Jane Austen on Nightline ~ Mr. Darcy Rules!

Here is the video that showed on Nightline last night “Oh Mr. Darcy! Jane Austen Super Fans” – where the camera takes us through various Jane Austen events with costumed, tea-drinking fans, as well as numerous film clips of our favorite Mr. Darcys in all manner of steamy situations …

The reporters hit the JASNA AGM in Minneapolis, a Jane Austen group in Pasadena, and our very own Governor’s House in Hyde Park, Vermont which makes a grand showing, fabulous for Innkeeper Suzanne!

c2013 Jane Austen in Vermont

A Road by Any Other Name ~ Jane Austen Takes Over Worthing!

Breaking Jane Austen News!

From The Argus [Surrey, UK]:

Visitors to a new Worthing housing estate are in for a literary experience.

Three streets at the Barratt Homes development, The Fieldings  have been given names connected to celebrated author Jane Austen.

The Fieldings

The Fieldings

 [Image from the Barratt Homes website]

Austen found inspiration for many scenes and characters in her final and unfinished novel Sanditon when she visited the town in 1805.

Members of the Jane Austen Society contacted Worthing Borough Council calling for a street name in the town for the author.  [it is the JAS-Midlands Branch that spearheaded this effort under the leadership of Chris Sandrawich.]

Barratt Homes have now unveiled the street names as Austen Gate, Sanditon Way and Chawton Gate on the estate.  [There is also a block of flats called Mansfield Court.]

Society members and descendants of the author gathered in Worthing to mark the unveiling.

JAS-Midlands Branch

JAS-Midlands Branch

Barratt southern counties sales director Lynnette St Quintin said: “Where we build new homes and create new communities, it is important they are reflective of local history. The Worthing connection with Jane Austen is certainly one for everyone to be proud of.”

[Source:  http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/10667516.Jane_Austen_gives_inspiration_to_Worthing_roads/]

One wonders with “The Fieldings” so named if there might also be a Joseph Andrews Avenue or a Tom Jones Junction, or how about Bow Street Runners Boulevard … even Jane Austen would like that I think!

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You might recall last year’s efforts regarding the Library Passage in Worthing: this street naming is a partial result of the JAS’s hopes to have some recognition of Jane Austen in the area.  There is more to come in a future post from Chris Sandrawich, so stay-tuned, and on your next trek to England be sure to put Worthing on your itinerary; better yet, buy a home here at Chawton Gate!

 c2013 Jane Austen in Vermont

 

Jane Austen and the Bank of England

Well, this is everywhere so only posting this so everyone knows I am actually paying attention. The UK seems to be in the news an awful lot this week, and while I find this quite funny:

fbpolhumor-baby

[from https://www.facebook.com/politicalhumor ]

I don’t agree! I am unashamedly an Anglophile of the highest order [my parents were born there], and I had Tea every day as soon as I got home from school and have never changed the habit, and so all this stuff is just sort of ingrained…

So very excited this week, both about the Royal Baby AND the £10 note to feature Jane Austen.

So first a hearty congratulations to all in the Royal Family about George Alexander Louis – after George Knightley I am assuming, and a fine model for any young man (not to mention his great-grandfather)…

willkatebaby-cbs

[Image:  CBS News]

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And then Jane takes front-row seat after several weeks of mind-boggling discussion and various petitions on who shall grace the next issue of the £10 note, a woman it was to be, and Jane Austen it is – we can assume the Bank of England was a tad nonplussed by all of Jane Austen fandom raving for her to be chosen…

Here are the details – though they will not be in circulation until 2017 – I do wonder if they are concerned that any such Austen covered notes appearing shall just as quickly disappear into people’s scrapbooks and they shall have to start all over again – I cannot even imagine SPENDING this money, can you??

ja10poundnote

[ Image: news.com.au ]

The portrait of Jane Austen, which will appear on the banknote, is adapted from a sketch drawn by her sister Cassandra Austen. Other features include:

• A quote from Pride and Prejudice – “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!”

• An illustration of Elizabeth Bennet, one of the characters in Pride and Prejudice

• An image of Godmersham Park in Kent – the home of Jane Austen’s brother, Edward Austen Knight, and the inspiration for a number of novels

• A central background design of the author’s writing table which she used at home at Chawton Cottage in Hampshire

Fellow writers William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens have appeared on banknotes in recent times. Dickens was on the £10 note [Jane Austen shall be replacing Charles Darwin who is currently on the £10 note] and Shakespeare on the £20 note.

Bank of England notes can be spent throughout the UK. In addition, three banks in Scotland and four in Northern Ireland are authorised to issue banknotes.

On Twitter, Mr Osborne wrote: “[Incoming Bank of England governor] Mark Carney’s choice of Jane Austen as face of £10 note is great. After understandable row over lack of women, shows sense and sensibility.”

