Thursday, 30 October 2008

Becoming Jane pictures from DeviantART

I just subscribed to DeviantART a week ago and found the site surprisingly full of talented people! And I just - out of curiosity - browsed for Jane Austen and Becoming Jane as well, and found several nice pictures or photo-modifications to post here.

Starcrossed by Netherfield:

Remembering You by Netherfield:

Becoming Jane by Pozsy:

BJ sketch from Elara:

What do you think? I think they're very lovely. It's quite a distracting site, DeviantART is, rather too good for procrastination!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Pride and Prejudice- The new musical

I received this months addition of Jane Austen's Regency World magazine and was very excited to see that there has been a one-night launch of a Pride and Prejudice musical at the Eastman Theatre in Rochester, New York on October 21.

The show, written by Lindsay Warren Baker and Amanda Jacobs who discovered their love of Jane Austen 8 years ago, is aiming to open on Broadway in November 2009.
The recent production was directed by Mark Lamos, a Tony award nominee, and he is also going to be directing the Broadway show.

The musical was originally premiered at The Ohio Light Opera in summer 2006 and directed by Steven Daigle.

Below is an extract of one review taken from the Broadway site:

Our culture's fascination with this story and its romantic ideology is well established and well deserved, but given its widespread goodwill, the opportunity to create a piece that tells that story "differently" could very well lead to audience malcontent. Honestly, I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I first heard about this piece. On one hand, I thought "good idea if done right" and on the other hand I thought "this could be tragic". Well, last night proved that the concept for this new piece is strong and has some serious legs. Despite being about a half hour too long in the first act, the piece holds together well with a robust score, here beautifully played by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, some really memorable melodic tunes, the heart warming story, a talented cast, and the dynamics of the imagination. The convention of Jane Austen writing the actual story of Pride and Prejudice along with us watching the development of the plot and characters are cleverly intertwined. Jane addresses the characters and the characters address Jane -sometimes asking for certain plot points to happen or relating their disdain for their prescribed fate. The convention is well used and provides an imaginative view into the creation of the characters and their story. The first half of the first act uses the convention sparingly and perhaps too sparingly, but the rest of the piece accelerates the interactions. I enjoyed the convention because it consistently reminded you that the story came to life from her imagination and heart - choices, love, hope, society, etc.
Overall, the concert was a success and as with the quality of the material and the talented cast, it might be said, in native Rochesterian Susan B. Anthony’s own words, that “failure (was) impossible”. I am well aware that the piece needs additional work, but with some well thought out edits and structure changes, this homegrown piece may just find its way to the great white way.

Sounds very positive indeed. Let me know if any of you grabbed the opportunity to see this delight.

For more info, click here

Pic: Taken from Sept/Oct 20008 (Issue 35) Jane Austen Regency World magazine (the official magazine of the Jane Austen centre, Bath, UK)

Update 30 October 2008:
Click Pride and Prejudice Broadway for the official site of this production (thanks Bilbo for the tips!)

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Quote of the Week- Week 27

Sorry this post has come a day late.

I absolutely adore Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility and this week I have chosen one of her quotes. I love her for her strength in spirit and pure and vulnerable sensitivity.

In chapter 17, there is a discussion between Edward Ferrar's and the Dashwood family. They are talking about the value and importance of money. There is a great line, although it is not my chosen quote of the week, spoken by Marianne to her sister Elinor, "money can only give happiness where there is nothing else to give it. Beyond a competence, it canm afford no real satisfaction as far as mere self is concerned."

Marianne is so sure of her beliefs and what is right and wrong. I love the confidence even with youth and inexperience; I really respect her courage.

Edward continues with surmising what he thinks that Elinor and Marianne would do with a large sum of money. He assumes without doubt that Mariane will buy all the books in london to "prevent them from falling into unworthy hands" due to her reliable character and associated principles. She retorts with:

"At my time of life opinions are tolerably fixed. It is not likely that I should now see or hear anything to change them. "

I just love this sheer statement. Its so certain and unwavering and at the tender age of seventeen. It makes me chuckle, yet love her more every time I read it. Maybe I see some of her in me....!

Pic 1: Marianne and Elinor- Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson in the 1995 film Sense and Sensibility
Pic 2: Marianne- Kate Winslet in the 1995 film Sense and Sensibility

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Quote of the Week 26 by Linda

I have this favorite from Persuasion, Chapter 18. Anne’s emotions have run amok after she reads the letter from Mary concerning the engagement of Louisa and Benwick. She realizes that her very own Captain Wentworth is a free man.

Mary need not have feared her sister's being in any degree prepared for the news. She had never in her life been more astonished. Captain Benwick and Louisa Musgrove! It was almost too wonderful for belief, and it was with the greatest effort that she could remain in the room, preserve an air of calmness, and answer the common questions of the moment. Happily for her, they were not many. Sir Walter wanted to know whether the Crofts travelled with four horses, and whether they were likely to be situated in such a part of Bath as it might suit Miss Elliot and himself to visit in; but had little curiosity beyond.

Chapter 18

Did you catch that phrase: “with greatest effort”? It never ceases to amaze me how dear Jane can express our most intimate emotions without all the “explicitness”. I am sure that most of us have felt such passions though under different circumstances at some time in our lives, and can in that way relate to them. I hardly think that unless she, herself, knew of such feelings that she would have been able to write about them.

