The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Jane Austen!

The Penny Post Weekly Review

 November 20, 2011

 News & Gossip 

*Lindsay Ashford on her new book The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen – and how Austen perhaps died from arsenic poisoning, whether intentional or not – has created quite the kerfuffle on the airwaves. Miss Ashford has written a fictional account of what might have happened [and it certainly reveals a good number of Austen family secrets! – all fiction of course…or is it?]

The Daily Mail:

and The Guardian:

 [I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Ashford at the Fort Worth AGM – I’ve also read the book! – more on this in a future post I hope… has anyone else read it? – it deserves some conversation!]

*Those who have been following Downton Abbey [and who in their right costume-drama mind is not] will be pleased to know that the series has been granted a third season! – meanwhile we on this side of the pond “patiently” wait until January for Series 2, now finished in the UK – watch your PBS station for details on the re-running of Season 1 prior to the new shows – [do I dare admit that at our WWW (Wild Women Weekend) we watched the entire first season straight through [well, parts 5 and 6 on the Sunday morning – is there anything better than sharing this show with your very own group of fabulous wild women?!] 

Anyway, here is an interview with Dan Stevens – the hero of the piece, soon to be a soldier in WWI who returns home injured – however will Mary fit into this lifestyle change??

JASNA and JASNA-Vermont News

The JASNA website has added its annual link to Austen-related gifts from various JASNA Regions here: – a great place to start your holiday shopping, even for those not so Austen-crazed – what a better time than this to convert a few friends…

The JASNA-Vermont Annual Birthday Tea is next Sunday December 4, 2011 – please send in your reservation form if you are planning on attending! –

This at the JASNA South Carolina Region:  I went – wonderful time – will report the full details this week…

The Circulating Library 

*Has anyone read any of these books? Are they any good? – the Jaine Austen mysteries by Laura Levine:

Humor is the key ingredient in this slick debut by television comedy writer Levine. Freelancer Jaine Austen (her mother loved the classics but couldn’t spell) makes a living writing love letters, personal ads and industrial brochures, but she never expected her work to involve her in murder.

Titles in the series: 

  • Pampered to Death 
  • Death of a Trophy Wife
  • Killer Cruise 
  • Killing Bridezilla 
  • Death by Pantyhose 
  • The PMS Murder 
  • Shoes to Die For 
  • Killer Blonde 
  • Last Writes 
  • This Pen for Hire

*For the Sense and Sensibility bicentenary – an article in Fine Books & Collections:

FB&C asks: Have any FB&C readers attempted to collect all known editions and translations of Austen’s debut title?  Does anyone know of any individual or institution that may have made such an attempt…?

* a great resource: “Fiction in the Hampshire Chronicle 1772-1820” on the Chawton House Library website:

* A new book with a great title:  Freud’s Couch, Scott’s Buttocks, Bronte’s Grave by Simon Goldhill.  There are chapters on traveling to the homes and haunts of Shakespeare, Bronte, Wordsworth, Scott, and Freud, but alas! no Austen – what was Mr. Goldhill thinking?!:

And the press release: 
[with thanks to Joe T.!] 

*Do you like Sherlock Holmes? – there is some good stuff at Victoria Magazine and 

And while we are on Mr. Holmes, visit the website for the Sherlock Holmes Society of London: – where you can order your Christmas cards for 2011 complete with Holmes and Watson in the “Blue Carbuncle”…

And you can get on your Kindle with the touch of your keyboard, a new Holmes-inspired book: Barefoot on Baker Street by Charlotte Anne Walter:

 This all in preparation for the second installment in the Holmes / Watson – Downey / Law due out it is said on of all days, December 16th! Would Jane Austen like Sherlock Holmes?? what do you think??

Websites and Blogs worth a look 

*Harvard University has set up a page Jane Austen: Online Resources

Harvard recently published the annotated editions of Pride and Prejudice and PersuasionEmma, NA, MP, and S&S are forthcoming.  Note that our esteemed Austenblog and Jane Austen’s World blog are both included in the resource list! Congratulations to Mags and Vic!

