“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” ― Jane Austen, Pride And Prejudice

woensdag 9 april 2014

Colin Firth kwam nooit uit een vijver

 
Vorig jaar kozen Engelse televisiekijkers de scène waarin Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (1995) uit de vijver komt als het meest memorabele moment uit een televisieserie ooit. Om dit te vieren liet het Engelse mediabedrijf UKTV een metershoge Mr Darcy in nat shirt maken die op tour ging door het land. Zo was het standbeeld onder andere te zien in het Serpentine Meer in het Londense Hyde Park en in de vijver van Lyme Park, dat in de serie te zien was als Pemberley.
Acteur Colin Firth werd gisteren door talkshow-presentator Jimmy Fallon geconfronteerd met foto’s van het standbeeld. En hij vertelt dat die meest memorabele scène helemaal niet bestaat! Hij heeft natuurlijk gelijk; bekijk het interview en hoor waarom.

dinsdag 4 maart 2014

Since 1996 Hazel Jones, renowned Jane Austen expert, has run residential courses at the following beautiful rural locations in England

Jane Austen-expert Hazel Jones geeft sinds 1996 meerdaagse cursussen op landelijke locaties in Engeland. In dit artikel vind je een overzicht van het aanbod voor 2014. (for an English translation, please scroll down).
Hazel is begonnen met het geven van deze cursussen om op een informele wijze een breder inzicht te geven in het leven en werk van Jane Austen. Zo hoopt ze dat mensen na afloop van de cursus (nog) meer waardering zullen krijgen voor Jane Austen en vol enthousiasme de boeken zullen gaan (her-)lezen.

janeaustencourses

janeausten.nl//jane-austen-cursusse-hazel-jones/

 

zondag 2 maart 2014

Café Haydn – Tea with Jane in het Dordts Patriciërshuis

 
Op zondag 23 maart vindt in het Dordts Patriciërs Huis aan de Wolwevershaven 9 een uniek concert plaats. In dit eind-18e eeuws juweeltje van een huis met prachtige stijlkamers en vol met schilderijen van 18e eeuwse Dordtse schilders wordt u meegenomen naar de tijd van Jane Austen. U stapt als het ware in een tijdmachine en belandt op de late middag thee bij de familie, mèt muziek. Uiteraard met een kopje thee, en Rozencake, een favoriet in de tijd van Jane Austen. En na afloop nog een hapje en een drankje.

In de tijd van Jane Austen was men in Engeland helemaal dol op dansen, Joseph Haydn (toen een componist met de status van een popster) en Schotland. Al deze favorieten komen bij Café Haydn ruim aan bod: an unpretentious entertainment, waarbij een hoofdrol is toebedeeld aan Haydn’s Scottish Songs, deels met een satyrische, dan weer scabreuse en ondeugende ondertoon. Maar ook één van zijn vele charmante pianotrio’s en een pianosonate (op de Rolls Royce onder de Engelse vleugels, een Stodart uit 1800) zullen klinken. Ongetwijfeld zal het ook zo in huize Austen geklonken hebben.

Het ensemble Café Haydn bestaat uit vier musici, gespecialiseerd in de authentieke uitvoeringspraktijk van de Oude Muziek aan het Koninklijk Conservatorium te Den Haag. Café Haydn weet als geen ander de sfeer op te roepen van een muziekavondje bij de eind-18e eeuwse gegoede burgerij. Daar ging het niet zo stijfjes aan toe als wij tegenwoordig wel denken. Sommige songs en verbindende teksten zorgen voor hilarische momenten en beschaafd opgetrokken wenkbrauwen. Klassieke muziek hoeft niet ernstig te zijn, en was dat vroeger ook niet. In de prachtige Maaskamer van het Dordts Patriciërshuis maakt U dit alles van heel dichtbij en bijkans tastbaar mee.
Café Haydn heeft dit programma al vele malen op uitverkochte historische locaties gebracht.
Commentaar van enige Engelse concertgangers: “Absolutely hilarious!”
Café Haydn – Tea with Jane
Zondag 23 maart 2014 16.00 uur Toegang € 25 pp (inclusief toegang museum, thee met cake in de pauze, drankje en hapje na afloop)

Contactinformatie:
Lokatie: Wolwevershaven 9
Telefoonnummer: 078 843 87 46
Email:info@dordtspatriciershuis.nl
Website:www.dordtspatriciershuis.nl
tea-with-jane-in-het-dordts-patriciershuis

dinsdag 25 februari 2014

Wilton House


Wilton house has been used for the years for numerous period films including Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice
 
For two days, back in August 2004, Wilton House was taken over by cast and crew for filming.  The estate's suitably grand setting was not only used for the backdrop of Darcy's Library (where Darcy pays off Wickham) but his Drawing Room as well. wilton_house_pride_prejudice

 
Wilton House has won the UK’s top award for Restoration, given out each year by The Historic Houses Association and Sotheby’s. Wilton’s entry into the contest was for its beautifully restored dining room that used both traditional and modern methods of repairs, undertaken by many local craftsmen. wilton-house
 

maandag 24 februari 2014

Jane Austen Reisgids

Chawton, Bath, Lyme Regis; het zijn bekende ‘bedevaartsoorden’ voor de liefhebbers van Jane Austen. Duizenden toeristen trekken er jaarlijks naar toe om in de voetsporen te treden van hun favoriete schrijfster. In Het Engeland van Jane Austen ontbreken deze plaatsen uiteraard niet. Maar er is nog zoveel meer te ontdekken. Waar kwam Jane Austens familie vandaan? Waar studeerden haar broers? Wat deed ze wanneer ze in Londen was, waar logeerde ze bij familie en vrienden en welk kuuroord bezocht ze in haar laatste levensjaar in hoop op genezing? Het antwoord op deze vragen vind je in Het Engeland van Jane Austen.
Daarnaast staan in deze gids de filmlocaties beschreven van recente verfilmingen van Jane Austens werk (vanaf 1995). Hij wijst je de weg naar de vijver van Mr Darcy, het Portsmouth uit de verfilming van Mansfield Park en de pastorie van Mr Collins in Hunsford. Laat je imponeren door de pracht en praal van Norland Park en drink thee op het marktplein van Highbury.

