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
Tis the season of giving, and in honor of Jane Austen’s birthday on December 16th, we hosted a giveaway contest for one copy of Jane Austen: Seven Novels (Barnes & Noble Leatherbound Classics Edition). We are happy to announce that the lucky winner drawn at random is:
- Raquel M. who left a comment and this quote on 19 December 2014 at 2:28 pm
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
Congratulations Raquel! To claim your prize, please contact me with your full name and address by December 31st, 2014 or you will forfeit your prize! Shipment to US addresses only.
Thanks to all who left so many fabulous Jane Austen quotes with your comments. The selection was amazing and very creative.
Wishing you and yours a very merry holiday season.
Cover image courtesy of Barnes & Noble © 2097; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2014, Austenprose.com
Jane Austen-themed Twelfth Night Cake by Sprinkles Bakes
Today is Jane Austen 239th birthday. Born on 16 December 1775 at Steventon Rectory in Hampshire, England, her many admirers have proclaimed her birthday as Jane Austen Day and are celebrating around the world in creative and diverse ways.
Please join us and the Jane Austen Centre Facebook Group in the festivities. In honor of the amazing talent of my favorite author, I have chosen 75 witty quips and quotes from her six major novels for your enjoyment.
Which are your favorite? Join the celebration by sharing with us in the comments below and enter a contest to win one copy of Jane Austen: Seven Novels (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions). Details of the giveaway are listed below. Good Luck. Continue reading
Isn’t it charming? And too true!
We had a hand in its creation. We loved this “Shakespeare Spoilers” cartoon so much when we saw it on Facebook recently. It made us laugh out loud. But wait. The Bard is just as clever, witty and engaging as our favorite English author Jane Austen. Shouldn’t she get equal billing?
We contacted the cartoonist John Atkinson and pitched another famous English author for his artistic consideration. He was game—and we are delighted with the results.
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.
*throws confetti in air* It’s Jane Austen’s 238th birthday today! Let the party begin by entering a chance to win a beautiful collector’s edition of The Complete Novels of Jane Austen, published by Race Point (2013). Details are listed below.
The festivities are especially poignant to me this year after visiting Jane Austen’s birthplace and home for twenty-five years on our tour of Jane Austen’s England last fall. Our stop at the former site of Steventon Rectory, and St. Nicholas Church, were my favorite sites along the tour. The original rectory was demolished in 1823, however the site is still viewable as an empty field where cattle now graze. Just up the road is St. Nicholas’ Church where Austen’s father, Rev. George Austen, was rector for forty years (1761-1800). The church is a small, simple, Norman building which was originally constructed around 1200. It has had a series of revisions over the 800 of years that it has been in existence, including the addition of the prominent spire in the mid nineteenth century. Continue reading
It is Thanksgiving day here at Woodston Cottage and we are very grateful for many things in our life: friends, family and Janeites. I would like to thank the following:
Our fabulous reviewers: Christina Boyd, Kimberly Denny-Ryder, Lisa Galek, Katie P., Sarah Emsely, Br. Paul Byrd, and Virginia Clare Tharrington, who freely contribute their time and passion for Jane Austen.
Our wonderful authors: I cannot name you all individually, but we are so glad that you write and we can benefit with hours of reading enjoyment.
Masterpiece Classic PBS: for years of incredible television adaptations of our favorite novels including all of Jane Austen’s major works and new series such as The Paradise and Downton Abbey. All we can say is WOW!
Friends: Syrie James, Diana Birchall, Jane Odiwe, Deborah Holloway, Deborah Barnum, Vic Sanborn and many more. You are the best!
Jane Austen: for six masterpieces, minor works and letters which have given us hours of thought, discussion, enjoyment and my season of second chances.
“Arguments are too much like disputes. If you and Miss Bennet will defer yours till I am out of the room I shall be very thankful;” — Pride and Prejudice
Our amazing readers: who share our passion for Jane Austen and her legacy with devotion and loyalty.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.