Our Next Meeting! June 4, 2017 with JASNA President Claire Bellanti

You are Cordially Invited to JASNA-Vermont’s June Meeting

with

JASNA President Claire Bellanti* 

“‘You Can Get a Parasol at Whitby’s:’
Circulating Libraries in Jane Austen’s Time”

Sunday, 4 June 2017, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Morgan Room, Aiken Hall,
83 Summit Street Champlain College,
Burlington VT**

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Join us for an illustrated talk about an 18th century social institution that was very important to Jane Austen in her own life and her fiction, the Circulating Library. Claire will present its history and then, with references to Austen’s novels and letters, show how central such libraries were in the reading and sharing of books in Regency England. 

*Claire Bellanti holds an M.A. in History (UNLV) and an M.B.A (UCLA). She is retired from a 35 year career as a library professional at UCLA. She is currently President of the Jane Austen Society of North America, and has served in other capacities on the Board of JASNA SW and the Board of JASNA since 1994. She has written and lectured frequently about the UCLA Sadleir Collection of 19th Century Literature, including the Jane Austen contents and Silver Fork portions of the collection.

~ Free & open to the public ~ ~ Light refreshments served ~ 

For more information:   JASNAVTregion@gmail.com / 802-343-2294
Please visit our blog at: http://JaneAustenInVermont.wordpress.com

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**Aiken Hall is located at 83 Summit St – #36 on the map here: https://www.champlain.edu/Documents/Admissions/Undergraduate%20Admissions/Campus-Map.pdf
Parking is on the street or in any College designated parking during the event.

Please Join Us!

c2017 Jane Austen in Vermont

My Jane Austen Book Stash ~ From the 2016 JASNA AGM on Emma

jasnabannerThere has been a good deal to write about this year’s terrific JASNA AGM in Washington DC on Emma – but while it always takes me a good while to re-emerge into the 21st century after these events, little time has been accorded me to actually write anything about it. But I did want to give you a quick summary of the books and other “stuff” I bought this year – less than usual because I bought a DRESS and a SPENCER, which did my pocketbook some serious damage…(see the image below*).

But to the matter at hand, here are the books, etc. – most would make fine holiday gifts for your favorite Austen follower, or for your own stocking for that matter… except this first one which would not in any way fit:

  1. cover-mp-harvardJane Austen. Mansfield Park: An Annotated Edition. Edited by Deidre Shauna Lynch. Harvard UP, 2016.

Very excited to have this, completing my collection of these beautiful Harvard editions. The book was released during the AGM and thankfully Jane Austen Books had copies. I have only skimmed through it, but it promises to live up to the other Harvard editions with an insightful introduction and notes by Lynch, and color illustrations throughout that give you the sense of time, place, and history that surround the adventures of Fanny Price. A must have and a perfect holiday gift for your Austen friends (and at $35, this is the best book deal out there, bar none…)

2. Alden O’Brien, et al. ‘An Agreeable Tyrant’: Fashion after the Revolution. Exhibition Catalogue. Washington DC: DAR Museum, 2016.

The catalogue that goes along with the fabulous exhibition at the DAR Museum that many of us at the AGM werecover-agreeabletyrant-dar privileged to see. Ms. O’Brien spoke at the AGM to take us through the history behind and the creation of this fashion exhibit – complete with characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice found in the “Pemberley Room” – it runs from October 7, 2016 – April 29, 2017 and is described on the website as: “…displaying men’s and women’s clothing from 1780 to 1825 in a dozen period rooms throughout the museum. It considers how Americans fashioned a new identity through costume; on the one hand, Americans sought to be free from Europe, yet they still relied heavily on European manufacturing and materials.”

The catalogue is quite lovely, showing full page color illustrations of fashions of the time as well as photographs of costumes in the DAR Museum collection. A must-have for every good Janeite with any fashion sense and perhaps in need of a new dress idea…it also contains various patterns in the back. You can purchase the book through the Museum’s website here. And my friend Kelly has written about the exhibit on her blog Two Teens in the Time of Austen.

