Sanditon (A Fragment of a Novel) by Jane Austen

As a huge fan of Sanditon Season 1, which originally aired on British ITV and eventually making it to PBS Masterpiece in 2019, I was thrilled to see that the cliffhanger of Season 1 would be rectified by Seasons 2 and 3.

Most viewers know, that Theo James who played Sidney Parker (also termed as the “last Austen hero”) decided not to return to the role. Whatever the conversations were behind the scenes, it was decided not to recast. As many fans bemoaned this occurrence, the producers and writers gave fans two more seasons with two more love interests for Charlotte, the heroine. How will they continue Jane Austen’s “fragment of a novel” is yet to be seen, but I have high hopes.

In anticipation of the Season 2 to be aired on March 20, 2022, I purchased Sanditon as written by Jane Austen to compare the original. Jane only finished twelve chapters in this small ninety-nine page paperback I ordered. Upon reading her last words, I was sadden by the reality of her death and how cheated her fans have been never to have known any future novels she might have written.

I also ordered Lucy Worley’s book, Jane Austen at Home. It’s a fabulous read if you want to know more about Jane’s life, her family, inspiration for her books, and where she lived. It also includes many insights into her many short-lived opportunities for matrimony with various men that did not lead to proposals, except for one which she woke up the next morning and broke. Tom Lefroy wasn’t her only love, as Hollywood would have you believe. She even encountered a man while visiting an English coastal town, much like Sanditon, who she formed affections for and he her. Unfortunately, it turned into nothing as they parted ways, and she later read he had married another. I wonder, however, had she married and born children, would she have had the time to write all the classics we now hold dear?

What did I think of Sanditon by Jane Austen? Much of it is what I term “chatty” conversation between characters, as they are introduced into the story line. It’s basically foundational with little idea of the plot, which was picked up by Andrew Davies the screenwriter who continued the unfinished novel, making it into a miniseries. As most know, it ended on a dastardly cliffhanger with Charlotte Heyword and her almost intended Sidney Parker never marrying as he sacrificed his happiness to save his brother from his incompetence. When ITV decided not to renew, the fans raised hell and launched a successful campaign to save the show. BritBoxUK and Masterpiece PBS picked it up. They have finished filming Season 2 and are currently filming Season 3. Just yesterday, they released the first promo pictures, one of which is above, that excited fans worldwide into a frenzy.

To read more, follow the link to Masterpiece and feast your eyes on what is to come. Frankly, I believe Jane Austen is leaping for joy in heaven, and not rolling over in her grave as some naysayers have insinuated. It’s a joyful, respectful, and professional tribute to her enduring stories and the book she was unable to completed.

SandiCon2022 – Another Convention

If you read or watched Sanditon, or even enjoyed a sampling of the beginning of Jane Austen’s story she never finished, another convention is coming your way.

  • Week One – is the SandiCon2022 Conference
  • Week Two – is the SandiCon2022 Tour from London to Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton early on Saturday, March 19th, 2022 and spend the week touring Bristol and many of the series’ filming locations like Brean Beach, Bowood House, Dyrham Park, Jane Austen Center, Iford Manor, Frampton Court + Orangerie, and the City of Bristol.

Come Celebrate The Passionate Fandom That Saved The Series

Source: SandiCon2022

Christies -Up for Auction (Press This!)

 

If you have $30,000 to $50,000 laying around, time to run over to the auction website and bid on the first edition of Jane Austen’s Emma.  What a treasure!

First edition of Jane Austen’s first published novel, which grew from a sketch entitled Elinor and Marianne written in 1795 in epistolary form. It was substantially revised in 1797-1798 at Steventon and again in 1809-1810, the first year of Jane Austen’s residence at Chawton.

Source:  Christie’s

You can also pick up Northanger Abbey: and Persuasion, Jane Austen first editions, for an estimated USD 50,000 – USD 70,000

Jane Austen Died On July 18, 1817. Here are 70 Facts About the Iconic British Author (Press This! CBC Books)

The British novelist died at the age of 41 on July 18, 1817.  Celebrated for her sharp wit, descriptions of domestic life and subtle criticism of England’s economic and class structure, Austen’s works continue to be dissected and analyzed in classrooms and beyond.