In Het Engeland van Jane Austen vind je ook achtergronden over de schrijfster en de periode waarin zij leefde. Citaten uit boeken en brieven vormen een inleiding op de beschrijving van de locaties. En uiteraard staat de reisgids vol met mooie full-colour foto’s. Achterin vind je een informatie over reizen en verblijven in Engeland. Wil je een keer in een filmlocatie overnachten? Een aantal huizen die te zien is in Jane Austen verfilmingen biedt overnachtingsmogelijkheden.

janeaustenreisgids

maandag 3 februari 2014

A mysterious piece of paper containing a handwritten note by Jane Austen is being investigated by conservators in Sussex

A photo of a mottled ancient novel with a picture of its female author next to it

This First Edition of The Memoirs of Jane Austen was published by the author's nephew, James Edward Austen Leigh, in 1870

 
Writing on a scrap of paper in 1814, Jane Austen penned part of a sermon on “men and prayer” - possibly to help her brother, The Reverend James Austen, whose sermons she was known to copy.
A photo of a section of a letter from the 19th century in black ink on white paperHer nephew, James Edward Austen Leigh - the publisher of The Memoirs of Jane Austen, in 1870 - attached it to a letter sent to a friend in the clergy during the same year, who pasted it into his First Edition of the book.

Conservators at West Dean, in Sussex, are hoping to examine a shadow of further handwriting visible on the reverse of the scrap while studying and cleaning it.

“What especially intrigued us about this fragment is its apparent date, 1814, and the evidence that it offers of the cross-currents between Austen's family life and her literary reflections on prayer in Chapter 34 of Mansfield Park, published the same year,” says Mary Guyatt, the Curator at Jane Austen’s House Museum in Hampshire.

“The work to secure the manuscript and to get it on display this summer is a collaboration between the museum, the Jane Austen Society, who helped us purchase it at auction, and now West Dean”

Work will also be carried out on the damaged spine of the hardback book before its appearance in an exhibition at the museum later this year, celebrating the bicentenary of Mansfield Park.

history-and-heritage/literature-and-music

woensdag 29 januari 2014

Speculation: Jane Austen's love of card games

Most social evenings in Jane Austen's time in Bath revolved around card games even though they involved a small amount of gambling. In London at the time of course, thousands of pounds could be lost in a game of whist, but in Bath the stakes were more modest.
Games such as cassino, loo, quadrille, piquet, commerce, brag, whist, vingt-un and speculation could all be played in polite society. Cassino was a game in which open cards on the table were used to make number combinations, piquet required you to make tricks, loo involved gambling tokens wherein players would bet on how many tricks they thought they could take; quadrille also trick-taking related to whist, vingt-un a forerunner of pontoon, commerce depended on certain card combinations and speculation was a gambling game that used tokens, the holder of the highest trump taking the pot.
This latter was Jane's favourite, saying of its superiority over brag: 'When one comes to reason upon it, it cannot stand its ground against Speculation'. She even composed a poem:
'Alas! poor Brag, thou boastful game!
What now avails thine empty name?
[as opposed to]... tender-hearted speculation.'
Speculation is mentioned several times by her in her writings and here in Mansfield Park we read:
'"What shall I do, Sir Thomas? [asks his wife]: Whist and speculation; which will amuse me most?" Sir Thomas, after a moment's thought, recommended speculation. He was a whist player himself, and perhaps might feel that it would not much amuse him to have her for a partner'.
Speculation had disappeared completely by the end of the century.
Commerce, a game whose aim was to finish with the best three-card combination in hand, made Jane rather uneasy because of the expense. She notes sourly in a letter when in Portsmouth:
'We found ourselves tricked into a thorough party at Mrs Maitland's, a quadrille and a commerce table... There were two pools at commerce, but I would not play more than one, for the stake was three shillings (15p), and I cannot afford to lose that twice in an evening.'
Card games occur throughout Jane's novels which reflect the mores of the time and were a quintessential part of a successful society evening.  janeausten
 

zondag 12 januari 2014

I walked in the house, not expecting my sister to seize me and start exclaiming that Mr. Bingley had returned to Netherfield at last

 
Hét bewijs dat er nog altijd Mr Darcy's rondlopen op deze aardbol (en gekke families als de Bennets): http://m.imgur.com/a/dGapG

Lyme Regis

 
On Christmas Day we visited Lyme Regis, a small town in Dorset, by the seaside. I was most excited about this, as I've never been to Lyme before, and anyone who's read Jane Austen's Persuasion will know it as the setting for her novel.

donderdag 9 januari 2014

Pride and Prejudice

Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy - Netherfield Ball
Played by Jennifer Ehle & Colin Firth — bij Jane Austen's House Museum.
 
 
Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy

 
 
Elizabeth Bennet - day dress, spencer & bonnet
Played by Jennifer Ehle — bij Jane Austen's House Museum.
 

