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Sunday, October 31

Jane Austen Movie Throwdown

Curious readers: 199 years and one day ago, Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility was published. Oh, joy!  Last week we featured Marianne Dashwood walking in the rain in two film adaptations (Kate Winslet won hands down). This week we ask you: "Which man carried Marianne in his arms in a most romantic way?Willoughby or Colonel Brandon?" Let the votes begin!

Greg Wise as Mr. Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility 1995

Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility 1995

Dominic Cooper as Willoughby in Sense and Sensibility 2008
David Morrisey as Colonel Brandon on his wedding day in Sense and Sensibility 2008
Who carried Marianne Dashwood in the most romantic way?
Greg Wise as Willoughby
Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon
Dominic Cooper as Willoughy
David Morrisey as Colonel Brandon free polls

Saturday, October 30

Go Gothic With Northanger Abbey

Jane Austen em Português showcases Catherine Morland and Isabelle Thorpe reading gothic novels. In honor of our fellow Janeites in Portland, who are attending a meeting with the theme of The Abbey, we showcase this wonderful image of the two actresses from Northanger Abbey 1986.

The actresses are: Catherine, Katherine Schlezinger and Isabella, Cassie Stuart.

Click here to go to a page on the Fashion Museum's website in Bath that showcases a costume from the film.

Posted by Raquel Sallaberry, Jane Austen em Português

Friday, October 29

Friday Follow: JASNA Meeting, Portland

The Little White Attic provides beautiful images in preparation for her trip to the Jane Austen meeting in Portland, including a glimpse of her gown. Lovely.
Image @Little White Attic

The Oregon Regency Society has done the lion's share of the work organizing this conference. With four chapters in the state -Northwest, Central Valley, Cascade East, and Puget Sound - I am sure they had plenty of help! I am sure that this year's Regency dance will rock! Click on the link in the sidebar to view the schedule of events.

The Oregon Regency Society also has a forum. Click here to share your thoughts with other Janeites.

Laurel Ann describes her first day at the conference on Austenprose.

Diana Birchall's blog post on Light, Bright, and Sparkling! reminds me of my trip to the Oregon Coast years ago.

Thursday, October 28

Jane Austen Society Members Welcomed to Portland

It's that time of year again for the Jane Austen Society of North America's annual meeting, October 29-31. Pauline Beard (an English professor and Jane Austen scholar) and Susan Schwartz (shown below) were two of the conference's organizers.

Image from

Janeites we know, like Laurel Ann from Austenprose, will be traveling to that fair city today and tomorrow to join in three days of Janeite festivities. For a schedule, click on the link in the sidebar.

Janeites in San Francisco, 2004 @Los Angeles Times photo
Read more on the topic:

Tuesday, October 26

The Jane Austen Editing Controversy Continues: Thoughts From Brazil About Katrhyn Sutherland's Statements

19th century hornbook and speller
Statements by Kathryn Sutherland, professor of St. Anne's College (Oxford) and Jane Austen's Fiction Digital Edition Manuscripts project coordinator, were recently published in various newspapers. They have generated great discussion online, and controversy resulted, including in my country, Brazil.

Professor Sutherland's quotations, published on the Oxford website, are the basis for this post.

The headlines in Brazil generally said: "Escritora Jane Austen era péssima em ortografia" ["Jane Austen was bad at spelling"] Folha de Sao Paulo, Veja Magazine and Correio Brasiliense.

Two British headlines were more cautious. The BBC declared, "Jane Austen's style might not be hers, academic claims." The Telegraph stated, "Jane Austen's famous prose may not be hers after all " and The Guardian made it clear that an "Attack on Jane Austen's genius shows neither sense nor sensibility ".

