Getting Local With Jane: It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Janemas Edition


December is party month for Janeites, with the big event coming up in a couple of weeks: Jane Austen’s Birthday! Keep an eye out here on AustenBlog for some celebratory activities.

For Janeites in the U.S. and Canada, we strongly encourage you to check out your local JASNA region. Chances are very good that they are sponsoring a Birthday event or celebration, and many welcome non-members to try an event to see if they will enjoy becoming a JASNA member. (Hint: if you’re reading this blog, you probably will.) Turn off the computer and go meet some Janeites!

Here is a list of other upcoming events of interest to Jane Austen fans.

Through December 6, Bath, UK
What: The Northern Ballet Theatre presents Georgian-set production of The Nutcracker
Where: Theatre Royal Bath
When: 7:30 p.m.
Info: Tickets £18.50-39.50, available online

Dec 2-20, Sedalia, Missouri
What: Sedalia Celebrating Jane Austen
Where: Boonslick Regional Library, Sedalia Branch

Tuesday, Dec. 2nd, 4pm, Movie “Becoming Jane”
Thursday, Dec. 4th, 4 pm, Book discussion “Sense & Sensibility”
This book will be provided by the library free to the first 19 people!
Saturday, Dec. 6th, 2pm, Movie: “Sense & Sensibility”
Tuesday, Dec. 9th, 4pm, Movie: “The Jane Austen Book Club”
Thursday, Dec. 11th, 4pm, Book Discussion “Pride & Prejudice”
Saturday, Dec. 13th, 2pm, Movie: “Pride & Prejudice”
Tuesday, Dec. 16th, 4pm, Jane Austen Birthday Party
Thursday, Dec. 18th 4pm, Book Discussion “Emma”
Saturday, Dec. 20th, 2pm, Movie: “Emma”

December 3-6, Portsmouth, UK
What: Northanger Abbey on Stage
Where: New Theatre Royal, 20-24 Guildhall Walk
When: Evenings 7:30 p.m., Saturday matinee 2:30 p.m.
Info: Tickets £6-10, available online

December 4-7, Santa Rosa, Florida
What: Pace High School Drama Department presents Pride and Prejudice
Where: High school drama room
When: Nightly 7 p.m. through Saturday, Sunday at 3 p.m.
Info: (850) 995-3600 extension 1159

December 6, Iowa City, Iowa
What: English Country Dance
Where: Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center, 28 S. Linn St.
When: 7-9 p.m.
Info: All ages are welcome. A $5 donation is requested for the musicians.

December 6, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania
What: Book signing with Diane Wilkes, author of The Tarot of Jane Austen, and Margaret C. Sullivan, author of The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World
Where: Barnes & Noble, the Metroplex, 2300 Chemical Road
When: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Info: Come out and meet the Editrix! And Diane tells us she will do a one-card tarot reading for anyone who buys a Jane Austen tarot deck. We are informed there will be a marching band on the premises as well. This is exciting news for ex-band geeks like your humble servant.

December 10, Odessa, Delaware
What: Margaret C. Sullivan speaks on Christmas traditions in Jane Austen’s time
Where: Historic Odessa Foundation and will sign copies of her book, The Jane Austen Handbook: A Sensible Yet Elegant Guide to Her World
When: 7-9 p.m.
Info: We would love to meet AustenBlog readers at this event!

December 11, Provo, Utah
What: Staged reading of new stage adaptation of Persuasion by Melissa Leilani Larson.
Where: Provo Theatre Company, 105 E 100 N
When: 7:30 p.m.
Info: Tickets are $5 at the door, all donations are tax-deductible.

Jane Austen Weekends in Vermont


The Governor’s House in Hyde Park, Vermont, will hold four Jane Austen weekends from August 2008 through January 2009.