Elizabeth Bennet - day dress
Played by Jennifer Ehle
 

Jane Bennet - day dress, spencer & cloak
Played by Susannah Harker — bij Jane Austen's House Museum.

bbc/drama/prideandprejudice/

 

woensdag 8 januari 2014

Walking Jane Austen’s London

Walking Jane Austen’s London is a book that should be in every Janeite’s nonfiction section of their library. This book truly is as the front cover describes—a tour guide. With short and interesting anecdotes for each historical place passed (but without the rushed pace of the tour and droning voice of the guide) as well as many pictures of the Regency world then and now, Walking Jane Austen’s London captures the attention and provides a fun activity for any Austen lover.

 
23 Hans Place: Jane Austen stayed a house on this site off Sloane Street with her brother Henry in 1814-15
 
Walk 1—Sloane Street to Kensington Palace Gardens
  • The room of her brother’s home where Jane Austen did most of her letter-writing and proof reading in.
 
  • Kensington Gardens, where Elinor (from Sense and Sensibility) took a stroll–although the beauty would be somewhat marred by her companions, Mrs. Jennings and Lucy Steele!
Lady Brownlow, in her ” Reminiscences of a Septuagenarian,” tells us that after the Peace of Amiens, in 1802, she here met the celebrated Madame Recamier, who created a sensation at the West-end, partly by her beauty, but still more by her dress, which was vastly unlike the unsophisticated style and poke bonnets of the English ladies. “She appeared in Kensington Gardens à l’antique, a muslin gown clinging to her form like the folds of drapery on a statue; her hair in a plait at the back, and falling in small ringlets round her face, and greasy with huile antique; a large veil thrown over her head completed her attire, which not unnaturally caused her to be followed and stared at.” No doubt, dressed in such a costume, and at such a period, Madame Recamier might well have been the “cynosure of neighbouring eyes.” janeausten/kensington-gardens

Walk 2—Marylebone and Bond Street
  • Bond Street (present in many Regency novels), the parading ground of the dandies, beaux, and the Prince Regent.  londons-bond-streets-old-and-new
  • Wimpole Street, where Maria Rushworth (from Mansfield Park) lived before running off with Henry Crawford. wimpole-street
Walk 3—Mayfair
  • The home of Jane’s publisher, John Murray, who was (in her opinion) “…a Rogue of course, but a civil one.”
  • The residence of the fashionable and well-dressed dandy, Beau Brummell.
Walk 4—Leicester Square to Green Park


  • Almack’s Assembly was the exclusive “marriage mart” of the ton. While potential spouses for your sons and daughters could be found elsewhere, the “best” ones could ideally be found at Almack’s, where the average, everyday riffraff need not apply. Who wouldn’t want their daughter to find a wealthy, well-connected—perhaps titled—spouse to enrich the family fortunes? Matchmaking mothers everywhere yearned to have their marriageable offspring included among the exclusive company of Almack’s. regency-rites-almacks-assembly-rooms
 
  • White’s, the most exclusive of the Regency clubs and location of the famous ‘Beau’ Window, place to sit and be admired. This was also where Henry Austen was invited for a ball, along with a prince, a king, and an emperor! White's is a gentleman's club in St James's Street, London. It is the oldest and most exclusive gentleman's club in London.[1][2] It gained a reputation in the 18th century for both its exclusivity and the often raffish behaviour of its members. wiki/White's
Walk 5—Soho to the British Museum


  • The British Museum, which has Regency and Georgian exhibits, as well as a tearoom.
  • Turk’s Head coffee house, the favorite haunt of Doctor Johnson and Joshua Reynolds.
 
Read more on: london-coffee-houses.
The Jamaica Wine House was originally The Turks Head, London’s first coffee house that opened between 1650 and 1652.
 
Walk 6—Westminster to Charing Cross
wiki/Poets'_Corner
  • The Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey, where Jane Austen has a plaque in her honor.
  • The site where Jane Austen found a portrait that “was” Jane Bingley (from Pride and Prejudice).
Walk 7—Somerset House to Lincoln’s Inn Fields

Drury Lane 1808
  • Drury Lane Theatre, the lobby where Willoughby learns of Marianne’s illness from Sir John Middleton (from Sense and Sensibility).
  •  Lincoln’s Inn (one of four historic Inns of Court), where Jane Austen’s friend and romantic interest, Tom Lefroy, returned to his legal studies after his time with relatives (and Jane).
  • lincolnsinn
Walk 8—Temple Bar to London Bridge

  • The original Twining’s teashop, where the Austen family bought their tea.

 
  • St. Clement’s Church, where Lydia and Mr. Wickham joined hands in marriage—albeit reluctantly on his part (from Pride and Prejudice).
austenprose

Wikimapia is an online collaborative mapping system that combines google maps with a wiki system, allowing users to add information. Click here to see an interactive image of a portion of London that shows Hyde Park, Mayfair, and Green Park.
map /darton1817/darton

maandag 6 januari 2014

Jane Austen and Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night is January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, and the official end of Christmas and was often celebrated with games, charades, punch and of course, the Twelfth Night Cake.
During Jane Austen’s life time, the celebration of Twelfth Night was at the height its of popularity. The day and night of the 6th was a time for masks and play acting.
The cake was part of this day rather than the now traditional Christmas evening. Twelfth day cakes were light and covered with coloured sugar, and they contained a bean and a pea. In France this is still a current tradition with a porcelain fève or bean being used instead for the fête des rois. The idea is that the man who found the bean would become king for the night, and the woman who found the pea would become queen. There are variants of this wherein the king and queen could choose a partner for the evening, which could provide an interesting opportunity for romance!
These cakes were quite difficult to make and were often purchased from a local confectioners. In Bath, decorated cakes with Plaster of Paris figures and crowns were displayed in confectioners' shop windows which were illuminated by small oil lamps. In the winter evenings people would go from shop to shop admiring the displays.
Then as now, the end of Twelfth Night dictated that all the decorations should be taken down and the greenery burned or ones house risked bad luck for the rest of the year.
Why not create your own Twelfth day cake and display it on our fantastic blue rose cake stand?
jane-austen-and-twelfth-night
Culture/LiturgicalYear/recipes
--------------------

Today is Epiphany, Twelfth Night – the final feast of the Christmas season before all of the Christmas decorations are taken down on January 6th– which is actually called Twelfth day.
In fact, if you have any more room, you can stuff in a bit of Twelfth Cake – which contained a coin or silver trinket or for the less well off, a pea. Whoever found it could be lord of the manor for the night ;-) These often elegantly decorated cakes were an important element in the celebrations for the feast of the Epiphany.

