Friday, 30 December 2011

Jane's letters

I will not say that your Mulberry trees are dead, but I am afraid they are not alive. Jane Austen, letter to Cassandra, 31st May 1811

Very much enjoyed the two Jane Austen documentaries screened in the UK over Christmas. Despite my reservations about the title, The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen proved to be rather good. Amanda Vickery is a charming presenter and thankfully did not wear a bonnet.

Jane Austen: The Unseen Portrait? was a riveting programme. The attempts of the art historians and costume experts to authenticate the portrait were fascinating and there was a good ole academic row at the end with Paula Byrne coming out of it rather well. My own feeling is that the portrait may well be genuine.

You are looking at my reading challenge for 2012. The new edition of Jane Austen's Letters edited by Deirdre Le Faye. You are also looking at my new year's resolution - to stop drinking so much coffee!

I would like to thank my fellow bloggers and readers for proving that the internet can be a place for friendship and creativity. Happy New Year!


Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I'm going to check iTunes to see if I can download these programs, they certainly sound like something I would really like. Thanks for putting yet another good show/book on the radar :)

Happy New Year to you and I look forward to another blogging year with you!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the Amanda Vickery documentary too, even if she was flirting outrageously with the film buff man! I didn't catch the other one - hopefully I can still watch it online.

I've long meant to read the Letters...I shall look forward to you posting about them! Happy New Year Nicola and thank you for your always illuminating blog!

A Bookish Space said...

Thanks for the prompts on these documentaries. I was meaning to watch these but somehow forgot. I watched the documentary on Charles Dickens' wife last night which was a bit of an eye-opener. I had some vague idea of how poorly he treated his wife, but not a fuller understanding than that. Happy new year to you and I look forwards to another year of your blog!

Anonymous said...

There is a new edition? I own the old edition but this one is so much prettier!

I wish I could have seen both documentaries, but the TV network here decided to delete all British telivision stations except when you pay much more, so I couldn't :(

Happy 2012!

Kleurrijk said...

I wish you a Happy new Year. I also enjoyed the two films very much. I recorded them, so I can see them more times. What I allready did. Big fun en very interesting.

Greetings from Geri

Aarti said...

I wish we could watch/listen to BBC TV/radio over here, but I don't think we can. I really wanted to hear the Vickery mini-series but couldn't, and it just costs too much as a podcast, I feel, to really justify the purchase. I'm glad you enjoyed the Austen-esque ones, though!

Anonymous said...

Hi Nicola: Thanks again for stopping by my blog (year of actually reading my own books). Those documentaries sound great, will have to keep an eye out for them on this side of the Atlantic. Happy New Year, Kathy aka "Ruby"

Anbolyn (Gudrun's Tights) said...

Those documentaries sound riveting especially as I've decided to re-read the 5 main Austen novels and am very curious about the woman behind the novels. Hopefully, we can see them in the States sometime.
Best Wishes for 2012! Your blog is one of my favorites and I look forward to hearing about your reading this coming year.

litlove said...

'thankfully did not wear a bonnet' - LOL!! I'm annoyed now that I missed both of these documentaries, and must check to see if they are still available on catch-up. The men in my household control the remote, and I don't think I even caught a glimpse of the thing over the holiday period...

A very, very happy New Year to you, too Nicola! Really delighted to have made your acquaintance in 2011.

Cathy at PotterJotter said...

I did see the first and most of the second of these - they were a surprising treat amid the usual Christmas programming weren't they!

Sunday Taylor said...

Happy New Year to you also! And thank you for your excellent book reviews!
I wish I had seen the two Austen television shows but I don't believe they were shown in the U.S. This Austen collection of letters sounds very good. I enjoy reading letters.

Shelley said...

Happy New Year to you also!

And why did Cassandra have to burn those other letters?

Some things are more importantly than sisterly loyalty.

Vintage Reading said...

Natalie, they are well worth watching and the one about the portrait has sparked quite a bit of debate!

booksnob, she does have a flirty style - and gets away with it! Hope you get to watch the other one as I know you've been reading Mansfield Park.

I missed the Dickens programme. I'll try to catch up with it. I haven't read enough Dickens either.

Iris, I have the old edition in paperback. It think this edition just has more notes and stuff - sadly no more letters!

Kleurijkk, glad you saw the programmes. Not enough Austen on TV in my opinion!

Aarti, aw, where are you? I sometimes forget the internet is world-wide!

Kathy, hi, hope you get a chance to watch the Austen progs!

Anbolyn, I wish we knew more about Austen - if only Cassandra hadn't burnt all those letters! You know your blog is a favourite of mine, too.

litlove, reclaim your remote! I have the same problem, teenage girls and husband dominate the TV but I insisted on watching the Austen progs!

Cathy, yes I've watched them twice now. A nice change from the usual festive bilge on TV!

Sunday, yes I enjoyed the Mitford sisters' letters, too and of course the Charing Cross Road letters!

Shelley, yes I wish we knew more about Cassandra, too. If only she had written a memoir of her sister or even left a few letters of her own.