Saturday, 29 December 2007

Sense & Sensibility 2008 on Location

HARTLAND folk will recognise the scenery when the adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibilitity hits the nation's TV screens on New Year's Day.

The BBC spent three weeks on the Hartland Abbey Estate filming at a 15th century cottage.

It was used as the setting for Barton Cottage to which Mrs Dashwood moved with her three daughters on the death of her husband.

The film, which will be shown in three parts on BBC 1, features stunning scenery around the coastal footpath between Hartland Quay and Hartland Point.

Not everyone will recognise the cottage, however, because the BBC made some clever changes to the exterior.

Visitors to Hartland Abbey last May were treated to some memorable sights, despite awful weather. The film unit base filled the whole car park and visitors were constantly bumping into actors and actresses in period costume wandering round the house and gardens or buying ice creams.

Ref: TV Film Shot in Hartland
Pic: Hattie Morahan, Lucy Boynton and Janet McTeer in Sense & Sensibility from: North Devon Gazette

Masterpiece Theatre Clips & Interviews on YouTube!

Ah, this is such a nice Jane-y way to close the year ... PBS have uploaded three Jane Austen Season Behind the Scenes interviews with screenwriter Andrew Davis onto Youtube:


An Interview With Andrew Davis : I LOVE this interview - it's short, but loaded. Andrew Davis speaks such sense! His favourite scene from Pride & Prejudice '95 is also my favourite - it just can't be beaten! There's also footage from Northanger Abbey '07 and Sense & Sensibility '08.

Behind the Scenes with Andrew Davis - Jane Austen's Men & Women : This clip is almost better than the previous one - let's just say I gagged laughing, more than once. ;) I really loved listening to Davis's take on the characters in the first part of the clip.

Behind the Scenes with Andrew Davis - Adapting Austen : "When in doubt, copy it out" - fantastic! I love the music at the beginning of the clip. I don't recognise it from any of the other adaptations so I'm hoping *fingers crossed* that it's theme music from Sense & Sensibility.

PBS TV Trailer for the upcoming Jane Austen Season : All six novels on the small screen for the first time. Yay!

UK Jane fans don't have long to wait for Sense & Sensibilty which begins screening on New Year's Day. We can't wait for reviews! The new adaptation will air in the US as part of the PBS Sunday's With Jane extravaganza.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Merry XMas 2007 and Happy New Year 2008!

Dearest friends,

This is the first time Team Jane is celebrating XMas and New Year together, even though in patchy places on this planet. We're very excited and happy with the friendship we share, the bond that sprung solely from our love to Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy. Thanks also to Becoming Jane the movie, 'A Youthful Love', 'Becoming Jane Austen', 'Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy', 'Memoir of Jane Austen', and myriads of books and literatures that have inspired us and brought us here together.

With this note, I wish you all a very Merry XMas and Happy New Year. My mind wanders to the Christmas of 1795 when Jane danced with Tom for the first time in Hampshire. I wish she knows that we still treasure their memories.

No. I KNOW that she knows :-) that we all treasure their memories, memories that have triggered the birth of more than six greatest books in the English literature.

Picture: Jane and Tom danced during the 1795 Christmas holiday, by Jane Odiwe

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Sense & Sensibility 2008 Website Launched

The BBC have just launched the Sense & Sensibility 2008 website, which includes a synopsis, and features video interviews with the cast and crew, including: Hattie Morahan (Elinor), Charity Wakefield (Marianne), Dan Stevens (Edward), Costume, Make-up, Director, and Art Director. There is also a preview clip from Episode One.

There's lots of backstage photos and an episode gallery (yay!) Lots of fantastic, candid behind-the-scenes photos are available here. Enjoy!

Pic: Sense & Sensibility cast from: BBC

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Sense & Sensibility 2008 Trailers!

I am so excited! The teaser trailer for the BBC's Sense & Sensibility 2008 has just premiered! A very big thank you to repunxo at youtube for sharing it online.

So, opinions? I'm quite excited now; it looks lavish! I think Charity Wakefield's Marianne looks lovely. I must admit I did snicker at the keywords and 'a feast for the senses...' Enjoy!

Edit: A very big thank you to Boris for sending us the link to the latest and longer Sense & Sensibility trailer!

Well, it looks very epic, lush and romantic, and I squee'ed a little on the inside when Willoughby rescued Marianne ... But,"...from Andrew Davis, aclaimed writer of Pride & Prejudice" - how on earth did they miss that?!

Sense & Sensibility will screen in the USA on March 30 and April 6, 2008 and begin screening on New Year's Day in the UK.