The headlines, which at first I thought were exaggerated, were not. They are perfectly in line with the original Oxford declaration: "Austen's famous style may not be hers after all".
Anne Hathaway as Jane Austen
We can instantly see that fair copies of the six published books were not part of the repertoire of over 1,100 pages that Professor Sutherland studied, therefore the mastery of Jane on Emma and Persuasion obviously could not be found in these 1100 manuscripts pages." Nevertheless, Sutherland concluded:
‘But in reading the manuscripts it quickly becomes clear that this delicate precision is missing. Austen’s unpublished manuscripts unpick her reputation for perfection in various ways: we see blots, crossings out, messiness; we see creation as it happens; and in Austen’s case, we discover a powerful counter-grammatical way of writing. She broke most of the rules for writing good English. In particular, the high degree of polished punctuation and epigrammatic style we see in Emma and Persuasion is simply not there.’
Before analysing the quote below, we must clarify that no reputable publishing house publishes a book without preparing an author's work. William Gifford's edits were thus not exceptional.

The expressions "heavily involved" and "Gifford as the culprit", and the assertion that "The famous style of Jane Austen can not be hers after all" set the tone for suspicion. Were the errors in the manuscripts so many and the corrections so deep that they modified Jane's style?
‘This suggests somebody else was heavily involved in the editing process between manuscript and printed book; and letters between Austen’s publisher John Murray II and his talent scout and editor William Gifford, acknowledging the untidiness of Austen’s style and how Gifford will correct it, seem to identify Gifford as the culprit.’
Sutherland speaks about the first books published by Thomas Egerton:
Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and the first edition of Mansfield Park were not published by Murray and have previously been seen by some critics as examples of poor printing – in fact, the style in these novels is much closer to Austen’s manuscript hand!’
While discussing Jane's innovative writing (quotes above), Sutherland also points out endless paragraphs, blots, crossings out and messiness in her manuscripts
‘The manuscripts reveal Austen to be an experimental and innovative writer, constantly trying new things, and show her to be even better at writing dialogue and conversation than the edited style of her published novels suggest,’ she says.
‘She is above all a novelist whose significant effects are achieved in the exchanges of conversation and the dramatic presentation of character through speech. The manuscripts are unparagraphed, letting the different voices crowd each other; underlinings and apparently random use of capital letters give lots of directions as to how words or phrases should be voiced.’
Professor Sutherland concludes by talking about the satire in the author's writings, and saying that Jane Austen's last unfinished work is less smooth than her published works.
‘Austen was also a great satirist. This thread in her writing is apparent in the sharp and anarchic spoofs of the teenage manuscripts and still there in the freakish prose of the novel she left unfinished when she died. The manuscript evidence offers a different face for Jane Austen, one smoothed out in the famous printed novels.'
Kathryn Sutherland
The controversy about the style of Jane Austen is based solely on information from Professor Kathryn Sutherland and her study of the online manuscripts. In my opinion it is impossible to claim that the writing of Jane Austen has been softened or modified in such way that Jane's writing style can no longer be called her own.

And just what led to this controversy? The professor herself with her assertions and contradictions. Perhaps it was advertising for the online manuscript, of which Sutherland is the coordinator (see AustenBlog). Perhaps it was simple vanity to launch a theme that she knew would arouse public interest. (Read about the brouhaha in Jane Austen's World ).

I will end this post by highlighting two passages of the text by Jonathan Jones in The Guardian with which I totally agree:
Jane Austen’s style is not a bit of polishing on the surface of her novels, it goes deep into their structure, which is why they are so satisfying.
There is a dance between academics and arts reporters that has gone on long enough, in which scholars allow silly overinterpretations of their claims to become news, while at the same time looking down on the newsmonger. In this case the result is a pedantic assault on genius that can only diminish the pleasure of readers and confuse students. Austen is a great artist – through and through. Her voice is her own.

More about professor Kathryn Sutherland:

Posted by Raquel Sallaberry, Jane Austen em Português

Way Back When: Colin Firth

Colin Firth is so swoonworthy he was recently voted Britain's sexiest man. But would he have earned the title way back when? You decide.

Colin Firth last year in A Single Man
Colin Firth at 19

Firth in 'Another Country', 1984
Colin Firth in the mid-80s
Firth, Vogue, 1986
Colin Firth as Valmont in 1989
Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in 1995

Read more in this link: Colin Firth: Profile

Monday, October 25

Silent Monday

I took this walk yesterday along the James River with my dog, The last few scenes are of my front and back yards. Can you believe I live within the city limit? I deliberately kept in the sounds of Cody's feet rustling dead leaves, the leaf blower, and bird song.

