- Oxford English Dictionary
- Pamphlet of #1 Royal Crescent Bath Museum
- What Matters in Jane Austen by John Mullan
- England’s Thousand Best Houses by Simon Jenkins
- Austen Country by Tom Howard
- The Touring Book of Britain
- A Frivolous Distinction by Penelope Byrde
- A Dance with Jane Austen by Susannah Fullerton
- All Things Austen Vol. 1 by Kirstin Olsen
- Jane Austen by Brian Wilks
- Jane Austen’s Town and Country Style by Susan Watkins
- Jane Austen’s Letters edited by Deirdre Le Faye
Here are the sources for the Bath presentation by Margaret Harshbarger for our January 10, 2016, reading group meeting and discussion:
Here's an excellent piece by Slate's Laura Miller about Emma and the perfect novel: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2015/12/jane_austen_s_emma_is_the_perfect_novel.single.html
Below is an excerpt from the article:
It’s now more customary to rank Emma as Austen’s “most perfect” book. But given that Austen has a pretty good claim on the title of Most Perfect Novelist—she never published a bad or even a weak novel—and Emma is widely acknowledged to be her masterpiece, calling it her most perfect book is really just a sly way of asserting its supremacy in the form. Why not come right out and admit it? Emma, which was published 200 years ago today, is indeed the perfect novel.
An article from The Guardian, suggested by our own Pauline Beard, about how Jane Austen's Emma changed the face of fiction. An in-depth and interesting take on how Emma is so revolutionary a novel.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
Emma, published 200 years ago this month, was revolutionary not because of its subject matter: Austen’s jesting description to Anna of the perfect subject for a novel – “Three or four families in a country village” – fits it well. It was certainly not revolutionary because of any intellectual or political content. But it was revolutionary in its form and technique. Its heroine is a self-deluded young woman with the leisure and power to meddle in the lives of her neighbours. The narrative was radically experimental because it was designed to share her delusions. The novel bent narration through the distorting lens of its protagonist’s mind. Though little noticed by most of the pioneers of fiction for the next century and more, it belongs with the great experimental novels of Flaubert or Joyce or Woolf. Woolf wrote that if Austen had lived longer and written more, “She would have been the forerunner of Henry James and of Proust”. In Emma, she is.
Click here to read the entire article: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/dec/05/jane-austen-emma-changed-face-fiction
Collins Hemingway, a member of our local JASNA region and author of several books, will be giving a book reading of his novel, The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen, at 2 p.m., Saturday, December 5, at the 23rd and Thurman branch of the Multnomah County Library. Collins will also be giving another reading on Sunday, December 6, at the Wilsonville Library.
The novel reimagines the largely blank period of Austen’s life, 1802-1809, to ask how marriage might have changed her as a person and writer. It is not light fare but a serious look at life for women in the early 1800s.
You can read more about the book, and enjoy extras like podcasts and book reviews, on the book's website, http://austenmarriage.com.
The theme for the upcoming reading discussion group, which will take place on November 8, is "Jane Austen's Comments to Women." Pauline Beard and Deb Rossi will be our discussion leaders, and below is information that Pauline would like us to read before our meeting on November 8.
~ A woman especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can. ~
The tiny book Jane Austen Speaks to Women (Edith Lank, 2000) that inspired this month’s readings contains many quotations from the novels and letters of Jane Austen, sometimes advice as above, so Deb and I wondered what other “advice” books were in vogue during Austen’s time.
What was Austen reading when she writes the above? What inspired the spirited reply of Elizabeth to Mr. Collins’ proposal: “Do not consider me now as an elegant female intending to plague you, but as a rational creature speaking the truth from her heart” (Chapter 19). Various commentators have pointed out the echo from Mary Wollstonecraft’s: A Vindication of the Rights of Women Chapter 5: “ Speak to them the language of truth and soberness, and away with the lullaby strains of condescending endearment! Let them be taught to respect themselves as rational creatures, and not led to have a passion for their own insipid persons” (emphasis added). Thus Deb and I thought it would be interesting to look at the Vindication (only pieces from Chapter Five and Ten you’ll be glad to hear) to find other resonances with Austen’s lines about women…. Then after reading Susan Ford’s insightful essay on Fordyce’s Sermons (see Lydia’s reaction to Mr. Collins choosing that edifying treatise… end of Chapter 24…), we asked ourselves:
**“What do these works and Austen speaking to women mean for men and women in the 21st century?” **
Attached are Chapters 5 and 10 from Wollstonecraft [scroll down to view or download in PDF format], and here is the link to Susan Allen’s essay: http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/on-line/vol34no1/ford.html, and then some prompts to aid in our discussion that we hope to arrange first in small groups then coming back to the large group… a system that has worked very well in the past.
