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A great article on Emma by Janine Barchas:

emma-vintage

Tastes of Home in Emma

                                           by Dr Janine Barchas

Whereas Marcel Proust offers us one evocative madeleine, Jane Austen talks of pork, apples, and cheeses.

I was born in Holland, where I spent my childhood in Den Haag until the age of eleven. I now live in Texas and, like all displaced souls around the globe, know what it is like to crave foods whose tastes and smells convey a sense of home (for me that includes hagelslag, stroopwafels, oude kaas, pannekoeken met spek, and, of course, verse haring). Although my fancy local grocery store in Austin, Texas, now carries many of the Dutch foods from my youth (or the ingredients that would allow me to make them myself), part of me protests the very idea of relocated delicacies. Some foods are simply not going to taste the same in a different place. Eating imported stroopwafels in Texas (perversely made with honey instead of echte stroop) violates a palpable sense of authenticity and belonging.

In many respects, Emma is a novel about that sense of belonging to a certain place, which Austen rather grandly refers to as “amor patriae.” Remarkably, in Emma the central action never leaves Highbury, a small imaginary village in Surrey. All of Austen’s other heroines, whatever their financial or social dependence, traverse significant geographic distances, travelling by necessity or pleasure to multiple counties and towns, including fashionable cities like London and Bath, or seaside resorts like Lyme Regis. But the “handsome, clever, and rich” Emma Woodhouse has never seen the sea and admits that the picnic at celebrated Box Hill, a mere seven miles away, is her first-ever sojourn to even this nearby tourist spot. Critics are divided about the novel’s narrow focus, with some warming to Emma’s small-town setting as snug or consoling and others detecting an acute claustrophobia or constant dread of feeling trapped and boxed in (think of all those puns hiding in Box Hill and Boxing Day)….

Continue reading at the Jane Austen Society Nederland website – Barchas on Emma.

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barchas-janineJanine Barchas is Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin.  She is the author of  Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History, Location, and Celebrity (Johns Hopkins University Press, August 2012).  Her  first book, Graphic Design, Print Culture, and the Eighteenth-Century Novel (Cambridge UP, 2003), won the SHARP book prize for best work in the field of book history.  You can visit (and spend hours browsing!) her online digital project What Jane Saw (www.whatjanesaw.org) which includes the gallery of the British Institution that Jane Austen visited on May 24, 1813. Look for the upcoming “Shakespeare Gallery of 1796” on this website as well . Barchas, along with colleague Kristina Straub, will be curating an exhibition at the Folger on Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity – look for this in 2016.

c2015, Janine Barchas

Janeite Deb:

Re-blogging this from Julie at Austenonly – all about celebrating Jane Austen in Worthing…with thanks to Janet Clark and Julie!

Originally posted on Austenonly:

logo5i You may recall that a few months ago I wrote about the Jane Austen Festival that was going to be held at Worthing in Sussex. Janet Clark of Worthing and of the Jane Austen Society has done sterling work researching Jane Austen’s links with the town, particularly about the details of her visit there in the autumn of 1805. The festival took place at the end of May and Janet has very kindly written to me to let us all know how it went on. Here are some extracts from her email with some lovely photographs of the events:

I’m delighted to report that the festival proved a huge success, attracting over 1500 visitors to the exhibition & the various related events. Everyone said how much they enjoyed it and how interesting it was to learn about Jane Austen’s important connection with early Worthing. As well as the wonderful…

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[I append here the post I wrote in 2009 on this day]

July 18, 1817.  Just a short commemoration on this sad day…

No one said it better than her sister Cassandra who wrote

have lost a treasure, such a Sister, such a friend as never can have been surpassed,- She was the sun of my life, the gilder of every pleasure, the soother of every sorrow, I had not a thought concealed from her, & it is as if I had lost a part of myself…”

(Letters, ed. by Deidre Le Faye [3rd ed, 1997], From Cassandra to Fanny Knight, 20 July 1817, p. 343; full text of this letter is at the Republic of Pemberley)

There has been much written on Austen’s lingering illness and death; see the article by Sir Zachary Cope published in the British Medical Journal of July 18, 1964, in which he first proposes that Austen suffered from Addison’s disease.  And see also Claire Tomalin’s biography Jane Austen: A life, “Appendix I, “A Note on Jane Austen’s Last Illness” where she suggests that Austen’s symptoms align more with a lymphoma such as Hodgkin’s disease.

