If you happen to find yourself in London, UK sometime from now until February 19, you should head on over to the British Library and check out the exhibit, Jane Austen Among Family and Friends. The exhibit includes Jane’s juvenilia, notebooks, and letters amongst friends and family — much of which haven’t been together in decades. The exhibit also has Jane’s writing desk, given to her by her father, where she wrote most of her books.
British Library’s Press Release:
Jane Austen Among Family and Friends
(10 January 2017 – 19 February 2017)
Next year marks the bicentenary of the death of one of our most-loved writers, Jane Austen. To mark this anniversary, we are bringing together writings from Austen’s formative teenage years for the first time in 40 years, from the British Library and Bodleian Library collections, plus family letters and memorabilia as part of a temporary display in our free Sir John Ritblat Treasures Gallery. This display will also include one of the Library’s finest treasures – Austen’s writing desk.
Together they illuminate the personal family life of this towering literary figure. We are uniting the three treasured notebooks that Austen kept of her teenage writings, which include “The Beautiful Cassandra”, a story dedicated to Austen’s sister, and a spoof history of England featuring illustrations of the Kings and Queens by Cassandra Austen. The exhibits reveal family joys and sorrows which shaped the writer: one letter tells of Austen’s sorrow on the death of her beloved father, while a poem expresses the joy Austen felt on the birth of her nephew.
Check out BL’s website for more information on how to get to the library, admission, and other exhibits and more information here.
(P.S. Having been to BL several times, the place is ah-maz-ing.)
Games centering around Jane Austen’s worlds continue to pop up. So far I’ve covered The Lady’s Choice (computer) and Jane Austen’s Matchmaker (cards) with plans to cover several other games I know are out there – I know, I know. Marrying Mr. Darcy (cards) is on top of everyone’s list. I have it but it’s in storage – including a game for the iOS so I wasn’t too terribly surprised to find out there is also a Facebook based game entitled Jane Austen Manors.
Looks like the goal of the game is to decorate homes, persons, and make and solidify connections.
From the developer:
Featuring a Furnishings shop for the latest in decor, and a Clothiers for your wardrobe in the latest Regency fashions, Jane Austen Manors also offers mini-games that reflect the past-times of a begone era such as Needlework that can be displayed in your parlour at completion. And don’t forget the importance of having connections! In Jane Austen Manors, your neighbors can make calls by visiting your manor and leaving calling cards and gifts.
I’ve never been a big fan of Facebook games so I more than likely won’t give this a go but if you do, let us know in the comments what you think.
(I don’t know if the developer means to do this but I’m cracking up at the pun of “manors” for “manners” as a rich part of the game is having connections with other players.)
ed: I should create a post with a list of all the Jane Austen exhibits happening in UK this year, win a zillion dollars and take oneself across the pond to go check them out (and visit friends), but alas.
If you happen to find yourself in the city of Winchester, UK between May 13, 2017 and July 24, 2017 you may want to check out Jane 200 – The Mysterious Miss Austen.
From the website:
This exhibition will explore Jane’s life and work and her relationship to Hampshire. The exhibition which is in partnership with Jane Austen’s House Museum, will include the HCT pelisse coat which is the only garment in the world with provenance that can traced back to Jane. It will also include first editions of her work, personal letters and portraits as well as loans from national institutions and private lenders including the National Portrait Gallery.
Other than hours, cost, and the above bit of press release, there isn’t much listed on the exhibition’s page. However! The exhibition is part of Hampshire’s Jane 200 – a year long celebration of Miss Austen that includes exhibitions, talks, walks, writing competitions and performances across the county, so check the site for more info!
If you live in or near Williamsburg, Virginia, you’re in for a delight. The Williamsburg Regional Library is celebrating JANEuary, a month long Jane Austen set of events happening at the library.
The current schedule:
Thursday Film Series: Persuasion (1995) 2 p.m.
Lecture: “Jane Austen and the Challenge of Film Adaptation” 4 p.m.
Thursday Film Series: Love and Friendship (2016) 2 p.m.
Thursday Film Series: Austenland (2013) 2 p.m.
Lecture: “Jane Austen and Her Fans: Does Austenland Get It Right?” 4 p.m.
Thursday Film Series: Sense and Sensibility (1995) 2 p.m.
Austravaganza 1-5 p.m.
An afternoon of talks on Austen; period arts, crafts, and culture; and fun and games.
For more information and location, check out the event’s website. The events are free and open to the public.
When I announced to Mr. Lisa I was putting together a Jane Austen blog, he gave me that look as if to say I didn’t get enough Austen as it is. He then questioned how often I read her works since he’s never actually seen me pick up and read one of her novels (this is the same man who said he had no idea I had a stack of books on my side of the bed) and then went on to say my love of Austen came from strictly from the movies.
Well, no. As I mentioned on my about page, I have no idea when I started reading our Jane but I have been reading the six published works every couple of years. (I will not tell a lie and say I have finished Lady Susan, The Watsons, and Sandition, and etc though I do own copies of each.) I thought, in the beginning of designing the content for the blog, one of the things I want to do is hold a weekly read along club for each of Austen’s novels to always keep her work fresh.
I have the best ideas.
(I’ll be reviewing Austen paraliterature but Austen’s books themselves will be the read alongs.)
I decided to start with poor Mansfield Park as this, in my humble opinion, tends to be the least talked about of our Jane’s work. While I do feel it’s the weakest of Jane’s work and lacks the oomph of her other novels, it still deserves our love. People love Northanger Abbey for its gothic parody. Of course, Pride & Prejudice as if we could forget. Emma helped along by the movie Clueless, and Persuasion and Sense & Sensibility always seem to rank as favorites.
According to my Penguin Classics copy, there are 47 chapters in Mansfield Park with roughly 10 or so pages per chapter. It would take us nearly a year to finish the book if we did a chapter a week so I’m going to up it to three chapters a week and may adjust as we move along.
Join me every Monday as we read Mansfield Park! It would be most delightful if you were here.