[Good to know someone knows their Austen…]

[Quoting from BBC News, where you can find a list of all the previous banknotes with famous faces…]

newscovers-baby

[Image:  CBS News]

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UPDATE:  adding a few links here to other writings on the kerfuffle of Jane on the £10 note:

c2013 Jane Austen in Vermont

Jane Austen on Richard III ~ Guilty, or “A Very Respectable Man”?

richard III - yorkshire branch website

Richard III, by an unknown artist – National Portrait Gallery

Richard III has been getting much-needed attention these past few days – his Bones, it seems, have been languishing beneath a parking lot

the bones

About 22 years ago on a trip to Scotland with the Appalachian Mountain Club, we stayed in Beauly not far from Inverness in a Castle called Aigas (now the Aigas Field Centre), hosted by Sir John Lister-Kaye and his Lady Lucy. We spent our days studying the flora, fauna, and geology of the surrounding area, a glorious adventure, as you can imagine – but one of the most memorable parts of the trip was meeting another guest staying at the Castle – he was not part of our group, but came there every year to go birding, an elderly gentleman blessed with a brilliant mind and great charm – his one great obsession other than birds was Richard III, and from him I learned about the Richard III Society.  He went off into spasms of ecstasy telling of his also annual treks to Bosworth where he could hear the “swish, swish” of the swords on the field where Richard was slain in 1485.

Bosworth Battlefield - Britannica

Illustration depicting the Battle of Bosworth Field, with King Richard III on the white horse.

Credit: The Print Collector/Heritage-Images – from Britannica.com
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Richard_III_earliest_surviving_portrait - wp

The earliest surviving portrait of Richard III – from the RIII Society website

I came home with my own obsession with the long-dead Richard – read everything I could find on him, beginning with Josephine Tey’s The Daughter of Time, her tribute to Richard [she was a staunch member of the Society] and the clear statement of her belief in his innocence.  Shakespeare had done the young King a dirty deed it seems, maligned forever in History as the murderer of the Princes in the Tower and various other souls including his Wife, and perpetrator of all manner of other nefarious politically-induced deeds…

I confess to having forgotten more than I ever actually knew about RIII, and now other than Shakespeare and Tey, he has largely fallen off my radar, or at least I no longer need to get into discussions with everyone I meet in a rabid defense of his innocence… but I am excited about his Bones being found and restored to a rightful burial place at Leicester Cathedral; this discovery shall certainly bring on a re-assessment of who he might really have been…

Leicester Cathedral

Leicester Cathedral – RutlandChurches.co.uk

Which brings us to Jane Austen:

Austen, as avid readers know, had an aversion to the name of “Richard”: let’s recall her first paragraph in Northanger Abbey, where she denigrates Catherine’s father so:

Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his name was Richard … 

And later in a 1796 letter to her sister, she remarks on Mr. Richard Harvey’s match being put off,till he has got a better Christian name, of which he has great Hopes.” [Letters, p. 10]

And famously in Persuasion, and one of the nastiest comments in all her novels, on poor Dick Musgrove:

The real circumstances of this pathetic piece of family history were, that the Musgroves had had the ill fortune of a very troublesome, hopeless son, and the good fortune to lose him before he reached his twentieth year; that he had been sent to sea, because he was stupid and unmanageable on shore; that he had been very little cared for at any time by his family, though quite as much as he deserved; seldom heard of, and scarcely at all regretted, when the intelligence of his death abroad had worked its way to Uppercross, two years before.

He had, in fact, though his sisters were now doing all they could for him, by calling him “poor Richard,” been nothing better than a thick-headed, unfeeling, unprofitable Dick Musgrove, who had never done any thing to entitle himself to more than the abbreviation of his name, living or dead. [Persuasion  v. I, ch. VI]

Ouch!

No one has ever satisfactorily explained this aversion of Austen’s to the name ‘Richard’ – one could certainly explain it as her disliking Richard III with such a passion that anyone named Richard should suffer her admonition; but here is what she says about Richard in her History of England, with such a contradictory tone, one does not quite know what she really thought [forever the illusive Jane] – but on the whole I think she believes him to be mistreated by History – perhaps she would have been a reigning member of the Richard III Society!

Cassandra's portrait of Richard III

Cassandra’s portrait of Richard III

 Richard the 3d

The Character of this Prince has been in general very severely treated by Historians, but as he was a York, I am rather inclined to suppose him a very respectable Man. It has indeed been confidently asserted that he killed his two Nephews & his Wife, but it has also been declared that he did not kill his two Nephews, which I am inclined to beleive true; & if this is the case, it may also be affirmed that he did not kill his Wife, for if Perkin Warbeck was really the Duke of York, why might not Lambert Simnel be the Widow of Richard. Whether innocent or guilty, he did not reign long in peace, for Henry Tudor E. of Richmond as great a villain as ever lived, made a great fuss about getting the Crown & having killed the King at the battle of Bosworth, he succeeded to it.