The Gravesite:

Austen is buried in Winchester Cathedral

….where no mention is made of her writing life on her grave:

It was not until after 1870 that a brass memorial tablet was placed by her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh on the north wall of the nave, near her grave:

It tells the visitor that:

Jane Austen

[in part] Known to many by her writings,
endeared to her family
by the varied charms of her characters
and ennobled by her Christian faith and piety
was born at Steventon in the County of Hants.
December 16 1775
and buried in the Cathedral
July 18 1817.
“She openeth her mouth with wisdom
and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

The Obituaries:

David Gilson writes in his article “Obituaries” that there are eleven known published newspaper and periodical obituary notices of Jane Austen: here are a few of them:

  1. Hampshire Chronicle and Courier (vol. 44, no. 2254, July 21, 1817, p.4):  “Winchester, Saturday, July 19th: Died yesterday, in College-street, Miss Jane Austen, youngest daughter of the late Rev. George Austen formerly Rector of Steventon, in this county.”
  2. Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle (vol. 18, no. 928, p. 4)…”On Friday last died, Miss Austen, late of Chawton, in this County.”
  3. Courier (July 22, 1817, no. 7744, p. 4), makes the first published admission of Jane Austen’s authorship of the four novels then published: “On the 18th inst. at Winchester, Miss Jane Austen, youngest daughter of the late Rev. George Austen, Rector of Steventon, in Hampshire, and the Authoress of Emma, Mansfield Park, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility.  Her manners were most gentle; her affections ardent; her candor was not to be surpassed, and she lived and died as became a humble Christian.” [A manuscript copy of this notice in Cassandra Austen’s hand exists, as described by B.C. Southam]
  4. The Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle published a second notice in its next issue (July 28, 1817, p. 4) to include Austen’s writings.

There are seven other notices extant, stating the same as the above in varying degrees.  The last notice to appear, in the New Monthly Magazine (vol. 8, no. 44, September 1, 1817, p. 173) wrongly gives her father’s name as “Jas” (for James), but describes her as “the ingenious authoress” of the four novels…

[from Gilson’s article “Obituaries”, THE JANE AUSTEN COMPANION [Macmillan 1986], p. 320-1]

Links to other articles and sources:

Copyright @2015 Jane Austen in Vermont

Governors house

My friend Suzanne is the Innkeeper at the Governor’s House in Hyde Park, Vermont, where she four times a year holds Jane Austen Weekends for those of us who like to retreat into the early 19th century for a few days. She also offers an annual In-Character Weekend, where all manner of various Austen characters people the Inn and where one must remain in character for the whole time or risk being evicted… it is all in good fun, what with archery, and fencing, and quill-making and dancing and efforts to make bonnets and turbans , one easily forgets the call of the internet or the chatter of cell phones, and as long as a resident Lady Catherine or Mr. Collins, or a grave General Tilney do not ruin the festivities, one can really get quite lost in it all. One such weekend is coming up August 7-9, 2015 and you can read all about it here: Governor’s House-JA weekends.

But I write here today about Suzanne’s and my Love of London, discovered several years ago, and about which we have yet to stop talking… We have been there together, and alas! separately, and as she was in the UK this spring without me (I am struggling to forgive her…), I here offer a post that Suzanne wrote on her Innkeeper’s blog a few weeks ago about her latest trip and the rather alarming number of encounters she had with Jane Austen! – here is the first paragraph with a link to the rest of the post … a perfect trip for armchair travelers!

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Encountering Jane Austen

After a tough Vermont winter and a serious bout of flu what form of R and R would be good before getting back to the 24/7 business of running a small inn? As is so often the case, a little Jane Austen seemed like a good plan. I’d been noticing how amazingly often JA is mentioned in whatever I’m reading, from Mr. Churchill’s Secretary to a serious article in the Economist just last week. So I wondered how many encounters there might be as I did some walking in her part of England and decided to chronicle my adventures. And all I can say now is that it is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen truly is everywhere!

Day 1

SB-NPG-Image-61

Arriving in London after an overnight flight, I immediately set out for a walk. First stop was Hatchard’s, England’s oldest bookshop founded in 1797. JA’s writings were well represented and it’s always a great place to look for guides to Regency London and places with literary ties, but the appeal for me is the list of authors who were also customers. Next stop was the National Portrait Gallery for “Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends”, John Singer Sargent’s striking portraits of Monet, Rodin, Robert Louis Stevenson and others, but certainly not JA who’d lived a century earlier. But returning the long way down from the third floor ladies, I came to this wall of JA’s contemporaries surrounding the tiny portrait of her we know so well.

