Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rare Austen letters cause excitement

A major Jane Austen exhibition, which has opened in New York, is creating a huge stir among fans and cultural commentators.

More than 100 items, including rare manuscripts and letters written by the British author to her family, have gone on display at the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan.


Monday, August 3, 2009

This rare and complete Regency-era evening ensemble will be on display during the 2010 Jane Austen Festival of Australia

Jane Austen Festival Blog Announcement

It is a rarity to find a set of matching period accessories, but to have them accompanied by their original outfit, is an amazing find!

This ensemble reportedly comes from the estate of Ms. Eliza Fox of Osmaston Hall in Derbyshire, UK.

The canary yellow, trained ball dress, is fashioned from luminous and heavy silk, and decorated with metallic copper threads in a corded, braid-like trim. The high Empire-waist is decorated with a band of ruffled canary silk, and also a band of the chord trim. There is a shimmering medallion of jewels to the center of the neckline, which is accented by further ruffled silk.

The dainty, delicate sleeves and low neckline create the typical look of the Regency period.

The dress is fully lined in gauze and cotton and fastens with hook and eyes to the back, along with some muslin ties.

The quality construction, and hand sewing, is yet another wonder!

The ball shoes, are made from the same shade of canary silk as the dress and purse/reticule, and are decorated with the copper chord trim in a large gathered medallion. They are a lovely, classic pair Regency shoes, with a carved wooden "Louis"-style hard heel, ribbon ties, and kid leather lining.

The drawstring evening reticule is decorated with the braided trim, and fully lined in gauze. It too, is also fully hand sewn.

The complete set is a true treasure, has an astounding beauty and romance that should never be forgotten and always admired.

Sites in England reveal Jane Austen's life and world

Sites in England reveal Jane Austen's life and world | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News

Carrie Bebris, the author of the award-winning Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery series, in which the now-married Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice find themselves embroiled in intrigue, writes about sites in England that reveal Jane Austen's life and world.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Penguin Classics: Why we love Jane Austen

Episode 1: Why we love Jane Austen

Elda Rotor of Penguin Classics interviews Jane Austen scholar Juliette Wells about Austenmania, what it means to be a Janeite, etiquette in Austen's time, and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Alan Walker, head of academic marketing, introduces listeners to Excellent Women by Barbara Pym on "Reading the Classics from A to Z."

And Stephen Morrison, associate publisher and editor in chief of Penguin Books, offers up the opening to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in his segment, "First Pages."

Friday, July 10, 2009

"Regency" - an exhibition of clothes, prints and books from the days of Jane Austen

This special exhibition will run from 15-18 April 2010, as part of the Jane Austen Festival of Australia.

  1. Black silk spencer, c.1810
  2. Short cream mitts c. 1810
  3. Man's linen shirt, c.1800
  4. Roller-printed floral cotton bodice top (skirt missing), c.1820
  5. Cotton bib-front daydress, c.1810
  6. Silk bib-front daydress, c.1810
  7. White muslin daydress, c.1820
  8. Infant's nightgown, c.1820
  9. Silk Ballgown with Pelerine, c.1830
  10. Men's hand embroidered polychrome floral waistcoat, c.1780
  11. Lady's leather dance slippers, c. 1830
  12. Embroidered silk organza shawl, whitework, extremely fine and sheer, c. 1800
  13. Blue chambray cotton girls round gown with ornate sleeves, c.1820
  14. Corded stays (regency corset) c. 1830
The exhibition will run all festival, with costume researchers encouraged to book a time for up-close costume inspection for Monday 19 or Tuesday 20 April 2010.

We welcome loans of mannequins, dummies and display cases for the staging of this exhibition. Please phone Aylwen on 0409 817 623 if you can be of assistance.

Monday, June 29, 2009

According To Jane: a novel about pride, prejudice and the pursuit of the perfect guy

Announcing Marilyn Brant's debut book, According To Jane: a novel about pride, prejudice & the pursuit of the perfect guy (Kensington Books, trade paperback), to be in stores on October 1, 2009!

It's the story of a modern young woman who receives romantic advice--some good, some not so good--from the spirit of Jane Austen. This manuscript won RWA's prestigious Golden Heart Award® in 2007 for "Best Novel with Strong Romantic Elements".

