Austen Tattler: News and Gossip around the Blogosphere

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“All that she wants is gossip, and she only likes me now because I supply it.” Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility, Chapter 31

Jane Austen around the blogosphere for the week of February 1st

Hot News of the week

Definitely the upcoming release of the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies which was taken the Internet by deathly storm prompting the publisher Quirk Books to move up the release date. You can read my first thoughts about it at Jane Austen Today, this week on the reaction, and the controversy regarding the author’s attitude toward Janeites at AustenBlog.

Noteworthy

Jane Austen in the City of Bath, England is a lovely article with beautiful photos at Quillcards Blog

Get ready for Valentine’s Day with snarky Austen themed valentines at Elegant Extracts Blog.

Sense and Sensibility (2008) is being rebroadcast on Masterpiece Classic on Sundays Feb 1st & 8th. You can catch up on the first episode by reading the synopsis of episode one at the Masterpiece offical site and read reviews at Jane Austen’s World and here at Austenprose. Tune in to PBS this Sunday for the conclusion.

The Excessively Diverting Blog Award recognizes seven writers of note on the Internet presented by the Jane Austen Today blogging team.

Over at Risky Regencies indulge in a little escapsism with Highwayman of the High Seas: The Romance of the Smugler by Julia Justiss. Everyone loves a naughty pirate, yo ho!

Of Books and Bicycles is reading Claire Tomalin’s biography Jane Austen: A Life and has some interesting thoughts on her insights.

Arti at Ripple Effects asks which Austen Heroine was Jane herself most like?

Entertainment

The Black Moth is available from GirleBooks for free. Ms Place (Vic) at Jane Austen Today and Jane Austen’s World is an ardent Heyer fan and tells us that this is one of Heyer’s first novels, and now ready for you to download and read for free from GirleBooks.

The roundup of upcoming Austen inspired books for February is available for your persual here at Austenprose

The DVD of Lost in Austen will be available for purchase in North America on April 14th.

British actress Ruby Bentall is truly an up and commer. I have recieved more hits on her name in the past month than any other Austen actress. More than Gwenyth or Kiera or Kate. No lie! You can read about her at my post Ruby Bentall – A Most Memorable Mary Bennet at Jane Austen Today.

Book Reviews

Until next week, happy Jane sighting.

Laurel Ann

Clueless about Jane Austen’s Emma? Investigate These Resources

Image of Samantha Morton & Kate Beckinsale in Emma, (1996)  

 INFORMED

 

Emma wants to see her better informed; it will be an inducement to her to read more herself. They will read together. She means it, I know.” Mrs. Weston, Emma, Chapter 5

 

Image of the DVD cover of Emma, staring Kate Beckinsale, (1996)I hope that you all enjoyed Emma, staring Kate Beckinsale, Sunday on PBS. This movie version is my favorite of the Emma adaptations. The screenwriter Andrew Davies made some changes from the novel, and I do not agree with all of them, but I do like how he and director Diarmud Laurence brought in the Regency environment and grounded the film with glimpses of the working community. Three scenes come to mind that exemplify this; Mr. Woodhouse, the leading citizen of Highbury, showing concern for the laborers by waving at them from his carriage, the gaggle of giggling school girls in church reminds us of the rest of the families in the community, and the complete invention of the harvest festival showing the differences between the upper and lower classes of the Highbury agricultural community, and the gracious appreciation displayed by their landlord and master, Mr. Knightley.

Image of the DVD cover of Emma, staring Paltrow, (1996)My only regrets about this version of Emma is that it lacked the humor of the novel and the other 1996 film of Emma, staring Gwyneth Paltrow, and that it was not longer in length. One can always wish that film producers would aspire to adapt the entire novel, but one understands the restrictions of the cinematic medium. Being a greedy sort myself, I crave all of Jane Austen’s lovely words, characters and plot in toto!

If this adaptation peaked your curiosity, but you still feel a bit clueless about Emma, I heartily encourage you to read the novel. There are excellent versions in print and online. Like Emma, I am an imaginist and am partial to artistic creativity, prefering a good illustrated edition to visualize the story. You might also be interested in many of the sequels and pastiches about, and here are a few suggestions.

Jane Austen’s Emma through Another’s Eyes (1997)Jane Fairfax: Jane Austen’s Emma through Another’s Eyes, by Joan Aiken, St. Martins Press (1997). Emma Woodhouse feels that Jane Fairfax is too reserved, but she may indeed be the only young lady in Highbury that Emma truly envies. Read about Jane Fairfax’s back story as it is revealed through Aiken’s skilled and accomplished parallel story to Austen’s  Emma. Aiken’s style is easy and affable; – both similar and respectful to Jane Austen, and she does Fairfax due justice. ISBN: 9780312157074 Read a preview here.

Image of cover of Mr. Knightley’s Diary (2007)Mr. Knightley’s Diary: A Novel, by Amanda Grange, The Berkley Publishing Group, (2007). Relive Jane Austen’s Emma – from Mr. Knightley’s point of view. At times, I wish that Mr. Knightley had some of Emma’s energy and imagination, but you know they say that opposites attract, and in this case it is true. This perspective of a gentleman in his late thirties whose chief interests are his estates and the well being of the Highbury community reveals why Knightley is still a bachelor, and make it all the more interesting to see his transformation from friendly neighbor into Emma’s love. ISBN: 9780425217719 Read a review from Ms. Place of Jane Austen Today here.

