Quote Jane

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

dinsdag 15 januari 2019

Lost photographs of Jane Austen's nieces discovered on eBay reveal how author foretold their lives in plots of her novels.

Lost photographs of Jane Austen's nieces and nephews have been discovered in an old photo album, which reveals their lives - which could have come out of one of the author's own novels. Karen Levers, 51, bought the book of Victorian photographs for $1,000 (£780) from eBay, expecting it to be full of pictures of 19th century aristocrats.
However, she found the book is full of previously unseen photos of Austen's nieces and nephews - many of whose lives reflected the writer's novels. It was put together by Lord George Augusta Hill, an aristocrat who married two of Austen's nieces, both daughters of her older brother Edward. telegraph/lost-photographs-jane-austens-nieces-discovered

maandag 29 oktober 2018

Asserting strength and independence

Jane Austen is not an obvious ally of today’s feminist movement. All six of her novels are now more than two centuries old. All six centre on a tale of provincial domesticity and romantic courtship. And all six are full of twists and witty turns that move inexorably toward a gratifyingly happy ending.

Yet below their glittering surfaces and rose-coloured tales of well-matched couples falling deeply in love, Austen’s novels vigorously critique the patriarchal structures of her day. They bristle with anger and a deep sense of injustice. Many of her plots and sub-plots about men and power — and women’s resilience in the face of that power — sound like stories we are hearing today.
Austen wrote in the early 1800s, when life for most women involved submerging their individual identities in their responsibilities as daughters, wives and mothers. Women were considered politically, economically, socially and artistically subordinate to men. It was a life that condemned many women to half-lives of humiliation, loneliness and abuse.

The novelist and short story writer Carol Shields has concisely summarized the complicated nature of Austen’s artistry and appeal. Austen, declares Shields, exploits “an arch, incontrovertible amiability” to conceal “a ferocious and persistent moral anger.”

Read all: theconversation/in-jane-austen-fairy-tales-meet-biting-feminist-critiques

zondag 21 oktober 2018

Austen’s Autumn

Jane doesn’t give us pages of extravagant description. Instead she paints a perfectly recognizable picture for us in just a few lines. My favorite passage, though, is from Persuasion, chapter 10. This scene takes place on the group walk to Winthrop:
Anne’s…pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves, and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which had drawn from every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling. She occupied her mind as much as possible in such like musings and quotations…
 And a bit further on:
 The sweet scenes of autumn were for a while put by, unless some tender sonnet, fraught with the apt analogy of the declining year, with declining happiness, and the images of youth and hope, and spring, all gone together, blessed her memory.
Read all: shannonwinslow/austens-autumn/ 

Jane Austen's Garden in Autumn

Autumn seems to be well and truly upon us now, with bright colours showing through the trees, cool nights and chilly mornings, heavy dews with bright sunny days.

Amazingly the Show Border is still in “wow” mode with a lovely show of colour from the summer annuals. The Tigridia’s - Ferraria Tigridia - (summer flowering bulbs) showed the last 3 petaled bright red flower two weeks ago. All have now been dug up last week by Sheryl, who is one of my 3 new garden volunteers.  Sheryl is a Botanical Artist and has brought pictures for me to see some of her very lovely plant paintings.

September/October and occasionally August are the months to see “Orb” spiders generally sitting in the centre of their beautiful webs which when covered with dew in the early mornings, glisten and twinkle as they move in the sunlight.

Read all: jane-austens-house-museum.org.uk/Jane-Austens-Garden-in-Autumn

donderdag 12 juli 2018

Beautiful manuscript copy of Jane Austen.

Who's excited that Red Planet Pictures and ITV are adapting #Sanditon? We have this beautiful manuscript copy of Jane Austen's unfinished novel in our collection, handwritten by Jane's sister Cassandra. Read more on the production here: https://bit.ly/2LaK5eB facebook.JaneAustensHouseMuseum/<

Miss Austen placed her most important, if cryptic, advice on writing in the titles of her works..

Miss Austen placed her most important, if cryptic, advice on writing in the titles of her works. Less helpfully, she left it up to us to decide what to do next. Here are some truths, universally acknowledged or not. chronicle/jane-austens-guide-to-writing

woensdag 11 juli 2018

Jane Austen's unfinished novel Sanditon to be adapted by ITV .

Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon is being adapted into an ITV series by Pride and Prejudice screenwriter Andrew Davies.

The final incomplete novel about a young woman, Charlotte Heywood, who moves to the sleepy seaside village of Sanditon and meets a man who is trying to turn it into a fashionable resort, was written only months before Austen died in 1817, and has never been adapted before.

