A few years ago, the University of Southampton Library Digitisation Unit digitized the Austen Family Music books, a collection comprising of 18 music books containing 600 pieces dating back as early as the 1750s with the majority of the collection centered around Jane Austen’s lifetime.
From the about page:
This collection consists of eighteen printed and manuscript music books owned by members of the Austen family, including the writer Jane Austen, in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Many are binder’s volumes, compiled from separate manuscript or printed sheet music items bound together for an individual user. Others are personal manuscript albums made wholly or principally by a single copyist. Although some volumes were compiled as early as the 1750s, the majority date from Jane Austen’s lifetime (1775-1817). Austen made or used several of the books, and she was probably familiar with music collected by other family members.
The collection brings together nearly 600 pieces, mainly songs and works for keyboard or harp, by both international figures and British composers. The books present a vivid picture of domestic musical culture in England in the years around 1800, furnishing valuable insights on music making in the homes of gentry families as well as essential contextualisation for musical episodes in Austen’s fiction.
The digital collection, housed at the Internet Archive, allows you to read and flip through the books in the way they are meant to be seen including the binding. Visit UoS for more information and history of the project.
If you’re not hip to Thug Notes, you really need to be. A series produced by Wisecrack. each video gives the summary and analysis of books ranging from 50 Shades of Grey to Fahrenheit 451. Thug Notes covers over 100 books (!) with more coming every month.
Last year I covered Thug Notes’ Pride and Prejudice video and I was thrilled to discover “Dr. Sparky Sweets” has also covered Emma, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights. If you have a few minutes and you’re not opposed to some not safe for work language, you really need to check these out.
On a recent post of pop culterization of Jane, I wasn’t too surprised to discover there exists a subscription box dedicated solely to tea and Jane Austen.
A subscription box is where you pay a flat fee every month for a rotating themed box. A couple of long-standing ones is Birchbox, a subscription box dedicated to health and beauty, Barkbox for your pets, Graze for snacks, and Lootcrate, a subscription box for geeks. The general idea behind subscription boxes is to try new things whether it’s a new snack, mascara, dog food, or collection items like shirts or toys. The boxes are usually monthly and range from $10 a box on up to over $100. There is a box for just about everything.
Pembertea is a subscription box service dedicated to tea and Jane Austen. The subscription is pretty straightforward enough. Every month you get Jane Austen trinkets whether it’s a charm bracelet, bookmark, Austen inspired games, postcards or something similar and of course, tea. The theme varies every month and you can see the 2018 themes here. Boxes cost $35 a month and you can cancel at any time.
Reviews seem highly favorable for the boxes and if you get one, let me know in the comments!
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