PBS to Connect Jane Austen Community

Illustration by Miroot Puttapipat, “Boxhill Picnic”, Emma, Chapter 44I congratulate you, my dear Harriet, with all my heart. This is an attachment which a woman may well feel pride in creating. This is a connection which offers nothing but good. It will give you every thing that you want — consideration, independence, a proper home — it will fix you in the centre of all your real friends, close to Hartfield and to me, and confirm our intimacy for ever. This, Harriet, is an alliance which can never raise a blush in either of us.” Emma Woodhouse, Emma, Chapter 9

In Jane Austen’s 18th-century society, personal alliances fueled the social strata, connecting families in marriage, and in business. And so it continues today, as PBS reaches out to the Jane Austen community to promote its upcoming series The Complete Jane Austen, through its online guest blogger project Remotely Connected.

Eight Austen enthusiasts and authorities from the online community have been invited to write about each of the upcoming Jane Austen adaptations and a new biography being presented by Masterpiece Classic, beginning Sunday, January 13th with Persuasion, and concluding in April with Sense & Sensibility. Continue reading “PBS to Connect Jane Austen Community”

Solitary elegance

Illustration by Hugh Thomson, Chapter 12 Heading, Pride & PrejudiceELEGANCE 

I had great amusement among the pictures (Somerset House); and the driving about, the carriage being open, was very pleasant. I liked my solitary elegance very much, and was ready to laugh all the time at my being where I has. I could not but feel that I had a naturally small right to be parading about London in a barouche. Letter to Cassandra Austen, 24 May 1813, The Letters of Jane Austen

Well this is an amusing vision of Jane Austen, the gad-about of London, parading in an open carriage in the month of May with the breeze pulling at her bonnet! She seems quite in raptures! In modern day terms, cruising in a barouche-landau would be the equivalent of a convertible Bentley 2008 Silver Tempest . Not bad.

According to the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen, the definition of a barouche is as follows…

Barouche: accommodating two couples facing each other, the barouche was considered a very exclusive carriage – accounts state that the Prince Regent owned one drawn by six horses. Vulgar Mrs. Elton cannot cease to publish her rich brother-in-law’s ownership of a barouche-landau (Emma, Volume 2, Chapter 14).

Elegance indeed, to be transported about with such pomp and finery! But one of the most remarkable parts of this passage is the phrase, solitary elegance. It evokes such promise of pleasure and enjoyment, that I was not surprised to find an entire web site on-line named the same, and dedicated entirely to Jane Austen. Oh joy! And to top off, it is beautifully designed and packed with an incredible amount of useful and informative information. Be sure to visit the gallery of Jane Austen book illustrations by C.E. Brock circa 1908. They are stunning! A big thank you to the accomplished web-mistress, Heather L. for all of her excellent work.

*Illustration by Hugh Thomson, chapter 12 heading, page 41, Pride & Prejudice, published by Robert Frederick, Ltd., Bath (1998)

Website Built with WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: