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

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
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