It’s always a red-letter day to bibliophiles when books originally published eons ago get a new life and a new audience. It usually takes a major television series or movie for this to happen. In the case of Jane Austen, we have seen new tie-in editions for Pride and Prejudice in 1995 & 2005 and Sense and Sensibility in 1996. Just the other day I saw a beautiful new movie tie-in cover for Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd in my bookstore. A good story is a good story no matter what generation it is introduced to.
Now the Poldark Saga, one of my favorite historical fiction series, is up for a remake. Some of you might remember the wildly popular television adaptation entitled Poldark on the BBC and Masterpiece Theatre in the mid 1970’s. Robin Ellis stared as dashing Captain Ross Poldark and Angharad Rees as his fiery Demelza. The two season and twenty-nine episode series was based on the first sevens novels in Winston Graham’s multi-generational saga. Now the BBC and Masterpiece have created a new production of Poldark. It aired in the UK in March and April to critical and public acclaim, garnering up to 7 million viewers an episode. Happily, US audiences will spend this summer in Cornwall swashing and buckling with dishy hero Ross Poldark when Poldark begins on Masterpiece Classic on June 21. Continue reading
I have had the pleasure of listening to and reviewing many of the Naxos AudioBooks classic recordings narrated by a variety of talented British actors, but collectively my favorite readings are those by award winning actress Juliet Stevenson—whose five interpretations of Jane Austen’s novels remain paramount in my personal audio collection.
Awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1992 and the C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1999, Ms. Stevenson’s vocal talent is deeply rooted in her classical training at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts) and her time with Royal Shakespeare Company. While a friend boasts of seeing her stage performance of Hedda Gabler in London in 1989, beyond her audio recordings I have only had the pleasure of her film and television career—and that alone could sustain any lover of finely measured and intimate interpretations of human nature. Some of my favorite Stevenson performances are her tormented, grieving Nina in Truly Madly Deeply (1990), a part tailored for her by screenwriter/director Anthony Minghella, her outrageously pompous Mrs. Elton in Emma (1996), Evie in Being Julia (2004), and the Oracle in Atlantis (2013-2015). Everything she touches turns to gold. Continue reading
It’s time to announce the winner of the cloth bound edition of Love and Freindship and Other Youthful Writings (Penguin Hardcover Classics). The lucky winner drawn at random is:
Lady Constance who left a comment of January 25, 2015
Congratulations Lady Constance! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by February 4, 2015 or you will forfeit your prize! Mail shipment is to US addresses only.
Thanks to all who left comments and to Penguin Classics for the giveaway.
Cover image courtesy of Penguin Classics © 2015; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2015, Austenprose.com
Collectors of Jane Austen books know that there have been hundreds of different editions of her classic novels created since their original publication (1811-1817). So many, in fact, that only a few of the beautiful and outrageous ones could be featured in the new book Jane Austen Cover to Cover, by Margaret C. Sullivan.
The recently published Penguin Hardcover Classics series is one of the possibilities to chose from. I am happy to share that after publishing all of Austen’s six major novels in the series, her juvenilia, Love and Freindship and Other Youthful Writings, is now available for purchase.
With only four novels published during her short life and two posthumously, her popularity continued to grow through the decades of the nineteenth century. It was only a matter of time before her family allowed publication of her juvenilia: a set of three volumes of her youthful writings. Composed c. 1787-1792, Austen’s Juvenilia consists of twenty seven items—sketches, parodies & short stories of comical, nonsensical, outrageous and sometimes dark imaginings by a writer in the making—all engaging amusements written for her family and friends. Continue reading
Jane Austen Christmas Card by Amanda White Art on Etsy
Tis the season to shop and give and keep! Here is my annual Jane Austen wish list for Janeites. Enjoy!
1. I’d Rather be at Pemberley Mug
I cannot think of a better way to start your day than with your very own Pemberley mug, can you?
2. Jane Austen Tattoos, by Accoutrements
A “nice” alternative to permanent ink.
