In anticipation of the 300th anniversary of the accession of the first Hanoverian King (1 August) British television is beginning to present a lot of things “Georgian”.
A friend watched the first among this series – and recommends the collaborative BBC2/BBC4/Radio3 EIGHTEENTH CENTURY BRITAIN: MAJESTY, MUSIC, AND MISCHIEF.
Being in the US, I can only look on, and drool. The BBC website has teasers that include:
- Explore the story behind the Charity Concert “The Messiah” at the Foundling Hospital (1750)
- The “mass consumption” of music
- A look at “the first Georgians”
- An examination of the World Premier, in Prague, of Mozart’s Don Giovanni
And SO much more!
It’s a RICH era, and lucky will be those who can watch/listen, or find items online. READ more at The Telegraph.
With her ear always to the ground for new books, Janeite Deb alerted me to an online review of Jane Austen and the Arts, on the Austen in Boston: A Jane Austen Bookclub.
I’ll let Kirk’s own words tell his thoughts on the book, but give this hint:
He awarded it 4.25 Regency Teacups!
Here’s a skimming of the table of contents to whet your appetite:
Preface: Jane Austen’s Critique of Aesthetic Judgment by Vivasvan Soni
Introduction by Natasha Duquette and Elisabeth Lenckos
I. The Fine Arts in Austen’s World: Music, Dance, and Portraiture
Chapter 1 –”Daily Practice, Musical Accomplishment, and the Example of Jane Austen” by Kathryn Libin
Chapter 2 – “A ‘Reputation for Accomplishment’: Marianne Dashwood and Emma Woodhouse as Artistic Performers” by Kelly McDonald
Chapter 3 – “Miss Bingley’s Walk: The Aesthetics of Movement in Pride and Prejudice” by Erin Smith
Chapter 4 – “The Sister Artist: Cassandra Austen’s Portraits of Jane Austen in Art-Historical Context” by Jeffrey Nigro
II. Austen and Romanticism: Female Genius, Gothicism, and Sublimity
Chapter 5 – “Portrait of a Lady (Artist): Jane Austen’s Anne Elliot, Madame de Staël’s Corrine, and the Woman of Genius Novel” by Elisabeth Lenckos
Chapter 6 – “Jane Austen’s Comic Heroines and the Controversial Pleasures of Wit” by Belisa Monteiro
Chapter 7 – “An Adaptable Aesthetic: Eighteenth-Century Landscapes, Ann Radcliffe, and Jane Austen” by Alice Davenport
Chapter 8 – “Exploring the Transformative Power of Literature: Joanna Baillie, Jane Austen and the Aesthetics of Moral Reform” by Christine Colón
Chapter 9 – “Jane Austen’s Influence on Stephenie Meyer” by Deborah Kennedy
III. Austen in Political, Social, and Theological Context
Chapter 10 – “Aesthetics, Politics, and the Interpretation of Mansfield Park” by Russell Perkin
Chapter 11 – “Reflections on Mirrors: Austen, Rousseau, and Socio-Politics” by Melora Vandersluis
Chapter 12 – “‘So much novelty and beauty!’: Spacious Reception through an Aesthetic of Restraint in Persuasion” by Jessica Brown
Chapter 13 –”Augustinian Aesthetics in Jane Austen’s World: God as Artist” by Diane Capitani
Chapter 14 –”‘Delicacy of Taste’ Redeemed: The Aesthetic Judgments of Austen’s Clergymen Heroes” by Fred and Natasha Duquette
* * *
review (brief) and interview with JA & the Arts editor Natasha Duquette on British Weekly - Gabrielle Pantera: “A Must Read for JA Fans”
- Biola University’s Book Launch on YouTube (71 minutes)
“’I think it could be adapted
into a fantastic BBC documentary,’
BBC Radio4′s recent program “Publishing Lives” has ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT to listen. Five parts, each 15-minute episode features a different publisher:
- John Murray – publisher of Byron and Austen, among so many others
- Allan Lane – founder of the Penguin Publishing’s paperback empire, including Lady Chatterley’s Lover
- Harold Macmillan - the “publishing Prime Minister,” who may have foreseen the “ebook”!