"I Don't Believe in Mr Darcy"

She's only 18, and she describes herself as naive, but actress Imogen Poots, who's starring in the BBC's big Christmas costume drama about the life of Jane Austen, has no illusions about men.

Based on the life and letters of Jane Austen, the feature-length film focuses on the author's later years. Imogen plays Jane's niece Fanny, an ingénue who looks to her spinster aunt for guidance on matters of the heart.

According to producer Anne Pivcevic, "Imogen has that combination of naivety and consummate intelligence that made her perfect. As soon as we saw her, there was never any question that she was Fanny."

"The corsets virtually cut off your breasts. I can't imagine how women ever lived in those clothes," she grimaces. She wasn't an Austen devotee ('I'd read Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility'), yet she quickly grasped the perennial Austen conundrum – should a girl marry for love or money?

In Miss Austen Regrets, the recurring advice Jane gives to Fanny is that she must marry for love.

"It's something we take for granted today – that we can earn our own living and marry whom we like," Imogen says. "But it was a harsh world then because women were reliant on men for their status."

I wonder if Imogen has fallen in love herself, but she is evasive on the subject of boyfriends. "I'm too young," she says, laughing. "I've done what Fanny does – met someone, thought, 'Oh my God, I'm in love!' and had those intense times where nothing else matters."

"I think that happens constantly when you're young because there will always be someone older and wiser to look up to," she adds. "But I don't believe in Mr Darcy. Men like him only exist in fiction."

I quoted excerpts of the interview relevant to Miss Austen Regrets, but I suggest you head over to the Dailymail and read the full article, because it's fantastic. So, do I believe in Mr Darcy? Hmmm, let's just say that I desperately will myself to, because yes, I'm convinced that there are real life "Darcy's" out there ... somewhere!! (far from here, I can tell you!)

Miss Austen regrets will air in the UK sometime in December and on February 3 in the USA.

Ref: "I don't believe in Darcy," says Imogen Poots, star of BBC's Miss Austen Regrets

Pic: Imogen Poots as Fanny from: Dailymail

Monday, 10 December 2007

The Two Lefroy Coats of Arms

Sorry for the long silence on my part, been busy here (many thanks to Michelle though, for her excellent updates on JA season!). Now, I just would like to give some other updates: the Radovici Project (i.e. reprinting Nadia Radovici’s book) is experiencing great progress. Thanks to you all, now we have at least 301 signatories from many countries that support the reprint of ‘A Youthful Love: Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy?’ Those who have friends, family, spouse that are interested in our project, please encourage them to sign our petition here.

Also, we’re having some good signs and hints about the publication plan for Nadia’s book. I cannot say anything more than this one ^_^ but trust me, Team Jane (particularly Rachel) is very very excited now! Oh, and Veronica as well!

Now, some of you might have noticed that Team Jane has been in contact with Edward Lefroy, a direct descendant of Tom Lefroy from his fifth son (the Very Reverend Jeffry Lefroy). A few weeks later, unexpectedly another young Lefroy contacted us. Ben Lefroy this time, a direct descendant of Tom Lefroy’s second younger brother Benjamin Lefroy. Ben pointed out a very interesting fact that I now explain a bit here: about two different Lefroy Coats of Arms: the Australian version and the UK version.

After cross-checking with Edward, we conclude that indeed there are two different Lefroy crests. I should have detected this fact months ago when I first posted an article about the Lefroys in Australia, courtesy of Linda’s tips. However, I failed to notice it, and hence I thank Ben for his sharp eyes.

Above is the original Lefroy crest I obtained from Edward. ‘The cross lines are white, the background green, and the wyverns’ red. The item in the middle is a dunce's cap. The wyverns should have no feet, as they are the heraldic device for a worm,’ as Edward explained to me.

Now, the above is the coat of arms of the Australian Lefroys I obtained from Cranfield’s ‘From Ireland to Western Australia’. Edward suggested that the lion was incorporated to honour the Bruce family. It will be very interesting to have an Australian Lefroy giving us input here on the origin of that lion inside the Lefroy crest.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

DVD Release Dates for Jane Austen Season - UK, USA and Spain

Fantastic news! Most of the Jane Austen Season DVDs are available to pre-order now. Release dates and links to further information below:

Miss Austen Regrets : 15 April, 2008 Educational Use Only (No idea why, more info as it comes to hand)

Region 1:

Northanger Abbey : 22 January, 2008
Mansfield Park : 29 January, 2008
Persuasion : 12 February, 2008 / 15 January, 2008, AMAZON
Sense & Sensibility : 1 March, 2008

Region 2 (Spanish, with dubbed track and subtitles):

Mansfield Park Available Now

Region 2:

Sense & Sensibility : 21 January, 2008

It's all happening with the Jane Austen Season! For more information about DVD Regions, visit DVD Codes