A leisurely weekend of literary-inspired diversions has something for every Jane Austen devotee. Slip quietly back into Regency England in a beautiful old mansion where Jane herself would feel at home. Take afternoon tea. Listen to Mozart. Bring your needlework. Share your thoughts at a discussion of Persuasion and how the movie stands up to the book. Attend the talk entitled “The Time of Jane Austen”. Test your knowledge of Persuasion and the Regency period and possibly take home a prize. Take a carriage ride. For the gentleman there are riding and fly fishing as well as lots of more modern diversions if a whole weekend of Jane is not his cup of tea. Join every activity or simply indulge yourself quietly all weekend watching the movies. And imagine the interesting conversation with a whole houseful of Jane’s readers under one roof. Dress in whichever century suits you. It’s not Bath, but it is Hyde Park and you’ll love Vermont circa 1800.

It sounds like a pretty good deal! We’d love to hear from anyone who attends.

The eternal question answered


A constant bone of contention amongst Janeites seems to be, “Is Mr. Darcy really proud or just a bit shy and awkward?”* Alert Janeite Allison sent us a YouTube video that answers the question for once and all: he wasn’t shy, he wasn’t proud…he was OBSESSED!

This video was made as an example/test by a teacher who is giving a class assignment in which students are to recut a movie trailer. We think he did a fine job, and got a giggle out of it. Though we think it needs vampyres. And ninjas.

*The book isn’t called Diffidence and Prejudice. Just saying.

Spanish (Region 2) DVDs of new MP, NA, P adaptations


Alert Janeite Carmen let us know that the latest adaptations of Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion either are or shortly will be available in Spain (Region 2). These DVDs contain English and Spanish audio tracks and subtitles. MP is available now, NA and P will be available on February 4.

A 3-pack of the new films also will be available on February 4 that will save some money over buying them separately.

MP: DVDGOEl Corte Inglés
NA: DVDGOEl Corte Inglés
P: DVDGOEl Corte Inglés
Package – DVDGOEl Corte Inglés

El Corte Inglés also has the special edition of P&P05 that comes with a 64-page book; not sure what that could be! A Making-Of type thing, perhaps?

Austen film events in Washington, D.C., New York City, Kansas City, and Denver


With the Complete Jane Austen gearing up on PBS, everyone seems to have Jane Austen films on their minds, and there are several events coming up dedicated to Austen film adaptations old and new.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., is having a special event, “Jane Austen Goes to the Movies,” on Wednesday, January 30th at 7 p.m.

Jane Austen has become one of Hollywood’s top screenwriters, with both feature films and television mini-series to her credit. Independent scholar and lecturer, Virginia Newmyer, examines the dramatization of the novels, and whether 20th-century scenarios have improved on the renowned author. The discussion, illustrated with images, interprets the ways in which Jane Austen wove the enduring questions of power, money, and social class into her romantic comedies, and how the themes have been transferred to the screen. Several films and videos are considered, including: Sense and Sensibility (1995 feature film), Pride and Prejudice (1980 BBC mini-series, 1995 BBC/A&E mini-series), Mansfield Park (1993 feature film), Emma (1996 feature film), Clueless (1995 feature film), and Persuasion (1995 feature film). In addition, both Becoming Jane, the 2007 feature film as fictional as the novels, and The Jane Austen Book Club, very different from the book, are included.

Tickets for this event are $20, but if you call and mention that you are an AustenBlog reader, you can get them for the member price of $15! La!

Alert Janeite Jen K. sent us some information about upcoming events sponsored by JASNA’s Greater New York region, kicking off this week. First is a pre-broadcast screening of the new adaptation of Persuasion, this Tuesday, January 8, at 6:30 p.m. at Wollman Auditorium at the Cooper Union. The event is co-sponsored by Penguin Books.

JASNA New York also is co-sponsoring (with Borders) post-broadcast discussions for each of the six novel adaptations on the Mondays after broadcast at several locations in New York and Connecticut.

Another very exciting New York area event (though it’s not listed on JASNA New York’s website, but Jen posted details at The Republic of Pemberley) is a screening of the 1995 adaptation of Persuasion with a discussion featuring Ciarán Hinds, who of course played Captain Wentworth in the film, and possibly Corin Redgrave, who played Sir Walter Elliot, discussing the film with Foster Hirsch of the Brooklyn College Film Department and Rachel Brownstein of the CUNY English Department. The event will be at Brooklyn College on Monday, February 4, 2008 at 3:30 p.m. at the Gershwin Theater, Brooklyn College Campus.