Here are a few of my shots of the exhibit:

3. Chawton House Library – their new brochure and guide, text by Helen Cole, et al. CHL, 2016.cover-chl-db2

This is Lovely! It tells the history of the Chawton Great House, Jane Austen’s connection with it, the development of it as a learning centre for the study of early women’s writing from 1600 to 1830. There is much detail with fine illustrations of the house itself: the Library; the various rooms and staircases; exhibition and conference information; the furnishings, art and portraits; the gardens and grounds; and a bit of the history of women writers and their place in our literary heritage. For $12 you get to armchair-tour the house at leisure, and then you will add this to your next-trip-to-England itinerary, as well as a commitment to become a valued Friend of the Library (also a nice gift in a friend’s name).

[Note that the CHL online shop is currently experiencing the dreaded tech difficulties – if you would like a copy, please contact me and I will get one to you.]

chl-mary-robinson-by-hoppner

Portrait of Mary Robinson, by John Hoppner c1782 (at CHL)

Also from the Chawton House Library – their table at the AGM was jam-packed with goodies – I bought their collection of 8 botanical cards from Elizabeth Blackwell’s A Curious Herbal (frameable!) – you can also “Adopt” this book as a way to support the Library!

blackwellcards-chl

Also couldn’t resist this book-fan “The Rules for Love,” by book artist Angela Thames from Aphra Behn’s 1686 La Montre –  (you can read about Ms. Thames as artist-in-residence at CHL here).

thames-ruleslove-ai

[Image from: a-n The Artists Information ]

cover-heyer-jasa-db4. Susannah Fullerton, Amanda Jones, and Joanna Penglase, ed. Georgette Heyer: Complete to a Shade: A Celebration. JASA, 2016.

Exactly what the title tells us and another must-have – a collection of essays from various JASA folk who have long-been or are new to the joys of reading Georgette Heyer, based on their conference on Heyer in August 2016. Complete with lovely contemporary illustrations, this was just off the press in time for the AGM – $12 (I think) – you can contact JASA for information on how to purchase.

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Alas! I was very disappointed not to find a single book on London that I didn’t already have at either of the book stalls – but did find a few oldies worth perusing:

  1. Lt. Col. W. P. Drury. A Regency Rascal. London: Collins, 1971.

The tale of Jack Peregrine, a regency rascal to say the least, who arranges a marriage of convenience for himself to helpcover-regencyrascal-db him through a financial crisis, and then finds himself the heir to an estate in Barbados – all based on the true story of Sam Lord and his Castle (most recently a hotel in Barbados*) – who cannot resist a story of such a man (Heyer couldn’t)! First published in 1937 by Hutchinson, it gives a glimpse of Regency-era life in both London and the Colonies. Will see if it lives up to the hype… [*The property was run as an exquisite hotel for many years but unfortunately it was destroyed by fire in 2010 – it is currently being reconstructed and will open in 2018 as a Wyndham Grand Resort. The 450-room resort will feature 3 restaurants, meeting facilities and a luxury spa] – sign me up!

samlordscastle-barbados

Sam Lord’s Castle, Barbados, pre-fire

  1. J. Fairfax Blakeborough, ed. Legends of Highwaymen and Others. New York: Frederick Stokes, 1924.

Just because I am a sucker for carriages and highwaymen tales!

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(now, doesn’t that peak your interest just a little?)

  1. Hazel Mews. Frail Vessels: Woman’s Role in Women’s Novels from Fanny Burney to George Eliot. U of London: Athlone Press, 1969.cover-frailvessels-dbWhy not? – adds to my collection on women writers – but it also had an inscription that I first thought read “Catherine Morland” and that cracked me up – heavy reading for Catherine! (it reads on close analysis “Catherine R. Harland”).

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8. Joanna Trollope. Sense and Sensibility. New York: HarperCollins, 2013.

