottage.

If you can’t make it to Chawton Cottage, the range is available in the U.S. exclusively from One Garden at a Time, owned by JASNA Western Pennsylvania Region’s former President, Carol Chernega, who was also the first International Visitor for JASNA, during which she worked with Celia in Chawton’s garden.