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I welcome today Stuart Bennett [no relation to our esteemed Mr. Bennet - the difference a "t" can make!], antiquarian bookseller and author of two novels starring Jane Austen. You can read my April 2012 interview with Stuart about his first novel The Perfect Visit here:

As you know I loved this book because of its time-travel intrigue wherein we meet Shakespeare and Jane Austen, as well as its literary and bibliographical adventure through the London and Bath of the 16th and 19th century. Stuart’s new novel, Lord Moira’s Echo, has just been published and has a new and historically fascinating take on Jane Austen’s “lost” years from the spring of 1801 through the fall of 1804. I highly recommend it – it offers a tale of those years when “Jane Austen went missing” as biographer David Nokes writes, that is certainly as plausible and interesting as any of the other various fictional efforts in this vein out there. I cannot say more because the post would be an entire “Spoiler Alert” that would ruin the pleasure of your own reading! Please see below for the book giveaway.

I have been asked if one should read The Perfect Visit first, and I say that while this second book does stand completely on its own, an understanding of Vanessa and her story of being catapulted into Jane Austen’s England would only enhance your enjoyment.

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So in lieu of an all-out review, I have asked Stuart to tell us something about this new work:

Stuart: I discovered references to the Austen family in the unpublished Hastings family archive at the Huntington Library in California. From these, I felt I could introduce this historical character, Francis Rawdon Hastings, the second Earl of Moira, as one who might have met Jane Austen during those lost years. The novel tells its story from two perspectives, Lord Moira’s own, and a young Canadian musician, Vanessa Horwood, who was the protagonist of The Perfect Visit; Vanessa is from our time, caught in a time-travel snafu and stuck in early 19th-century England. The narrative of my new novel shifts back and forth from 1823 to 1801 and 1802, imagining what might have happened if the Earl, about whom Jane’s banker brother Henry spoke bitterly even after Jane’s death in 1817 and who features in Austen family correspondence well into the 1830s, had been more than a just a shadowy figure in the lives of the Austens.

Jane herself plays a major part in the 1801-1802 sections of Lord Moira’s Echo. Lord Moira, whom I first discovered in a glancing reference in Brian Southam’s Jane Austen and the Navy, really could have played the role I give him. The social history of Regency England is full of much stranger tales.

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Thank you Stuart, and also a hearty thanks for offering a copy to commenters. For those in the Vermont JASNA region, Stuart spoke on this novel as a work-in-progress in September 2012, where we were all intrigued to hear of his take on Jane Austen’s mystery love. He just recently spoke at the JASNA-MA and JASNA-SC regions, and is scheduled with the JASNA-Maine group in September. For readers wanting the full historical tale behind the references to the Austen family in the Hastings archive, Bennett’s essay, “Lord Moira and the Austens,” will appear in the next issue of Persuasions – Vol. 35 (2013), due out this May.

You can find more information on both novels at the Longbourn Press: http://longbournpress.com/

Lord Moira’s Echo is available in large format paperback ($14.95) and as a Kindle download ($2.99) via the following link:

http://www.amazon.com/Lord-Moiras-Echo-Stuart-Bennett/dp/1494475197/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394040137&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=Lord+Moria%27s+Echo%3A+A+Novel

The Perfect Visit can be found here: pb ($13. 46); kindle ($2.99)

http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Visit-Stuart-Bennett/dp/0615542700/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323810829&sr=8-1

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Bennett photo-ILABAbout the author: Stuart Bennett was an auctioneer at Christie’s in London before starting his own rare book business. He is the author of the Christie’s Collectors Guide How to Buy Photographs (1987), Trade Binding in the British Isles (2004) which the London Times Literary Supplement called “a bold and welcome step forward” in the history of bookbinding, and many publications on early photography, auctions and auctioneers, and rare books, and of course these two novels on Jane Austen. He currently lives and works near Boston, Massachusetts.

Book Giveaway!

Please leave your questions or comments for Stuart in the comment section below to be eligible for a free inscribed copy of Lord Moira’s Echo by Monday April 21, 2014, 11:59 pm.  Winner will be announced on Tuesday April 22nd.  Open to US respondents only (sorry, but postal rates are now over-the-top!)

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c2014, Jane Austen in Vermont

Originally posted on Sarah Emsley:

Mansfield Park You’re invited to a conversation about Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park !

When: from May 9 to December 31, 2014

Where: right here at sarahemsley.com

I really hope you’ll join us in celebrating 200 years of Austen’s masterpiece. More than forty wonderful people are writing guest posts about Mansfield Park for my blog this year, and I hope you’ll all participate in the discussion in the comments. With exactly one month to go before the 200th anniversary of the novel’s publication, the countdown is on!

