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Archive for the ‘19th century’ Category

The Jane Austen Centre has declared Dec. 16 Jane Austen Day. Austen, the beloved novelist, was born on Dec. 16, 1775, in Hampshire, England.

For more information, and ideas about how to celebrate Jane Austen Day, go to the LA Times story: here.

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Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan GuideBuy Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire:  Ultimate Fan Guide for NookGeorgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan guide on KoboGeorgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: Ultimate Fan GuideBuy Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire:  Ultimate Fan Guide on Smashwords

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire:  Ultimate Fan Guide

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (born Lady Georgiana Spencer) is the great-great-great-great aunt of Princess Diana and a relative of the new royal baby, The Prince of Cambridge. Kimberly Wilder has been  an avid fan of Georgiana and of the media surrounding her life. First, Kimberly set up the blog “Georgiana Circle: Women Healing History”. Now, Kimberly has created a new eBook. Both projects celebrate the life of this remarkable, 18th century woman. And, both projects invite reflection on history, fashion, and feminism.

Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire: The Ultimate Fan Guide celebrates Georgiana’s life as loving mother, entertaining friend, de facto politician, and Empress of Fashion. It includes reviews and an “Absolute Plot Spoiler” for: the 2001 biography by Amanda Foreman; the 2008 movie, “The Duchess”; the 2009 DVD; and the real life of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. The Ultimate Fan Guide also lists some of Georgiana’s relatives among English Royalty and places her in time related to the world of women’s literature.

If you are a Jane Austen fan or are preparing to view the film “Austenland”, a study of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire will give insights into the feathered hats, social scene, and other Regency Era details. Georgiana, an aristocrat who threw wild parties, and had a child out of wedlock, just may be the woman Jane Austen was afraid of.

The beginning of the first chapter in the eBook:

Introduction: Why I love Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire

She lived a wild life. She broke her vows. She broke the rules. She spent too much money. To the outside world, she seemed all about glamour and selfishness. Yet, she had a profound influence on the world around her. And, in the end, she left a legacy of love and connection among all the children of her household…,

To read the rest, buy the Ebook for only 99¢ on Amazon Kindle

The table of contents:

(more…)

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Jane Austen music? You might think I mean music of the 1800’s. But, no, there is a new blues song inspired by a Jane Austen character.

I went on Youtube, on a whim of boredom, to see what was new in the world of Jane Austen. Sometimes students put up book reports, or there may be an announcement for a new movie. What I found was even more fun. A singer-songwriter from Brooklyn has created a blues song dedicated to Elizabeth Bennet’s plain and bookish sister, Mary. “Oh, oh, oh, Mary Bennet…” This is a fun way to celebrate Pride and Prejudice.

Best quote: “Well, I want to see your library…”

(more…)

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Update: December 2011: Mixed news on the disposition of the “new” Charlotte Bronte manuscript. At auction, it was won by a museum, so it will still be available to the public. Though, instead of the Bronte Parsonage Museum in England, it went to a literary museum in France. Story at “The National”: here.

KW writes: For all of us Jane Eyre and Charlotte Bronte fans, this tiny book is a rare find! Written when Bronte was only 14 years old, it is a brilliant piece of satire. Bronte created this tiny work in the format of a men’s magazine. It includes a witty ad (see below), which observes economics and social justice in her usually insightful, though aloof, manner. It’s a kind of Mad Magazine for the 19th century. And, it contains a hint into her future sociological writing, such as her reflections on charity schools in Jane Eyre, and her novel, Shirley.

Bronte manuscript. Image from: i.dailymail.co.uk

(excerpt from) The Telegraph & Argus
[Brontë] Parsonage Museum in Haworth [England] is eager to ensure ‘national treasure’ is not lost to the public
UK/November 14, 2011

An appeal has been launched to help fund the purchase of a rare Charlotte Brontë manuscript.

The Brontë Parsonage Museum is appealing for financial support from the public and funding bodies.