Not to be outdone, Tony Grant sent me a snapshot of Wimbledon Commons, where he runs.

Tony's Wimbledon Commons run

Autumn plants in the woods

Sunday, October 24

Jane Austen Movie Throwdown: Which Actress Walked Best in the Rain?

Ah, Sense and Sensibility. There are many scenes in the last two film adaptations that simply are not in Jane's novel. Nevertheless, they make for great cinematic melodrama. Take the reason for Marianne's illness, for example. Jane describes the onset of her illness at Cleveland as being a tad less dramatic than the rain walks depicted in the films:
Kate Winslet quotes Shakespeare in the rain as she gazes longingly at Willoughby's house
Two delightful twilight walks on the third and fourth evenings of her being there, not merely on the dry gravel of the shrubbery, but all over the grounds, and especially in the most distant parts of them, where there was something more of wildness than in the rest, where the trees were the oldest, and the grass was the longest and wettest, had—assisted by the still greater imprudence of sitting in her wet shoes and stockings—given Marianne a cold so violent as, though for a day or two trifled with or denied, would force itself by increasing ailments on the concern of every body, and the notice of herself. Prescriptions poured in from all quarters, and as usual, were all declined. Though heavy and feverish, with a pain in her limbs, and a cough, and a sore throat, a good night's rest was to cure her entirely; and it was with difficulty that Elinor prevailed on her, when she went to bed, to try one or two of the simplest of the remedies.
The wind WHIPS Kate/Marianne's cape and gown
Marianne got up the next morning at her usual time; to every inquiry replied that she was better, and tried to prove herself so, by engaging in her accustomary employments. But a day spent in sitting shivering over the fire with a book in her hand, which she was unable to read, or in lying, weary and languid, on a sofa, did not speak much in favour of her amendment; and when, at last, she went early to bed, more and more indisposed...
In 2009, Charity Wakefield WALKED the walk

Such a scene would not have been dramatic enough for a film,and thus we have Marianne wandering in the rain searching for Combe Magna, Willoughby's house.

Charity as Marianne welcomes the rain drops
Who walked the walk best? Curious minds want to know.

Whose Walk in the Rain is Best?
Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood
Charity Wakefield as Marianne Dashwood free polls

Saturday, October 23

Thomas Lawrence Makes a Splash at the National Portrait Gallery

The Duke of Wellington
Two articles, one by the Telegraph and one from The Arts Desk describe the new Thomas Lawrence exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in London in some detail. Thomas Lawrence painted the portraits of the movers and shakers of his era, including Pope Pius VII, Queen Charlotte, the Duke of Wellington, Sir Humprhey Davy, Princess Caroline of Brunswick, the Prince of Wales and other dignitaries familiar to Jane Austen and people who lived in her day.

My only caution to you in reading the two articles is that both reporters/art historians spout off their opinions in describing Lawrence's works that counter my own reaction to his paintings. My philosophy is that the appreciation of art is quite a personal matter, and I urge you to believe your own eyes over someone else's verbal regurgitations.
Queen Charlotte, consort of George III
Exhibit: National Portrait Gallery, London. October 21 - January 23. In addition, read Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance, a review by Richard Holmes in The Guardian, which includes extensive biographical information about the painter.

Friday, October 22

Friday Follow: Regency Food and Jane Austen Cakes and Cookies

Recently a reader asked me about making a cake for a Jane Austen themed party. This time of year is always good for apple inspired desserts. For this week's Friday Follow I thought I would take you down the caloric path of least resistance:

It's time to trot out the Jane Austen teapot cookies again. While many of you are already familiar with these delightful (but time intensive cookies), some of you may not be aware of this potential source for family fun in the kitchen! Click here for detailed, step-by-step instructions. 