Like most of our Christmas traditions, it’s all a bit of a mish-mash. It seems likely that the present day Christmas cake has its origins in the Twelfth Cake and now the coins and trinkets are more likely to be hidden in the Christmas Pud.
So just one more slice of cake and then it really is all over…
And for those who like recreating the traditional, here’s the earliest printed recipe (1803) for Twelfth Cake by John Mollard, the Jamie Oliver of his day, from his best-seller “The Art of Cookery”.
epiphany-party

twelfth cake recipe - The art of cookery

zondag 5 januari 2014

Pride, prejudice and an Irish connection that Austen could never have imagined

Maggie Armstrong – 04 January 2014

It would be such fun to go to Pride and Prejudice in the Gate with Jane Austen. The book is 200 years old this year and you would get to ask her about posthumous celebrity. You would get to ask her what she meant by having Mr Darcy describe the Irish as "savages". And you'd get to ask her what she thought of three of her favourite nieces ending up in Ireland.

Mr Darcy's slight gives us insight into Jane Austen's own prejudices. When Elizabeth first shirks Mr Darcy at a local dance, in an intrepid demonstration of "treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen", Darcy is encouraged to jig along to some Irish and Scottish airs. "Every savage can dance," he snaps. The comment from literature's worst-tempered hero shows Ireland was a colony Jane Austen knew little about and most definitely feared. Her brother Henry was sent here under General Cornwallis to deal with the 1798 Rebellion.


As a maiden aunt, Jane Austen dispensed advice to younger family members. When her niece Anna was working on a novel, she told her in a chary letter not to even write about Ireland, "as you know nothing of the Manners there". Had she not died at 41, Austen would surely have worried about her niece Cassandra marrying an Irishman, and what that meant for the family. Marianne, Louisa and Cassandra Knight were the youngest daughters of Austen's brother Charles Knight. Their stories of privilege and displacement to Ireland add to what little we know of Jane Austen's short life, and deepen our knowledge of the Famine and the Land Wars they lived through.

Dr Sophia Hillan, who discovered their tombstones on a hilltop in Donegal, describes their life here as their "long years of exile". Her book May, Lou & Cass: Jane Austen's Nieces in Ireland is interesting for Austen fans and a sturdy read for anyone curious about the 19th Century.

The girls grew up in a Palladian mansion very different to Jane Austen's rectory in Hampshire. They called her "poor Aunt Jane". While Maiden Aunt Jane's role in the family was to read to them and supervise their needlework, we know from her letters that she also would have been a great fun house guest. On one visit, she planned to "eat ice & drink French wine". Marianne remembers how she wrote.

"Aunt Jane would sit quietly working beside the fire in the Library, saying nothing for a good while and then would suddenly burst out laughing, jump up and run across to a table to write something down and then come back to the fire, and go on quietly working as before." By working, she means darning. Aspiring writers (men too) might try that out.


In 1837, Cassandra Knight, the Jane Bennet of the sisters, married the dashing Lord George Hill, a young Irish nobleman stationed in Dublin Castle as Comptroller of the Household of the Lord Lieutenant. The match took her to Dublin and then the depths of Donegal when he bought a property near the sea.

Lord George was a Gaelic scholar and reformist, and chairman of the Relief Commission in Donegal during the Famine. He built the Gweedore Hotel, which still stands.
After Cassandra's death in childbirth (the daughter, little Cassandra, would become a Gaelic speaker and social reformer), Louisa married Lord George. Described as "nun-like" by one novelist, she moved to Gweedore in 1847 at the height of the Famine and became involved with relief works.

The niece to have most absorbed Jane Austen's spirit, or its avatar the boisterous Lizzie Bennet, was Marianne, her god-daughter and a witty, free-spirited gal.
Austen took her to the theatre aged 12, and left her a gold chain in her will.
She moved here after Lord George's death aged 83, undertaking a storm-tossed journey from Kent to Donegal to care for Louisa. The two grew old together, and Marianne lived with niece Cassandra until aged 95.
Sophia Hillan found the graves of these characters clambering with nettles and wild flowers. Theirs is a story of how the landowning class came to regard their exile as their home. And they give us just a little bit of ownership over their minder Jane Austen's genius.

