1 Apr 2011, by

Riveting Rhymes

We are pleased to announce that we have a new page on Janeite Journal! ‘Pemberley’s Poems’ is a collection of our favourite poems, dedicated to, or even written by the honourable Miss Jane Austen. We have also added a few of our own poems, in which we hope you will enjoy. These will mostly be the work of Miss Smith, as she is more experienced in the subject of writing and language; however, we shall all try our very best to take part in this joyous activity. Here is a small verse written by Miss Smith to start off our newly founded page…

Our fathers would banish our books to the fire
If they knew how these six filled our heads
Female authority?
New ideology?
So we hide them all under our beds.

Thankyou verily Miss Smith :) To read more riveting rhymes, please visit ‘Pemberley’s Poems’ under ‘Literary Frivolity’…

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Comic Relief is over as of Friday night but I have just recovered from staying up until one in the morning, so I’ll post about it now.  We loved Jennifer Saunders’  Downstairs Uptown Abbey and most importantly- Vivienne Westwood’s t-shirts.  I myself purchased a Queenie Blackadder shirt which I have had great pride in wearing but Ms Westwood…

Missed opportunity!  Jane would have looked MINT on a t-shirt.  She even acknowledges comic relief in Persuasion.  Sir Walter Elliot says that last time he saw Mary, she had red nose.

This was because he saw her on March 18th!

Hope everyone loved Red Nose Day and donated money.

If you haven’t already- please visit www.rednoseday.com

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13 Mar 2011, by

Jane’s Places


After a very long time searching for the camera cable, I have finally uploaded the first editions to our Jane’s Places section. I apologise for my tardiness Miss Austen, it shall not happen again.

Jane’s Places is the section of our website where we upload photos of Austen related street names, shops, road signs e.t.c. There is quite a number of said places around our town, and it is our duty as Janeites to seek them out and capture them on film. Not only does it make small outings and country walks much more enjoyable, but it also aids us in worshipping Jane wherever we go. This activity; however, can be highly dangerous, as it may cause unexpected swoons in public areas. It is recommended that you travel with a fellow Janeite, and have a small supply of smelling salts stashed in your vintage handbag, just in case. Although it would be a wonderful occurrence, it is highly unlikely that Mr Darcy or Captain Wentworth will sweep you up into his arms and ride into the sunset. If this did happen, your Janeite friend would not be a true Janeite unless she ran off with your handsome Austen hero and left you lying on the pavement; your bonnet twisted and your shawl entangled around your legs.

My first of Jane’s places left me grinning like a fool and immediately contacting Miss Smith to share my news of THE DARCY SHOP. Yes, such a place does exist. As well as having a glorious name, the shop itself it filled with beautiful wedding dresses and sparkling shoes. What more could a girl ask for? Well, the real Mr Darcy would be nice, but this will suffice. A glow emitted from this beautiful place of sanctuary and manliness(that is no word of a lie, honest!:P). This is a perfect addition to Janeite Journal and a lovely start to the Jane’s Places page.

To see more Austen related places please visit the Jane’s Places page.

Miss Warehamx

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8 Mar 2011, by

Parasol Power

Happy International Women’s Day!

Have you been marching on bridges to show your sisterly solidarity?  I certainly hope so.

One of the ‘forerunners of feminism’ was the Divine Jane herself, and deserves a mention on this day.

Writing in a time where the only career open to women was marriage and motherhood, Jane had a narrow scope as far as feminism went, but despite decades of feminists criticising and condemning her books as old fashioned and very retrogressive for women’s rights, Jane Austen must have been one of the earliest feminists known to womankind.
Not only did she express views at the time that were ‘far to clever to have been written by a woman’, she wrote them under the pseudonym of ‘A.Lady’ and STILL manages to sell edition upon edition, unlike the Bronte ‘brothers’, who resorted to male pen names in order to get their books to sell.
It is understandable that Jane never published work under her own name, as this was a time when other female writers said they would ‘rather exhibit as a rope dancer’ than have everyone know they had literary integrity and an imagination, but despite this setback she started a revolution.

Jane herself had a career, and was proud of it.  Elinor Dashwood confesses her envy of a man’s being able to earn a living in Sense and Sensibility.  It isn’t groundbreaking or feminist by today’s standards but I’m sure at the time people would not have liked a young woman to say that.  A woman knew her place.
Jane’s Girls must have caused controversy.  A part from the foolish Catherine Morland, who at least shows some ability to judge charachter, the heroines of The Great Six are strong, intelligent and in many cases very modern.  Elizabeth Bennet and Emma both declare they should never like to marry though they have different reasons for this opinion.  Fanny Price is principled and wise despite her young age and her belonging to ‘the weaker sex’ and even refuses and offer of marriage from Henry Crawford on these principles.  Elizabeth likewise turns down not one but two proposals as she does not need a husband or a man’s wealth to make her happy.  She is convinced that ‘nothing but the very deepest of love could induce her to marry’.

Jane herself was a modern woman.  Not only did she have a career, she lived in a male-free household during the most productive years of her life, suggesting that running around after brothers, neices and nephews had stilted her talents in past years.  She also dealt with her publisher alone on several occasions, not relying on her brother Henry’s help.  Jane knew that woman could take matters into their own hands- be they prettily be-gloved in lace or not.

So Girl-Power is the message from Jane- a message that resonated down the decades and inspired the young women who read her generation after generation to take matters into their own hands, so competently that now it is 100 years since International Women’s Day was founded.
It influenced doctors, politicians, soldiers, pilots, artists, musicians and writers.

‘Women can do anything’ was her message, although it was restricted and held back by the tight constraints of society.

It’s not Jane Austen, but I recently read feminist, progressive novel South Riding by Winifred Holtby and loved every word of it. I think Holtby heard Austen, just as I did and I hope Jane would have approved of the message it gave to the girls leaving school in the novel:

Go therefore and do that which is within you to do.  Take no heed of gestures that beckon you aside.  Ask of no man permission to perform.”

Happy International Women’s Day everyone! 

And pray remember Miss Austen when you’re next singing along to the Spice Girls.

Miss Smith, xxx

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