Davies said the adaptation was a “privilege and a thrill” and will feature “a spirited young heroine, a couple of entrepreneurial brothers, some dodgy financial dealings, a West Indian heiress and quite a bit of nude bathing”.

When Austen died in July 1817, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were still to be published. But after her death, Sanditon surfaced. It has been described in the Guardian as being “notable for its unprecedentedly forthright reatment of sexuality”.

Polly Hill, head of drama at ITV, said: “There is no one better to adapt her unfinished novel than Andrew … it’s a rich, romantic, family saga built upon the foundations Jane Austen laid.”

Davies, who has previously worked on adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace and the forthcoming Les Misérables, said: “Jane Austen managed to write only a fragment of her last novel before she died – but what a fragment.” Austen completed 11 chapters of Sandition before her death.

Filming is expected to begin in spring 2019. theguardian

zondag 8 juli 2018

The garden of Chawton estate.

‘Edward is very well and enjoys himself as well as any Hampshire born Austen can desire. – He talks of making a new Garden…’
Jane Austen, 1813
Jane Austen was a frequent visitor to the estate, and some believe Mr Knightley’s Donwell Abbey in Austen’s Emma was modelled upon Chawton House.
The grounds have been restored to the English Landscape style popularised by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown in the late eighteenth century, with an informal lawn and open views across the estate, including a ‘ha-ha’ (a ditch that is invisible from the distance to keep grazing animals back from the house without spoiling the view).
The south lawn leads to a lime avenue that provides distant views into the parkland beyond, as well as a ‘wilderness’ (a wooded area that appears natural while in fact being planted and tended, a feature that dates back to the seventeenth century).
The gardens feature two terraces both of which were built by Montagu Knight in the early 1900s and b
At the highest point of the grounds is the Walled Garden, built by Edward Austen, and referred to in Jane Austen’s letters (though sadly, she died before its completion). The newest addition within the Walled Garden is the Elizabeth Blackwell Herb Garden, inspired by Elizabeth Blackwell’s A Curious Herbal (1737-9), a guide to different plants and their uses in medicine. This remarkable work includes Blackwell’s detailed engravings, which she individually hand-coloured. The proceeds from this endeavour secured her husband’s release from debtor’s prison.
The gardens also feature a Fernery and a Shrubbery – the latter was typically where the ladies of the house would take their exercise in Jane Austen’s time.
‘One likes to get out into a shrubbery in fine weather.’
Mrs Bertram in Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, 1814

donderdag 7 juni 2018

Pride and Prejudice rose.

Our Pride and Prejudice rose in the courtyard has come out beautifully! Developed by the wonderful Harkness Roses.

dinsdag 29 augustus 2017

Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.

I found a very nice Dutch  blog about Victorian Times. myinnervictorian/jane-austen-quotes
  1. There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time.” – brieven.
  2. “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings” – Mansfield Park (1814).
  3. “Oh! I am delighted with the book! I should like to spend my whole life in reading it.” – Northanger Abbey (1817).
  4. “Which of all my important nothings shall I tell you first?” – brieven.
  5. “I will not say that your mulberry-trees are dead, but I’m afraid they are not alive.” – brieven.
  6. “When I fall in love, it will be forever.” – Sense and Sensibility (1811).
  7. “She denied none of it aloud, and agreed to none of it in private.” – Emma (1815).
  8. Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint.” Mansfield Park (1814).
  9. “I speak what appears to me the general opinion; and where an opinion is general, it is usually correct.” Mansfield Park (1814).
  10. “Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion.” Pride and Prejudice (1813).
  11. “Every man is surrounded by a neighbourhood of voluntary spies.” Northanger Abbey (1817).

dinsdag 18 juli 2017

Anniversary of Jane Austen's death

On July 18, 1817, died at 41. 200 years later, Austen lives on as a global brand, an 'immortal genius.'

'World's first' statue of JANE AUSTEN unveiled today in Basingstoke

View from Jane Austen’s window in Chawton 
Honoring power of girlfriend word-of-mouth on this day she died in 1817

New £10: •marks 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death

donderdag 6 juli 2017

Jane Austen's House Museum.

'A Quire of Paper: A Poem for Jane Austen and Her House' presented by Maura Dooley, former Poet in Residence at Jane Austen's House Museum, will air this Sunday at 4:30pm on BBC Radio 4. Read more: http://bit.ly/2tLwrcs 

maandag 3 juli 2017

There are 24 beautiful BookBenches to discover.