Irish Independent independent.ie
---------------------------------
 
Hillan tells the sometimes complicated but fascinating tale of Edward Knight and his wife, Elizabeth’s children, who featured  so frequently in Jane Austen’s letters. She concentrates on the lives of Louisa (Lou-below) who was Jane’s goddaughter, Marianne (May) and Cassandra (Cass), but of course, during the course of the tale, we hear much about the lives of the other seven children and their aunts and uncles.
Louisa and Cassandra married the same man, Lord George Hill of Gweedore in Donegal. He married first Cassandra who died in 1842, of puerperal fever after the birth of her last child . In 1847, after she had cared for her sister’s children for five years, Lord George Hill married Louisa. This was marriage that caused much discussion and distress as such marriages were then unlawful in Victorian England. Indeed, the couple travelled to Denmark so that they could be married, as it would have been impossible for them to have been married in England, as marriages between brother and sisters-in-law were then considered illegal on the grounds of consanguinity.
The story of their time in Ireland where Lord George was seem as an improving but strict landowner is truly fascinating and absorbing. Sophia Hillan writes with great insight and sensitivity on the terrible time of the Irish Famines and the actions of landlords whose acts, which now seem cruel and incomprehensible. These acts  were often prompted by the desire for efficiency but  ultimately failed, tragically, to understand the customs, habits and nature of the Irish over whom the Anglo-Irish landlords possessed such power. The later part of the book deals with this subject magnificently and I found myself rapidly turning the pages,desperate to know the outcome of Lord George’s actions.

The sister I enjoyed reading about most was Marianne (May-shown above). Her story could have been heartbreaking, but her strength of character and bravery made it one of triumph over adversity. She never married but devoted herself to looking after her father and then,after his death,  her brothers. She did indeed begin life as an Emma Woodhouse figure, the daughter of a great house, Godmersham in Kent, administering the household and overseeing the care of the poor in the parish under her care after the marriage of her sister Fanny. She eventually moved from Godmersham to Chawton where she lived with her brother Charles Bridges Knight, who was rector of Chawton, and like her Aunt Jane, she seems to have enjoyed her quiet, settled life in that village. But she ended her life as a Miss Bates, impoverished and without a real home to call her own, settling in Ballyarr in Donegal, with her widowed sister, Lou, where she eventually died. I loved her character, with its refusal to be cowed by circumstances, her positive outlook and above all, her humour. She did indeed seem to inherit some of her Aunt Jane’s strongest character traits. I would love someone to reproduce in facsimile her Garden Book which she kept while she lived in Chawton.
I would urge all of you to buy this book, because the story of these sisters and their lives in England and most of all 19th century Ireland is so vibrantly presented to us by Sophia Hillan. I’ve read it twice now- the second time to savour all teh twists and turns of  the fascinating tale. It is available as a Kindle edition if you are running out of books space, or prefer e-books. I am certain you will not be disappointed by this wonderfully written book.
 

woensdag 1 januari 2014

Life Downstairs/ servents

Those familiar with “Pride and Prejudice” know that, midway through the Jane Austen novel, Elizabeth Bennet embarks on an expedition to Derbyshire with her aunt and uncle, where she and the Gardiners visit the magisterial grounds of Pemberley, Mr. Darcy’s estate. But few readers wonder who looks after the four Gardiner children while their parents are away. We read that the little ones stayed behind in Longbourn, with the Bennets, but, swept up in the impending romance between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, we don’t give these practical arrangements much thought. But in Baker’s retelling, which is centered on the Bennets’ young housemaid Sarah, the Midlands trip is the cause of “a deal of extra trouble, and noise, and meals, and washing…. shitty nappies, the wetted beds: the work.” Read more on: newyorker/life-downstairs-the-popularity-of-the-literature-of-servants

janeaustensworld/servants/
theresestenzel
Downstairs-Downton-Abbey-How-real-servants-worked-14-hour-days-maids-confined-virgin-quarters.

dinsdag 31 december 2013

zondag 15 december 2013

What a Regency Christmas was like!

 
Yet, even during those turbulent years of Napoleonic domination (or, the threat of it) and an overbearing upper class attitude of “anything goes”–England was still “merry old England,” home to large populations of Protestants and Catholics who delighted to observe Christmas.
The Season of Christmas during the Regency was not portrayed to the degree that it later was; nor was it fashionable to be overtly religious or overly sentimental in one’s celebrations; people did not feel the sense of obligation about gift giving that they later developed. Likewise, one did not see the vast commercial exploitation of the holiday that was later evident and seen today. What we did have in a Regency Christmas was an observation of the Season based more on tradition and less on obligation; more on spiritual observance (for those who observed it) than on social expectations or pretensions.

The Regency in England was actually quite a short period, lasting only nine years from 1811 to 1820. Due to what we now know was a condition called porphyria, the King was considered to have gone mad. In 1811, Parliament declared George, Prince of Wales, Regent in place of his father, George III. To understand the Christmas customs of the Regency, one must really begin back in the 17th century, nearly two hundred years earlier, when the holidays were celebrated so boisterously that it led to drunkenness, riotous revelries that often lasted through whole nights, and many kinds of social disorder. People who were not truly celebrating the religious holiday of Christmas were going all out to make it the pagan winter festival of ancient times—or so it seemed. So by the time of Cromwell the holiday was frowned upon, then discouraged, and finally outright banned! Anyone found celebrating Christmas could be seized from his own home and thrown into prison, heavily fined, or even, at times, put to death! The end result was that Christmas in England was dealt a hard blow. Even when it was legalized again in 1660, the repercussions of it having been banned took time to stamp out. Slowly, slowly, however, the old traditions came back, the festive atmosphere returned, and Christmas was once again respectable.
By the time of the Regency people were most assuredly celebrating Christmas, but not with the same expectations of the holiday as is usual today. Instead of, for instance, the intense excitement centered upon December 25th, the Regency Christmas celebration was really spread out over what was considered to be the Christmas Season.
From the beginning of Advent until Epiphany on January 6th, people planned, and held, many different sorts of festivities, balls, parties, card-parties, dinners, small gatherings, skating parties, and other visits and social events. Christmas Day itself was an acceptable time for gift-exchanges, but the emphasis on giving presents was not what it is today. People have always welcomed gifts at Christmas, and giving to charity and the servant class was expected (especially on Boxing Day, December 26th), but December 25th was primarily a day for religious observance and a special Christmas dinner.
Let us now begin our journey in earnest. We are somewhere in the years between 1811 and 1820. Like Jane Austen, we are genteel but not wealthy. It is nearing the end of November and Stir-up Sunday has arrived, and with it, the unofficial start to the Christmas Season. (The official beginning of the Season will be next Sunday, with the start of Advent.) We have just returned from church, and now we are back home helping prepare the Plum Pudding which will be central to our Christmas Day feast!

maandag 9 december 2013

Jane Odiwe Jane Austen Sequels: Introducing Liz Monahan - Illustrator!

