Anthony Trollope – prolific novelist and inveterate traveller – explored Australia and New Zealand in the 1870s. In completing this odyssey, he became the first celebrity in popular culture to visit the Australasian colonies. His memoir inspired by those travels (Australia and New Zealand) was described by The Times as ‘the best account’ of those lands ‘yet published’.
Now, to mark the bicentenary of Trollope’s birth, the Australian author Nigel Starck reveals the full story: the mix of acclamation and condemnation that Anthony Trollope provoked; his encounters with gold prospectors, the Aborigines of Australia and the Maori of New Zealand, pioneers, and convicts; his constant battles with the colonial press; the son whose life as a sheep farmer inspired a novel; and the ancient baronetcy inherited by Trollope’s Australian descendants after misadventure and misfortune elsewhere in the extended family.
The First Celebrity is published on June 22. You can pre-order your copy now at www.trollope-australia.com
The bindings on early editions of Jane Austen’s works can have a huge effect on their value. Peter Harrington, the leading rare book shop in Britain, has now posted a video on the subject. In it Adam Douglas, a senior specialist in early literature at the store, introduces a selection of Jane Austen’s first editions and explains how the binding affects their value. You can watch the video here.
For more information about Peter Harrington and the early books they sell, see the news story and their advertisement in the current edition of Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine
The P&P readathon is being streamed from the Jane Austen Centre here in Bath.
And the Pride & Prejudice special edition of Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine is still available – as is Celebrating Pride and Prejudice, by Maggie Lane and Hazel Jones, marking 200 years of Jane Austen’s “darling child”
A ring once owned by Jane Austen sold for £152,450 – that’s more than $237,000 – at Sotheby’s auction house yesterday. That sum is more than five times the auctioneer’s estimate
News of the impending sale was first broken on Jane Austen’s Regency World website. The existence of the ring was previously unknown to Austen scholars.
According to reports there was a tense battle between eight bidders and the ring was eventually sold to a private buyer bidding by phone.
There will be a full report in the September/October issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine. To subscribe, click here.
Set in 1770s Denmark, it tells the true story of a series of events that rocked the Danish monarchy: King Christian, married to a British Princess, was mentally ill. He befriended Johann Struensee, a small-town German doctor with a reputation as a man of the Enlightenment. Struensee and the Princess worked closely to bring the ideals of Rousseau to the Danish Court … but eventually became too close, with tragic consequences.
The Editor saw this film last week (it’s in Danish, with English subtitles) and thoroughly recommends it. You can read an interview with Nikolaj Arcel, the director, in the latest issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine. Below are some images from the film, which stars Mads Mikkelsen (from Casino Royale).
We’re quite used to first editions of Jane Austen’s books coming up for auction – and raising increasingly large sums for impoverished vendors. But now this ring, THAT ONCE BELONGED TO JANE AUSTEN, is to be sold by Sotheby’s on July 10. Here’s the details from their catalogue:
A GOLD AND GEM SET RING
set with a cabochon blue stone, probably odontalite, size K½ with sizing band, once belonging to Jane Austen, in a contemporary jeweller’s box (“T. West Goldsmith Ludgate Street near St Paul’s”)
[with:] autograph note signed by Eleanor Austen, to her niece Caroline Austen, “My dear Caroline. The enclosed Ring once belonged to your Aunt Jane. It was given to me by your Aunt Cassandra as soon as sheﾠ knew that I was engaged to your Uncle. I bequeath it to you. God bless you!”, 1 page, November 1869, with address panel on verso and remains of black wax seal impression, fold tears; also with three further notes by Mary Dorothy Austen-Leigh detailing the ring’s later provenance, 5 pages, 1935-1962
Yours for £20,000- £30,000, they estimate.
Oh, and there’s also first editions of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, and Northanger Abbey/Persuasion going under the hammer in the same sale. Sounds like one of the family is having a clear-out!
As London begins the final countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games, the next issue of Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine takes a close look at the sports that Jane Austen and her contemporaries would have enjoyed in Regency England.
Athletics were by no means the popular sport that they are today; football and rugby had barely begun to codify their laws; and goodness knows what the early 19th century British public would have made of synchronised swimming or rhythmic gymnastics.
However, there was fencing and boxing, while equestrian skills were already highly valued by the early 1800s. Sailing and rowing were also popular pastimes, while competitive swimming was just beginning to take shape.
To find out more about Jane Austen and the Olympics – including what was the most popular sport with ladies in the early 1800s – subscribe to Jane Austen’s Regency World magazine, delivered direct to your door from Bath, England, six times a year. The July/August issue will be mailed to subscribers at the end of this month.
The long-running debate about the authenticity of the so-called Rice portrait, believed by some to be of a teenage Jane Austen, sprung to life again at the weekend.
According to the Daily Mail, a new digital analysis of the painting has uncovered writing in one corner that might link it to Jane Austen.
The painting is owned by the Rice family, direct descendants of one of Jane’s brothers. It came to light in the late 19th century and the family say it was composed while the Austens were visiting Jane’s great uncle Francis in Kent in 1789, when the girl was 13.
The controversy comes hot on the heels of the suggestion by the academic Dr Paula Byrne that a portrait in her possession is of Jane Austen.
The authenticity of the Rice portrait has long been disputed, and it was dismissed by the National Portrait Gallery many years ago – mainly because the style of the girl’s dress dates the painting to the 1800s, when Jane Austen would have been in her twenties.
More information from the Rice family can be found here.
What do you think? Post a comment and let us know your thoughts!
The Diamond Jubilee weekend is upon us: the UK is in full-blown party mode until Tuesday evening. Sixty years in the same job? I guess the Queen has good reason to celebrate. Today, she’s off to the races to see the Derby at Epsom. Tomorrow, there’s the amazing Flotilla of more than a thousand boats down the Thames – shame about the weather forecast! On Monday we have a stunning Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace and beacons will be lit around the country, while on Tuesday there’s the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. Full details are here.
Here at JARW Towers the bunting is out. Those who know our humble abode in the centre of Bath will recall that Jane Austen’s Regency World lives in a building that was about a hundred years old when Jane walked past: we’re opposite the New Theatre Royal, where there’s a small lawn that will be the setting for a Jubilee party on Tuesday.
If golden jubilees are rare, diamond ones are even rarer. George III ruled from 1760 to 1820, but didn’t quite make the full 60 years – plus he wasn’t well enough to reign those last few years, the Regency of his son being established in his place. But his Golden Jubilee was celebrated in 1810, for which Zoffany painted this portrait.