Source: 70 facts you might not know about iconic British novelist Jane Austen | CBC Books

Eat Like Jane Austen With Recipes From Her Sister-In-Law’s Cookbook (Press This! Gastro Obscura)

Here is your opportunity to cook Jane Austen style. Authors, it’s probably a wealth of information about household life and cooking for the era.

A kind-hearted spinster, passed over in her youth by a potential suitor, spends her life faithfully tending the hearth and home of her dear family and friends. She is content to toil as a housekeeper, unrecognized but for the praise of beloved companions. All the while, she keeps a detailed household book of handwritten recipes, from carraway cake to currant wine, that her family loves.

Source: Eat Like Jane Austen With Recipes From Her Sister-In-Law’s Cookbook – Gastro Obscura

A bit spendy but available on Amazon in hardcover for $44.90.  Peek through the kitchen window to experience day-to-day life at Chawton Cottage, the home where Jane Austen wrote and published her famous novels.

Martha Lloyd first befriended a young Jane Austen in 1789 and later lived with Jane, her sister Cassandra, and their mother at the cottage in Chawton, Hampshire, where Jane wrote and revised her novels. Eventually, Martha married Jane’s brother Francis Austen, making her an authority on day-to-day life in the Austen family.

Martha Lloyd’s Household Book is a remarkable artifact, a manuscript cookbook featuring recipes and remedies handwritten over thirty years. Austen fans will spot the many connections between Martha’s book and Jane Austen’s writing, including dishes such as white soup from Pride and Prejudice. Readers will also learn the author’s favorite foods, such as toasted cheese and mead. The family, culinary, and literary connections detailed in the introductory chapters of this work give a fascinating perspective on the time and manner in which both women lived.

Passed down through the Austen family, the Household Book offers unprecedented access into the family home. In this first facsimile publication, Martha’s notebook is reproduced in color, accompanied by a complete transcription and detailed annotations.

A Room-by-Room Tour of Jane Austen’s Final Home (Press This! Cyprus Mail)

Lovers of ‘Pride and Prejudice’… rejoice! In this video, we step into the author’s world, taking a virtual trip to the Jane Austen House and Museum, located in Chawton, Hampshire. The cultural landmark offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into the latter part of Austen’s life, which is when she called…

Source: A room-by-room tour of Jane Austen’s final home | Cyprus Mail

Fifty Shades of Chaste! Dakota Johnson Jane Austen’s Persuasion (Press This! Daily Mail Online)

Fifty shades of chaste! Sorry, after chuckling, I had to share.

It’s a long way from the sex scenes that made her name in Fifty Shades Of Grey. Dakota Johnson has traded bondage gear for a period outfit in Bath for the new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

Source: Fifty shades of chaste! Dakota Johnson films an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion | Daily Mail Online

Why Did I Wait So Long to Read Jane Austen? (Press This! Literary Hub)

I came to Jane Austen late. As a lifelong reader, I do not have a simple explanation for this omission, but when my family decided to read Pride and Prejudice as a family reading project soon after the pandemic forced us into isolation, I jumped at the chance to fill in the gap in my literacy.

Source: Why Did I Wait So Long to Read Jane Austen? ‹ Literary Hub

7 People Who Hated Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” (Press This! Salon.com)

The story of how Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s disdain for the wealthy, prideful Fitzwilliam Darcy turned to love has never been out of print, and has sold more than 20 million copies since its first appearance more than 200 years ago. Austen’s family, however, probably didn’t see much of that success: She sold the novel’s copyright to her publisher for £110 (just over $10,000 in today’s dollars) and died just a few years later, in 1817. Though the novel was reviewed positively and was well-received by the upper classes at the time, it was no widespread sensation. It wasn’t until the 20th century that the book and its author were rediscovered and lifted to the rarefied place in the English literature pantheon they hold today.

Source: 7 people who hated Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” | Salon.com

Sanditon Renewed for Seasons 2 and 3 (Press This! PBS)

For those who may have been left brokenhearted after the end of the continuation of Jane Austen’s story, Sanditon, as done by ITV/Masterpiece, after much hell raised by the Sanditon Sisterhood on how the series ended, BritBox/PBS is continuing the series with two more seasons. Eventually, it will be in book form like season one. Stay tuned for 2022’s continuation.