Pride and Prejudice-illustrated by Liz Monahan
 
 Liz is a wonderful illustrator of Jane Austen's books/characters and she has a new kindle book out which I highly recommend! I asked Liz to tell us a little about herself-
 

I first read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ when I was sixteen, and was instantly smitten. I fell in love with Jane Austen’s writing, and my passion for her works endures; I never seem to tire of them. I studied English Literature at Southampton University, and wrote my final year thesis on Austen’s work, for which I received a First Class Honours degree.
Read more: janeaustensequels/introducing-liz-monahan-illustrator

 



dinsdag 26 november 2013

Viewers will see Welsh actor Matthew Rhys play a gentler and more mature Mr Darcy, who has become a family man in Death Comes To Pemberley.

TIME TRAVELLER Jenna Coleman as Lydia Wickham in the new production
TIME TRAVELLER: Jenna Coleman as Lydia Wickham in the new production [ WENN]
 
It is set six years after his marriage to Elizabeth Bennett at the end of Austen’s classic novel, which was published in 1813.
Daniel Percival, who won a Bafta for directing Dirty War, admitted having sleepless nights about using Mr Darcy as a different character in a murder-mystery tale.
He said: “There were moments when I did worry about what the ‘Janeites’ would think about me toying with their favourite characters.
“There will be purists who believe it’s an abomination to dare do anything to Austen, but actually the world owns these characters and looks forward to seeing the story continue.”
Anna Maxwell-Martin, who plays Lizzie Bennett in the new production, said: “The first week Matthew and I were slightly nervous that we had been miscast. We felt we were probably better suited for a biopic of The Krankies. Ultimately, it’s six years on so there are new things to explore in the characters. You can’t worry too much, some people will love it, some people will hate it.”
Percival also revealed that the plot is unlikely to test the deductive powers of his viewers.
He added: “In terms of a murder-mystery, you could write it in the back of your notebook. It’s not a fantastically complex novel, but it is a ­fantastically rich and complex character journey.”
Death Comes To Pemberley also stars Doctor Who companion Jenna Coleman as Lydia Wickham and Matthew Goode as her husband George Wickham. Trevor Eve and Penelope Keith, meanwhile, lend a little gravitas as Sir Selwyn Hardcastle and Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
It was commissioned by the BBC to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first publication of Austen’s novel and filmed at Harewood House and Castle Howard, both in Yorkshire, and at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire over the summer.
The three-part drama is expected to air on consecutive nights between Christmas and the New Year.

maandag 18 november 2013

Sense and Sensibility: Geluk, hoop en liefde volgens Jane Austen

Kate Winslet en Emma Thompson in 'Sense and Sensibility'.
 
In zijn Jane Austen-verfilming vat Ang Lee knap het stijve elitaire Engeland van de vroege negentiende eeuw. Maar Emma Thompsons script verdient zeker evenveel lof.

Op de schoorsteenmantel van Emma Thompson prijken twee Oscars. De eerste won ze met haar vertolking in Howard’s End in 1992, de andere drie jaar later met het scenario dat ze uit Jane Austens romantische klassieker Sense and Sensibility kneedde. Vooral die laatste moet haar plezier hebben gedaan, en niet alleen omdat die prijs bewees dat ze meer was dan enkel actrice.

In de aanloop naar de release van die adaptatie en in de recensies ging veel aandacht naar de Taiwanese regisseur Ang Lee, die op dat moment nog geen enkele film in het Engels had gemaakt. Dat iemand met zijn exotische achtergrond zo’n oer-Brits verhaal zo overtuigend tot leven had gewekt, weekte verbazing en bewondering los. Het klopt ook dat Sense and Sensibility zijn succes voor een deel dankt aan Lees aandacht voor detail en neus voor schilderachtige beelden. Maar aan de andere kant was het verhaal over problematische liefdesrelaties, verdrongen verlangens en wurgende sociale regels gefundenes Fressen voor de regisseur, die eerder al drie Taiwanese films over die thematiek had gemaakt en later in onder meer Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hulk en Brokeback Mountain op het ingeslagen pad verder zou gaan.

Het was Emma Thompson die het zwaarste tilwerk verrichtte door Jane Austens beroemde roman uit 1811 in een script te gieten dat alle personages en relaties herkenbaar maakte voor een modern publiek, zonder afbreuk te doen aan Austens typische ironische stijl. Meer zelfs, ze geeft bepaalde personages meer diepgang dan Austen, die soms de neiging heeft om karakters tot pure parodieën te reduceren. In Sense and Sensibility gaat het om een gezin waar alle rijkdom na de dood van de vader naar de zoon vloeit, zoals de traditie het wil. Door toedoen van de hebzuchtige echtgenote van die zoon moeten zijn stiefmoeder en -zussen het plots stellen met een pak minder poen. Verschillende potentiële huwelijkskandidaten duiken op om de twee oudste zussen, de rationele Elinore (Thompson zelf) en de emotionele Marianne (Kate Winslet), uit de nood te helpen. Sense and Sensibility is soap maar van een soort die lekker schuimt.