One bench in the splendid city of

is a public art trail for 2017 made up of BookBenches each designed and painted by professional artists to celebrate 's life.

There are 24 beautiful BookBenches to discover – each designed and painted by a professional artist inspired by the life and work of Jane Austen. As you can see there is incredible variety in theme, colour and style. sittingwithjane

Great day out in

Another one at

Steventon @ st Nicholas' Church

vrijdag 9 juni 2017

Chawton House Library

Elsewhere in the village Chawton House Library (above) has become an internationally respected research and learning centre for the study of early women’s writing from 1600 to 1830. Set in the manor house that once belonged to Austen’s brother, Edward, the library, house and gardens are also open to the general public.

How Jane Austen's mystery woman was edited out of history

Historian Lucy Worsley suggested this week that although Austen almost certainly never slept with a man, she may instead have slept with a woman. We know not if her relations with Sharp were anything more than platonic, but either way, the obscurity of the latter is just as Austen’s relatives would have wished it. While the great novelist considered her correspondent a most treasured confidante, Austen’s family took a very different view of Anne. For this woman was a member of the servant class. Indeed, she’d worked for the Austens themselves – as a governess to Jane’s niece.

Such a friendship flouted the social norms of the time. By keeping it out of official versions of Austen’s life, the family could create a false image of the famous author as a conservative maiden aunt, devoted above all else to kith and kin. As a result, the close bond she shared with Anne, who wrote plays in between teaching lessons, has become one of literature’s most enduring secrets.

A Secret Sisterhood: The hidden friendships of Austen, Brontë, Eliot and Woolf by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney will be published by Aurum Press on 1 June 2017 (£20).

Jane and her Alton Apothecary

When Jane Austen felt unwell her first recourse would have been to consult an apothecary. Today we tend to think of apothecaries as a relic of the middle ages, a cross between a magician and an alchemist, peddling dubious potions that were likely to do more harm than good.  In fact they were the precursors of today’s dispensing chemists, spending up to 7 years training. In the early stages of her illness Jane had been treated by William Curtis, a qualified Apothecary in Alton. His story offers a fascinating insight into the role played by members of this ancient profession within their local communities. It is possible that William himself may have been the model for the character of Mr Perry, the apothecary in Emma, who was said to be ‘an intelligent, gentlemanlike man’.

Austen paid £38.90 for Emma.

Jane Austen received only one cheque from her publisher, John Murray, for her fourth novel, Emma. It was for the unprincely sum of 38 pounds, 18 shillings and one penny (£38.90, worth about £3,480 today) — and they spelt her name wrong. It was written for “Austin” rather than Austen.
The cheque will go on display at the Which Jane Austen? exhibition at the Bodleian Library in Oxford from June 23, along with newly discovered letters.
Kathryn Sutherland, a professor of bibliography at Oxford University and curator of the exhibition, said: “The only way Jane could cash it [the cheque] was by counter-signing it on the…
? exhibition: the cheque for £38.90 that Austen was payed for Emma.

vrijdag 2 juni 2017

the gardens of Chawton House Library and the Jane Austen’s House Museum

Saturday 10th June 2017
Venue: Chawton House Library
Join us for this biennial event when Chawton Village opens its gardens to raise funds for village projects. Enjoy

exploring the gardens of Chawton House Library and the Jane Austen’s House Museum as well as many other charming gardens – and don’t forget to find the scarecrows in our ‘wilderness’!

donderdag 4 mei 2017

The Many Ways in Which We Are Wrong About Jane Austen Lies, Damn Lies, and Literary Scholarship

We’re going to be seeing a lot more of Jane Austen. 2017 is the bicentenary of her tragically early death at the age of 41.

We know so little about Jane’s life, and that little is so difficult to interpret accurately, that we can’t afford to dismiss what’s revealed in her fiction. At least it speaks, and at least it was written by her. As for the rest, there are so many gaps, so many silences, so much that has been left vague, or imprecise, or reported at second or third hand, that the task of filling everything in is very far from being the “short and easy” one that her brother Henry—the first of her many biographers—claimed in his “Biographical Notice of the Author.”