- George Weidenfeld - post-World War II émigrés, Nigel Nicolson, Lady Antonia Fraser, and Lolita
- Geoffrey Faber – bored with beer– how about a book, perhaps “of Practical Cats”?
Miracles DO happen – a reader contacted me recently over some letters once tossed away, and news reports have been discussing this small, postcard-sized painting that has been ID’ed as a John Constable. Click the picture for a short BBC broadcast, and some other links for more of the story:
- The Standard
- The Mail (more in-depth article)
- NBC News
- The CBS Evening News, with Scott Pelley (video)
Act now to watch Amanda Vickery’s program Pride and Prejudice: Having a Ball.
Austen! Food! Dance! Music! Wonderfully informative.
You’ll even learn about White Soup.
for more on
- Ivan Day & Regency Cookery
- Mrs Gosling’s 1816 Ball at No. 5 Portland Place, London
- Sir William Knighton at Carlton House
- At the BBC
- Martha Lloyd’s White Soup @ Chawton
Comment on the show
- leave comments below; I’d LOVE to hear from you
- on Memoirture (log-in or free registration to see full-size photos & comment)
Lucy Worsley in a three-part BBC production.
The series is Elegance & Decadence: The Age of the Regency.
*Warts and All: Portrait of A Prince
*Developing the Regency Brand
*The Many and the Few: A Divided Decade
Join Worsley at Kew – Devizes – the Dulwich Picture Gallery – Beau Brummel’s dressing room – Brighton – Waterloo. A real “look” at Regency people, places, and things.
Including, a bird’s eye view of All Souls, Langham Place — extremely important to the history of the Smiths & Goslings:
My friend Calista and her husband Francis recently journeyed to Derbyshire to visit Renishaw Hall.
Renishaw Hall served as Pemberley in the BBC’s 1980 production of Pride and Prejudice starring Elizabeth Garvey and David Rintoul. Calista and I love this version; for me, it’s due to the authenticity of Fay Weldon’s screenplay. In the photo above, you witness the arrival of Miss Eliza Bennet and the Gardiners.
They are greeted by Mrs Reynolds, the housekeeper:
“We have here some of the finest rooms in the Country,
and many choose to view them.”
While the loquacious Mrs Reynolds takes pleasure in showing visitors the interior of the house, it is the gardener who leads the visitors around the gardens:
All of which causes Elizabeth to think that she might have been mistress of all she surveys at Pemberley:
Here are Calista’s thoughts on her own tour of Renishaw Hall / Pemberley:
“Went to Renishaw Hall around 11 yesterday. First, we explored the gardens, since the guided tour to the house for which I had made reservations began at 12:30.
The gardens were very well maintained with some flowers and as we walked we found some very beautiful butterflies, brown colour with big purple spots all over. We explored the very area where Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth met. I stood there admiring this beautiful house… I did want to walk by the lake but it was closed off and when Francis asked why I wanted to walk by the lake I had to explain it to him: That’s where Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth and the Gardiners walked by. You should have seen Francis’s face; it was priceless… He must have thought I was really gone nuts this time…
At 12:30pm there was a group of people and we all went in to the house. The house is opened to the public only by guided tours during August and September. The family rooms are still in use and we did see the grand drawing room, dining room, and few other rooms. There were three famous Sitwells – Edith Sitwell being one of them, her portraits were everywhere. Renishaw Hall is no Chatsworth but I didn’t expect it to be; it has its own beauty and charm. We didn’t see any of the bedrooms since upstairs was not included in the tour. Did not see the long gallery of portraits; don’t know if such a place exists at Renishaw. They did have a small museum in the court yard, as well. I did buy some rose petal potpourri at the gift shop.”
She later added,
“You know last night I rewatched the part where Elizabeth visits Pemberley. The gardens haven’t changed drastically. I am guessing the lake scene must be from somewhere else since the lake in front of the Renishaw Hall didn’t look anything like what was shown on the series. That part of the lake is blocked off from the edge of the gardens, so no way to walk towards the lake.
