Greetings and Salutations my Fellow Janeites,
Can you believe it’s almost time for us to meet again? Time is marching on far too quickly for someone who has a thesis due in December!
Our next meeting on Saturday 2 November 2013, same time, same place, is something of a Special Event as the President of Australia’s Jane Austen Society is coming to see us! Yes, the one and only Susannah Fullerton will be coming to chat with us about her new book Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen’s Masterpiece.
This year Jane Austen’s most poplar novel turns 200. Susannah Fullerton, author of Jane Austen and Crime and A Dance with Jane Austen, will tell the story of how Pride and Prejudice came to be published, what sort of first reception it received and what various famous admirers have had to say about it. She will discuss the charms of its heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, and the sexiness of its hero, Mr Darcy, and talk about the wonderful range of comic characters within the novel. Susannah will also tell the tale of the first translations of “Pride and Prejudice”‘, discuss the extraordinary range of covers and illustrations which have decorated copies over 200 years, and will talk about the amazing number of sequels and prequels and adaptations, the merchandise and the tourism connected with the novel.
Places are limited at our usual venue, so it is imperative that you book your place with our Meeting Coordinator Extraordinaire, Helen – firstname.lastname@example.org or 0430 133 368 – and put aside the $5 meeting fee, payable to Helen on the day. Helen will also provide “same time, same place” details for those of you who will be attending for the first time.
Susannah is a wonderful speaker/presenter, which you will know if you have been fortunate enough to see her during previous visits to Perth, or if you have read any or all of her fabulous books.
Hopefully we shall see some new faces amongst us regulars. In the mean time, Happy Austening!
Greetings to you all on this, in Western Australia at least, public holiday Monday. I have just received the latest newsletter from The Society of Antiquaries of London in which a new book by Fellows Roy and Lesley Adkin is reviewed. Below I have copied it for your consideration, just in case you were in the mood for some Jane Austen-related book purchasing.
From: SALON, issue 299, 3 June 2013
Jane Austen wrote novels that are full of gentle humour, playing with people’s ideas of class and propriety. In her own time, the subtleties and nuances of her text would have been understood and enjoyed, but, as time has gone on, we have gradually lost a sense of what her finely tuned words and situations tell us about her characters. Riding to the rescue come our Fellows Roy and Lesley Adkins, whose very readable new book provides a compendium of background information about Jane Austen’s England so that when she writes, for example, about the clothing worn by her characters, or the duties and income of a parish rector, we have a much clearer idea of the weight of meaning that lies behind her apparently artless words.
As with their other recent best sellers, Jack Tar and Trafalgar, what makes this book so valuable and readable is the extensive use made by the authors of contemporary letters, diaries, newspaper reports, advertisements, concert programmes and more. The irritatingly wrong-headed generalisations and unsupported assertions that fill so many popular histories are replaced here by the precision of quotations that tell the story better than any paraphrase, in the language, spelling and punctuation of the time: the art of the Adkins is to read very widely, choose their quotations very well, and set them in a well-thought-out structure that here addresses such themes as marriage, class and ‘breeding’, childhood, fashion, church services, superstitions, wealth, work, leisure, transport, medicine and health and death.
As we approach the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s own death (18 July 1817), there will be hundreds of books, no doubt, clamouring for attention, but few will be as genuinely informative as this one, sending you back to read Jane Austen’s novels with the ability to see so much more of what literary critics like to call her ‘sub text’.
Roy and Lesley Adkins will be giving talks at various festivals and events throughout the summer, including the Cheltenham Science Festival, on 7 June 2013, a book launch talk in the Museum of Somerset at Taunton on 19 June 2013, in the Great Hall, where Jane Austen’s aunt was tried for shoplifting! (tickets are £8 each, available from the Museum of Somerset), at the Telegraph ‘Ways With Words’ Festival at Dartington, Devon, on 12 July 2013, and at the West Meon Festival of Books, in the heart of Jane Austen country, on 13 July 2013. You can see details of other festival appearances on the Adkins’s website and sign up for their informative and entertaining Occasional Newsletter, issues of which are almost a book chapter in themselves on diverse historical and archaeological subjects.
Eavesdropping on Jane Austen’s England: how our ancestors lived two centuries ago, by Roy and Lesley Adkins; ISBN 9781408703960, Little Brown, 2013
I just received a tweet from Chawton House and author Lindsay Ashford has just published a book titled The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen. It is available from Amazon, The Book Depository and I am sure that Dymocks can order it in for you if they don’t have any in stock.
I have no idea what it is like, I just wanted to bring it to your attention. If anyone has the time or inclination to read it and would like to share their views with their Fellow Janeites via this blog, then please do email me your thoughts for posting. (My email address is email@example.com)
The book’s vital stats, courtesey of Amazon.co.uk, are:
- Paperback:320 pages
- Publisher:HONNO WELSH WOMEN’S PRESS (20 Oct 2011)
- ISBN-13: 978-1906784263