The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Jane Austen & More!

The Penny Post Weekly Review

27 January 2012

News /Gossip:

This article and book is generating so much online chat that I had to link to it:

“The First Sexual Revolution: Lust and Liberty in the 18th Century.” Adulterers and prostitutes could be executed and women were agreed to be more libidinous than men – then in the 18th century attitudes to sex underwent an extraordinary change… by Faramerz Dabhoiwala  in The Guardian:

-and you might also like to read this essay by  Tony Perrottet on “Guidebooks to Babylon” – note the references to “Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies”:

-and perhaps this whole book on the subject: The Covent Garden Ladies: Pimp General Jack and The Extraordinary Story of Harris’s List by Hallie Rubenhold – Tempus Publishing, 2005:

Oh dear, what would Jane say!

Downton Abbey
  ~ like Dickens, DA now has its own category!

*Downton Abbey, the house as the real star of the show:

*This article on “The Literary Pedigree of Downton Abbey” will give you several books to add to your TBR pile:

*as will this post from JASNA-New Jersey that lists several booklists out there:

*and a visit to the Masterpiece website will give you stories to read, polls to take and videos to view:

countdown to next show [for those counting!]: 2 days and 7 hours…

Now back to Jane Austen!

“Discovering Austen: A One-Woman Show”:

Visit The Library as Incubator Project for an interview with Kristin Hammargren on her upcoming one woman show, Discovering Austen (running Thursday, January 26 – Saturday, January 28, 7:30 p.m. at the Hemsley Theatre,821 University Avenue in Madison,WI).

The Circulating Library

*An article about unfinished books like Dickens’ Edwin Drood and Austen’s Sanditon:

[this lovely image from the article : by Miles Cole]

*Behind Jane Austen’s Door by Jennifer Forest – an ebook, sort of  a cross between Bill Bryson’s At Home and Amanda Vickery’s works on Georgian homelife, but lots shorter: – have just started it, will report when done…

*Romanticism Redefined: Pickering & Chatto and The Wordsworth Circle
from the Alexander Street Press – check if your local academic or public library will be subscribing to this online resource:

-And read this review in Library Journal:

*The Victorian Newsletter:

*The British Newspaper Archive:

•           Books I am Looking Forward to

*as a great advocate of the importance of re-reading, especially Jane Austen, I am happy to add this to my TBRimmediately pile:

Patrica Meyers Spacks,  On Re-Reading: , which includes a video interview with the author:

After retiring from a lifetime of teaching literature, Patricia Meyer Spacks embarked on a year-long project of rereading dozens of novels: childhood favorites, fiction first encountered in young adulthood and never before revisited, books frequently reread, canonical works of literature she was supposed to have liked but didn’t, guilty pleasures (books she oughtn’t to have liked but did), and stories reread for fun vs. those read for the classroom. On Rereading records the sometimes surprising, always fascinating, results of her personal experiment.

Spacks addresses a number of intriguing questions raised by the purposeful act of rereading: Why do we reread novels when, in many instances, we can remember the plot? Why, for example, do some lovers of Jane Austen’s fiction reread her novels every year (or oftener)? Why do young children love to hear the same story read aloud every night at bedtime? And why, as adults, do we return to childhood favorites such as The Hobbit, Alice in Wonderland, and the Harry Potter novels? What pleasures does rereading bring? What psychological needs does it answer? What guilt does it induce when life is short and there are so many other things to do (and so many other books to read)? Rereading, Spacks discovers, helps us to make sense of ourselves. It brings us sharply in contact with how we, like the books we reread, have both changed and remained the same.

-and a review here:

and here at Austenprose:

*Just in time for Valentine’s Day:  Jane Austen on Love and Romance, edited by Constance Moore:

*Simon Dickie: Cruelty and Laughter: Forgotten Comic Literature and the Unsentimental Eighteenth Century.   U Chicago P, 2011. [love the cover!]

with a review here:

*The final book in Michael Thomas Ford’s trilogy of Jane as Vampire will be released on February 28, 2012:

Here is a review from Library Journal:

Ford, Michael Thomas. Jane Vows Vengeance. Ballantine. Feb. 2012.
c.288p. ISBN 9780345513670. pap. $15.

