“I indulge my Obsession”: Jane Austen and Hazel Jones

May 16, 2013 at 10:35 am (books, entertainment, history, jane austen) (, , , , , )

Calista in England alerted me to this interesting online interview with Jane Austen and Marriage author Hazel Jones.

jones

I loved her book (see my online review of it), mainly because of the attention she paid to diaries and letter contemporary with those written by Mary and Emma.

In her interview you will find out,

  • Why she adores Henry Tilney, and which actor is her favorite portrayer of that character
  • Which Austen character she finds ‘a complete turn off’
  • Which character she would ‘return’ as, if given the opportunity – and why she chose as she did!

Of course, you’ll also learn about Hazel’s Jane Austen courses…

Advertisements

Permalink Leave a Comment

It’s Arrived!

September 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm (books) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Today’s mail brought my long-awaited copy of David Selwyn‘s new book: Jane Austen and Children. Many thanks to JASNA News book review editor Sue Parrill for getting me this review copy.

Blog readers know that I thought Hazel JonesJane Austen and Marriage simply smashing. This combined information culled from Austen’s novels, her letters, letters & diaries & autobiographies from the period — including from the diaries and letters of my dear Eliza Chute of The Vyne. So I’m hoping for equally-stimulating reading from the well-known Selwyn.

The publisher is the same: Continuum. The layout of the books are similar: a timeline-chronology. In this instance Selwyn takes readers from the confinement of the mother, through infancy, childhood and into maturity. I’m hoping for a great ride!

Since the review is destined for JASNA News, I’ll only give some rough ideas on this blog about my thoughts (non-JASNA members will have to wait for the review to appear online: see www.jasna.org) — but reading the first pages and having Sense and Sensibility in mind, let me make a few comments that certainly will never find their way into a book review.

Blog readers will know my passion for anything “first-hand”, be it published letters, biography, autobiography — especially by women, British women, 18th and 19th century British women. One book I came across (which, being old and long out of print and very expensive now) was the oh-so-wonderful A Lady of Fashion: Barbara Johnson’s Style Album. This album, which resides at the V&A, was published in full color back in 1987, edited by Natalie Rothstein. My original post on that book may be found here.

So how have I gotten from “children” to “fashion”??? Rothstein’s introduction to the life of Barbara Johnson introduced me to another book of interest: Opening the Nursery Door: Reading, Writing and Childhood, 1600-1900 (1997), by Morag Styles and Mary Hilton. That book discusses the mother of Barbara Johnson — and her thoughts on childhood education. These authors even comment on how education for the Johnson children could be considered in the light of a reading of Austen’s Emma. David Selwyn opens his book’s introduction with comments on books, toys and education for children. My mind immediately flew to Jane Johnson.

When Selwyn writes of children being viewed as “natural innocents,” how hard — having just finished Sense & Sensibility — not to wonder: Is that a good description of Marianne? at her young age, was she still a “natural innocent” until her rude awakening via Willoughby?

Certainly Eliza and Willoughby’s child — which Austen never reveals the sex of: boy or girl? — must be one that Selwyn would classify among those thought of as (according to the dust jacket) “children in the way”.

And, after S&S with its pointed play (and display!) between Proud Mothers Mrs John Dashwood and Lady Middleton, who could ever accuse Selwyn of wrong-mindedness when he writes of children being for Austen “a source of comedy”.

A great gift, a new book, to have for a holiday weekend. I know what I will be ‘laboring’ over.

BTW: To read my review of Jones, Jane Austen and Marriage click here.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Selwyn, Austen and new book

August 8, 2010 at 9:42 am (books) (, , , , )

After much looking (wasn’t this book due out months ago? It seems out in the UK – for I see copies for sale – but Amazon.uk STILL doesn’t have a dust jacket photo!), here is a sneak peek at the cover of David Selwyn’s new book, Jane Austen and Children.

Continuum’s description makes it (I hope!) valuable reading for someone with so many pregnant ladies and young mothers to write about! I loved the publisher’s Jane Austen and Marriage (by Hazel Jones, who I wish would come out with something new!), and trust the same high standards are given over to Selwyn’s book; after all, he has written much on Jane Austen and the Austen family in general.

Permalink 2 Comments

Book Reviews and Books Reviewed

September 10, 2009 at 8:53 pm (books) (, , , , , )

ja_and_marriage_coverKerri Spennicchia — who supplies us all with dozens of Austen clippings — sent the following Times Literary Supplement review (TLS) of Hazel Jones’ recent Austen book.

I wish you could read it — but something’s up with WordPress — the file uploads, but doesn’t link. Will try again later.

[9/11] It’s now later and for some reason it still doesn’t ‘pop’ in – but I did a bit of finagling and *finally* it works – be advised, however, that you will have to turn the page image around: it opens upside-down! [no real big deal, Kerri…]

In the meantime, with all the problems, I checked out the publisher’s listing of reviews (hoping for a link to the TLS): Continuum includes an excerpt from my review found on the JASNA-Vermont chapter blog!

dress of peopleSooo…. looking for more of my own work (!! = but, if I don’t toot my own horn, no one else will), I found a website by historian and author John Styles – whose book The Dress of the People I reviewed in the most recent JASNA-News. He has some interesting research avenues, including a history of hand spinning in England. Check out his website.

October update: the JASNA review can now be found online.

Permalink Leave a Comment

For Better, For Worse

August 19, 2009 at 9:20 pm (books) (, , , , , , , , , )

Dear Miss Heber2Since January, when I came across advance information on Hazel Jones’ forthcoming book Jane Austen & Marriage, I’ve awaited its July release. For a fuller ‘review’ of it, please see Jane Austen In Vermont’s blog. Here, I merely want to point up the amount of information Jones has plucked from letters in the SMITH family! Not only does Eliza Chute (née Smith) and her mother Sarah come into the discussion of courting and matrimony, so does Eliza’s sister Maria (who marries the heir to the Earl of Northampton; her husband later becomes the first Marquess). James Austen — Jane’s eldest brother and father of James-Edward Austen (Emma’s husband) — is here also, with both of his wives. And source materials bring old friends like Miss Heber (pictured at left) and new friends like Dorothea Herbert (a book I am currently reading, with much enjoyment).

ja_and_marriage_coverJones’ chapter on “The Power of Refusal” (chapter 2) put a smile on my face: here she mentions that some suitors proposed in person — while others wrote letters or used an intermediary. Why the smile? The Rev. Richard Seymour, totally unsure of his reception (according to his own diaries), sent his elder brother John (another man of the cloth) to sound out Mrs Smith – who then sounded out daughter Fanny; it was good news from both. And wasn’t Richard happy!

The map of “Jane Austen’s Hampshire” (in B&W in the book, but reproduced in color on the back cover of the dust jacket) shows just how close The Vyne was situated to such Austen locales as Manydown House, Deane, Steventon, Chawton and Basingstoke’s Assembly Rooms.

This is a highly recommended read for anyone interested in Austen or her novels; the use of primary materials written by acquaintances, relations and autobiographers will appeal to historians researching early nineteenth-century mores in middle class England. Anyone interested in my research will enjoy the peeks into the lives of the few Smith-Gosling relatives.

Also worth a look – the author’s website, which includes information on the Austen courses she offers.

Permalink 1 Comment