All of these events are free and open to the public.

We previously mentioned “Jane-uary” at the Kansas City Public Library, and as part of that endeavor the library will have a film series called “The Reel Jane Austen” featuring some of the big-screen adaptations, nicely balancing the small-screen versions on PBS. The series will include P&P 1940 and 2005, S&S 1995, and Emma 1996. (No Persuasion 95? Quel dommage!)

In conjunction with Rocky Mountain Public Radio, Audrey Sprenger of the Denver Central Library will present a film and lecture series, Jane Austen, Literature’s Posthumous It Girl.

Created to supplement Masterpiece Theatre’s winter telecast of The Complete Jane Austen, this short cinematic and academic course will chronicle Austen’s slow but steady rise in popularity since the late 1800s, compare her to other It Girls like aviator Amelia Earhart and actresses Jean Seberg and Brigitte Bardot, critique Amy Heckerling’s Clueless, a Hollywood Teen Re-Make of Austen’s Emma and finally, explore Karen Joy Fowler’s The Jane Austen Book Club, a fictional take on why Austen’s work and persona still endures.

The Denver Central Library will have a free screening of the new adaptation of Persuasion on Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 2 p.m. to kick off the series.

P&P 2005 2-disc special edition DVD out next week


Alert Janeite Julie let us know that a 2-disc “Collector’s Edition” of Pride and Prejudice 2005 will be released on November 13. We dug around the official site and found the specs. The main difference seems to be that it includes a full-frame version as well as a widescreen version of the film, both with commentary from Joe “Go Jump In A Lake” Wright, and the addition of some bonus features:

  • Conversations with the Cast
  • The Politics of Dating
  • The Stately Homes of Pride & Prejudice
  • Galleries of the 19th Century
  • Pride & Prejudice Family Tree

Some of these are already available on the HD-DVD version. Missing from the original DVD is “Behind-the-Scenes at the Ball.” Probably not worth it if you already have the DVD.

P&P05 ending one of Entertainment Weekly's 20 perfect film endings


Have to agree; we haven’t laughed that much in a movie theater since we saw Blazing Saddles. You know when you laugh so hard you think you’re going to throw up? That’s how it was exactly!

Thanks to Alert Janeite Paola for the link!

P&P-related events for Dallas Janeites


Alert Janeite MJ Ryan wrote to tell us that there will be a free screening of P&P 2005 at The Magnolia theater in Dallas on Monday, August 20, at 7 p.m. The Dallas Theater Center will be at the screening to give away tickets to their upcoming stage production of Pride and Prejudice, which runs from August 29-September 23.

Persuasions On-Line examines Pride & Prejudice 2005


A special edition of Persuasions On-Line, the online journal of the Jane Austen Society of North America, looks at P&P05 with a variety of papers on all aspects of the film.

We haven’t had a chance to sit and read the new issue extensively but look forward to perusing all the papers (and invite AustenBlog readers over to the Molland’s forum to discuss it). We did quickly skim Barbara K. Seeber’s paper on various cinematic treatments of Mr. Bennet and were struck by this selection: Continue reading

The most expensive ugly dress you'll ever own


Alert Janeite Franka reports that one of the dresses worn by Keira Knightley in the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is for sale at the very spendy price of £3,995 (US$6,629).

A dress worn by Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) in the wonderful 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. This custom made, simple, empire line brown/maroon cotton dress has hidden buttons up the front and a paler coloured piece of ribbon detailing under the ‘bust’, also there is a green satin lining dress underneath. There is no size marked but it is labelled “Sands Films”. Keira has earned an Academy Awards nomination for Best Actress in a leading role for her inspiring performance in the film. She can be seen wearing this style of dress at the very beginning of the film as we seen her make her way home after enjoying some peaceful time away from the turbulent family. This dress also features on the cover of the DVD and for the promotional posters for the film’s release.

Proof positive that Keira Knightley could be beautiful dressed in a burlap sack. 🙂