Image of cover of Lovers’ Perjuries (2007)Lovers’ Perjuries: Or, The Clandestine Courtship Of Jane Fairfax And Frank Churchill, by Joan Ellen Delman, self published, (2007) Description (from the author) Have you ever wondered about the hidden romance contained within Jane Austen’s Emma? Written with great fidelity to the original, Lovers’ Perjuries fills in all the details of scenes only hinted at in Emma. It also introduces new characters in a substantial subplot inspired by Persuasion, but featuring a lively heroine more reminiscent of Elizabeth Bennet than Anne Elliot. ISBN: 9780615150055. Read an excerpt. Read a review by Mags of AustenBlog here.

Image of cover of Amanada (2006)Amanda, by Debra White Smith, Harvest House Publishers, (2006) Publishers description: Book #5 in White Smith’s Austen Series, is a delightful contemporary novel set in Australia that captures the wit and humor of Jane Austen’s Emma. Amanda is a bit bored-until she meets Haley and decides that she would be the perfect wife for the local pastor. Amanda’s plan is falling into place when she discovers that Haley is dating Roger…and Pastor Eldridge is seeing someone else. Not to be thwarted, she steers Haley toward newcomer Frederick West. But when Haley is attracted to Nathaniel, why is Amanda’s heart suddenly anxious? ISBN: 9780736908757 Read a review by Erin Valentine of Novel Journey here.

Image of cover of Emma and Knightley (2008)Emma and Knightley: The Sequel to Jane Austen’s Emma, by Rachel Billington, SourceBooks (2008) Publishers description: After a year of marriage, Emma wants Knightley to stop treating her like a child. Knightley meanwhile wants his young bride to love him as a husband, not as the man she’s always looked up to. With tragedy in the offing, and events unfolding that include beloved characters from Jane Austen’ Emma, the couple must find their way to each other, and to perfect happiness. ISBN: 9781402212079 Read a review by Alison T. on AustenBlog here

Image of cover of Mrs. Elton in America (2004)Mrs. Elton in America: The Complete Mrs. Elton, by Diana Birchall, Edgerton House Publishing (2004) This amusing and often hilarious volume includes the Mrs. Elton triology of three short novels; In Defense of Mrs. Elton, The Courtship of Mrs. Elton, and Mrs. Elton in America. Inspired by Jane Austen’s presumptive and officious character Mrs. Augusta Elton from her novel Emma. Laugh out loud, and then throw things if need be, because Mrs. Elton can just do that to you! It is amazing to think that Mrs. Elton’s ego could get much larger, but it does, and happily to our abject delight! ISBN: 9781905016013 Read an excerpt here.

Image of cover of Emma Adapted (2007)Emma Adapted: Jane Austen’s Heroine from Book to Film, by Marc DiPaolo, Peter Lang Publishing (2007) Description from the publisher: This work of literary and film criticism examines all eight filmed adaptations of Jane Austen’s Emma produced between 1948 and 1996 as vastly different interpretations of the source novel. Instead of condemning the movies and television specials as being “not as good as the book,” Marc DiPaolo considers how each adaptation might be understood as a valid “reading” of Austen’s text for Austen fans, scholars, and students alike.  This book is a bit pricey at $67.95 online, and will be a good library request. ISBN: 9781433100000

A Casebook (2007)Jane Austen’s Emma: A Casebook, edited by Fiona Stafford, Oxford University Press (2007) Interesting title, since it supports my theory that Emma is a mystery story disguised as a comic romance! Description from the publisher: The essays in this collection demonstrate the varied delights of reading Emma. The purpose of the collection is to introduce readers of Austen to new ways of interpreting her most substantial and rewarding novel. The collection opens with an introduction encouraging readers to re-read Emma, and to find its pleasures magnified by the critical interpretations and scholarship represented in this casebook. ISBN: 9780195175318

Image of DVD cover of Clueless (1995)Clueless, the movie, director Amy Herkerling, Paramount Studios (1995) staring Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy and Paul Rudd. Studio description: Loosely based on Jane Austen’s comedy of manners Emma, Clueless employs high school as a microcosm of a larger society; in this case, the sun-drenched paradise of conspicuous consumption known as Beverly Hills. Leading the pack as a rich, blonde cutie named Cher is Alicia Silverstone, in a career-making performance. With the help of her best friend, Dionne (Stacey Dash), well-meaning busybody Cher attempts to turn the school nerd, Tai (Brittany Murphy), into a teen queen — with unexpected results. Heckerling’s witty satire is dead-on, particularly in its rendering of the kids’ speech, an adolescent patois peppered with vacuous expressions like “as if!” and “whatever!” The beauty of Clueless is that, even as it makes fun of Cher’s relentless pursuit of popularity, it reveals an insightful, well-meaning individual beneath its heroine’s image-obsessed surface. Read a review by Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle here

So, read on Janeites!