Austen gets her due — and Darwin gets done in

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Yes, it’s true. The fortunes of The Pride and Prejudice author will finally turn, so to speak. Jane is to become the next face of the 5 Pound note, probably in 2017. She’ll be replacing Charles Darwin. Romance takes down Science!

As many of you avid readers (and all of you avid writers) know, Jane Austen’s fame did not translate into incredible wealth. That this cheeky miss will now finally have her portrait on all her fellow countrymen’s (and women’s) cash seems a just recompense.

The Bank of England feels Jane fills a void — left by the removal of the only other woman, besides the Queen, on a note. However, with 5 different denominational notes circulating, this means women will continue to occupy only 20% of all notes. Definitely they need one more woman. And how about an historically important member of the non-white immigrant (Ignacio Sancho, Nathaniel Wells) or the GLBT community for a note (Alan Turing, Oscar Wilde)?

While England has much to be proud of, there still seems to be a wee bit of prejudice floating about.

Becoming Darcy

Marcel Theroux in Bath

Becoming Darcy

Bath’s reputation as England’s most romantic city is down to its most celebrated resident – Jane Austen, whose novel Pride & Prejudice turns 200 today.

Guardian journalist Marcel Theroux (above) grabs his garters and take us on a delightful stroll up one of England’s many literary heritage trail.

Donning Mr Darcy’s garb and manners, he attends a Regency ball at the Bath Pump Room. But not before a rigorous workout with a dancing master!

And remember gentlemen, it’s all about those calf muscles!

You can watch his lovely 7 minutes video by clicking above.

Published in: on January 28, 2013 at 12:29 AM  Leave a Comment  
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In A Fortnight, Pride and Prejudice Turns 200

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Fair warning to all Jane Austen fans! Monday, the 28th of January marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice. Be sure to reread your P&P before that date lest you be caught unawares at the dinner table and are made to look foolish in front of a suitable suitor!

The story follows the main character Elizabeth Bennet, and her four sisters, as they try to survive and thrive in the society of the landed gentry of early 19th-century England. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a bookish country gentleman and his rather silly wife. They live near the fictional town of Meryton in Hertfordshire, near London.

The book is mainly comedic — the difficulty of getting 5 unmarried daughters wed — but does contain quite a bit of drama as well. There are rakes and rascals, beauties and balls, misunderstandings galore, and of course, great estates. Think Downton Abbey — but with less servants and more likable daughters and way happier endings.

P&P is available for free in many formats these days, including TV miniseries, movies, and games. But we prefer the traditional “book in your hand format” that Jane Austen wrote. You however, can choose your own format (including audio) at ManyBooks and download it for free.

Not sure what character you’re most like in P&P? Check out the P&P Character quiz.

For the mystery lover in you, or someone you know

A new hardback book  (also in audio and paperback) just out by PD James (yes, the famous mystery novelist) combines James’ love of murder, with her love of Jane Austen.  Yes, picking up 6 years after the Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice . . .  Death Comes to Pemberley

It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.
 
Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.
 
Inspired by a lifelong passion for Austen, P. D. James masterfully re-creates the world of Pride and Prejudice, electrifying it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story, as only she can write it.

.NPR has some additional excerpts and an interview with PD James, all well worth checking out.

Austen and Dickens among the hot picks for World Book Night UK — but wait, World Book Night USA is coming soon!

 

If you live outside of the UK, you probably have no idea what WBN is. If that’s you, head on over to the The Bookseller to read Charlotte Williams Oct 11th post on World Book Night.  Or check out WBN’ s website.

Copyright All rights reserved by Macs Butterz “Reading by Moonlight”

What we’re really pleased to say is as of 2012 there will be a  World Book Night USA!!! The celebration of World Book Night US will also be on April 23, 2012. On April 23, 50,000 book givers will hand out 20 copies of one of the 25 World Book Night picks in communities across the U.S. Over the course of the night, a total of a million paperbacks will be given away.

They’ve hired a publishing veteran, Carl Lennertz, as their executive director, and as of this week they have a full board of directors.  You can read more about that on the ABA site.

Unlike in the UK, and probably because this is new, they aren’t opening the nomination of books to the public. Instead,

A bookseller and librarian panel is taking part in several rounds of voting to choose the titles from a list of books derived from 10 years’ worth of Book Sense/Indie Next Reading Group Picks, Barnes & Noble Discover Picks, ALA Best Book Picks, and Pulitzer and National Book Award winners, which have been cross-referenced with several years of ReadingGroupGuides.com’s most requested guides, as well as the Mystery Writers of America all-time top 100, the Goodreads top 100 adult and top 100 YA, and Above the Treeline’s top paperback bestsellers.

The goal is to announce the final list of 25 books for the US WBN (a blend of fiction and nonfiction as well as books for teens and young readers) by December 1. We are hoping something by Thoreau or Muir makes the list given we celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Day around the WBN USA April 23, 2012 date.

WBN USA will also be launching a website soon (That’s a relative term!), which will supposedly have the same book giver registration process as the UK, commencing in December. So, please support reading and printed word, but considering becoming a book giver. When we get the site information, we will pass it along to you.

World Book Night is supported by publishers, Barnes & Noble, the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers, and Ingram Book Distributors.

 

The full list of 25 titles for UK WBN:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Vintage)
The Player of Games by Iain M Banks (Little, Brown)
Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown)
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson (Transworld)
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (HarperCollins)
The Take by Martina Cole (Headline)
Harlequin by Bernard Cornwell (HarperCollins)
Someone Like You by Roald Dahl (Penguin)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (Penguin)
Room by Emma Donoghue (Pan Macmillan)
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (Little, Brown)
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (Faber)
Misery by Stephen King (Hodder)
The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella (Transworld)
Small Island by Andrea Levy (Headline)
Let the Right One In by John Ajvde Lindqvist (Quercus)
The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Pan Macmillan)
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Vintage)
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell (Headline)
The Damned Utd by David Peace (Faber)
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman (Transworld)
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff (Penguin)
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson (Vintage)
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (Vintage)
The Book Thief by Markus Zuzak (Transworld)