A new Regency gown!

Thanks to my friend Elizabeth, I now have a new Regency gown – a full day dress ensemble – that fits! She asked me to be her model for a Regency fashion lecture at Modesto’s Jane Austen-themed JaneCon, and I agreed! She kindly made me the entire ensemble for the cost of materials and washing/ironing labor, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a good thing she loves to sew, because I sure don’t! I do love paying my friends, or doing them favors, in exchange for beautiful clothes! The look and fit is just perfect.

Me in mushroom hat/beret, fichu and spencer jacket
Me in mushroom hat/beret, fichu and spencer jacket. Regency makeup is weird but surprisingly effective – you use burnt cloves to fill in your brows and liquid/pomade consistency lip and cheek products.
Me, Elizabeth in our ensembles for the day
I’m on the left, Elizabeth’s on the right. She made us look good.

The outfit consists of an 1805-ish gown made from a block-printed almost-sheer cotton muslin from Renaissance Fabrics. It’s the first front-opening Regency gown I’ve had, as my other, smaller gowns were all of the slightly later frock (back buttons) variety. Since this gown has a bib front that pins in place, it’s taken a bit of getting used to. I think eventually I’ll add period-incorrect snaps and ties to help keep it in place so I won’t stab myself or flash anybody by accident. Continue reading “A new Regency gown!”

Emma 2020: Filming locations

Emma 2020 Poster
Emma 2020 poster

The Guardian recently presented a list of UK filming locations that are open to visitors, including some of the spots featured in the upcoming adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma.

  • Firle Estate in Lewes, South Downs National Park, is the Woodhouses’ Hartfield.
  • Kingston Bagpuize House in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, was the location for Mrs. Goddard’s school. 
  • Chavenage House in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, stands in for the Westons’ Randalls AND the Bates’ second-floor apartments.
  • Wilton House in Salisbury is Mr. Knightley’s Donwell Abbey. Wilton House crops up in a ton of period films and television shows. Portions of the 2005 Pride & Prejudice and 1995 Sense & Sensibility adaptations were filmed there (the ball scenes during which Marianne confronts Willoughby). The house’s famous Single and Double Cube rooms are well known as the secret planning locations for World War II’s famous D Day invasion. I’ve been here, and the house and grounds are well worth a visit.
  • Wrotham Park in Hertfordshire stands in for the Coles’ party location.
  • Leith Hill, Dorking, Surrey, stands in for Box Hill, the famous picnic scene location from the novel.
  • Lower Slaughter, a village in the Cotswolds, stands in for Highbury. I’ve been here, too. Seems like every Cotswolds village is picturesque and charming in its own way.
  • All Saint’s Church in St. Paul’s Walden Village, Hertfordshire, stands in for Highbury’s local church.

More on Emma‘s filming locations…

Another Emma trailer…

There’s another trailer for the 2020 Emma Jane Austen adaptation…

Another Emma is well and truly coming…and now it’s here!

 

Emma 2020 Poster

 

So The latest film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma is coming in early 2020 (ETA: It’s here now, and currently available online/remotely), set to release in the US and UK in February…

Continue reading “Another Emma is well and truly coming…and now it’s here!”

Old Emma updates from Fall, 2018…

Just some housekeeping, to keep the Emma update feed complete…

Jane Austen’s Emma onstage and adapted in a contemporary novel

Having just celebrated 200 years of publication this past December, Jane Austen’s Emma deserves an extended anniversary party! This spring, the novel is celebrated by the release of Katie Heaney’s Dear Emma – a contemporary adaptation of the original story – and a stage run of Jon Jory’s Emma at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

Emma at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company runs through March 26. Heaney’s novel, featuring a college-aged advice columnist named Harriet struggling with love and friendship, is available now via Amazon.

For more about Jane Austen and Emma:

Cincy Shakes presents Emma
Cincy Shakes presents Emma.

Jane Austen’s Emma is almost 200!

Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma
Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma (1996 Miramax adaptation).

It’s hard to believe that December will mark the 200th anniversary of Emma‘s publication. The recent lead up’s been pretty interesting, including a modern retelling of the novel by Alexander McCall Smith and Pemberley Digital’s multimedia Emma Approved adaptation, which wrapped last year. Various organizations, including the Bay Area English Regency Society in the San Francisco Bay Area, are organizing celebrations commemorating the event. Even though it’s not popular on the same level as, say, Pride & Prejudice, people love Emma because it has a little something for everyone.

Before writing Emma, Jane Austen once expressed, “I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like” (James Edward Austen-Leigh’s Memoir of Jane Austen, p. 158). Most believe that the author was at least half-joking when she said this, as Emma Woodhouse is often a great favorite among readers. The character aside, however, the story itself is simply brilliant. Part romance, part comedy, part drama, and part “detective novel,” adapters for stage and screen have lots of choice when it comes to direction and focus. If the depth and texture of the novel has a limitation, it’s in the fact that most adaptations can’t do justice to everything it offers (not even the long miniseries versions).

Jane Austen wrote Emma over the period encompassing January 21, 1814 – March 29, 1815. At his request, she dedicated Emma to her most high-profile fan, the Prince Regent. This is a bit strange, considering that she didn’t care much for him, his conduct towards his wife, or his personality in general. He received a special first edition of the novel (one of twelve “presentation” copies issued by the publisher), in three volumes, which is kept at the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. For more on the presentation edition, see this description of Anne Sharp’s copy (Bonhams auction site). Novelist Maria Edgeworth – a favorite of Austen’s – also apparently received a presentation copy of the novel.

First published in December, 1815 (though the frontispiece is dated 1816) by John Murray, Emma was the last work Austen lived to see released. The first edition consisted of 2000 copies. Oddly, the book did not sell well, so the second printing/edition didn’t happen until 1833. For more information on the initial publication of the novel, look here. You will also find opinions on the novel from Austen’s friends and family right here.

For more on Jane Austen’s Emma and its various media adaptations, visit the Emma Adaptations Pages.

Alexander McCall Smith’s Emma reboot coming soon to The Austen Project!

Alexander McCall Smith's Emma reboot - a tribute to Jane Austen's original novel
Alexander McCall Smith’s Emma reboot – a tribute to Jane Austen’s original novel.

Well, it looks like the wait’s a-shrinking for the Emma reboot by famed mystery novelist Alexander McCall Smith. This Jane Austen retelling is coming to the UK, Australia, and New Zealand in early November. According to Amazon.com, preorders are open for the US edition, scheduled to release in April.

Here’s the novel teaser from the official “The Austen Project” website:

Fresh from university, Emma Woodhouse arrives home in Norfolk ready to embark on adult life with a splash. Not only has her sister, Isabella, been whisked away on a motorbike to London, but her astute governess, Miss Taylor is at a loose end watching as Mr. Woodhouse worries about his girls. Someone is needed to rule the roost and young Emma is more than happy to oblige.

At the helm of her own dinner parties, and often found either rearranging the furniture at the family home of Hartfield, or instructing her new protégée, Harriet Smith, Emma is in charge. You don’t have to be in London to go to parties, find amusement or make trouble. Not if you’re Emma, the very big fish in the rather small pond.

But for someone who knows everything, Emma doesn’t know her own heart. And there is only one person who can play with Emma’s indestructible confidence, her friend and inscrutable neighbour George Knightly – this time has Emma finally met her match?