The easiest online source for Regency recipes is Jane Austen Centre's online magazine. Click on this link to find a variety of recipes for all subjects. 

Sally Lunn's Buns from Delightful Repast: For Sunday brunch. Yum!

Gooseberries in the imitation of hops: Got plenty of time? Here's a Regency recipe for you!

Mr and Mrs Weston's wedding cake, Emma 2009
Emma 2009 wedding cake: featured on this blog 18 months ago, this cake was made with two different molds and decorated with real roses and sugared grapes. Lovely.

Thursday, October 21

Trip to Lacock Village

Lacock Houses by Tony Grant

The Secret Dreamworld of a Jane Austen Fan offers My Bath Trip, Part 7, Lacock Village. Blog author Aurora offers fabulous images on her virtual tour. Speaking of which, Tony Grant also took excellent images of the village. Enjoy!
Lacock Church
Lacock Cottages
Lacock House

Cranford and Return to Cranford were filmed in Lacock Village

Lacock stores


The George Inn

Wednesday, October 20

Happy Birthday, Mr. Collins - Guy Henry, Lost in Austen

Happy 50th birthday, Guy Henry.

The actor played the creepiest Mr.Collins of all. Not following the script, he courted Jane Bennet and married her in Lost in Austen, thankfully never consummating the marriage. Guy has had a long and illustrious career, cast as Minister for Magic Pius Thicknesse in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts I and II. Guy's other films include Bright Young Things, V for Vendetta, Starter for 10, and the UK mini-series Criminal Justice.

Jane and the Damned Book Trailer

Book trailer for Jane and the Damned by Janet Mullany

Tuesday, October 19

What Ever Happened to "Baby" Margaret?

I've made a post about Children's Day and I metioned Margarteth Dashwood (Emilie François) as an example of child. To illustrate the post I used a still from Sense and Sensibility, 1995.

Later I decided to conduct some research and realized the actress had starred in only two films, besides Sense and Sensibility: Paws and New Year's Day.

What happened to this lovely girl?

Posted by Raquel Sallaberry, Jane Austen em Português,

Monday, October 18

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Resurrected?

Natalie Portman as Lizzie has bailed out of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Will Scarlett Johansson do? And what about Bradley Cooper? FABULOUS additions.

The text from this article, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' May Star Scarlett Johansson and Bradley Cooperwill tell you more.
Bradley Cooper
There's now a feverish kick to repopulate the piece with new talent, which could mean that this new incarnation will star Scarlett Johansson and Bradley Cooper.
Deadline reports that Mike Newell ('Prince of Persia') has taken an early lead to replace Russell as director, with Neil Marshall ('Descent') also interested in jumping behind the camera. Meanwhile, sources tell the site that Johansson was tapped by Russell as Portman's replacement before his departure, so she's likely a frontrunner, while Bloody Disgusting's sources say that Cooper has received an offer for a role, along with Mia Wasikowska. Just to add one more name to the pot, the source also claims that there's "strong interest" in casting Tilda Swinton. Considering the age differences, and of course, the inclusion of Cooper, it looks like Lionsgate's eager to get a lot more than one female star added to the roster.
What think you?
Scarlett as a Zombie

So who would Tilda Swinton play?

Silent Monday: My Jane Austen Desktop Image

Emma 2009 image: Picnic on Box Hill

Curious minds want to know: What's your desktop image?

Sunday, October 17

Jane Austen Throwdown: Ministers

"Let deceitful lips be made dumb.." Mr. Elton, Emma, 2010
Of all the men in Jane Austen's life and novels, whose Sunday sermon would you be willing to sit through?