Only because I haven’t read this first of the Austen Project retellings and my Vermont Jane Austen book group has scheduled an S&S re-read this year and thought we would try this to compare…(though I know we will likely be gravely disappointed…)

 

9.  Jack and Holman Wang. Jane Austen’s Emma [Cozy Classics]. Chronicle Books, 2013.

This to add to my other board books, and a generous gift from the author. He attended my talk on “Illustrating Emma” and I could not have been more embarrassed to have not included this cover in my talk! (caveat: I did not include any of the covers of the many recent renditions due to lack of time – I have added them to the talk for those times where I can speak longer than the time-constrained AGM) – so with hearty apologies to Mr. Wang – this is of course a simply delightful addition to anyone’s Austen collection!

cover-emma-cozyclassics

 

  1. cover-ladycyclingErskine, Miss F. J. Lady Cycling: What to Wear and How to Ride. The British Library, 2014. Originally published by Walter Scott in 1897.

I have a friend who recently gave a talk on women and bicycles and my daughter is an avid cyclist – I bought this at The Folger Library shop (there seeing the simply amazing Will & Jane exhibit) as a gift but am now loth to give it away! Women and bicycles have an interesting joint history – here is a worthy account of the whole phenomenon here: http://www.annielondonderry.com/womenWheels.html

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So, as usual, I have my reading cut out for me – I would love to hear what YOU bought at the AGM this year

*and here is my new costume – I am with my Good Buddy Marcia, who is wearing a Regency dress for the FIRST TIME!! (we bought our fabulous fashions at Matti’s Millinery & Costumes (visit their site here and have fun shopping!)

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C2016 Jane Austen in Vermont

A Jane Austen Reading Group Reads Georgette Heyer

Guest post by JASNA-Vermont member Lynne H.

Our JASNA Vermont reading group recently discussed Georgette Heyer’s Frederica.  A skeptical member asked the question: why should we read Heyer?  Georgette Heyer is a prolific 20th century novelist known for writing Historical Fiction, Regency Romances, and Mysteries.  Frederica is one of the Regency Romances. (Think Harlequin not Hawthorne….)   So, why should a thoughtful group of Austen devotees choose a Heyer Romance?    Below are some of the answers from our group’s discussion.

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Reason # 7: It’s summer.  Let’s face it, we don’t have to read Tolstoy, Dickens, or even Austen all year.  Go to the beach and relax!

Reason #6: Heyer, as mentioned above, is prolific.  If you like one of her Regency Romances, you have 33 more to choose from.

Reason #5: Heyer researched and included wonderful Regency detail.  She described the carriages, dress, and food, for example, in specific detail.   You can read about phaetons and curricles, neck-cloths and laces, and jellies and sauces.  If you have any interest in the Regency period, it is both fun and informative to have such specifics included in the novels.

Reason #4: Ditto for Regency language, cant, lingo, etc.  Heyer used Regency cant in all of her Romances.  What does it mean if someone is a “nodcock”  or a “ninnyhammer”?  What about if someone is trying to “gammon” another person?  Usually the meanings of the expressions are clear from the context; however, members of our group also mentioned further Regency reading to fill in more information about the period.  Two of the books were Jennifer Kloester’s Georgette Heyer’s Regency World, and Carolly Erickson’s Our Tempestuous Day. 

Reason #3: Heyer’s dialogue.  She used dialogue extensively. Her dialogue is witty, but it is also artfully constructed to expose and develop character.

Reason #2: Heyer’s characterization.  While her main characters are usually from the aristocracy (these are Romances after all!), they are not two dimensional ladies and gentlemen.  Within the structure of the Romance, Heyer adeptly fills in the motivations, foibles, and flaws, of her main characters.  Her writing usually depends on the characters to move the books forward.  In the following excerpt, you can see both the characterization and dialogue at work.  This is from an early episode of Frederica in which Frederica and Lord Alverstoke have their first meeting.  Frederica begins by responding to him:

            “I see. You don’t wish to recognize us, do you?  Then there isn’t the least occasion for me to explain our situation to you.  I beg your pardon for having put you to the trouble of visiting me.”

            At these words, the Marquis, who had every intention of bringing the interview to a summary end, irrationally chose to prolong it.  Whether he relented because Miss Merriville amused him, or because the novelty of having one of his rebuffs accepted without demur intrigued him remained undecided, even in his own mind.  But however it may have been he laughed suddenly, and said, quizzing her: “Oh, so high!  No, no, don’t hold up your nose at me: it don’t become you!”