Day 2… Continue reading at Suzanne’s blog here: http://www.onehundredmain.com/encountering-jane-austen/

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You can read more about the In Character Jane Austen Weekend for August 7-9, 2015 here: http://www.onehundredmain.com/events/jane-austen-weekends/ – it is not too late to sign up to give the performance of your life, Mr. Collins anyone?? and all you closet Mrs. Allens (dare I say Mrs. Norris??) can come and rave about your fashions to your heart’s content…

Showing off the Regency style turbans they made that afternoon in Hope Greenberg’s workshop

Showing off the Regency style turbans they made that afternoon in Hope Greenberg’s workshop

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On another note of interest to members of JASNA-Vermont – Suzanne is hosting us at the Governor’s House for an Afternoon Tea on July 26, 2015, from 2-4, where we will hear my good friend Ingrid Graff speak on “A Home of Her Own: Space and Synthesis in Sense and Sensibility.” As a member of JASNA, Suzanne is offering us this Tea at minimal cost to us, $8. / per person – reservations are required, so please email or call – invitations are being emailed later today to all on our JASNA-Vermont mailing list. Hope to see many of you there!

[Images courtesy of Suzanne B. from her Governor’s House website]

c2015 Jane Austen in Vermont

Janeite Deb:

Kelly McDonald spoke to us yesterday about her research project and the mystery of Emma Austen’s Aunt Emma [Emma Austen married Jane Austen’s nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh]. It was a great presentation taking us into the various avenues of her research into Emma’s family, and with terrific participation from all in the audience, we are now hooked on this not-yet-solved mystery and will await updates – there is a novel in here somewhere I know! Here are Kelly’s thoughts on it all… reblogged from her blog Two Teens in the Time of Austen, with thanks.

Originally posted on Two Teens in the Time of Austen:

I want to thank JASNA-Vermont for inviting me to speak at their June gathering yesterday – and for dipping with me in the waters of RESEARCH into the family of the Austens. So little time, so MUCH information! My illustrated talk entitled “The Mystery of Emma Austen’s Aunt Emma” was an “interactive” presentation – and people really spoke up, made observations, added comments, asked questions. It was GREAT! Later, one audience member even told me my “research reads like a thrilling mystery!” Heartening words, indeed. No one can ever guess the “desert” a writer *feels* to be stranded in, when the research is this intensive and taking years to produce something substantive.

pen and letters

I figure I’m closing in on a THOUSAND letters and several HUNDRED diaries – and more turns up. I just returned (after midnight, last friday…) from a research jaunt to New York City.

Very helpful staff at NYU…

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How to annoy friends and loved ones: offering daily proof that all things come back to Jane Austen, no matter the context. There have been a good number of very funny and unexpected results to support this theory – I always surprised and delighted in these “sightings” of Austen in the strangest places – my friends? – they merely roll their eyes. But a discovery a few weeks ago while on an architectural walking tour of Savannah Georgia might be the most bizarre yet… As we trekked around the beautiful and history-laden downtown, the whole of it a National Historic Landmark, our guide was asked how James Oglethorpe was able to communicate with the Native Americans he encountered when he chose Savannah for his settlement.

James Oglethorpe - HistoryCentral.com

James Oglethorpe – HistoryCentral.com

This was in 1733 and much later than the earlier colonies in South Carolina, Virginia, and those in the north, when Oglethorpe, under a charter granted by King George II, founded Georgia on the spot of this small river town. He started out with the best of intentions – he designed one of the most interesting towns likely ever planned and only thankfully for the machinations of a group of women in the 1950s, this city of twenty-two squares remains largely intact today (there were originally 24 squares). But Oglethorpe saw perfection not only in his architectural plan of Savannah – he expected it of his fellow colonists: no slavery, no Catholics (due to the proximity to the Spanish-controlled area of Florida just south), and no liquor…all of these prohibitions were eventually lifted.  [There is an old-wives tale that lawyers were banned as well, but I shall leave that to the history writers to separate fact from fiction!]

SavannahCityPLan-1734

Savannah City Plan 1734
source: http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/savannah-city-plan

[The original caption of this print by Paul Fourdrinier reads: “A View of Savannah as it stood on the 29th of March 1734. To the Hon[orable] Trustees for establishing the Colony of Georgia in America. This View of the Town of Savannah is humbly dedicated by their Honours Obliged and most Obedient Servant, Peter Gordon.” – Courtesy of Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries]

map_savannah_historicdistrict

Savannah Historic District map: see this link for a description of the 22 squares. http://sherpaguides.com/georgia/coast/northern_coast/savannah_historic_district.html

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My intention here is not to give you a full-blown accounting of the founding of Savannah, fascinating subject though it be – but merely to share this tidbit. Back to our walking guide: it seems that there was a Creek woman, married to an English trader, who lived comfortably in both her worlds and served as interpreter, translator, and facilitator to Oglethorpe and his band of colonists, and therefore was largely responsible for the peaceful establishment and development of Savannah. Her name? Mary Musgrove. Now I know the guide was in a quandary when I yelped aloud and burst out laughing (I did explain the outburst after the walk – but when I said that Mary Musgrove was the name of one of Jane Austen’s most infamous characters, I am quite sure he was even more baffled…)

But there you have it – Mary Musgrove in America and Jane Austen once again rears her brilliant head!