Preliminary Program for Jane Austen Festival

Find the draft program for the Jane Austen Festival Australia online. Join the mailing list for news of earlybird tickets. The festival invites you to be involved as a speaker, presenter, participant and as a volunteer!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Everything Austen Challenge starts July 1st

From 1st July 2009 to 1st January 2010 Stephanie’s Written Word is running an Everything Austen Challenge .

Join the challenge and read or watch six Austen related books or movies in six months to qualify for a chance to win a copy of the miniseries Lost in Austen.

For more information and all of the details visit Stephanie's Blog by clicking on the picture on the right.

For myself, I will be choosing the following:

Emma by Jane Austen
Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
Jane Austen & Representations of Regency England by Roger Sales

Sense & Sensibility
Northanger Abbey

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Jane Austen Cross Stitch & Needlework

We've been delighted to read of the kits available from the Jane Austen Centre in Bath. There's something for everyone - cross stich, doll kits and embroidery.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Do you have a passion for Jane?

We are looking for people with a passion for Jane Austen to be part of the 2010 Jane Austen Festival of Australia program.

Do you love her books? Are you an addict and read everything written about her? Are you a devotee of the regency period? Do you belong to a re-enactment group and wish to encourage others to join? Or do you just love the dresses and bonnets?

Contact Aylwen asap and be part of the 2010 JAFA program - which is going to be much larger, with more venues and more speakers involved. For the first time we are separating the dinner and ball so that each event will have their own evening.

Please contact us through the Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy.


Read about Janespotting in the Australian. This article was written by Rosemary Neill from The Australian newspaper and published on 20 June 2009.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jane Austen Cross Stitch

For those interested in needlework and cross stitch, The Sampler Girl has released On Travel with Jane Austen.

Be whisked away to Bath, England where Jane Austen lived between 1801 and 1806. While it is believed Jane did not fancy Bath as much as she so loved her birthplace of Steventon, Bath remains a charming setting for her writing and allures Janeites all the world over.

Three quotes by Jane Austen grace this design and they are:
  1. If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.
  2. ...they hastened away to the Crescent, to breathe the fresh air of better company.
  3. I really believe I shall always be talking of Bath, when I am at home again - I do like it so very much...Oh! Who can ever be tired of Bath?...for a fine Sunday in Bath empties every house of its inhabitants, and all the world appears on such an occasion to walk.

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter: A Novel of Jane Austen's Lady Susan

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter: A Novel of Jane Austen's Lady Susan, by
Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway will be released by Amazon on 6 October 2009. Pre-orders are being taken now.

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Crown (October 6, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307461661
ISBN-13: 978-0307461667

Covering Jane Austen

Visit to see a great collection of Jane Austen bookcovers put together by Carolyn Kellogg.

View Jane Austen's Early Work Online

The British Library has made Jane Austen's early work "The History of Britain" available for online viewing at .

View virtual books using the British Library's Turning the Pages™ system.
This version of Turning the Pages™ uses Adobe Shockwave, which can be downloaded free of charge. The volumes may not open if you block popups on your computer.

USA: 2nd Annual Jane Austen Festival, Louisville, KY

The 2nd Annual Jane Austen Festival will take place July 18 & 19 at Historic Locust Grove, a circa 1790 National Historic Landmark in Louisville, KY.

This event is hosted by the Greater Louisville Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America. The festival will include Afternoon Tea; a Regency Emporium with lovely fabric, shawls, patterns, bonnets, jewelry and everything needed to create a Regency outfit; as well as antiquarian books; a Regency Style Show and you can have your shadow cut! Plans for a Grand Ball and Regency Promenade are being made for July 18th.

Guest speaker will be Margaret Sullivan, author of THE JANE AUSTEN HANDBOOK and editrix of Austenblog. Her talk is entitled "Five Things a Janeite Heroine (or Hero) Needs to Know."

Historic Locust Grove ( is located six miles from downtown Louisville and sits on 55 parklike acres. There are many stone and log buildings on the property that will temporarily house the shoemaker (live demonstration), the Mantua-Maker & Daughter (seamstresses with Regency dresses for sale)n historical entertainment and other delights.

Admission to the festival is $6 which includes a tour of the circa 1790 Georgian House. Afternoon Tea (four courses) is $25 (includes admission). Reservation required for tea.