David Bamber as Mr. Collins, Pride and Prejudice 1995

Whose Sunday sermon would you listen to?
Rev. George Austen, Jane' father
Rev. James Austen, Jane's oldest brother
Rev. Henry Austen, Jane's favorite brother
Mr. Collins, Pride and Prejudice
Mr. Elton, Emma
Dr. Grant, Mansfield Park
Edward Ferrars, Sense and Sensibility
Henry Tilney, Northanger Abbey free polls

Saturday, October 16

Cliched Thinking About Jane Austen's Novels

Here's a clichéd statement if ever there was one:
Romances are constructed around the idea that love is an obstacle course, but if you keep your nose to the grindstone, the rewards can be immense.
That is actually the theme of every Jane Austen novel, and of every movie based on a Jane Austen novel. Romances are built upon the idea that Prince Charming actually exists, but he may be a bit rough around the edges or temporarily unavailable, like Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre or the long-lost boyfriend in A Very Long Engagement, or the weird guy who keeps popping in from the future in The Time Traveller's Wife.
Joe Queenan, obviously a dude, writes for the Guardian Co UK. In his article, Joe Queenan's Guide to Romantic Cliches, he writes in a clichéd way about every clichéd romance plot he can think of. Queenan jumps seamlessely from classic novels to films, making no distinction between the two. Really, Joe. Really? Is there truly no distinction between a classic novel that has managed to persist through the ages despite stiff competition, and some cheap Hollywood film like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days that was hurriedly thrown together for the masses with a couple of B actors?

I am tired of romances being such easy targets for both male and female critics. Frankly, the shoot 'em ups and world weary dramas with enigmatic endings that leave the reader or watcher wondering what the heck they'd just been spending their time slogging through are equally clichéd. It is a rare occasion, indeed, when a writer conjures up a story so original that nary a single cliché was used once.

So why is it always open hunting season on romances, but not on the other clichéd genres? Is this simply an accepted form of female bashing, since females overwhelmingly prefer this genre? Feel free to vent in the comment section below.

Friday, October 15

Follow Friday: Pride and Prejudice First Edition on Sale at Sotheby's

With the dismal return on one's investments these days, one might as well liquidate one's assets, including one's house and car, and purchase the first edition of Pride and Prejudice for a mere £100,000 at Sotheby's on October 28.
Pride and Prejudice, 1813, original 3-volume edition
I know these three original volumes don't look pretty, but you can't go wrong with this investment. According to Sotheby's catalog description, "First edition, the Hogan-Doheny copy, of the author's most enduringly popular novel, extremely rare in the original boards. Since 1975 only this and one other copy intact in the original boards has been sold at auction." Jane's book has sold over 20 million copies worldwide and the her popularity doesn't seem to wane.

Pride and Prejudice is just one of five Jane Austen first editions being sold at the same auction and it is thought all five could sell for up to £220,000- the cost of a Hampshire house.
Other books in the sale are Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. -

Wednesday, October 13

Keira and Carey on the Red Carpet: Lizzie and Kitty Bennet Looking Hot

Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley at the London Film Festival. Image @Tom and Lorenzo
Tom and Lorenzo, who are fabulous and opinionated, recently featured two of the Bennet sisters from Pride and Prejudice 2005 in one of their fashion posts. What do you think of the ladies' outfits? Yay for their youthful and playful quality? Or nay for misfiring their fashion choices?

Tuesday, October 12

Princely Taste in Regency Silver - Christie's Archives

Estimate: $40,000 - $60,000 
George IV, as Prince Regent and later as King, was the greatest patron of Rundell’s, commissioning massive works for use at his residences at Carlton House and Brighton Pavilion, and of presentations and celebrations during the Napoleonic Wars. Known as “the engine of fashion,” the Prince Regent was followed in matters of taste by the entire aristocracy, including William Beckford, the Duke of Wellington, and Thomas Hope—all clients of Rundell’s.

Read the rest of this fascinating article in this featured archive at Christie's: Princely Taste in Silver: The Stuart Collection of New Orleans

Monday, October 11

Lizzy Bennet's Inbox

Mark Brownlow, from Email Marketing, imagined the inbox's emails from some famous characters. The Elizabeth Bennet's inbox is priceless!

Thanking to the people who had commented on his post, Mark said he thought that the jokes would have been modernized to the movies and was surprised to notice how modern they were in the book itself.

You can read the full post in: "Famous inboxes # 4 Miss Elizabeth Bennet "

Posted by Raquel Sallaberry, Jane Austen em Português