It needs to raise up to £300,000 to cover the expected cost of buying the work at an auction next month.

The unpublished manuscript contains three works written by Charlotte – author of Jane Eyre – when she was 14.

Charlotte’s Young Men’s Magazine Number 2 contains 4,000 words set in a fictional world created by the famous literary siblings.

The book, until now in private ownership, is believed to have never before been seen by scholars. (more…)

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Jane Austen Tea: Kimberly and Barbara

Kimberly Wilder and Barbara Hellering

A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to attend a Jane Austen tea in nearby Port Jefferson. It was a lot of fun. And, I met another local Jane Austen fan who does media and blogging projects. Her name is Erin Coughlin, and her article is excerpted and linked below. I was late to the event. Though, I was in time for the slideshow and tea. I enjoyed hearing Barbara Hellering, give her list of favorite “Mr. Darcies” and speak about the importance of irony in Jane Eyre. My Flicrk photos are: here.

(excerpt from) The Patch
Library Hosts Literary Tea Party To Celebrate Favorite Author
Barbara Hellering of the Jane Austen Society of North America delights fans at The Port Jefferson Library
Erin Coughlin 4/21/2011

On April 14, the Port Jefferson Library hosted it’s highly successful, Annual Jane Austen Tea Party to celebrate National Library Week.

Vice President Barbara Hellering of The Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) was on hand to discuss both the British author’s life and times, as well as her influence on modern society… (more…)

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Emma, Lady Hamilton. By Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun

Emma, Lady Hamilton, was a contemporary of Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire. Georgiana knew and liked Lady Hamilton.

If you like Lady Hamilton, or want to learn more about her, there is currently an exhibit at a book club in New York city. More info about “The Enchantress: Emma, Lady Hamilton”, at the Grolier Club until April 30, 2011, can be found at their link, and at the “read more” below.

I have become fascinated with Lady Hamilton party because of the movie “That Hamilton Woman”, with Vivien Leigh as Lady Hamilton, and with Leigh’s then husband, Laurence Olivier, as Lord Horatio Nelson. The movie is exquisite.

My favorite part of the movie is the way it explores the relationships between men and women, caught in a sexist society, where divorce is more of a shame than affairs, courtesans, or cruelty. And, I love the line uttered by the character of Lord Nelson, “That’s the way people look at these things. They do not believe in a friendship between a man and a woman.” I think that the tension that occurs — partly by nature, partly by a skeptical, sexist society — when a man and a woman try to be friends or colleagues is a large part of the energy that keeps women from succeeding in business, or fairly taking part in governing.

For an excellent review of the Grolier Club exhibit, see the Scandalous Women article: here. A quick biography of Emma, Lady Hamilton can be found at one of my favorite history blogs, The Duchess of Devonshire’s Gossip Guide to the 18th Century: here.

Info on the exhibit: (more…)

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Since I enjoy Jane Eyre in all forms, so much, I have an e-mail news alert for “Jane Eyre”. Found this interesting article on a blog devoted to discussion among Jewish women. The full post is: here.

(excerpt from) The Jewish Daily Forward/the sisterhood
Esther vs. Vashti, Austen vs. Brontës
By Sarah Seltzer

As I prepared for the beginning of the perennial Purim question of “Esther vs. Vashti” at the same time as I delved into Jane Eyre-mania, I began to think about how women are always pushed into dichotomies. I wondered cynically how soon someone would write about the new Brontë films by declaring Jane Austen passé…

It always seems to me that when it comes to women who take different paths there’s a meme out there that there’s only room for one. Virgin or whore, Esther or Vashti, Austen or Brontë. Yes, the two most famous Brontë sisters, Charlotte and Emily, and Jane Austen took divergent approaches to writing about the “woman question.” Austen was sort of an Esther, using her brilliant wit to dazzle readers but containing steely critique of the system under her perfect prose, while the Brontës, Vashti-like , seethe with rage at women’s unfortunate lot and churn with a desperate desire for escape…

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