It’s time to announce the winner of the hardcover copy of The Complete Novels of Jane Austen. The lucky winner drawn at random is:
- TracyH who left a message of December 17, 2013
Congratulations TracyH! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by January 02, 2014 or you will forfeit your prize! Shipment to US addresses only.
Thanks to all who left comments and to Race Point Publishing for the giveaway copy.
Happy Birthday Jane Austen!
Cover image of The Complete Novels of Jane Austen courtesy of Race Point Publishing © 2013; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2013, Austenprose.com
Fall is always a peak season for great novels in publishing so I am happy to host the virtual book launch party of Project Darcy, by popular Austenesque novelist Jane Odiwe. In celebration Jane has kindly shared an exclusive excerpt of her new novel with our readers.
Please enter a chance to win one of two gift packs available, including a copy of the book, prints of Jane’s wonderfully enchanting artwork and note cards, by leaving a comment below this post. Details for the giveaway are listed at the bottom. Good luck to all!
Laurel Ann, I am so excited to be here as a guest to launch my new book, Project Darcy – thank you so much for inviting me to celebrate today and share an exclusive excerpt!
The 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice has been a special year for Jane Austen’s wonderful book, and I couldn’t let it go by without celebrating it myself with a new novel!
Five friends who have recently finished university, volunteer for an archaeological dig at Jane Austen’s childhood home in Steventon, Hampshire. Ellie, Jess, Martha, Cara and Liberty, are all excited to go on the trip for very individual reasons – Ellie is an illustrator and loves painting landscapes, Jess is obsessed with Jane Austen’s books, Martha is keen to indulge her interest in archaeology, and Cara and Liberty can think of nothing but the guys they might meet and the possibility of starring in the documentary that’s going to be made. Continue reading
Those folks at HarperCollins really know how to make Janeites scream with joy—well—at least this Janeite, who is over the moon from their announcement last Friday that Alexander McCall Smith is slated to re-write Emma for The Austen Project.
One of my favorite contemporary authors, McCall Smith is renowned for his delightful No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, filled with the intimate characterizations and laugh-out-loud social humor. Better yet, he is a huge Jane Austen fan! His writing talents are an ideal match to Jane Austen’s Emma, a masterpiece of “minute detail” layered with unique characters and intricate plot. I am on my knees in gratitude to publisher Kate Elton (we promise not to call her Mrs. E.) for her choice. In my humble opinion McCall Smith is the perfect choice for a contemporary re-write and I am all anticipation of its release in 2015, the bicentenary year of Emma’s original publication.
The Austen Project will include contemporary reimagining’s of all of Jane Austen’s six major novels by popular authors. First up in the series will be, Sense and Sensibility, by Joanna Trollope which hits book shelves (and digital readers) this month on October 29th followed by Val McDermid’s interpretation of Northanger Abbey on March 27th 2014 and Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld in 2015. That leaves Mansfield Park and Persuasion still up for grabs. Continue reading
80 of you left comments qualifying you for a chance to win one of six copies available of Jane Austen’s England, by Lesley and Roy Adkins. The six winners drawn at random are:
- Carol Settlage who left a comment on Aug 19, 2013
- Lindsay who left comment on Aug 19, 2013
- Emily Bell who left a comment on Aug, 19, 2013
- Jim Nagel who left a comment on Aug 20, 2013
- Betsy on Aug 21, 2013
- Jane who left a comment on Aug 24, 2013
Congratulations ladies and gentleman! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by September 4, 2013 or you will forfeit your prize! Shipment to US addresses.
Thanks to all who left comments, to authors Lesley and Roy Adkins for their great guest blog, and to their publisher The Viking Press for supplying the giveaway copies.
Book cover image courtesy of The Viking Press © 2013; text © 2013 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose
Just in case you were interested to know how much your first editions of Jane Austen’s works were worth, this video featuring Adam Douglas, Senior Specialist in Early Literature at Peter Harrington, a rare book dealer in London, introduces a selection of Jane Austen’s first editions and explains how bindings affect value.
We just love how he handles the books. It’s like an aphrodisiac for an Austen fan as he sensually glides his hands over first editions of Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park and speaks in reverent and seductive tones! Adam, you are such a Willoughby!