Om af te ronden nog deze anekdote. Toen Thompson haar scenario net klaar had, merkte ze tot haar grote horreur dat de computer het hele document omgebouwd had tot dingbats, wingdings en andere onleesbare tekens. De IT-specialist die ze erbij haalde, vond geen oplossing. Dus trok een panikerende (en in badjas gehulde) Thompson de computer uit het stopcontact, sprong ermee in een taxi en snelde naar de enige persoon die haar nog kon helpen: haar goeie vriend Stephen Fry. Ze plantte de computer op zijn bureau en smeekte: ‘Please! Find my script!’ Zeven spannende uren later lukte het Fry om Sense and Sensibility terug naar de oppervlakte te halen. De man is zijn gewicht in goud waard.
Ruben Nollet.

dvd-film/sense-and-sensibility

woensdag 13 november 2013

Interview met Karin Quint, auteur Het Engeland van Jane Austen

Hoe is het idee ontstaan voor deze ontdekkingsreis?
In de zomer van 2012 kreeg ik een e-mail van een bezoeker van mijn website JaneAusten.nl. Deze meneer wilde een Jane Austen reis door Engeland gaan maken met zijn dochters. Hij vroeg of ik misschien tips had. Het was niet de eerste keer dat ik die vraag kreeg. Er zijn veel Austen liefhebbers die graag naar Engeland op vakantie gaan en de locaties willen bezoeken die belangrijk waren voor Jane, of die ze kennen uit de verfilmingen. Een aantal locaties zijn bij iedereen wel bekend, maar wat als je iets meer wilt dan dat? Na een zoektocht op internet werd me duidelijk dat er nog nooit een volledige en praktische Jane Austen reisgids is geschreven. Het leek me een goed idee om er zelf een te schrijven. Ik mailde een uitgebreid voorstel naar uitgeverij Dominicus, wiens reisgidsen ik zelf altijd graag gebruik op mijn vakanties. Binnen zes tot acht weken zou ik reactie krijgen, zo stond er op de website. Gelukkig hoefde ik niet zo lang te wachten: binnen een dag had ik al een antwoord op mijn mail, ze wilden graag kennismaken. Een aantal weken later zette ik mijn handtekening onder het contract.
Hoe heb je je voorbereid om je droom om te kunnen zetten in doen?
Door allereerst heel veel te lezen. Ik begon met Jane's boeken – welke plaatsen worden daarin genoemd, waar spelen gebeurtenissen zich af? Daarna ben ik de brieven gaan lezen, een halve meter aan biografieën, heb ik alle verfilmingen vanaf 1995 bekeken, ben ik internet gaan afstruinen naar informatie en uit gaan zoeken wat er nog staat en de moeite waard is om te bezoeken. Aan de hand van al die informatie heb ik mijn reizen uitgestippeld.
Wat vonden je dierbaren en omgeving van de expeditie die je ondernam?
Iedereen was direct enthousiast. Het was ze natuurlijk wel opgevallen dat ik de laatste jaren nogal bezig was met Jane Austen, dus dit idee kwam volgens mj niet echt als een verrassing. Een aantal vrienden bood spontaan aan om met me mee te gaan. Nu bleek dat in de praktijk niet altijd haalbaar, maar een goede vriendin is de eerste twaalf dagen meegeweest en mijn vriend ging een paar maanden later voor tien dagen mee.
Alle locaties liggen verspreid door een groot deel van Engeland, hoelang en hoe ben je op reis geweest?
Ik ben in totaal ruim 2,5 maand weg geweest, verspreid over zes maanden. Op die manier kon ik in de periodes dat ik thuis was aan de reisgids schrijven, nog wat 'gewone' opdrachten doen (ik ben freelance journalist) en me voorbereiden op de volgende trip. In totaal heb ik ruim 10.000 kilometer afgelegd, in mijn Suzuki Swift, die zich wonderbaarlijk goed heeft gehouden op al die Engelse landweggetjes.
Je hebt natuurlijk een idee van waar je heen gaat, waren er ook leuke onverwachte verrassingen, ontdekkingen of ook tegenvallers?
Een flinke tegenvaller was de winter, omdat er maar geen einde aan kwam. Het sneeuwde zelfs eind maart nog. Nu was dat voor het schrijven niet een heel groot probleem, maar wel voor de fotografie. Je kunt moeilijk alleen maar sneeuwfoto's in een reisgids opnemen die toch vooral in het voorjaar of de zomer gebruikt gaat worden. Daarom moest ik bij mijn reis in mei/juni terug naar een aantal plekken waar ik al eerder was geweest. Het bracht overigens ook iets goeds: ik verbleef in Chilham en had een afspraak in Godmersham, het huis waar Janes broer Edward woonde. Het sneeuwde zo hard dat werd afgeraden om de weg op te gaan. Dus ben ik te voet naar Godmersham gegaan, een mooie wandeling die ik ook in de gids heb opgenomen.
Mooie ontdekkingen zaten vooral in de kleine dingen. Ik vond het bijvoorbeeld mooi om erachter te komen dat sommige locaties op meerder manieren gelinkt waren met Jane Austen. Zoals Chilham, dat in de BBC-serie Emma uit 2009 te zien is als Highbury. Jane bezocht het plaatsje en het kasteel zelf regelmatig en daar kwam ik pas achter bij het lezen van haar brieven.
Lees meer: janeaustensociety.nl/interviewKarinQuint