Jane talks in one letter about wanting readers who have “a great deal of ingenuity,” who will read her carefully. In wartime, in a totalitarian regime, and in a culture that took the written word far more seriously than we do, she could have expected to find them. Jane expected to be read lowly—perhaps aloud, in the evenings, or over a period of weeks as each volume was borrowed in turn from the circulating library. She expected that her readers would think about what she wrote, would even discuss it with each other. She never expected to be read the way we read her, gulped down as escapist historical fiction, fodder for romantic fantasies. Yes, she wanted to be enjoyed; she wanted people to feel as strongly about her characters as she did herself. But for Jane a story about love and marriage wasn’t ever a light and frothy confection. Generally speaking, we view sex as an enjoyable recreational activity; we have access to reliable contraception; we have very low rates of maternal and infant mortality. None of these things were true for the society in which Jane lived. The four of her brothers who became fathers produced, between them, 33 children. Three of those brothers lost a wife to complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Another of Jane’s sisters-in-law collapsed and died suddenly at the age of 36; it sounds very much as if the cause might have been the rupturing of an ectopic pregnancy, which was, then, impossible to treat. Marriage as Jane knew it involved a woman giving up everything to her husband—her money, her body, her very existence as a legal adult. Husbands could beat their wives, rape them, imprison them, take their children away, all within the bounds of the law. Avowedly feminist writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft and the novelist Charlotte Smith were beginning to explore these injustices during Jane’s lifetime. Understand what a serious subject marriage was then, how important it was, and all of a sudden courtship plots start to seem like a more suitable vehicle for discussing other serious things.

Read all: lithub/the-many-ways-in-which-we-are-wrong-about-jane-austen

dinsdag 18 april 2017

Muslin Shawl Reputedly embroidered by Jane Austen.

Like all women of her time and class, Jane Austen learnt to sew in childhood and gained a life-long skill. Sewing was something she was particularly good at. In 1796 Austen wrote in a letter that she was “the neatest worker” of a group making shirts for one of her brothers. Edward Austen-Knight remembered of his aunt that “Her needlework both plain and ornamental was excellent, and might almost have put a sewing machine to shame. She was considered especially great in satin stitch.”

Family history says Jane Austen embroidered this shawl. Without more pieces of Austen’s sewing to compare it is hard to be sure, and the crosses do resemble Indian work on other historic garments. What is clear from the repairs is that this shawl was a valued item of clothing, and its owner took great care of it. The careful, precise sewing on the hems, lace strip, darns and patches, show a highly-skilled needle-woman at work. jane-austens-house-museum

200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen

This year is the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen, the great English novelist whose works have been published to worldwide acclaim and continue to be enjoyed as plays, films, performances and of course, through the books themselves. The event will be especially commemorated in Hampshire – the rural county that Jane knew and loved – and in Bath. The anniversary is being marked with exhibitions, talks, walks and workshops and celebrated through costume, food and music – some of these events will no doubt be as part of the Jane Austen Annual Festival in Bath in September, whose special 2017 programme is still awaiting release.

Events will mainly be taking place at Winchester, because it was here that Jane Austen died aged 41, in rented lodgings close to the cathedral. Jane had come to Winchester from her Hampshire cottage at Chawton, accompanied by her beloved sister Cassandra, to seek medical help because of her failing health. royalcentral/royalty-and-jane-austen

woensdag 12 april 2017

Regency Lives Matter: Jane Austen So White? Not So Fast ... Olivia Murphy

These are very strange times for Jane Austen fans.
While it has been exciting to see many of the world's foremost Austen scholars quoted in the New York Times and the Guardian, it is hard not to be bemused by the spectacle of them defending her novels from appropriation by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other members of the so-called alt-right. To be perfectly clear, Jane Austen was never a white supremacist. Such racist doctrines were barely coming into existence during her lifetime (1775-1817), and would not take hold until long after she had died.

What this minor scandal over Austen's popularity on certain far-right political sites suggests is that Austen - or rather the fictional world of Austen's novels - easily stands in for most people as shorthand for an all-white England of conservative values and decorous feminine behaviour.
Even Juliet Wells, a highly respected Austen scholar, was quoted in the New York Times saying that "Austen's characters are white, and her world is white."

But the white England of these assumptions is a myth, and always has been. We don't have photographs of Austen's era, and the Georgians had no concept of collecting the kind of demographic statistics that we're so fond of quoting. Nevertheless, there were plenty of black people - that is, people of recent sub-Saharan descent - along with people from many other national and ethnic backgrounds living in Jane Austen's England. We don't know exactly how many (no photographs, no statistics), just as we know very little about the great majority of people living in England in this period. Only when they come to the attention of historians, either through being famous, or being related to the famous, do we take note of them. A lot of black people in England worked in the service industry, as servants to wealthy households, as shopkeepers and as publicans, none of which are professions well studied in academia. We know almost nothing about the workers at the two exclusively black London brothels, for instance, but there have been books written about Saartje Baartman, Dido Elizabeth Belle and Samuel Johnson's heir Francis Barber, all well-known black people living in England during Austen's lifetime.