Oglethorpe, Mary Musgrove, and Chief Tomochichi

Oglethorpe, Mary Musgrove, and Chief Tomochichi – Courtesy of Ed Jackson*

Now I am not saying that Jane Austen knew of this Mary Musgrove of course – there is nothing in her hypochondriac self-absorbed character to link her to a Creek woman living in the colonies nearly a century before. But it gave me a start nonetheless – and there is always the slight chance that Jane Austen may have seen something in her history books. Oglethorpe returned to England in 1734 with the chief of the Yamacraw Tomochichi and others from the Creek tribe to meet the King, and Mary’s husband John Musgrove went along to serve as interpreter. Mary remained in the Georgia colony and ran the trading post – but she too traveled to England in 1754 with her third husband Thomas Bosomworth [now there’s a name…] to settle the twenty year-long dispute over her ownership of several of the Georgia sea islands. In the end, she was granted title only to St Catherines Island, where after several more years as interpreter between the colonists and the Creeks, she died around 1765. Could any of this very interesting history have been part of the Austen family dinner conversation?

[*Image above from Ed Jackson’s website with thanks: http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu/gastudiesimages/Oglethorpe-Mary%20Musgrove-Tomochichi%201.htm ]

There is another important aside with respect to Oglethorpe and slavery. He was one of the earliest to speak out against it, his founding of the Georgia colony prohibiting slaves proof of his humanistic beliefs. It was he who brought Granville Sharp and Hannah More into the argument – and they, after Oglethorpe’s death in 1785, joined with William Wilberforce and others in fighting slavery in England, on the seas, and in the colonies. For those of us who see the subtext of the slavery issue in Mansfield Park, it is certainly a possibility that Jane Austen knew of Oglethorpe, his history in settling Georgia, and his anti-slavery sentiments – and maybe something perhaps about Mary Musgrove?

Musgrove-GAEncycl

Mary Musgrove (pictured with her third husband, the Reverend Thomas Bosomworth) –
From First Lessons in Georgia History, by L. B. Evans
Source: http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/mary-musgrove-ca-1700-ca-1763

She was known as Coosaponakeesa among the Creek Indians, the daughter of an English trader Edward Griffin and a Creek Indian mother (the Creeks were a matrilineal society and children took the clan identities of their mothers). Living among both cultures she learned to speak both English and Muskogee (the language of the Creeks), and learned from her father the trading post business. Her marriage to John Musgrove, the son of a South Carolina trader and planter and a Creek mother, was settled to reinforce the peace treaty between the Native Americans and the English. They lived within the Creek culture until they established a trading post near the Savannah River, and where Oglethorpe found them in 1733. We know that Oglethorpe was appreciative of her efforts on the colonists’ behalf because in his will he left her £100 and a diamond ring from his finger … And Musgrove was important enough to the history of Georgia that in 1993 she was inducted into Georgia Women of Achievement. http://georgiawomen.org/

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Sophie Thompson as Mary Musgrove (1995)

Sophie Thompson as Mary Musgrove (1995)

 Source:  https://www.pinterest.com/pin/460844974341615969/

As for Austen’s own Mary Musgrove – here are a few of the priceless quotes:

“My sore-throats, you know, are always worse than anybody’s.” 

“If there is anything disagreeable going on, men are always sure to get out of it.” 

“So, you are come at last! I began to think I should never see you. I am so ill I can hardly speak.” 

“Yes, I made the best of it; I always do: but I was very far from well at the time; and I do not think I ever was so ill in my life as I have been all this morning: very unfit to be left alone, I am sure. Suppose I were to be seized of a sudden in some dreadful way, and not able to ring the bell!” 

“…. as long as I could bear their noise; but they are so unmanageable that they do me more harm than good. Little Charles does not mind a word I say, and Walter is growing quite as bad.” 

“… and it is so very uncomfortable, not having a carriage of one’s own.” 