Reason #1: Her books provide both escape and solace.  One of our members mentioned that she read Heyer while she was undergoing chemotherapy.  She said that during this difficult time in her life, Heyer made her laugh and gave her a place to retreat to for comfort and solace.  For Janeites this is very familiar ground!

So…if your interest has been piqued by our reasons to read Heyer, we’d suggest that you start with Frederica.  Just about all of our group members enjoyed it.    And remember, unlike Austen, there are many, many more novels to choose from for those lazy summer days or for times when you just need to escape.  Don’t be a ninnyhammer, try one.

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Frederica
Georgette Heyer
Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2008
ISBN:  1402214766
[originally published 1965]


Further reading:

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book cover-Frederica1st

[Image: 1st edition cover, Bodley Head, 1965 – Wikipedia] – I love this cover!

What is your favorite Georgette Heyer? – i.e, after starting with Frederica, which Heyer would you recommend to our book group to read next?

c2013 Jane Austen in Vermont

Charles Dickens at 200 ! ~ February 7, 2012

Well, just in time! – Wishing Mr. Dickens a very Happy Birthday! – as his 200th is celebrated all the world over…

Here are several of the events going on, already posted in my Penny Post Weekly Review, and a few more besides:

First you must begin with the Dickens 2012 website.  

And then these various exhibits, etc…

*Dickens in pictures at the Telegraph :
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/charles-dickens/8954312/Charles-Dickens-in-pictures.html

*A tour of Dickens birthplace:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/christmas/8947295/A-tour-around-the-house-where-Charles-Dickens-was-born.html

*“Celebrating Mr. Dickens” a symposium at the University of Delaware, February 18, 2012: http://www.udconnection.com/saturdaysymposium

*“Dickens in Lowell”: an exhibit [opens March 30, 2012] ,and symposium celebrating Dickens’s historic visit to Lowell, Massachusetts in 1842 – http://www.uml.edu/conferences/dickens-in-lowell/

*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:

http://calendar.yale.edu/cal/ycba/week/20120123/All/CAL-2c9cb3cc-333ca412-0134-477237d9-00000988bedework@yale.edu/

– followed by The Pickwick Papers, from 1952: http://calendar.yale.edu/cal/ycba/week/20120123/All/CAL-2c9cb3cc-333ca412-0134-477bda0c-00000991bedework@yale.edu/

*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: http://smu.edu/cul/degolyer/exhibits.htm

* A bookseller’s list of some of his works that they have for sale [Tavistock Books]: 
 http://tinyurl.com/7c2t2y3

* This one is very exciting as it combines my love of Dickens and my love of London and makes full use of my iphone capabilities: Dickens Dark London from The Museum of London:

Dickens' Dark London

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/Resources/app/Dickens_webpage/index.html

*The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Dickens exhibit:  http://libwww.freel library.org/dickens/

*Dickens Christmas Tour at National Gallery: http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/event-root/december-2011/a-dickens-christmas-tour.php

*Dickens at the British Library: A Hankering after Ghosts: Charles Dickens and the Supernatural, British Library,London, until March 4 2012

at: http://www.bl.uk/whatson/exhibitions/cdickens/index.html

And here: http://www.culture24.org.uk/history%20&%20heritage/literature%20&%20music/art370174

Dickens and London at the Museum of London:

http://www.visitlondon.com/events/detail/21973327-dickens-and-london-at-the-museum-of-london

*There is also the Dickens Exhibition at The Morgan Library.  Here is the online component you can visit without leaving home: you can view 20 pages of A Christmas Carol and read a letter penned by Dickens…

Dickens at the Morgan Library

*Penelope Wilton [a.k.a. Mrs. Crawley in Downton Abbey!] reading Claire Tomalin’s Dickens biography at the BBC:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b017v88v

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Dickens World

Dickens World – March 7-8, 2012. and online event free for all: http://dickensworld.wordpress.com/ 