Author-turned-vampire Jane Austen wants to marry Walter, but fending off her soon-to-be mother-in-law and fear of revealing her Big Secret are sucking the fun out. Walter’s invitation to join colleagues on an architectural tour of Europe leads him to suggest a wedding-slash-honeymoon. The wedding party—including their friends Lucy and Ben and Walter’s mom, Miriam, and her dog—arrive in London anticipating the happy event, but it’s not to be. A guest from Jane’s far past arrives to object, and the remainder of the trip continues this inauspicious start, including the search for Crispin’s Needle, said to return a vampire’s soul. If the needle can be found, would it deliver a soul or kill the vampire trying?

Verdict: Ford’s final book in the trilogy (Jane Bites Back; Jane Goes Batty) is nicely connected with characters and ideas to the previous books, but it can also be read as a stand-alone. More architectural detail than literary asides, a fabulous back story for Miriam, and a sometimes overwhelming number of additional elements will surprise readers. Still, the key elements of a charmingly reluctant vampire, supportive friends, and flashes of brilliance offset by poor undead life-skills remain in full force. [Library marketing.]—Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH

*Coming in June 2012: London: A History in Verse, edited by Mark Ford (Belknap, 2012) 

Called “the flour of Cities all,” London has long been understood through the poetry it has inspired. Now poet Mark Ford has assembled the most capacious and wide-ranging anthology of poems about London to date, from Chaucer to Wordsworth to the present day, providing a chronological tour of urban life and of English literature.

Nearly all of the major poets of British literature have left some poetic record of London: Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Dryden, Pope, Johnson, Wordsworth, Keats, Byron, and T.S. Eliot. Ford goes well beyond these figures, however, to gather significant verse of all kinds, from Jacobean city comedies to nursery rhymes, from topical satire to anonymous ballads. The result is a cultural history of the city in verse, one that represents all classes of London’s population over some seven centuries, mingling the high and low, the elegant and the salacious, the courtly and the street smart. Many of the poems respond to large events in the city’s history—the beheading of Charles I, the Great Fire, the Blitz—but the majority reflect the quieter routines and anxieties of everyday life through the centuries.

Ford’s selections are arranged chronologically, thus preserving a sense of the strata of the capital’s history. An introductory essay by the poet explores in detail the cultural, political, and aesthetic significance of the verse inspired by this great city. The result is a volume as rich and vibrant and diverse as London itself.

*Shannon Hale has a new book coming out on January 31, 2012 – Midnight in Austenland – another story with a different heroine set in the fictional Austenland as in her first Austen book… I liked that book, thought it was great fun, so will give this a try as well… $9.99 on my kindle

* Posh Pocket Jane Austen – 100 Puzzles and Quizzes by the Puzzle Society – came out in April 2011.

*What Austen’s Sense and Sensibility can teach us about Love and Courtship“, at The Daily Beast:

*World Book Night is taking shape for April 23, 2012.  You can see the 25 titles that will be distributed to people in participating countries:  Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is among them! – for the other titles [and a fabulous book list], go here:

You can learn more about this event in the US here:

*On my bedside table?: reading Bleak House, finally…

Websites and Blogs worth a look:

*“Sense and Sensibility in the Dining Room of Chawton Cottage”: by Julie Wakefield

Austen in Academia:

NEH Seminar for college and university teachers: “Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries” June 18-July 20, 2012

“We will read four Austen novels (Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma, and Northanger Abbey) and several novels by her contemporaries, including Anna Maria Porter, Jane West, and Mary Brunton. We will have several speakers join us in person or via Skype, including Jay Jenkins of Valancourt Books, who will talk to us about selecting, editing, and getting published a scholarly edition of an eighteenth- or nineteenth-century novel. We will also be taking a group day-trip to the Spencer Library at the Universityof Kansas.”