The acclaimed seaside drama based starring Rose Williams as Charlotte will officially return to MASTERPIECE on PBS for two new seasons! #SanditonPBS

Source: Sanditon Renewed for Seasons 2 and 3 | Masterpiece | Official Site | PBS

Dakota Johnson to Star in Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ Movie at Netflix – Variety

My goodness! One of my favorite Austen stories. Who is playing Captain Wentworth? I hope Netflix does the new adaptation justice. For me, I think it will be hard for me to look at Dakota in such a tame role after Fifty Shades.  I wonder what, “modern, witty approach to a beloved story means.” Thoughts? Comments?

It’s strange Netflix is doing the series when Searchlight is doing one as well with Sarah Snook in the role.

Dakota Johnson is set to star in Netflix’s retelling of Jane Austen’s novel “Persuasion.”

Source: Dakota Johnson to Star in Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’ Movie at Netflix – Variety

Jane Austen Takes Pride of Place for Book Sales in Lockdown (Press This! Daily Mail Online)

Sales of the Penguin edition of Miss Austen’s Pride and Prejudice shot up by 22 per cent last year, according to analysts Nielsen BookScan

Source: Jane Austen takes Pride of place for book sales in lockdown as sales of her famous novel soar  | Daily Mail Online

The Dashwood Sisters in Sense & Sensibility

The Dashwood Sisters.  Could there be anything more entertaining than these two women?  They are as different as night and day and both on a pursuit for husbands. Elinor bears everything with quiet decorum and sense. Marianne is outspoken and seeks the thrills of romantic fellowship with no sense at all.

Sense and Sensibility is one of my favorite Austen works. It was her first novel written in 1795 at the age of 19 and was accepted by a publisher and put into print in 1811 (at her own expense, I might add for all you indies out there).  Though I’m not an Austen expert by any means, I’m thankful for the many resources available online about her life and works from people who are.  I have had the good fortune of seeing part of her manuscript for Persuasion at the London Library penned in her own hand with the name of Captain Wentworth on the page.

I’m not quite sure what it is about this story. Perhaps it’s the yearning for love and silent pining inside the hearts of women that draws me so strongly to their characters.  As females, we probably all have a bit of Elinor and Marianne in each of us.

Elinor, who loves the steady, kindhearted, humble man in the form of Edward Ferrars, is the sensible sister of the two.  She bears her love and disappointment with quiet restraint while dealing with her sister’s outward and passionate emotions regarding Willoughby.

Though I’ve never had a sister, the fact that they are so different as night and day is entertaining to me.  Austen does a wonderful job with each of them telling the other about their own exasperation over the other’s personality. Hear how Marianne scolds her sister.

“I do not attempt to deny,” said she, “that I think very highly of him—that I greatly esteem, that I like him.”  Marianne here burst forth with indignation.  “Esteem him! Like him! Cold-hearted Elinor! Oh! worse than cold-hearted! Ashamed of being otherwise. Use those words again, and I will leave the room this moment.”

Then there is Marianne — brokenhearted Marianne whose life nearly ends because she cannot have the man she loves.  Marianne, of course, is undoubtedly the romantic at heart in this story compared to her sister Elinor who keeps everything hidden for the sake of propriety.  Marianne lost all good sense when it came to her infatuation with Willoughby.  Gregarious, passionate, and handsome Willoughby fits perfectly into her idealist qualifications of what a gentleman should be. “Mama, the more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much! He must have all Edward’s virtues, and his person and manners must ornament his goodness with every possible charm.”

Though Marianne is happy for her sister’s budding relationship with Edward, she clearly expresses her thoughts of the deficits of his personality in her eyes. “Oh! mama, how spiritless, how tame was Edward’s manner in reading to us last night! I felt for my sister most severely. Yet she bore it with so much composure, she seemed scarcely to notice it. I could hardly keep my seat. To hear those beautiful lines which have frequently almost driven me wild, pronounced with such impenetrable calmness, such dreadful indifference!” 

For me, Marianne represents all of the girlish and hopeful feelings we possess at 16 years of age regarding love.  Our hearts are filled with romantic notions of being swept off our feet by the most amiable of men, who can recite to us poetry with heartfelt enunciation that brings tears to our eyes. They rescue us when in distress, are attentive, offer flowers, cut locks of our hair to keep with them, and promise to adore us for all eternity.

Elinor, on the other hand, is the more mature young woman who sees the wonder of what love can be but also recognizes the cruel hurt and devastation it can bring to a female’s heart.  She not only sees the terrible effects of a broken heart nearly bringing her dearest sister to death’s door, but she also bears the heartache of love lost to another.

