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Exciting News - The Rice Portrait is to be exhibited!

EXCITING NEWS! The speaker at the Cambridge branch of the Jane Austen Society birthday lunch on December 10th this year is Ellie Bennettwho will be talking about her latest research on the Rice Portrait. THE RICE PORTRAIT WILL BE EXHIBITED AT QUEENS' COLLEGE CAMBRIDGE. The painting has not been seen in public for many years but the current owner, Anne Rice, is bringing this stunning portrait to Cambridge for the society to see. There may be some tickets for the lunch available at £41 per head for a sparkling wine reception, and a 3 course sumptuous lunch in rooms that would have been known to some of Jane's family and friends. If you cannot make lunch there is still an opportunity to view the painting! Please message Hazel Mills for more details - hazel j mills at gmail dot com.

November news - Books, Writing, and the latest news on the Rice Portrait!

New Books in the pipeline news

I've been a little quiet on my blog recently, but that's because I've been busy writing and working on another two books, which I hope will be coming out over the course of the next couple of years. It's a little early to give too much away, but the first, another time travel novel, is inspired by Jane Austen's wonderful book Northanger Abbey, and like Searching for Captain Wentworth is set partly in Bath with heroines and their heroes living in both the past and present. I've enjoyed spending time researching this book so much - one of the joys of writing for me is the time spent in another time period reading up on history, and also visiting places for inspiration. It's never a hardship to visit places like Bath where Jane Austen visited and spent some time living in the city or Kent where she spent time visiting her relatives.  I love the fact there are always fresh opportunities to learn new things, and it's so easy in…

Catherine Curzon, Life in the Georgian Court - Guest Blog

I'm thrilled to welcome Catherine Curzon to my blog with news of her new book, Life in the Georgian Court. The book is available in the United States now, as well as in the UK and elsewhere. It's a sumptuous book, and I highly recommend it! I asked Catherine to give us a little taste of what we might find in the pages of her new book.
Death of a Devoted Consort
Whilst researching Life in the Georgian Court, it swiftly became apparent that there can can be few royal consorts as devoted as Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of George III. From the heady early days of their union in 1761 Charlotte was a loving and faithful spouse and her husband turned his back on the long-established royal tradition of taking mistresses, happy in the company of his quiet, graceful queen. Throughout the years of their marriage, with all the well-documented health problems bothphysical and mental that George suffered, Charlotte remained his loving and most protective companion.

As the old queen…

A stroll along the Gravel Walk and the Circus in Bath

We've been enjoying some fantastic weather in Bath lately, though I would not be telling the truth if I didn't mention the occasional shower, and some downpours too! Even Captain Wentworth remarks on the frequency of rain in Persuasion: I love the scene when they meet unexpectedly in Molland's and endure a very flustered conversation, both of them not quite reading the other's thoughts or feelings.
After a moment's pause, he said: "Though I came only yesterday, I have equipped myself properly for Bath already, you see" (pointing to a new umbrella); "I wish you would make use of it, if you are determined to walk; though I think it would be more prudent to let me get you a chair."
But, we will not dwell on the rain, but on Bath's beautiful environs and the sunshine over the Bank holiday weekend. It's an easy place to find a wealth of pictures in the classical architecture, and yesterday my husband and I strolled along the Gravel Walk where A…

Jane Austen, Pockets and Ridicules

Because Regency dresses were on the whole elongated and close fitting, the reticule, ridicule or pocket came into its own.

From the Times 1799: Every fashionable fair carries her purse in her work-bag... the new custom of carrying a bag with her handkerchief, smelling-bottle, purse etc..
Jane Austen used pockets and ridicules for secret correspondences, often used to give the observer a shock or embroil the perpetrator in a veil of mystery. Here are some examples from Emma, Northanger Abbey and Sense and Sensibility.

Emma: She soon believed herself to penetrate Mrs. Elton's thoughts, and understand why she was, like herself, in happy spirits; it was being in Miss Fairfax's confidence, and fancying herself acquainted with what was still a secret to other people. Emma saw symptoms of it immediately in the expression of her face; and while paying her own compliments to Mrs. Bates, and appearing to attend to the good old lady's replies, she saw her with a sort of anxious parad…

Picture of the day - inspired by Mansfield Park!

Winner of The Particular Charm of Miss Austen Giveaway!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the giveaway competition. Mr Darcy ably assisted me this morning, and drew the lucky winner's name from the hat.

The winner of The Particular Charm of Miss Austen Giveaway is 
Kathy Berlin - Congratulations! 
I'm sure you're going to enjoy your fabulous prizes!



The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen - Excerpt and Giveaway!

I have the enormous pleasure of hosting Cass Grafton and Ada Bright on the blog today - they have a new novel just out, dedicated to their long friendship - The Particular Charm of Miss Jane Austen. I've just received my copy, and I'm so looking forward to reading it! As you probably know I love Bath and this book is set in that fabulous city - how could anyone resist? There is a wonderful GIVEAWAY - leave a comment at the end of the post to be entered. Winners announced in a week's time!
Thank you, Jane, so much for inviting us to visit you on your Blog! We feel you are very much a part of the whole journey we’ve been on this last year, not only because of your love for and in-depth knowledge of the city of Bath, where the story is set, but also because you were with us in Bath on the day we started to write the book!
For anyone who doesn’t know us, we are Cass Grafton and Ada Bright, two friends from different continents (the UK and the USA respectively) who have written a…

Jane Austen Picture of the Day!

Jane Austen sitting at her writing desk composing First Impressions, later to become Pride and Prejudice.

Ellie Bennett Interview - Images and Portraits of Jane Austen

I'd like to welcome Ellie Bennett to my blog today (yes, that's her real name) - Ellie is a writer interested in portraits of Jane Austen, and as Jane's image is a particular interest of mine, I've been fascinated to read her new thoughts and discoveries on the subject. I recently interviewed her and it's made me keener than ever to read more! Luckily for us, Ellie not only has a fabulous blog, she is also writing a book, and I can't wait to read it.


1. You've started a blog writing about portraits of Jane Austen, Ellie. When did you first become interested in Jane Austen and what was it about her image that interested you?
I've enjoyed reading Jane Austen since I was a teenager, but my interest in her image and portraits really began when I watched the BBC documentary The Unseen Portrait, screened on Boxing Day in 2011, about the portrait now owned by Dr Paula Byrne. I found the programme fascinating and I was immediately hooked! 

2. You've been resea…