Museum Musings – Exhibition Trekking:

*The Cambridge University Library has just opened an exhibition Shelf Lives: Four Centuries of Collectors and their Books January 18 – June 16, 2012

the bookshelf of Sir Geoffrey Keynes, noted bibliographer of Jane Austen (1929) – if you look closely at this bookshelf, you may notice a familiar spine or two of Austen’s works!

article here:

*At the The Folger Shakespeare Library, from Feb 3- May 20, 2012:
Shakespeare’s Sisters: Voices of English and European Women Writers, 1500-1700

Auction News:

Always on the lookout for London materials:

Sotheby’s London November 15, 2011: Lot 14

A New & Correct Plan of London [London, 1760], folding silk fan engraved by Richard Bennett.. Travel, Atlases, Maps & Natural History [L11405] Estimate: 4,000 – 6,000 GBP – Sold for: 11,875 GBP

Regency Life

•           Fashion

A little later than our time, but here is an interesting blog post on “Women, Fashion and Frivolity” at the Darwin and Gender blog:

-Note this quote by George Darwin:

Women’s dress retains a great similarity from age to age, together with a great instability in details, and therefore does not afford so much subject for remark as does men’s dress.

 [excuse me? –  a great similarity? an instability in detail? ]

Here is the full text of George Darwin’s 1872 writing on Development in Dress

General History:

*this is fabulous! Postcards of Queen Elizabeth through the ages at Financial Times online

[when there scroll down to view the slideshow]

[image: with thanks to Nerdy Girls!]

Charles Dickens:
– he’s everywhere!

*Dickens in pictures at the Telegraph :

*A tour of Dickens birthplace:

*“Celebrating Mr. Dickens” a symposium at the Universityof Delaware, February18, 2012:

*“Dickens in Lowell”: an exhibit [opens March 30, 2012] ,and symposium celebrating Dickens’s historic visit to Lowell, Massachusettsin 1842 –

*The Yale Center for British Art begins its 2012 film tribute to Dickens with the first film in the series “Dickens’London”, a 1924 12-minute silent film:

– followed by The Pickwick Papers, from 1952:

*The DeGoyler Library at Southern Methodist University is hosting a Dickens exhibit:

Charles Dickens: The First Two Hundred Years. An Exhibition from the Stephen Weeks Collection. January 19-May 12, 2012 – a catalogue is available for purchase:


from Flourishcafe at

For Fun:

*Another image of Jane! A cigarette card from the NYPL Digital Gallery, from a collection of 50 cards of “Celebrities of British History” – here is the Jane Austen card and the verso with a short biography of Austen.  You can see her illustrious company on the 49 other cards at the link below:

 [with thanks to JASNA-New Jersey for the link]

Specific Material Type: Photomechanical prints
Source: [Cigarette cards.] / Celebrities of British history : a series of 50
Location: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building/ George Arents Collection

*Found this on the Cotswold History blog:

Sometimes, entries from 18th century newspapers read more like the introduction to a Jane Austen novel than a Jane Austen Novel. Take this entry from the Gloucester Journal of 17 April 1797:

“Glocester, April 17 – Tuesday last was married at North Nibley, in this county, Mr John Parradice, of Wick, to Miss Sarah Knight, ofNorth Nibley, an agreeable young lady, with a large fortune.”

A groom named Paradise (almost), and a pleasant, rich lady; this story has the potential to make a rather good novel.

*A reminder that the website for the Jane Austen Centre in Bath has a section on Music Videos:

Watch them all and choose your favorite [very hard to do!]

Copyright @2012, Jane Austen in Vermont

4 thoughts on “The Penny Post Weekly Review ~ All Things Jane Austen & More!

  1. Thanks a lot for the providing information. I had an enjoyable time perusing each of the link that caught my interest.

    However there is one thing I would like to point out. The Posh Pocket Jane Austen – 100 Puzzles and Quizzes has already been released exactly a year ago. I refer to Amazon’s page.


    • Hello Luthien – thanks for pointing this out! – I must have had a brain cramp with the dates – I have changed it in the post to read 2011 – I only meant that for me it was a book I was looking forward to reading / buying, not necessarily that the book just came out…

      Appreciate your giving me a heads-up!


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