maandag 11 november 2013

Sotheby’s is auctioning a fake portrait of Jane Austen

Once again the Janeite world (and the Muggle press that insists on blowing these things all out of proportion) are creating a controversy out of nothing over images of Jane Austen.
Sotheby’s is auctioning a fake portrait of Jane Austen next month. As fake portraits go, this one is probably slightly less fake than some others. It was commissioned by James Edward Austen-Leigh to be used to create an engraving as a frontispiece to Austen-Leigh’s 1869 Memoir of his aunt. The painting was done by James Andrews of Maidenhead by tracing Cassandra Austen’s watercolor portrait of her sister. The engraving was later used as the basis of perhaps the best-known image of Austen, the infamous “wedding ring portrait” included in a book of eminent persons.
There has been some concern expressed by our own correspondents over this sale, as it is feared it will share the near-fate of Jane Austen’s turquoise ring, purchased and taken out of the country rather than added to a public collection; it would probably be nearly impossible to mount a second rescue mission by Janeites and the museum at Chawton as was done for the ring. However, we find it difficult to get very upset about the fate of this portrait. It is a nice little painting, and that’s it. It wasn’t taken from life, thought it was traced from a portrait that was so taken. However, in the dearth of such images taken from life, Janeites have created new icons of our favorite author. The painting certainly deserves to be part of a museum collection dedicated to Austen. It is to be hoped that whoever purchases it can preserve and display it for all to enjoy. austenblog

Het beroemde Jane Austen portret dat neefje James Edward Austen-Leigh liet maken van zijn geliefde schrijvende tante wordt geveild. Op 10 december is het een van de topstukken van de English literature and history sale van Sotheby’s in Londen. Geschatte waarde is £150.000-£200.000.

James Andrews
Het portret is in 1868, lang na Janes dood, geschilderd door James Andrews. Hij baseerde het op de schets die Cassandra Austen maakte van haar zus en op de beschrijving van James Edward. Die liet er later weer een gravure van maken om te gebruiken als frontispiece van zijn Jane Austen memoires.
janeausten.nl

vrijdag 8 november 2013

Word play was an important part of Austen family life

 
Word play was an important part of Austen family life: as Jane Austen noted when she wrote to her sister, Cassandra  in 1816:
Our day in Alton was very well pleasant-Venison quite right-Children well-behaved-& Mr. and Mrs. Digweed taking kindly to our Charades & other Games
(See: Jane Austen’s letter to Cassandra Austen, dated 8th September 1816)
 
2012 was the Year of At Home with the Austens, during which the Museum celebrated the domestic life of the Austen family at Chawton. The exhibit in the Reading Room, of some domestic items dating from the early 19th century, has been very popular and we would like to share some images of it now with you. janeaustenshousemuseumblog

woensdag 9 oktober 2013

A project to rework Austen’s six most popular novels

There is this, a project to rework Austen’s six most popular novels into the present day. The Austen Project pairs six bestselling contemporary authors with Jane Austen’s six complete works. The authors will put a contemporary spin on the characters and setting, leaving the plot largely intact, for a decidedly modern Austen series.
The novels include “Sense and Sensibility,” “Northanger Abbey,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Emma,” “Persuasion,” and “Mansfield Park.” The authors include Joanna Trollope, whose modernized “Sense and Sensibility” is out this October, as well as Curtis Sittenfeld, who will be reworking “Pride and Prejudice”; Val McDermid, who will update “Northanger Abbey”; and the latest author pairing to be announced, No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series author, Alexander McCall Smith, who will revamp “Emma.” 
The novels include “Sense and Sensibility,” “Northanger Abbey,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Emma,” “Persuasion,” and “Mansfield Park.” The authors include Joanna Trollope, whose modernized “Sense and Sensibility” is out this October, as well as Curtis Sittenfeld, who will be reworking “Pride and Prejudice”; Val McDermid, who will update “Northanger Abbey”; and the latest author pairing to be announced, No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series author, Alexander McCall Smith, who will revamp “Emma.” 
Read more on: chapter-and-verse
Austen werd geboren in Hampshire. Haar vader was een geestelijke. Het grootste deel van haar leven bleef zij in haar geboortestreek. Austen had zes broers en een oudere zuster, Cassandra, met wie zij zeer hecht was. Het enige onbetwiste portret van Jane Austen is een gekleurde schets die door Cassandra werd gemaakt en nu in de National Portrait Gallery in Londen hangt. In 1801 verhuisde de familie naar Bath. In 1802 werd Austen ten huwelijk gevraagd door de rijke Harris Bigg-Wither en zij stemde toe; de volgende dag deelde ze echter mee dat zij haar woord niet kon houden en trok haar instemming in. De reden hiervoor is niet bekend, maar Austen is nooit getrouwd. Na de dood van haar vader in 1805 woonden Jane, haar zuster en haar moeder daar nog verscheidene jaren tot zij in 1809 naar Chawton verhuisden. Hier had haar rijke broer Edward een landgoed met een plattelandshuisje, dat hij aan zijn moeder en zusters schonk (dit huis is tegenwoordig open voor het publiek). Zelfs nadat zij naam gemaakt had als romanschrijfster bleef zij in relatieve stilte leven, maar haar gezondheid ging sterk achteruit. Er wordt nu aangenomen dat zij de ziekte van Addison had, waarvan toen de oorzaak nog onbekend was. Ze reisde naar Winchester om behandeling te zoeken, maar stierf daar en werd begraven in de kathedraal.
Tot Austens beroemdste werk behoort de roman Emma. Het boek wordt vaak aangehaald vanwege de perfectie van vorm. Moderne critici blijven ook nieuwe perspectieven ontdekken op het scherpe commentaar van Austen betreffende de klasse van jonge, ongehuwde, aristocratische Engelse vrouwen in de vroege 19e eeuw.

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