An Invitation to Mansfield Park

The party begins on Friday, May 9th, with Lyn Bennett’s thoughts on the first paragraph, followed in the next few weeks by Judith Thompson on Mrs. Norris and adoption, Jennie Duke on Fanny Price at age ten (“though there might not be much in her first appearance to captivate, there was, at least, nothing to disgust her relations”), Cheryl Kinney on Tom Bertram’s assessment of Dr. Grant’s health (“he…

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Have finished yet another re-read of Mansfield Park, in celebration of its bicentenary, and as always with a slow, deliberate re-read of anything Austen, one finds all sorts of new insights, new sentences, new cause for chuckles [yes! even Mansfield Park is chuckle-worthy!] – but as I have little time at present to engage in long semi-thoughtful posts on this novel, I shall just begin posting every few days some of my favorite lines, passages, all exhibiting the best of Jane Austen … and welcome your comments…

Today I start with a sentence in the first paragraph. Without the legendary opening line of Pride & Prejudice’s “a truth universally acknowledged” to start the tale, Mansfield Park begins rather like a family accounting – how the three Ward sisters fared with husband finding. And then we have this sentence, rather snuck in there I think to echo Pride and Prejudice:

But there certainly are not so many men of large fortune in the world, as there are pretty women to deserve them.” 

[MP, Vol. I, Ch. I]

And we find in the three Ward sisters the limited options available to women of limited fortune in Jane Austen’s day: Maria lands the baronet, Frances marries for Love and ends up the worst of the lot, and the eldest becomes a vicar’s wife and one of Austen’s most beastly characters … and thus begins Mansfield Park

Thoughts anyone?

c2014 Jane Austen in Vermont

A special issue of Persuasions On-Line is now available for reading, free to all!

From JASNA:

JASNA header

As we usher in spring, we are pleased to announce the release of Persuasions On-Line, Vol. 34, No. 2, a collection of essays on “Teaching Austen and Her Contemporaries.” This issue, which is freely accessible on our website, furthers JASNA’s commitment to fostering the study and appreciation of Jane Austen’s works, life, and genius. Relatively little has been published on teaching Jane Austen, and the articles in this edition expand on that important area of Austen scholarship.

Many thanks to Persuasions Editor Susan Allen Ford and Co-Editors Bridget Draxler (Monmouth College) and Misty Krueger (University of Maine) for developing this unique issue.

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persuasionsOL34-2-2014
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Table of Contents:
Editors’ Note Bridget Draxler, Misty Krueger, and Susan Allen Ford

Discovering Jane Austen in Today’s College Classroom Devoney Looser

Teaching Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey as a “Crossover” Text Misty Krueger

Teaching Two Janes: Austen and West in Dialogue Daniel Schierenbeck

Taking Emma to the Street: Toward a Civic Engagement Model of Austen Pedagogy Danielle Spratt

Teaching to the Resistance: What to Do When Students Dislike Austen Olivera Jokic

“Hastening Together to Perfect Felicity”:  Teaching the British Gothic Tradition through Parody and Role-Playing Andrea Rehn

Teaching Jane Austen in Bits and Bytes: Digitizing Undergraduate Archival Research Bridget Draxler

Jane Austen Then and Now: Teaching Georgian Jane in the Jane-Mania Media Age Jodi L. Wyett

Dancing with Jane Austen: History and Practice in the Classroom Cheryl A. Wilson

Contributors’ Syllabi

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c2014 Jane Austen in Vermont; text and images from JASNA.org

“Rear Admiral” of Austen in Boston posted this on a Jane Austen discussion group, his facebook page, and his blog. I think it is quite brilliant, and it will give you your Daily Chuckle – he gives me permission to post it here for your enjoyment!

Playing in Parts, James Gillray (1801) - Wikipedia Commons

Playing in Parts, by James Gillray (1801) – Wikipedia Commons

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From “Rear Admiral”: From something I posted on the Goodreads Jane Austen discussion page…I got just a bit carried away….. As I’m stuck in the (mostly) 70s/Singer Songwriter Era some (all?) of these might be unknown but I had way too much fun with this so here goes:

  •  Sir Walter Eliot to himself: James Blunt “You’re Beautiful”
  • The Kellynch Hall mirrors to Sir Walter: Carly Simon “You’re So Vain”
  • Anne Eliot to Captain Wentworth: Dan Fogelberg’s “Seeing You Again”
  • Lady Catherine to everyone: Frank Sinatra “My Way”
  • Emma to Mr K: Orleans “Dance with Me”
  • Mr K to Emma: Orleans “Love Takes Time”
  • Darcy to Lizzy: Orleans “Still the One”
  • Fanny to Edmund: Yvonne Elliman “If I Can’t Have You”
  • Mary Crawford to Edmund: Pink Floyd “Money”
  • Mary Crawford to Edmund, yet again: Dido “I’m No Angel”
  • Anne Eliot to Captain Wentworth: Yvonne Elliman “Hello Stranger”
  • Captain Wentworth to Anne Eliot: Joe Cocker “The Letter”
  • Catherine to Mr. Tilney: Fontella Bass “Rescue Me”
  • Marianne to Willoughby: All versions “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”
  • Elinor to Edward: ELO “Strange Magic”
  • Col Brandon to Marianne: Cat Stevens “Oh Very Young”
  • Lizzy to Darcy: Olivia Newton-John “Have You Never Been Mellow”
  • Mrs. Croft to Admiral Croft: The Moody Blues “Sitting At The Wheel”
  • Lizzy to Bingley: The Beatles “She Loves You”
  • Edward to Elinor: Mary MacGregor “Torn Between Two Lovers”
  • Elinor/Marianne/Margaret/Mrs Dashwood to Fanny and John Dashwood: Foreigner “Cold as Ice”
  • Elinor to Lucy Steele and Mrs. Ferrars: Foreigner “Cold as Ice”
  • Edmund to Mary: Joe Cocker “Unchain My Heart”
  • Marianne to Col Brandon: Lulu “To Sir With Love” (yes, the Col. isn’t a Sir, but he should be)
  • Me to Jane Austen: Sugababies “Too Lost in You”
  • Holly Christina “Jane Austen” : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vD2XIarhE08
  • Emma to herself: 10cc “I’m Not in Love”
  • Jane Bennet to Bingley: Beatles “8 Days a Week”
  • Caroline to Lizzy: ELO “Turn to Stone”
  • Anne and Capt Wentworth: duet “Reunited”
  • Willoughby to Marianne:Elvin Bishop “Fooled around and fell in love”
  • Bingley to Darcy:Bee Gees “You Should Be Dancing”
  • Adm Croft to the Musgrove Sisters: Lynyrd Skynyrd “What’s Your Name”
  • Aunt Norris to Fanny: Nick Lowe “Cruel to be Kind”
  • Eliza Williams to Willoughby Three Degrees “When will I see you again”
  • Marianne to Willoughby: James Taylor “Fire and Rain”
  • Robert Ferras to himself: ZZ Top “Sharp Dressed Man”
  • Lady Susan and Catherine Vernon duet: ELO “Evil Woman”
  • Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax duet: Atlantic Starr “Secret Lovers”
  • Mrs Bennet to her daughters:The 5th Dimension “Wedding Bell Blues”
  • Lizzy to Mr Collins: Police: “Don’t stand so close to me”
  • Charlotte Lucus to Mr Collins:Tina Turner “What’s Love Got to Do With It”
  • Neighbor Network of Spies to Catherine : Police “Every Breath You Take”
  • Fanny to Edmund:Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr “You don’t have to be a star”
  • Lucy Steele to Ferrars money: James Taylor: “How Sweet It is”
  • Anyone who’s read all of this to me: Simon and Garfunkel “The Sounds of Silence”

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"Longways" Country Dance, by Thomas Rowlandson (1790s) - wikipedia

“Longways” Country Dance, by Thomas Rowlandson (1790s) – wikipedia


Thank you Kirk! – Anyone want to add their own versions of Jane Austen in song?

c2014, Jane Austen in Vermont

Originally posted on Current Projects:

By Keira Mckee

An important stage in the treatment of any object is for the conservator to thoroughly assess the object “as is” before any work gets underway, if any work is in fact needed. In the books conservation department, we fill out a condition and treatment report that documents the exact condition of a book, when received by the conservator, identifying all issues that may require attention. As times goes on, all work will also be logged in this same document so that a thorough report can go back with the book to the owner, and possibly inform future treatments if another conservator works with the book in the future.

I was asked by David Dorning to create a condition report for the sample of Jane Austen handwriting that the department has been commissioned to treat. You can read about the project here.

The full condition report is…

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JARW68-cover

New issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World!

The March/April 2014 issue [No. 68] of Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine is now published and will be mailed to subscribers this week.  In it you can read about:

  • William Beckford, the remarkable author and architect who led a somewhat sordid life
  • Joanna Trollope on her rewriting of Sense & Sensibility for HarperCollins’s Austen Project
  • Mary Russell Mitford, the writer who sought to emulate Jane Austen
  • How Jane Austen supported her fellow writers by subscribing to their books
  • The story of Julie Klassen, marketing assistant turned best-selling Regency romance novelist

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Plus: News, Letters, Book Reviews and information from Jane Austen Societies in the US and the UK.

And: Test your knowledge with our exclusive Jane Austen quiz, and read about the shocking behaviour of our latest Regency Rogue

You should subscribe! Make sure that you are among the first to read all the news from Jane Austen’s Regency Worldhttp://janeaustenmagazine.co.uk/subscribe/

[Images and text from JARW Magazine, with thanks]

c2014 Jane Austen in Vermont
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