*The Dickens Dictionary – John Sutherland
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dickens-Dictionary-Z-Englands-Greatest/dp/1848313918

 * Dickens’ real life characters drawn from life? [with thanks to Tony G!]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/feb/01/charles-dickens-real-character-names

* and see Tony’s post on Dickens on his blog London Calling, with a good number of photographs of Dickens’ homes and haunts…
http://general-southerner.blogspot.com/2012/02/charles-dickens-200years.html

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And as Masterpiece Theatre never disappoints, mark your calendars for these upcoming Dickens on Masterpiece Classic: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/greatexpectations/index.html 

  • February 26, 2012 at 9pm   (Check local listings)
    The Old Curiosity Shop
    One 90-minute episode
    A teenage girl and her grandfather lose everything to a maniacal moneylender and flee his relentless pursuit. Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius) stars as Grandfather, with Sophie Vavasseur (Northanger Abbey) as Nell and Toby Jones (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as Quilp.

    Gillian Anderson - Great Expectations

  • April 1 & 8, 2012
    Great Expectations
    Gillian Anderson, David Suchet and Ray Winstone star in this new adaptation of Great Expectations, widely considered one of the greatest novels by Charles Dickens. Great Expectationsfollows orphan boy Pip as he rises from an apprentice to a gentleman.

    Masterpiece - Edwin Drood

  • April 15, 2012
    The Mystery of Edwin Drood
    The Mystery Of Edwin Drood is a psychological thriller about a provincial choirmaster’s obsession with 17-year-old Rosa Bud and the lengths he will go to attain her. The cast includes Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters) and Julia MacKenzie (Miss Marple).

*And these resources at the Masterpiece website from the 2009 series of movies:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/dickens/index.html

 Further Reading: [with endless links to biographies, works, criticism – and we think there is a lot on Jane Austen!]

I am currently reading Bleak House, one of those books on my TBR pile literally for the past 40 years! I have signed up for a four-session class on “Dickens and the Law” and figure I should be at least somewhat up to speed on Jarndyce and Jarndyce! – What better gift to an author than this – reading and re-reading their works 200 years after they were born!  Anyone else reading Dickens this year of his bicentennial? Please share!

Copyright @2012 Jane Austen in Vermont

World Book Day ~ March 3, 2011 ~ What is Your Favorite Book?

To celebrate World Book Day, which is today,  3 March 2011, here is a delightful book that shares the delights of books!

 “It’s A Book” by Lane Smith

 

So what book do you like most to read and then re-read?
My favorite book?

My next?

Or is it Jane Eyre?

Or Pride and Prejudice?

Or Middlemarch?

Or A Prayer for Owen Meany?

Or the Complete Works of Shakespeare?

Your turn! What’s your favorite book?    – you are entitled to one Jane Austen and then choose one other …. if you can so limit yourself!

Copyright @2011, by Deb Barnum at Jane Austen in Vermont

Round-Up ~ All Things Austen

This week is mostly about books….!

Jane Odiwe tells of her new book:  a sequel to S&S, Mr. Willoughby Returns: (see her blog for more info)

When Marianne Dashwood weds Colonel Brandon both are aware of the other’s past attachments; Marianne’s grand passion for the charming but ruthless John Willoughby and Brandon’s tragic amour for his lost love Eliza. Three years on Marianne is living with her husband and child at Delaford Park, deeply in love and contented for the most part, although Marianne’s passionate, impulsive and sometimes jealous behaviour is an impediment to her true happiness. News that John Willoughby and his wife have returned to the West Country brings back painful memories for Marianne and with the demise of Mrs Smith of Allenham Court comes the possibility of Mr Willoughby and his wife returning to live near Barton and the surrounding area of Devon and Dorset, a circumstance which triggers a set of increasingly challenging, yet often amusing perplexities for Marianne and the families who live round about.

lost-years-ja-cover

 Alert Janeite Nancy M. has posted about The Lost Years of Jane Austen, by Barbara Ker Wilson [Ulysses Press, Nov. 2008]

“Thanks to her meticulous diaries and frequent letters, Jane Austen’s life is well documented. Except for a mysterious period in her early 20s , when, for unknown reasons, her sister Cassandra burned all of Jane’s personal writings.”