Some points to ponder (as much or as little depending on time of course).
1) Answer the question above. **
2) Within the small discussion group (we will divide up the large group as smoothly as possible), you will be asked for two quotations from Austen’s works or the letters to aid in the discussion focusing on categories such as Marriage. Money. Old Age. Courtship. Mothers… these categories might help focus the discussion. You won’t know the category assigned to your group until the very moment… just to keep things exciting!
Finally, read the 1950s so-called advice sheet (a fake?) and see how far men and women have come… or not! http://www.snopes.com/history/document/goodwife.asp. For fun, check back to Wollstonecraft’s last paragraph in Chapter 5 in response to Dr. Fordyce…
Deb and I look forward to the discussion! Sunday November 8.
Deborah Eley referenced several sources during her presentation about "women's work" during Jane Austen's time, at last weekend's reading group discussion event. Below are the titles and links to the sources she used.
There is a new title in a planned trilogy about Jane Austen and the places she lived and loved; the series, by British author and graphic designer Terry Townsend, is part of the Halsgrove Discover Series. The first title, "Jane Austen's Hampshire," was published last summer, in August 2014, and the second, "Jane Austen and Bath" was published last month, in April 2015. The final title in the series, "Jane Austen's Kent" will be available this summer, in early June.
Click here for more background info about the upcoming title, "Jane Austen's Kent," at http://www.halsgrovemedia.co.uk/imagebase/data/albums/KB41/KB338/Jane%20Austen_s%20Kent.pdf.
There is also an interesting interview with Terry Townsend about the book series, as well as his background and interest in Jane Austen, on the My Jane Austen Book Club site here at http://thesecretunderstandingofthehearts.blogspot.com/2014/08/talking-jane-austen-with-terry-townsend.html.
The topic for the upcoming Reading Group discussion, scheduled for this upcoming Sunday, March 8, is Jane Austen's final work, Sanditon. The discussion leaders will be Jennifer and Sam Snoek-Brown. Please read the following in preparation for the reading group discussion:
While Sanditon is an unfinished novel, comprised of only 12 chapters, there are so many opportunities for rich discussion and so many themes that we could potentially discuss as a group. While Sam and I were discussing the unfinished novel this weekend, within only a few minutes we had listed multiple potential discussion topics, including (but not limited to):
As you can see, there is so much potential represented within so few pages!
So how to narrow this down to a single discussion? Sam and I decided to go back to the source -- or rather, the source of Sanditon's initial presentation to the public, which was in 1870 through J.E. Austen-Leigh's memoir of his aunt Jane Austen. In that memoir, in Chapter XIII, Austen-Leigh described the writing of Sanditon and included his own personal summary of it, along with substantial excerpts from Austen's text. The full manuscript of Sanditon was not published until 1925. (Scroll down to the bottom of this message for links to his memoir online.)
Therefore, Sam and I have pulled out the following discussion questions/themes relating to J.E. Austen-Leigh's original introduction of Sanditon.
For sources and/or further reading, please feel free to explore the following:
A new title of close readings of Jane Austen's novels was published last month, The Hidden Jane Austen by John Wiltshire. It promises to be an interesting read, if any of our members are interested in delving into deeper psychological explorations of Austen's characters.
Through a series of compelling close readings of key passages in each novel, Wiltshire underscores Austen's unique ability to penetrate the hidden inner motives and impulses of her characters, and reveals some of the secrets of her narrative art.
There are also some special reader features on the Cambridge University Press website, including a book trailer and a free preview of the introduction and first chapter!
Welcome to the web site of the Oregon & SW Washington Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA). We are a friendly and active group dedicated to the appreciation of Jane Austen's life and works.