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You can read Austen’s complete History of England here at the British Library, and here at Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts , both in the original edition and facsimile.

So what do you think? Should Richard III be exonerated of his dastardly deeds? Should we do as Jane did and be “rather inclined to suppose him a very respectable Man”? I will just say that may Richard at least from henceforth Rest in Peace…

RIII memorial leicester

 [Richard III Memorial in Leicester Cathedral]

And I must add this final image sent just this morning from a friend – only the English can get away with this sort of thing, but I laughed ‘til tears came… somehow I think Jane Austen would be laughing too…

car park sign

Further reading:

book cover - daughter of time - tey[like Jane Austen, Tey wrote just over a handful of novels – read them!]

 c2013, Jane Austen in Vermont

Playing Jane Austen ~ The Jane Game

Hello all Jane Austen Readers!  I append a note from Elizabeth Bankhead about her soon-to-be-released The Jane Game :

The Jane Game

The Jane Game

 

Hello, I am a fellow JASNA member and for three years have been developing The Jane Game, a Jane Austen board game with trivia from all six of her novels. You can finally see it in all its splendor at www.thejanegame.com. Right now the game is not for sale, though, you can enjoy daily trivia fun at www.facebook.com/thejanegame. And you can follow on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/thejanegame

Below is a visual teaser of the game-

For Email Teaser

I plan on bringing The Jane Game to market through Kickstarter.com . This is a web forum where funding of the game’s production can be provided by pre-orders. If you like the game and would like to own it someday, please do one (or all) of the following:

1. On the website — go to “The Game” at bottom left, then scroll down to the “Notify Me” button and fill in your email address

2. Send me your email address ( janesgame [at] gmail [dot]  com ) preferably with your name and, if you feel inclined, one thing very clever, two things moderately clever, or three things very dull indeed. I promise to laugh heartily at them all :)

3. Or, like the Facebook page www.facebook.com/thejanegame

With your email (option 1 and 2) I will notify you when the game’s kickstarter campaign starts for pre-orders. The facebook page will stay updated with the game’s progress as well as provide trivia fun every day.

If you know anyone who would be interested in a Jane Austen trivia game, please let them know (forward this blog post or invite them to the Facebook trivia page). The more people who know about this game, the faster it will come!

Thank you,

Elizabeth Bankhead

janesgame [at] gmail [dot] com

jane game facebook header

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Some examples: [from The Jane Game facebook daily trivia]

Mansfield Park: The day after the ball at Mansfield, two men leave. Who were they (choose two)? Mr. Crawford, Edmund, William, Tom, Mr. Yates

Pride and Prejudice:  What is Georgiana Darcy’s most praised accomplishment?

Emma:  Who was the first person to tell Emma that Mr. Elton could very well be in love with her?–“Mr. Elton in love with me! What an idea!”

Sense and Sensibility: How old is Colonel Brandon when we first meet him?

Persuasion:  On meeting the Harvilles and Captain Benwick, Anne admires their informal hospitality, ingenuity and charm. Why does she struggle to remain in high spirits?

Northanger Abbey:  Who does the heroine, Catherine Morland, marry?

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Thank you Elizabeth! – and best of luck with this – sounds like a great deal of fun, and who can resist anything to do with Jane Austen!

 c2013, Jane Austen in Vermont

Update: Worthing’s “Library Passage”

Dear Readers:  You might recall a post from several months ago [March 2012] alerting all to the impending closure of the twitten [called the “Library Passage”] in Worthing – a place associated with Jane Austen as she visited there in 1805 for several months – and it is very likely one of the main sources for the setting of her seaside spa in Sanditon.  See these two posts for more information:

https://janeausteninvermont.wordpress.com/2012/03/01/the-library-passage-in-worthing-under-threat-of-closure-how-you-can-help/

and in this post by Christopher Sandrawich on the JAS Midlands Branch tour of Worthing and environs:

https://janeausteninvermont.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/in-search-of-jane-austen-guest-post-a-tour-of-worthing-by-chris-sandrawich/

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I have just heard from Janet Clarke who had spearheaded the effort to thwart the closure in hopes that the site with its literary connection would have some sway with the powers that be.  Well, sad to report, safety issues have won out over historical significance, and even the many voices of Austen fans did little to move the decision-makers.

One good bit of news from Janet however:  Stagecoach (the bus company who owns the building and wants to close the passage for safety reasons) has “agreed to make special provision for Austen fans to walk the route, provided they receive  reasonable notice.”

So, take note and if you perchance have Worthing on your itinerary [and you must!], then please take Stagecoach up on their offer – I am hoping that they will provide TEA as well – the least they could do, don’t you think?

Library Passage – Worthing

c2012 Jane Austen in Vermont