For more information, contact Bonny Wise, Regional Coordinator at 812-923-7808, visit or through the Jane Austen Louisville contact form.
For anyone traveling to the area, advice gladly given about hotels, B&B's, etc.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Jane Austen Society of Australia

The Jane Austen Society of Australia was founded in July 1989 to bring together admirers of Jane Austen in this part of the world.

We are scholars, enthusiasts, amateurs and professionals, gathering on equal terms to study and celebrate the genius of Jane Austen.

We are interested in Jane's life, her writings and the era that gave shape to them both.

Sensibilities, the journal of the Jane Austen Society of Australia, is published twice-yearly (June and December), and sent to all members free. The journal includes transcripts of presentations at JASA meetings, and other items of interest to members, including book and film reviews, and is praised for its consistently high literary standards.

The JASA Chronicle published twice yearly (June and December) and sent to all members free. It contains news and views, book reviews and articles by JASA members and others.

Meetings and events are held all around Australia. See the calendar at for more information.

The next meeting for the Canberra branch of the Jane Austen Society of Australia is on Saturday 27th June, a Midwinter Feast. For more information contact, or phone (02) 6286 8336.

Pride & Twitterverse

If you "twitter" then you will see the humour in this Pride & Prejudice Twitter. Below is a small extract of this fantastic blog from Under the Mad Hat. Grab a cuppa and be prepared to laugh!

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife.

A Mr Bingley--worth 50,000 followers a year--has joined Twitter! He's brought a friend, Mr Darcy--worth 100,000 followers a year! Pls RT

@JaneB @LizzyB @MaryBsaphorisms @KittyB @LydiaB I will have one of you girls married into internet fame yet. Just you wait.

@MrsB But mother, I think we can pull ourselves up by our dooce-straps just fine.

Blogcasting: How to find husbands for your daughters: http://tinyurl/momblog Now with free giveaway from our Etsy embroidery shop. Pls RT

........ read more here

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - The Classic Regency Romance: Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! (Paperback)

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."

So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life!

Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Can she vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry?

Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you'd actually want to read.

Prada and Prejudice to be released on 11 June 2009

Prada & Prejudice: the perfect story for any young Jane Austen fan who has ever wished to take a vacation in Regency England.

To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips…conks her head…and wakes up in the year 1815!

There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them—particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant.

But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up?

More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present.

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Razorbill (June 11, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1595142606
ISBN-13: 978-1595142603

Jane Austen for Dummies

Joan Klingel Ray, president of the Jane Austen Society of North America has put together a terrific, clear, concise, and inviting set of explanations for all of those questions that newer readers of Austen have about her world: Why doesn't Elizabeth Bennet just get a job? Why will Mrs. Bennet have to leave Longbourn if Mr. Bennet dies? How rich IS Darcy?

Regency desktop wallpapers at Solitary Elegance

The original Ackermann's Repository of Arts, Literature, Fashions, Manufactures, &c. was published monthly from 1809-1829 by Rudolph Ackermann (1764-1834) in London. Each month's Repository featured a pair of fashion plates in addition to other illustrations and articles covering a variety of topics. Some issues included embroidery patterns and fabric samples, which have provided inspiration in the creation of Regency costumes and the genteel lifestyle seen in Jane Austen film adaptations. These delicate aquatint illustrations and lovely fashions continue to delight and inspire us two hundred years later.

Throughout 2009, new desktop wallpapers will be posted each month at Solitary Elegance showcasing two fashion plates: one from 1809 and the other from a different year during Jane Austen's lifetime. Enjoy a year-long tour through this popular late Georgian-Regency publication!

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict

Laurie Viera Rigler's debut novel, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, the story of modern girl Courtney Stone caught within the social confines of Jane Austen's era, received rave reviews from both fans and critics alike, and shot to the top of national bestseller lists.

RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT picks up where Confessions left off, telling the parallel story of Jane Mansfield, a gentleman's daughter from 19th century Regency England who, after a nasty fall, wakes up in Courtney's complicated and confusing (not to mention overly wired) LA life.

Though she can't begin to fathom what her boss means by syncing a blackberry, what this strange contraption called an Ipod is, and how people can flirt without expectations of marriage, Jane finds herself intrigued by this new world. She is comforted by the machine called a television where she can watch scenes from her favorite book 'Pride and Prejudice', and by Courtney's friend, Wes, a handsome, young gentleman who reminds her of the man who broke her heart back home.

