First Editions

Anthony Tedeschi

Notes from a talk given at the National Library Wellington, Saturday, 20 August 2016

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ADAPTING JANE AUSTEN’S NOVELS FOR THE STAGE: Additions, omissions and essentials

Pamela Whalan

Wellington, Saturday 13 February 2016 / Auckland, Saturday 20 February 2016

I have adapted for the stage five of Austen’s six novels and before long I hope to adapt the sixth, Northanger Abbey.

I am often asked how long it takes to adapt an Austen novel. The actual writing of the script is the quickest part of the activity. It usually takes about three weeks. It follows a planning period of some months and much scribbling of notes on the backs of envelopes, as I decide how to organise the telling of the tale. The writing is followed by a period in which the script is set aside, revised and workshopped before it goes into production and then into print. But none of this would be possible if I did not come to the planning stage with a thorough knowledge of the novel that cannot be gained through one or two readings. If you are going to successfully transfer the spirit of the novel from page to stage you need to have a thorough understanding and love of the work that comes from living with it over a period of many years.

Why do I do it? Continue reading “ADAPTING JANE AUSTEN’S NOVELS FOR THE STAGE: Additions, omissions and essentials”

The Juvenilia

speaking notes from Jane Austen Society of New Zealand meeting, Wellington, 7 November 2015

By Joanne Wilkes

History of juvenilia: three vols, written over late 1780s through early 1790s, when JA from 11 to 17. Some evidence of later work on them, by JA and some of the family. Work most like beginning of a novel of the kind she later published is ‘Catharine; or The Bower’, dated Aug 1792 (when JA was 17), but later revised (eg with ref to a ‘Regency Walking-Dress’). Possibly she returned to them and mined them for ideas? A little published by Austen-Leigh, but generally not valued much by family. History of MSS very chequered, but now Vol. 1 is in Bodleian Library, Oxford, and Vols 2 and 3 in the British Library. Were published in Chapman’s edns, and have been repubd in big Cambridge edn (ed. Peter Sabor); also paperback versions, of which I use the World’s Classics edn, ‘Catharine and Other Writings’. Have received more attention since late 80s.

Can’t cover all here, so will look at the following: Continue reading “The Juvenilia”

The Ladies of Llangollen or The two most celebrated virgins in Europe

Sian Farr

In April 1778, three years after Jane Austen was born, Lady Elizabeth Fownes of Woodstock, Ireland wrote to a Dublin confidante:

My dear Mrs. Goddard, I am in the utmost distress. My dear Sally has leapt out of the window and has gone off. We hear that Miss Butler of the Castle is with her, and Mr. Butler has been here to enquire for his daughter.

“Sally” was Sarah Ponsonby, and in April 1778 after two previously attempts were foiled, she successfully eloped with Lady Eleanor Butler.

Most often referred to as Ladies of Llangollen, or as one royal described them “the two most celebrated virgins in Europe” their ‘romantic friendship’ spawned a cultish fascination that inspired poetry and “their civilized and romantic life became legendary.” Continue reading “The Ladies of Llangollen or The two most celebrated virgins in Europe”