*One can never have enough of London, as Samuel Johnson so wisely opined – so here is yet another site to visit to satisfy your London wanderlust: the online exhibition Glimpses of London’s Past at the University of Otago:

Norden map of London 1593

[via Vic at Jane Austen’s World]

*Another Jane Austen blog to spend your spare minutes visiting: Vicariously Jane Austen at 

*An oldie but worth a listen:  Claire Tomalin on Jane Austen at
[TTBOOOK = To the Best of Our Knowledge – check out the various interview podcasts…]

*Old Print Giclees – reproducing prints of all sorts – here is a Gibson print – you can own your own [and very affordable], either on paper or canvas in any size – check out the website for other print selections on various subjects:

"She Finds Some Consolation in her Mirror"

Museum Musings – Exhibition Trekking 

*The V&A:  Number 11 Henrietta Street – follow this audio and transcript for a tour through the house next door to Henry Austen’s No. 10: a tad larger than this image!

*The First Ladies Exhibit at the Museum of American History, opened November 19, 2011

 The First Ladies explores the unofficial but important position of first lady and the ways that different women have shaped the role to make their own contributions to the presidential administrations and the nation. The exhibition features more than two dozen gowns from the Smithsonian’s almost 100-year old First Ladies Collection, including those worn by Frances Cleveland, Lou Hoover, Jacqueline Kennedy, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. A section titled “Changing Times, Changing First Ladies” highlights the roles played by Dolley Madison, Mary Lincoln, Edith Roosevelt, and Lady Bird Johnson and their contributions to their husband’s administrations. The First Ladies encourages visitors to consider the changing role played by the first lady and American women over the past 200 years.

*Robert Burns at the Morgan:

Burns - Auld Lang Syne

Regency Life 

*Fashion: video of Regency fashions as worn by Jane Austen, courtesy of the Yorkshire Post from an exhibit at Fairfax House that runs through December 31st:

*Music: a reminder about the Jane Austen Music Transcripts by Gillian Dooley:

 – and see this Regency Musical Timeline blog: – no longer updated it seems, but a few good posts there worth looking at…


*Begin your holiday gift giving by sending all your friends this Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar – London again! [click this link not the picture for the demo]

And for Fun! 

*Buy your own London Taxi! from London Taxi Exports – see the story at Mary Ellen Foley’s Anglo-American blog:

*And finally, How Shakespearean are you?  – visit the Oxford Words blog to find out:  

So, I couldn’t resist typing in: 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.


Your English is 96 percent Shakespearean.

You ARE William Shakespeare!

No surprise there!

Copyright @2011 Deb Barnum of Jane Austen in Vermont 

11 thoughts on “The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Jane Austen!

  1. Glad you were interested in my post about driving your own London taxi! Thanks very much for pointing your readers my way.

    But may I point out that I’m a Mary Ellen, rather than a Mary Ann? Perhaps you were thinking of Miss Dashwood… (smile)


  2. Mostly I have been disappointed in sequels or uses of Jane Austen – however I’m looking forward to trying the new Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James who is 91 and has written many well-crafted murder mysteries set in the present but never one using Jane Austen. I also enjoyed stories in Dancing with Mr. Darcy edited by Sarah Waters – “The best of the Jane Austen Short Story Competition,” published by HarperCollins.


    • Hello Michelle – I too am looking forward to reading the P.D. James book – a friend has it and says it is quite good – let me know what you think when you have read it! I loved the Dancing with Mr. Darcy stories also – another such compilation from Chawton House Library will be coming out next year – you should try the “Jane Austen Made Me Do It” collection – the stories were wonderful, and like you I am usually disappointed in come way with the many sequels – so you should try this…

      Thanks for stopping by!


  3. WOOING MR WICKHAM, the second Chawton House Anthology of prize winning stories inspired by Jane Austen, which you kindly mentioned in June, has just been published by Honno in the UK, along with THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF MISS AUSTEN, both also available as e-books.


    • Thank you Elizabeth for the information – this is going in my next PPWR post – I am looking forward to reading it, as I thought Dancing with Mr. Darcy was delighful. I have read Lindsay Ashford’s book already and found it very interesting! – have you read it yet? would love to know your thoughts on it!

      Thanks for stopping by!


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