Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone!

We at the Jane Austen Society of Ireland would like to wish all our members, and Austen fans everywhere, a very merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

This was the year that we celebrated the bicentenary anniversary of the publication of 'Pride and Prejudice', so if you haven't yet read Austen's hugely popular novel, you still have a week or so to finish it before the end of this anniversary year.

This was also the year that we established the Jane Austen Society of Ireland, held our premiere event in the beautiful Farmleigh and published our first society journal, The Austen Gazette. We'd like to thank you all for the support and encouragement in all of these endeavours and look forward to more events and publications in 2014.  

But the Austen treats are not over yet.  Remember to tune in to BBC One to catch 'Death Comes to Pemberley', a sequel to Austen's novel, which was written by P.D. James and directed for television by Daniel Percival.  The story will be told over three nights this holiday season and promises to have us all enthralled.  

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Death Comes to Pemberley starts on BBC One on 26 December at 2015 GMT and continues on the 27 and 28 December 2013

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Happy Birthday Jane!

December 16th is the day, more than any other, that we think and remember Jane Austen, for that was the day that she was born.

On the following day, December 17th 1775, Rev. George Austen wrote to Mrs.Walter (wife of his half-brother William Hampson Walter.)

"You have doubtless been for some time in expectation of hearing from Hampshire,and perhaps wondered a little we were in our old age (he was 44 and his wife Cassandra was 36!!) grown such bad reckoners but so it was, for Cassy certainly expected to have been brought to bed a month ago: however last night the time came,and without a great deal of warning,everything was soon happily over.We now have another girl,a present plaything for her sister Cassy and a future companion.She is to be Jenny,and seems to me as if she would be as like Henry as Cassy is to Neddy. Your sister thank God is pure well after it..."

Jane (not Jenny) was privately baptised the day after her birth but,as the winter of 1775-6 was one of the bitterest for many years, she was not taken to Steventon Church for a public christening until April 5th 1776.

By Eileen Collins Cork.