A fantasy of what could have happened in the lost years.
Australia and Wentworth are mentioned [but as Laurel Ann proposes, is the a book written in 1984 titled Jane in Australia ?]

 

 Peter Ackroyd, author of many a British literary tome – novels and all manner of non-fiction, has a new book,  The Thames: A Biography [Nan Talese, 2008] to follow his London: A Biography of 2000. Published last year in the U.K. under the title Thames: Sacred River, and now available in the US, this is a must for my London collection!  Here is a review from Publisher’s Weekly:


 For a river with such a famous history, England’s Thames measures only 215 miles. Acclaimed novelist and biographer Ackroyd (Hawksmoor; Shakespeare) invites readers on an eclectic, sprawling and delightful cruise of this important waterway. The Thames has been a highway, a frontier and an attack route; it has been a playground and a sewer, a source of water and a source of power, writes Ackroyd. Historians believe the river may have been important for transport and commerce as early as the Neolithic Age. The ancient Egyptian goddess Isis has a long association with the Thames, which was used for baptisms, both pagan and Christian, during the Roman Empire. The British tribes tried to use the Thames as a defense against Julius Caesar’s invasion, and the Normans built the Tower of London and Windsor Castle on the Thames as symbols of military preeminence. The royal waterway carried Anne Boleyn to both her coronation and her beheading, and famously served as inspiration for paintings by Turner and Monet and for Handel’s Water Music, commissioned to associate the German-born George I with a potent source of English power. Elegant and erudite, Ackroyd’s gathering of rich treats does the famed tributary proud. Illus., maps. (Nov. 4)
See this LA Times review 

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thames-amer-cover1

 

 

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Lavolta Press has published this French book from 1820: 

The Lady’s Stratagem: A Repository of 1820s Directions for the Toilet, Mantua-Making, Stay-Making, Millinery & Etiquette


Edited, translated, and with additional material by Frances Grimble
Publication date: November 3, 2008
755 pages; 98 line drawings, 36 halftones
Glossary, bibliography, and index
ISBN: 978-0-9636517-7-8
Cover price: $75.00

Lavolta Press
20 Meadowbrook Drive
San Francisco, California 94132
415/566-6259
www.lavoltapress.com

and also see this review at PR-Canada.net

 

heyerfridays-child

 

 The Books Please blog reviews Georgette Heyer’s Friday’s Child.  [Margeret has created a very thoughtful reading blog and is one you should visit often…] for this, her first Heyer read, she links to the Georgette Heyer Reading Challenge Blog.  I confess to just starting MY first Heyer, Faro’s Daughter, and will post a review soon.

 

 

 

 

And finally a visit to Austenprose for her November booklist… [some duplicates I fear, but we are always looking for the same thing!]

For those of you interested in textiles, visit R. John Howe’s blog on Textiles and Text  where he reports on the recent textile symposium in Washington DC… many lovely photographs to view!

 And for those of you who are hungry, Regency Reader Blog writes about the typical Regency breakfast; and while you are there, look at the other recent posts on Bath, Tattersall’s, and various historical Regency novels that have been reviewed. 

And finally for a bit of end-of- the-week humor (or maybe not…), take a quick look at the results of the Guardian.co.uk contest on redesigning covers of literary classics for a “dumbed-down” age.  Dickens had the most entries it seems, but as you can see, Jane made the list!

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bleakhousecover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy reading!

Deb

“Between the Covers” ~ Magazine Exhibition in London

There is a new exhibition at the Women’s Library in East London:  “Between the Covers: Women’s Magazines and their Readers” chronicling the history of women’s magazines since 1600 in the U.K..  See this article on the exhibit at the Newham Recorder, and then visit the Library.  Hopefully there will be a catalogue of the exhibition which opens on November 1st. 

 

and what magazines did Jane Austen read?  ….. aah! another post in the offing perhaps?? …. but in the meantime, you might want to start with this Lady’s Magazine site…