I just don’t think a person can simply pull it out of the air. Brava, Jane!

Linda the Librarian
Pic: Persuasion 2007 from: Post Gazette

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Jane Austen Short Story Award 2009!

Chawton House Library has just announced a Jane Austen short story competition to celebrate 'the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s arrival in the Hampshire village of Chawton – where she spent the most productive years of her literary life'.

It looks really exciting! Here's part of the blurb from the Chawton House Library website:

Our intention is to publish the very best short fiction inspired by Jane Austen or Chawton House – a place she knew well.

We are looking for short stories of 2,000-2,500 words in length. The inspiration for your story can be taken from any theme in Jane Austen’s novels: it might even be a character or a single sentence that sets your creative juices flowing. Or perhaps your imagination will be fired by the Elizabethan mansion, Chawton House, where Jane Austen and her family often gathered, and now houses a rare collection of early women’s writing.

Stories can have a historical or a contemporary setting – anything goes as long as it is well written and you state on the entry form exactly what inspired you to write it.

First prize: £1,000. Two runners up: £200 each. All three finalists will also win a week’s writers’ retreat at Chawton House. Fifteen other shortlisted authors will receive £40 plus publication in the winners’ anthology.

The closing date for entries is the 31st March 2009.

What are you waiting for?! Head over to Chawton to download a PDF entry form and read the rules and regulation. :D

I have to say, I love the broad theme of the competition - it is so broad it tempts me to have a go ... inspiration taken from a theme, or a sentence, or the great house itself - I love that! I am not a fan-fiction person myself (sorry, no offense!!) so I'm very excited.

Pic: Chawton House viewed from the South Lawn from: Chawton House Library

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Jane Austen Quote - Week 25

This week my quote is from one of Jane's letters to Cassandra (October 27, 1798):

"I had a very pleasant evening, however, though you will probably find out that there was no particular reason for it; but I do not think it worth while to wait for enjoyment until there is some real opportunity for it."

I was in the mood to post an uplifting quote from Jane this week, and when I read this, I knew I had found it. I needed this - I needed to be reminded to enjoy life just for the sake of it - and never to lose that joy. It's so easy to be ground down by life (er, and exams), and I'm so grateful for Jane's reminder, in the form of this beautiful quote. What a wonderful, wise woman. She found joy in herself - she didn't wait until the circumstances dictated joy. She's gorgeous.

Pic: Jane Austen from: Advanced Embroidery

Sunday, 5 October 2008

'Lost in Austen' series, anyone?

I am SO grateful for Maria's information, and so ashamed of myself for letting this slipping out of my radar. Ive been lost in my own research world anyway these past few months... But I'm so grateful for the info as well, for then I can wait for the DVD, and available funding of course!

I'm talking, ladies and gents, about the new ITV drama 'Lost in Austen'. Basically, it's about a modern London girl named 'Amanda Price' that one day found the very Miss Elizabeth Bennet in her bathroom, and - having foolishly following Lizzy's example of entering a hidden door in her bathroom wall - suddenly found herself in Longbourn amidst the Bennets. Click here for the plot summary in Wikipedia.

I think it's a cool fanfiction-ish series for Pride & Prejudice lovers. It's unexpected that such a series could be made, but hey, I think it's a great progress, despite the jumbles it made on the PP storylines (hence hardcore PP fans might be flared by this production). But hey, that's what fan-fiction is all about!

Here's where you can buy it at I think I have to access that wonderful site for my own copy; seemingly the series is not in Australia yet. Sigh... And check Enchanted Serenity of Period Films; a wonderful site that gives you much more info about this movie!

Here's the first part of the first episode of Lost in Austen from YouTube, thanks to Chicawapa. The rest of episodes can be found there as well.

Anyone up for a review, anyway? Team Jane can always find time to post it here for you!

UPDATE! I've seen all four episodes in YouTube (thanks Chicawapa!), and is it not one of the most amazing miniseries I've ever seen! YES! I love Amanda Price, I love this version of Lizzy Bennet, I even love Wickham, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and Mrs. Bennet! Oh, I don't have time to write a proper review now, but in a few days I hope to. And really, a DVD is worth it!

Pic: DVD cover of 'Lost in Austen' from

Jane Austen Quote – Week 24

Sorry for the belated post for this week (for Australia and New Zealand at least), but here’s the quote for week twenty four from Pride and Prejudice Chapter 60, as Elizabeth Bennet spoke to Mr. Darcy:

“You were disgusted with the women who were always speaking and looking, and thinking for your approbation alone. I roused, and interested you, because I was so unlike them.”

Is it not so true, Mr. Darcy? Of all your pride and arrogance, you are interested in Lizzy because she was nothing like other women who constantly chased you? Instead, she was independent and opinionated, regardless of what people think of her.

I guess, the bottom line is that you have to be yourself whatever it takes, and not molding your unique identity just to catch a man like what Caroline Bingley did for Mr. Darcy (or 'just to reach your ambitions in many other circumstances', IMHO).

Oh, how I love Lizzy Bennet!

Pic: Jennifer Ehle as Lizzy Bennet from Bookish homestead