As to the house, the entrance where everyone enters is the very entrance we took. It’s the house’s main entrance and right in front of it is a parking lot now. Our car wasn’t parked too far from it. As you enter there is no staircase where Mrs. Reynolds meets the party but a somewhat larger room nicely decorated. The drawing room in the house is lovely; wish they had used the same room in the show. Remember where Mr. Bingley and the rest of the party meets? That room I did not see, perhaps a studio room or from somewhere else or even some other room in the house.”
There are two connotations to the word “revealing”: to reveal (v) = to expose; revealing (adj) = enlightening, illuminating.
Either would actually fit the title of a 2010 BBC special that I watched Sunday evening. The wonderful things to see in the special Revealing Anne Lister: to see Helena Whitbread, who published some of Lister’s diaries in the 1980s; and … to SEE THE DIARIES!
You can read more about Helena Whitbread and her Lister books here.
I used to enjoy History to Herstory – a website on Yorkshire Women’s Lives, which used to have a wonderful section on Lister: pictures, extracts of the diaries by Whitbread and Jill Liddington (who’s published some further books on Lister’s diaries). But today I see the website has been “new and improved” — and frankly I’m not sure WHERE to find the bits and pieces about Lister that I loved. If you solve the mystery of their disappearance, do let me know.
The time period of Anne’s diaries make them VERY much of interest to Two Teens; and the story of the publications and the writers working on them are worthy of notice too. A high recommendation for the BBC special.
A brief little “news item” in the last issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine let slip the return this fall of the wonderful period drama, Garrow’s Law. Finally a series with great writing, acting and storylines!
Must admit to not being a great fan of some of the British fare coming on PBS lately. Why do they not tout Garrow’s Law instead?
Came across this interesting article from Australia in which Jane Austen’s penmanship, punctuation and pungent sentences come in for a bit of scrutiny. How apropos! Since one thing that is always at the forefront of conducting primary research is contending with handwriting!
Forming the base of the article: The two chapters cut from Persuasion, the only extant manuscript penned by Austen (if we don’t count the copied-out juvenilia).
Having a copy of Modert’s Jane Austen’s Manuscript Letters in Facsimile, I really don’t think Austen’s writing difficult to read (on the other hand imagine if this book had been published with the even better images now possible in the digital age!); and so little cross writing. In fact the quirk of Austen’s letters are those written with much white-space so that the next “layer” of writing comes upside-down, but in between this first “layer” of writing.
Examining actual letters (from the Gosling and Smith families — though I did read a couple written by Cassandra Austen!), you see with what a fine line (ie, a well-sharpened quill) most people wrote. The difference between a dot (period) and a comma often quite difficult to discern. And dashes? Hell! I use them all the time! Who doesn’t?
And if commas are thought of as a “pause” when reading aloud, then many of Austen’s commas make great sense.
If Austen can be described as having a “closely written” hand, then the writer of this article has NEVER read anything written by the likes of young Augusta Smith (aka Augusta Wilder)! Yow!
(The execrable handwriting of the likes of Lady Elizabeth Dickins I won’t even mention…)
I must comment on the comment about underlining: Seeing as I transcribe as closely as possible, I use underlining rather than italicizing. Once, an editor changed the underlined words into italics. Hate to say, but, it just was not the same! And how to include two or even three lines?!? If I remember correctly, one of the editors working with Queen Victoria’s letters kept the original emphasis — one, two or even three underscores — intact. I like to do the same with Emma, Mary and all the rest, too.
- From Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine, read a graphologist’s thoughts on Jane’s handwriting <broken link; try this link instead>. I see a LOT of the same characteristics in the Smith/Gosling papers.
- To learn about the “mechanics” of writing in the period of the Quill Pen, see JASNA’s Persuasions On-Line, in an article by Robert Hurford.
- To see an actual piece of Austen’s writing, there is none better than the British Library’s presentation of her The History of England, with (we must give the artist her due) the fabulous drawings of Cassandra Austen.
- The BBC and Chawton Cottage (Louise West) in conversation.