As far as modern adaptations on screen, we have been blessed with two beautiful renditions of Sense and Sensibility in film and television.  The 1995 movie version with Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson is a wonderful condensed version. My favorite, however, probably because it is much longer is the 2008 BBC version starring Hattie Morahan and Charity Wakefield.  The choice of characters for Edward and Colonel Brandon excited me a bit more, as well as the cinematography.

Do you relate to Elinor or Marianne?  Are you the sensible sister or the whimsical sister?  In historical romance, I love to examine characters, and Jane Austen gives us wonderful ones to enjoy.

1995 Movie 2008 BBC TV
Emma Thompson
Hattie Morahan
Kate Winslet
Charity Wakefield

1995 Movie 2008 BBC TV
Hugh Grant
Dan Stevens
Greg Wise
Dominic Connor
Alan Rickman
David Morrissey

After Achieving Her PhD at 88, Ruth Wants a Jane Austen-led Reading Revolution (Press This! The Syndey Morning Hearld)

You are never too old to enjoy Jane Austen. This is a heartwarming article that at any age, Jane’s novels can be relevant and enjoyable.  Have you read one lately?

Mrs Wilson wants teachers to encourage their students to interpret authors such as Austen through the prism of their own experience, rather than focusing solely on the features of the text, or its cultural and political context.

Source: After achieving her PhD at 88, Ruth wants a Jane Austen-led reading revolution

Complete Collection of Jane Austen Free on Kindle (Press This! Book Riot)

The Jane Austen Collection by Jane Austen – Are you ready for as many delightfully witty romances as you could possibly handle? The collected works of Jane Austen are available as a free Kindle ebook! This virtual omnibus includes Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Northanger Abbey, and some of the author’s early works as well. If you’ve never read a Jane Austen novel before, now’s your chance to dive right at no cost to you.

Source: 15 Of The Best Free Kindle Books: 2021 Reads | Book Riot

Best Jane Austen books, ranked: From ‘Sense and Sensibility’ to ‘Emma’ (Press This! The Independent)

The acidic humour and social observation in Austen’s work is often glossed over in favour of the romance, but the two are absolutely key to her books’ ongoing popularity. Her heroines are not meek and mild (viz Daphne “milksop” Bridgerton) but flawed and fired up by their knowledge that as women, they need to marry well to secure a future for themselves and, in some cases, their wider family.

Source: Best Jane Austen books, ranked: From ‘Sense and Sensibility’ to ‘Emma’ | The Independent

Joel Fry Joins Sarah Snook in Jane Austen Adaptation ‘Persuasion’ (Exclusive) (Press This!) Hollywood Reporter

British actor Joel Fry, who appeared in Danny Boyle’s Yesterday, has joined Succession’s Sarah Snook to star in Persuasion, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s final novel that Mahalia Belo is directing for Searchlight.

Source: Joel Fry Joins Sarah Snook in Jane Austen Adaptation ‘Persuasion’ (Exclusive) | Hollywood Reporter

Another version of Jane Austen’s Persuasion is coming our way. I loved the TV Movie from 2007 with yummy Rupert Penry-Jones as Captain Wentworth, but wasn’t as thrilled with their choice of Sally Hawkins as Anne. The question now is will Joel Fry be able to gain the hearts of the ladies as the Captain, while Sarah Snook may be a better choice for Anne?

2007 Persuasion

Of course, I never thought that Johnny Flynn in the 2020 version of Emma could hold a candle to Jeremy Northam in the 1996 version, but was pleasantly surprised at how touched I was with his performance. Perhaps the cravat will help to make Joel Fry appealing in the role.

Good news for Jane Austen lovers as another historical romance from the best comes to the big screen. We can only hope it does the story justice.

Jane Austen’s Influence on Georgette Heyer by Susannah Fullerton | Jane Austen’s World

Reposting – worth the read if you love Georgette Heyer.

Inquiring Readers, I discovered that Susanna Fullerton, President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia and Austen author, is as much of a fan of Georgette Heyer as I am, perhaps more. This delightful article compares and contrasts the writings of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer.

 

Source: Jane Austen’s Influence on Georgette Heyer by Susannah Fullerton | Jane Austen’s World