Miss Manners Channels Miss Austen

In today’s St. Louis Post-Dispatch (June 24), Miss Manners (a.k.a. Judith Martin), our favorite advice-giver, tackles the tricky question of courtship now and then (the Regency era, of course). We offer a link to Miss Manners’ observations in the hope that they will put a smile on your face, as they did ours:


We wonder if anyone has considered inviting Miss Manners to an AGM. Were she to accept, of course, we would all have to be on our very best behavior. Indeed.

A Will, an Opportunity for Study, and a Proposal


Last week, Linda Dennery and Meg Levin, our faithful New York Region correspondents, passed along three Austen-related items. The first is a story about, and a link to, Austen’s will; the second, an announcement of a summer course on Mansfield Park and Persuasion at Cornell University; and the third, a real-life marriage proposal with an Austen theme.

While Dennery and Levin caution that you might need a subscription to the Mail Online’s website to read the newspaper story, we had no trouble accessing the link without said subscription. Your experience may differ, of course. As an alternate source, Dennery and Levin have provided a link to the UK’s National Archive, which posted Austen’s will online on Epiphany (Jan. 6).

Of interest in the story is the note by the Mail’s reporter that Austen’s estate, valued at some £800 at her death, would be worth about £27,000, or approx. $45,000, today.

At Cornell, senior lecturer David Faulkner’s July 6–12 adult-education course, “Half Agony Half Hope: Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and Persuasion,” explores the “radically vulnerable” positions in which Fanny and Anne find themselves, not only bereft of parental care and protection, but also, essentially, homeless and in search of identity in a hostile world.

Of the third item supplied by Dennery and Levin, we will say … well, we’ll let you peruse it yourself.


Found: an 1831 Letter from John Murray to Cassandra Austen—Plus Other End-of-Year Items


Linda Dennery and Meg Levin, our New York Region colleagues, have passed along the following end-of-year tidbits. Of particular interest is the letter from publisher John Murray to Cassandra Austen.


As the centenary of Pride and Prejudice celebration ends, we offers a few items to round out the year:

1. An 1831 letter (long thought lost) to Cassandra Austen from John Murray, Jane Austen’s last publisher, has been found:
Murray’s letter

2. You may have missed New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s piece linking Jane Austen’s novels and professional football (!)
Dowd column

3. The British Library has uploaded over one million illustrations from its collections to the photo site Flickr, free for anyone to copy and reuse without charge. They range from the 17th to the 19th century. Here for example is Mr Wrench, a character in the “burletta” Tom and Jerry, or Life in London performed in London from 1821 to 1823:
Mr. Wrench

Unfortunately the archive has been dumped onto Flickr with not much in the way of captions and no easy way to search the site. As one blogger at the website Londonist has noted, “the search box is about as easy to handle as a wasp-drawn chariot.” This particular writer has selected two books about London and has posted illustrations on his website:
The Londonist

If you find any particularly good Regency illustrations please let us know!

Happy New Year from

JASNA Clippings


The following are among the links we’ve received from Kerri Spennicchia the past few weeks:



• “Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: Six Things You Never Knew” (Anna Moeslein, Glamour.com)

• “Written in Threads”: Austen-inspired dresses at Belsay Hall (Nicole Robo)

• “Seven Jane Austen-Inspired Items You Can Wear without Looking Crazy” (Candace Bryan, Styleite.com)

• “Fear of Jane Austen” (Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker)

• “Jane, Plain No More: A Year of Austen Glamour” (Mary Jo Murphy and Jennifer Schluessler, The New York Times—includes an Austen-related quiz)

Longbourn by Jo Baker, review by Holly Kyte, The Telegraph

• “How BBC Executives Initially Rejected Colin Firth for the Role of Mr. Darcy” (Simon Cable, The Daily Mail)

• “Sansoucie Wins Honor in Jane Austen Essay Contest” (Missourian.com):


Finally, also from Kerri, a YouTube link she purloined from the Jane Austen Centre’s summer newsletter. It’s a recap of Emma Thompson’s 1995 acceptance speech at the Golden Globe awards, for her Sense and Sensibility screenplay.


JASNA Clippings


Kerri Spennicchia, the manager of JASNA’s Clippings Service and assistant regional coordinator for JASNA’s New York Metropolitan Region has been supplying regional coordinators with a steady stream of news items and media tidbits the past few weeks. Here follows a selection of her recent posts:




Jane Austen Fans Crowd-Fund Delhi University Student’s Trip to the U.S. (India Today, Aug. 1)

Prashansa Taneja, a second-year BA English student at Jesus and Mary College, has won first place in a JASNA contest for her essay on Pride and Prejudice. Donors from around the world will help her attend the 2013 AGM Sept 27-29 in Minneapolis: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/jane-austen-fans-crowd-fund-du-students-trip-to-us/1/297475.html
(Webster University professor and JASNA-StL member Sheila Hwang reports that one of her students, Mindy Sansoucie, earned an honorable mention in the same JASNA contest, and that three students from Villa Duchesne also earned honorable mentions in the high-school division. “It’s great to see St. Louis represented!” Hwang wrote. We agree. More about all this later.)

Jane Austen and the Limerick Lawyer

(From the July 18 Irish Examiner)

Robert Hume explains how her ‘Irish friend’ put fame and fortune above a chance to marry a penniless writer: http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/features/jane-austen-and-the-limerick-lawyer-237166.html



And in other [Austen-related] news …




From the World of Publishing …


Jane Austen and the Arts: Elegance, Propriety, and Harmony

Edited by Natasha Duquette and Elisabeth Lenckos. Release date: November. Contributors: Jessica Brown; Diane N. Capitani; Christine Colón; Alice Davenport; Deborah Kennedy; Kathryn L. Libin; Kelly McDonald; Belisa Monteiro; Jeffrey Nigro; J. Russell Perkin; Erin J. Smith; Vivasvan Soni; Melora G. Vandersluis and Frederick A. Duquette: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781611461374


Volume the First: A Facsimile

By Jane Austen, Kathryn Sutherland. A complete manuscript facsimile in Jane’s hand. Release date: Oct. 15: http://www.bodleianbookshop.co.uk/display.asp?K=9781851242818&pge=home&sort=sort%5Fdate%2Fd&st1=austen&y=0&sf1=Keyword&x=0&m=1&dc=2


Walking Jane Austen’s London (from Austenprose.com)

A review of Louise Allen’s Walking Jane Austen’s London: A Tour Guide for Modern Readers: http://austenprose.com/2013/07/31/walking-jane-austens-london-a-tour-guide-for-the-modern-reader-by-louise-allen-a-review