“All I want for Christmas is … ” [anything Austen please!]

So here are a few random thoughts for holiday gift giving ~ either for yourself [forward this blog post as a subtle hint to your family and friends] or for your favorite Austen fan:

1.   Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine ~  

Every issue is a lovely gift in my mailbox!  One can get all sorts of Regency / Austen data on the internet nowadays – but there is still nothing like a journal such as this, filled with glorious pictures, well-written articles, book reviews, etc. that you can HOLD and keep and shelve along-side all your other Austen titles…


A quick summary of the latest issue [Nov/Dec 2009, Issue 42] which sports Jonny Lee Miller and Romola Garai on the cover ~ stars of the new BBC Emma that we in the States are anxiously awaiting to be broadcast in January [sigh!].  Inside, there are many pictures of the show to keep us satiated until then, and a fine story by editor Tim Bullamore on various behind the scenes goings-on.

And lots of other goodies: 

  • A guest essay by Sue Wilkes on “why we must not forget the real Regency” with our focus on the “glittering lifestyles of the elites of Bath and London” we too often lose sight of the majority lower classes and the very real issues of hunger and poverty  [Ms. Wilkes is the author of Regency Cheshire, another item for your gift-giving -.]
  • Sheryl Craig, on “An Austen Christmas” – a picture-packed [all from The Lewis Walpole Library of Yale University] article on the festivities in Austen’s pre-Victorian England, complete with allusions to the holiday as mentioned in the novels and her letters
  • Maggie Lane, also a regular contributor, never disappoints and here is another thought-provoking article on widows in Austen, “Not the Only Widow in Bath.”  Lane points out that the new book Jane Austen and Marriage by Hazel Jones [excellent book, and yet another gift idea!] has chapters on all aspects of female existence in the Regency period – all that is except widowhood – think Mrs. Norris, Lady Catherine, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Clay, Lady Russell, Mrs. Bates, Mrs. Jennings, and others – all widows with a unique status in their world.  Fabulous article…
  • A special in this holiday issue ~ author Carrie Bebris with “A Midwinter Night’s Dream, a Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mystery” – “On the stillest eve of January, Pemberley was alive with merriment.  So, too, was its master…” – and so it begins – I can tell no more…(!)
  • This month, the column “My Jane Austen” is by Eileen O’Higgins, the actress who plays Miss Martin [Robert Martin’s sister] in the new Emma – this is always fun to read – how someone started on the road to reading and loving Austen – we each of us has a great tale to tell!
  • The JASNA contribution by Elaine Bander [President of JASNA Canada] is about the tour “Houses of Jane Austen” she was fortunate to take when in England this year for the Chawton Conference.   And Marilyn Joice of the JAS highlights the events of their annual conference in “Dancing in Kent”
  • Photographs and round-up of September’s annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath
  • The always insightful “Book Reviews” by Joceline Bury
  • And the usual pack of news on “all things Austen”, letters to the editor, “what made the news in 1801,” – even the ads are lovely!

Upcoming issue:  Sex in the City; Bursting the Bubble; Figures of good in a difficult world; Meet Jane’s publisher, etc. – intrigued?

See the Jane Austen’s Regency World website, where you can subscribe [UK 33.  / everywhere else 38.70, though there are discounts for JASNA members]

2.  Oxford University Press has again put its 6-volume Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen on sale for $61.25. [regularly $175.] This is the 3rd edition based on collation of early editions by R.W. Chapman – all six hardcover volumes have dust jackets and feature early 19th-century illustrations and Chapman’s detailed explanatory notes.  This set is still the definitive edition used for citation – [though likely to change at some point to the new Cambridge texts] – but this is a must-have for everyone’s Austen shelf.

Oxford University Press website and the site for the Holiday Sale / Austen – if you “add to cart”  it will register at $61.25.