So why do so many people assume Austen's world is so white? Perhaps because they are experiencing her world largely through film and television, two media in which the long eighteenth century has, most certainly, been whitewashed. Ethnic and racial diversity was an historical reality throughout the Anglophone world and beyond in this period, and yet popular representations of the past, with very few exceptions, entirely feature white actors. It's easy to assume that Austen's world is all-white when all our favourite images of her period suggest just that.
And what about in Austen's own novels? Much has been made of Miss Lambe, the young "half Mulatto" heiress in Austen's unfinished last novel, Sanditon. But we don't know much about Miss Lambe's appearance - we just know that she's rich, which to Austen was far more important.
The truth is, Jane Austen, like many of her contemporaries, doesn't offer her readers much in the way of descriptions of her characters' appearance. We know, seeing through Darcy's eyes, that Elizabeth Bennet has a "light and pleasing" figure and "fine eyes." What colour those eyes are we never learn, let alone what colour Elizabeth's skin might be. As for Darcy, we know that he's tall. That's it. There is no compelling or historical reason at all for the next actor to play one of these coveted roles to be white.

It's long past time that representations of the pre-photographic past started to actually look like that past, just as images of our own society need to reflect the true composition of that society. Regency black lives matter, too.

Olivia Murphy is a Postdoctoral Fellow in English at The University of Sydney. She is the author of Jane Austen the Reader: The Artist as Critic and co-editor of Anna Letitia Barbauld: New Perspectives.

zaterdag 11 maart 2017

Jane Austen's Writing Table.

Austen family tradition indicates that Jane wrote daily and that she wrote at this small table placed by a window for light. Jane wore spectacles and was known to have some trouble with her eyes so light would have been important. Writing with a quill and using ink which she may have made for herself using the recipe that survives in Martha Lloyd’s recipe book.

The table was returned to the museum in 1957.  Only the table top is original as noted on the handwritten note attached to its underside when it was given to the Jane Austen Society by Brigadier B C Bradford.  The note was written by Bradford’s great uncle, Montague G. Knight, and reads: “This table was bought by Montague G. Knight of Chawton House, from a grandson of James Goodchild, who lived in Chawton village in Jane Austen’s time.”  Goodchild’s brother-in-law, William Littleworth, had been a servant for Mrs Austen, Jane’s mother, and when he was too old for work she furnished a cottage for him.  Amongst the furniture was the little table at which Littleworth claimed he “often saw Jane Austen writing”. jane-austens-house-museum/41-objects

donderdag 9 maart 2017

Jane Austen in 41 Objects.

200 years after her death, Jane Austen in 41 Objects is a celebration of Jane Austen’s life. Jane was only 41 years old when she died in 1817, and Jane Austen in 41 Objects tells the story of her life and legacy with reference to 41 different objects in the Jane Austen’s House Museum collection.

Jane Austen in 41 Objects takes the form of an evolving exhibition at the Museum from Friday 3 March alongside a series of online posts by guest writers published weekly throughout this bicentenary year. Each object and accompanying text explores a different aspect of Jane Austen’s life and work.

The story begins online at www.jane-austens-house-museum.org.uk on Friday 10 March and finishes on Friday 15 December, one day before Jane Austen’s birthday. 
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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Fashion - Regency 1

Edward Austen Leigh wrote down this description of Jane's appearence in the years just after the family left Southampton.

"She was tall and slender; her face was rounded with a clear brunette complexion and bright hazel eyes.

Her curly brown hair escaped all round her forehead, but from the time of her coming to live at Chawton she always wore a cap, except when her nieces had her in London and forbade it."

Henry Austen said of his sister, " Her stature rather exceeded the middle height; her carriage anad deportment were quiet but graceful; her complexion of the finest texture, it might with truth be said that her eloquent blood spoke through her modest cheek." Henry applied these lines to Jane: " Her pure and eloquent blood spake in her cheeks and so distinctly wrought that you had almost said her body thought."

Austen's niece Caroline recollected: "As to my aunt's personal appearance, hers was the first face I can remember thinking pretty. Her face was rather round than long, she had a bright, but not a pink colour—a clear brown complexion, and very good hazel eyes. Her hair, a darkish brown, curled naturally, it was in short curls around her face. She always wore a cap