Part comedy, part love story, and part social commentary, RUDE AWAKENINGS is a delicious treat for Austen addicts and fans of womens' fiction everywhere, and a sweet reminder that no matter the century, home is where the heart is.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Persuasion: Fashion in the Age of Jane Austen

Opened on 22 May, the National Gallery of Victoria presents Persuasion: Fashion in the Age of Jane Austen, a timeless exhibition that looks at the dramatic changes in fashion during Jane Austen’s lifetime (1775–1817).

Featuring over 70 works, with the majority from the NGV Collection, Persuasion surveys the period 1770 to 1830 and includes fashion, prints and drawings, decorative arts and paintings, with a focus on English women’s dress from the early 19th century.

Roger Leong, Curator, International Fashion and Textiles, NGV said that fashion plays an important, if often unstated, role in the works and letters of Jane Austen.

“Austen’s witty and perceptive comments about fashion mirrored the complex relationships within English society during her lifetime, especially between different classes and men and women.

“The era witnessed radical changes in the way people dressed. The variations of the waistline, upwards from the natural waist and then back again, were a distinctive characteristic of the time, one of the most dynamic periods in fashion.”

Jane Austen’s life coincided with some of the greatest transformations in history including the Revolution in France, the American War of Independence, the Industrial Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.

“Throughout Austen’s lifetime and the decade beyond, fashion witnessed significant changes often in response to the momentous events of the time,” said Mr Leong.

In 1775 women of fashion dressed in voluminous silk robes of formal splendour. The female form was constricted and exaggerated with boned corsetry and hoops.

By the time Austen had written Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), and Northanger Abbey (1818), women’s clothes had been simplified into a Grecian form with high-waisted Empire line gowns of sheer white muslin that fell close to the body’s natural contours. Never before had European fashion been so revealing with many women discarding their corsets to achieve this look.

As Austen was completing her later novels, Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1816), and Persuasion (1818), the author witnessed a more decorative shift in fashionable dress.

In the years after Austen’s death, fuller-bodied silk fabrics were back in vogue and the feminine silhouette had returned to the exaggerated hourglass of Austen’s infant years.

Dr Gerard Vaughan, Director, NGV said that visitors are encouraged to visit this exquisite exhibition and immerse themselves in the beauty of the fashion from this period.

“Persuasion is a unique exhibition, retracing the dynamic changes in fashion during Jane Austen’s lifetime. Visitors will delight in the style and splendour of the fashion of this time,” said Dr Vaughan.

Persuasion: Fashion in the Age of Jane Austen will be on display in the Myer Fashion & Textiles Gallery at NGV International, St Kilda Road from 22 May to 8 November 2009. NGV International is open 10am–5pm, closed Tuesdays. Admission to this exhibition is free.

For further information please visit

Principal Sponsor: Myer

Enquiries: Alison Murray, Media and Public Affairs Officer
03 8620 2347 / 0439 348 357 /


Dress (Open robe and petticoat) c.1770

silk tafetta brocade, linen lining, cotton bobbin lace

(a) 142.4 cm (centre back); 32.2 cm (waist, flat) (open robe);
(b) 95.0 cm (centre back); 32.5 cm (waist, flat) (petticoat)

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Purchased, 1970


Carriage dress c.1830

silk (Gros de Naples), cotton lace, metal

(a) 153.0 cm (centre back); 34.0 cm (waist, flat); 87.5 cm (sleeve length) (dress); (b) 49.5 x 28.5 cm (collar); (c) 77.7 x 9.0 cm (belt)

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

The Schofield Collection

Purchased with the assistance of a special grant from the Government of Victoria, 1974

NB. Permisson granted to use images from exhibition in this news release.

Jane Austen's Sewing Box

by Jennifer Forest

Jane Austen's Sewing Box opens a window into the lives of Regency women during a beautiful period in arts, crafts and design. Jennifer Forest examines Jane Austen’s novels and letters to reveal a world where women are gripped by crazes for painting on glass and netting purses, economise by trimming an old bonnet, or eagerly turn to their sewing to avoid an uncomfortable conversation.

Based on Jane Austen’s novels and with illustrated step by step instructions for eighteen craft projects, this beautifully presented book will delight Jane Austen fans, lovers of history and literature and craft enthusiasts alike.

Published June 2009 (UK July 09)
224 pages, Paperback with flaps
235 x 190 mm
AU $34.95 (UK £14.99)
ISBN 9781741963748