For those who do not subscribe to the UK magazine Jane Austen’s Regency World, here follows a little synopsis of the news and articles contained in the September/October 2011 edition.
- A new film, Austenland is in production and stars American Keri Russell whose thirty-something single character finds her love life ruined by her obsession with Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy. (I am sure there are a few of us who could relate to that!) Her obsession draws her to England in the hope of meeting the perfect Regency gentleman. The film also stars the gorgeous J.J. Feild who recently wooed female audiences with his portrayal of Henry Tilney in the 2007 television adaptation of Northanger Abbey.
- If you are interested in Regency charades you may want to check out Mark Turner’s new blog which will be devoted to the topic. Mark intends to provide his readers with historical information about the charades, as well as posting examples from his charade collection.
- A handwritten manuscript of The Watsons was sold by Sotheby’s London in July for a meagre £993,250 by the Bodleian Library at Oxford University.
- Check out Australian musicologist Gillian Dooley’s website which contains the fruits of her research into Jane Austen’s music as well as some recordings to enjoy.
In ‘Your Letters’, Anne Rice writes to the editor about an article that appeared in edition No. 44 about the controversial Rice Portrait, which some believe to be of a young Jane Austen and disputes the claims of Deidre La Faye about her dating of the portrait subject’s dress making the subject unlikely to be Jane.
You can follow the controversial debate on the good-old Internet. The painting belonged to recently deceased Henry Price, a descendant of Jane Austen’s brother Edward. Mr Price claimed that his family had always believed the painting to be a portrait of their illustrious ancestor. The National Portrait Gallery of London has spent many years investigating the painting and its experts believe that this could in no way be a portrait of Jane Austen. A Google search for the ‘Rice Portrait Jane Austen‘ will take those of you with an interest in finding out more to a few articles on the subject.
Apparently the recently wed Catherine Middleton, aka the Duchess of Cambridge, is related to Jane Austen via Henry Percy (1382-1455), the great-great grandson of Edward III. Ancestry.co.uk have discovered that Henry Percy is the Duchess’ 15th great grandfather and his wife Catherine, the 15th great aunt of Jane Austen. For those who are interested in trying to discover if there is some chance they are a distant relative of the great Miss Austen you may want to sign up to Ancestry.co.uk and get searching. What do they say on their ads?: “You don’t need to know what you’re looking for, you just need to start looking.”
Other articles include Penelope Friday on how illness and death was tackled in the Regency Period and in Jane Austen’s novels; Maggie Lane on how Jane Austen used the plot device of characters overhearing others talking to move her story forward; Linda Slothouber on the issue of the shortage of copper coins and the resulting hardship during the period 1775-1797; and Sue Wilkes on the life of Sir Robert Peel, not the famous PM, but his equally illustrious father, a politician and “prime mover in factory reform”.