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5th October, 2013

'Needle case presented by Jane Austen to her niece Louisa Knight-Lord George Hill's second wife who is buried in Donegal. Mentioned by Sophia Hillan in her introductory remarks last night in Farmleigh.

The first JASI event was a splendid night-you were excellent,as were Sophia Hillan and Celia. We really enjoyed the music,song and reading of Jane's letter to Fanny.Of course,the venue was superb!' 
Eileen Cork.




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29th September, 2013

 Darcy Dies ~ An Unusual Tribute to Austen in the 200th Year Anniversary of 'Pride and Prejudice'


True love: Renee Zellweger pictured as Bridget Jones, with Colin Firth as Mark Darcy, in a scene from the 2004 film Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, based on the novel by Helen Fielding
There are some things an author writing an Austen sequel must NOT do ... and this is one of them. It is bad enough that Austen was not mentioned in the credits of either Bridget Jones movie, which shamelessly borrowed plot lines from two of Austen's novels... but to go and execute her most beloved male character is indeed a step too far. While Helen Fielding is clearly entitled to imagine what she likes for her characters, it is a different matter once you begin a series by adapting a book by Jane Austen.

 The success of the Bridge Jones books was, in part, owing to people's love of 'Pride and Prejudice', and especially as television viewers at the time of the first novel's publication, were newly besotted with a sodden Colin Firth. I believe that Fielding will be surprised by the negative response she gets to her latest offering... which tears asunder the Austen myth on which her success is based, with the scurrilous madness of an axe-wielding gardener gone berserk.  

If Fielding was ever unsure of how much the success of her novels was owing to Austen's great plot lines, I think she is about to find out. One wonders if her first attempt at writing an original novel might not have been better attempted with a different group of characters, rather than destroying something that she alone cannot take the credit for.  Darcy belongs to Austen, and in turn to all Austen fans who keep the memory of her books alive - and by killing Darcy off, Fielding has shown as little respect as ever for the 'mother-text' on which her success is based.  A fine tribute in the 200th Year Anniversary of 'Pride and Prejudice'.

One might wonder what that says about our society today, that perhaps the most idealised man in literature, and certainly the most cherished by females across the globe, must be killed-off to make the female protagonist have a more interesting life.  Happiness does not sell books; happiness isn't a page turner. Death, in the novelist's eyes, is preferable to an everyday life.  That may be all well and good when starting out with a novel of your own, but when you blatantly steal the characters from someone else's work, the least you can do is treat them with respect and try not to torture them and their fans. In such matters as these, one might consider, what would Austen have done, and in this case, I think we already have the answer.


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24th September 2013


Happy News Indeed!  Jane Austen's Turquoise Ring is to return home to The Chawton House Museum, after fans rallied round and raised the amount needed to purchase it from singer Kelly Clarkson.  Thank you to all our members who donated to the cause, I know there were certainly a few of you.

Thanks is due too to Ms Clarkson, whose generosity in agreeing to sell the ring, proves that she is a true Austen fan.  The singer has certainly earned herself more than one fan of her own today.
See related posts: http://www.thejaneaustensocietyofireland.com/2013/07/one-ring-to-rule-them-all-continuing.html
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