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book-cover-barchas-mattersJanine Barchas in her book Matters of Fact in Jane Austen offers the possibility that Austen took the name from a small village in Somersetshire called Charlton-Musgrove and that this served as a real world setting for her imaginary Uppercross. In her geographical mapping of Persuasion, Barchas notes that this village as well as Lyme and Bath would be within the travel distances Austen lays out from her fictional “Uppercross” and “Kellynch Hall” [p. 235-6].

And this has nothing to do with any of this naming of characters, but I have always wondered why ever did Austen have Mary Elliot marry Charles Musgrove on December 16th, her very own birthday? Any thoughts?

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Further reading: [there is a great deal on Mary Musgrove – I take some of this bibliography from the online Georgia Encyclopedia] 

  1. Baine, Rodney M. “Myths of Mary Musgrove,” Georgia Historical Quarterly 76 (summer 1992).
  2. Fisher, Doris. “Mary Musgrove: Creek Englishwoman,” (Ph.D. diss., Emory University, 1990). 
  3. Frank, Andrew K. “Mary Musgrove (ca. 1700-ca. 1763).” New Georgia Encyclopedia. http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/mary-musgrove-ca-1700-ca-1763 
  4. Georgia Women of Achievement: http://georgiawomen.org/2010/10/bosomworth-mary-musgrove/
  5. Gillespie, Michele Gillespie. “The Sexual Politics of Race and Gender: Mary Musgrove and the Georgia Trustees.” The Devil’s Lane: Sex and Race in the Early South. Ed. Catherine Clinton and Michele Gillespie. New York: Oxford UP, 1997.
  6. Green, Michael D. “Mary Musgrove: Creating a New World.” Sifters: Native American Women’s Lives. Ed. Theda Perdue. New York: Oxford UP, 2001.
  7. Hahn, Steven C. The Life and Times of Mary Musgrove. Gainesville: UP of Florida, 2012.
  8. Irby, Richard E., Jr. “Mary Musgrove, Queen of the Creeks.” On the About North Georgia website: http://www.aboutnorthgeorgia.com/ang/Mary_Musgrove,_Queen_of_the_Creeks
  9. Perdue, Theda. “Native Women in the Early Republic: Old World Perceptions, New World Realities.” Native Americans in the Early Republic. Ed. Ronald Hoffman and Frederick Hoxie. Charlottesville: U of Virginia P, 1999.
  10. Sweet, Julie Anne. “Mary Musgrove: Maligned Mediator or Mischievous Malefactor.” Georgia Women: Their Lives and Times, Vol. 1. Ed. Ann Short Chirhart and Betty Wood. Athens: U of Georgia P, 2009.
  11. Wikipedia on Mary Musgrove: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Musgrove
  12. And even a YouTube! “Mary Musgrove: Georgia’s Own Pocahontas”- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jwy8dvPTPVo
  13. [Legal] indenture executed by Henry Ellis and Thomas [and] Mary Bosomworth [with sworn statements and opinion], 1760 Apr. 19 – Thomas and Mary Bosomworth (a.k.a. Mary Musgrove or Coosaponakeesa) and Henry Ellis (Royal Governor of Georgia, 1757-1760). The Bosomworths herein agree to cede the two islands of Ossabaw and Sapelo to the Crown in exchange for a sum of money and title to St. Catherine’s Island. Sworn statements given by Mary Bosomworth and her husband, Thomas, follow the indenture as does criticism, offered by an unknown author, relative to the negotiations between the Governor and Bosomworths. [WorldCat]

There is also a book for young people: published in 1997 with the title Call the River Home, a 2nd edition was published in 2011 as Mary Musgrove, Queen of Savannah:

bookcover-MaryMusgrove-Statham

And here we find Mary Musgrove very present in present-day Savannah:

IndianTradingPostsign

c2015 Jane Austen in Vermont

BookCover-Slothouber…and the winner is Nancy who wrote:

Quite fascinating. I am particularly interested in your comment that Edward had more land and less money than many thought then and today. I know there are those who revile Edward today for not doing more for his mother and sisters instead of praising him for what he did do. . I’d love to have a copy of that book as much for what it says about general conditions and Edward’s in particular. –  I have the impression that Mr. Knightley also had more land than cash on hand and that his brother John received an allowance or something from their estate.

Nancy, please contact me as soon as possible with your contact details, and Linda will get the book sent off to you right away.

Thanks all for your terrific comments, and to Linda for her generosity for the guest post and responding to all your questions. Those of you who didn’t win, I encourage you to do it the old-fashioned way and buy the book – it is worth every penny and more of the $11.95!

And apologies for delay in announcing the giveaway – the Holiday caught me up short!

c2015 Jane Austen in Vermont
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