Pic 1: Northanger Abbey DVD cover from: WGBH
Pic 2: Sense & Sensibility DVD cover from: BBC
Pic 3: Mansfield Park Spanish DVD cover from: moviesdistribucion
Pic 4: Persuasion DVD cover from: Amazon

Olivia Williams Discusses Miss Austen Regrets

British actress Olivia Williams is no stranger to Jane Austen, having played Jane Fairfax in Emma 1996 and more recently reading a Persuasion audio book. She recently spoke to The Guardian about her role as Jane Austen in the upcoming Miss Austen Regrets:

"...Though she had 'written this summer off' due to the baby, it turned out to be a busy one, and after making two films, There for Me with her friend Paul Bettany and Flashbacks of a Fool with Daniel Craig, she was back doing more Jane Austen, this time a BBC film about the writer's later years. Miss Austen Regrets is a highly - maybe dangerously - speculative biopic, tracing a narrative out of the writer's possible romantic near-misses. It is a bleakly accomplished little film, quite unlike last spring's sprightly Becoming Jane, and Williams turns in a startling and muscular performance: spiky, self-assured and yet frequently stricken by the thought of what might have been.

'Mmm, it's very dangerous, isn't it?' Williams agrees, flinching a little. She hopes the Janeites who made such a fuss about Anne Hathaway's Austen in Becoming Jane are still lying down in their darkened rooms, recovering, so that this film will pass without comment. However, she is a bit of a Janeite herself, so her own reservations surface with very little encouragement. Having trained herself to be 'wily and flinty and mercenary' over the years, which is presumably one reason why she signed up to the project, she couldn't help being pained by it. She feels awkward about the intrusion into a modest and little-known life: 'My ideal script would be quotations from the letters, brilliantly knitted together into perfectly natural scenes. Anything that you put into her mouth has to be brilliant, written by somebody who was as brilliant as Jane Austen, and that's impossible, so to have her speaking in a way that is lazily colloquial to me was a mistake.'

So she has said lines that she feels uncomfortable with? 'Did I say lines I was uncomfortable with?' she muses, in a rather lawyerly fashion. 'There was so much debate that most of the time we shot scenes two ways, so I'm subject to the editors. I feel I've done what I can, I've fulfilled my contract, and I've quieted my own conscience.' She pauses. 'You know, I have this fear, because of my own academic background: I'm scared that my English teacher from school is going to ring me up and say, "She wouldn't have said that! How could you?" That keeps me awake at night,' she says gloomily. 'That and childcare.'"

I suggest you head over to The Guardian and read the rest of the interview - it's a fascinating and enlighting read. I love Olivia as an actor and I'm looking forward to her portrayal of Jane Austen!

Miss Austen regrets will air in the UK sometime in December and on February 3 in the USA.

Pic: Olivia Williams as Jane Austen from: BBC

TVO Canada Launches Jane Austen Website

TVO, the Ontario public educational media organisation which will air three new Jane Austen adaptations from from December 16 has launched a promotional Jane Austen website. It includes video clips, bios, photo galleries, and exlusive videos discussing aspects of the original novels. The site is lovely - and if you don't mind a few spoilers, pop over and have a look!

Pic: Northanger Abbey from: TVO's Jane Austen Website

Sense & Sensibility UK screening New Year's Day

Following my earlier post that Miss Austen Regrets & Sense & Sensibility will screen in the UK sometime in December, I am thrilled to share that the first episode of Sense & Sensibility will air on Tuesday, 1 January 2008, 9,10pm (21:10) on BBC One. What a fantastic way to begin the New Year!

We look forward to your thoughts and reviews, UK Jane lovers!

Pic: Elinor & Marianne from: Ladybluelake

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Lydia Bennet's story at!

I am very pleased to inform dear readers that our lovely friend Jane Odiwe has finished writing about Lizzy Bennet's sister, and now 'Lydia Bennet's Story: a Sequel to Pride & Prejudice' is available at,, and also Amazon France and Germany. sells Lydia's story atUSD 17.95 plus shipping, while sells it at GBP 9.99. I think it's a great price for us Lizzy fans who want to know how her brat sister is doing now, so be sure to log into Amazon now. And I hope Team Jane can review it soon and tell you what we think of it. Grand, I'm sure!

On the side note, our friend Maria L. from Sweden (a.k.a. Jakeline) has written two chapters of a 'Becoming Jane' fan-fiction titled 'I Remember Love'. It's about Tom Lefroy reminiscing his days with Jane Austen while he conversed with daughter Jane Lefroy. Lovely, you guys should check them out!

Pic: cover of 'Lydia Bennet's Story' by Jane Odiwe