 3.  Lady Susan


There has of late been more interest in this early “novel” of Austen’s [helped perhaps by Laurel Ann at Austenprose and her efforts to get the entire Austen world reading / re-reading Lady Susan this past year! – if you haven’t followed this on her blog, you can do so at your leisure …]  – why it has not made it into BBC’s bonnet brigade I don’t know – just playing Lady Susan would I think be every actress’s dream role!  But as for a gift – a lovely and interesting “copy” of Austen’s seventh “novel” has appeared on the scene – a tad pricey at $139.99 [see the website for discount code], but you can certainly put it out there and beg for everyone you know to chip in together! ~ and a “novel” idea to create a box of actual letters for those works written in the epistolary format.  See the website of  London Publishing House for details.

4.  The illusive BBC Sense & Sensibility from 1971 starring Sheila Ballantine, Joanna David, Robin Ellis, Clive Francis, Michael Aldridge and Patricia Routledge is now available at Collectables Direct [there are other Austen items here – mostly videos, but also a bookend, necklace and music]

5.  Jane Austen, the Complete Novels from Naxos Audiobooks [also includes The Watsons and Sanditon ]– 69 cds and more than 80 hours of listening enjoyment – certainly enough for a long cold winter:  [$270. / set; or $170. for the download – yikes!]

  • Sense and Sensibility (11 CDs), read by Juliet Stevenson
  • Pride and Prejudice (11 CDs), read by Emilia Fox
  • Mansfield Park (14 CDs), read by Juliet Stevenson
  • Emma (13 CDs), read by Juliet Stevenson
  • Northanger Abbey (7 CDs), read by Juliet Stevenson
  • Persuasion (7 CDs), read by Juliet Stevenson
  • Lady Susan (2 CDs), read by Harriet Walter, Kim Hicks, Carole Boyd and cast [how perfect does this sound?!]
  • The Watsons and Sanditon (4 CDs), read by Anna Bentinck

It comes in a handsome, durable 69-CD box-set (accompanied by a full set of notes)

-Go to the NAXOS Audiobooks website; and scroll down for a link to an 8 minute podcast of actress/reader Juliet Stevenson on Jane Austen

[as an aside:  Naxos has announced the April release of Richard Armitage reading Georgette Heyer’s Venetia.  You can pre-order this now.  It is, sadly, like his reading of Sylvester, abridged, which usually makes me just cringe; but as one blogger so eloquently put, who, with Mr.Armitage reading, is really listening to the words anyway? – I loved hearing him read Sylvester – I just had to go out and buy the book to fill in the blanks…]

[available for pre-order on Amazon – or show a little patience, give a gift certificate and download it from NAXOS when it becomes available in April]

6.  Merchandise from JASNA Regional Chapters:  see the JASNA website for a listing of available Austen-themed gifts, from 2010 calendars with Brock prints, to puzzles, chocolate, and prints! And support a JASNA region at the same time!

2010 Calendar - Wisconsin Region


7.  a Jane Austen Jigsaw Puzzle at Bas Bleu for $14.95 and quite the challenge with 500 pieces!


Ok, done shopping for one evening – my budget is sorely depleted and this is just a start on all the possibilities to fill your gift-lists ~ more to come!

[Posted by Deb]

8 thoughts on ““All I want for Christmas is … ” [anything Austen please!]

    • Oh, Laurel Ann – had you already posted on some of these? we obviously are in the same cyberspace cubicle! – but as you say, great minds….
      Thanks for visiting! [and hope you get all of them in your stocking…]


  1. Hi Deb
    Thanks for mentioning ‘Regency Cheshire’! I did not know about the re-issue of the OUP illustrated edition of Austen’s works – sounds fabulous!
    I, too, am convinced Lady Susan is ripe for a TV adaptation – but who could play her to perfection? I always picture the late Margaret Lockwood in the role.


    • Hello Sue – thanks for that movie link – one old movie that slipped under my radar! – so now added to my TBS list…

      Yes, speculating on the actress for that role would be great fun – I see someone like Francesca Annis who always amazes and looks grand in period clothes….

      so any other thoughts out there for a BBC Lady Susan?



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