JASNA Essay Contest Winners

The results of the annual JASNA Essay Contest for students have been announced. Our member Judith is a judge for the contest. She particularly recommends The Solution of Silence: The Character of Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park. This essay gives us an unusual perspective on Mary Crawford - she has more depth than we sometimes credit her.

New Library Books

Emma by Alexander McCall Smith

Emma is the third novel in The Austen Project in which six modern authors are updating Jane Austen's novels.

Emma Woodhouse's widowed father is an anxious man, obsessed with nutrition and the latest vitamins. He lives the life of a country gentleman in contemporary England, protectively raising his young daughters, Isabella and Emma. While Isabella grows into a young woman, marries a society photographer for Vogue at the age of 19 and gets down to the business of reproducing herself, Emma pursues a degree in interior design at university in Bath, and then returns to set up shop in her home village. With her educated eye for the coordination of pattern and colour, Emma thinks she can now judge what person would best be paired with another, and sets about matchmaking her young friend, Harriet, with various possible suitors.

First Impressions by Charlie Lovett

Charlie Lovett's book, First Impressions explores Jane Austen's work through a modern character. Book lover and Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has recently taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure book: the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield. Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice and ultimately threaten Sophie's life.

What Matters in Jane Austen by John Mullan

Which important Austen characters never speak? Is there any sex in Austen? What do the characters call one another, and why? What are the right and wrong ways to propose marriage? In What Matters In Jane Austen?, John Mullan shows that we can best appreciate Austen's brilliance by looking at the intriguing quirks and intricacies of her fiction. Asking and answering some very specific questions about what goes on in her novels, he reveals the inner workings of their greatness. In twenty short chapters, each of which explores a question prompted by Austens novels, Mullan illuminates the themes that matter most in her beloved fiction.

The History of England by Jane Austen

The History of England by the young Jane Austen was written when the author was fifteen. Austen mockingly imitates the style of textbook histories of English monarchs, while ridiculing historians' pretensions to objectivity. Her History cites as sources works of fiction and the opinions of Austen's family and friends. Along with accounts of English kings and queens which contain little factual information but a great deal of comically exaggerated opining about their characters and behaviour, the work includes material such as charades and puns on names. It was illustrated with coloured portraits by Austen's elder sister Cassandra, to whom the work is dedicated.

Our Library

At each meeting our library is open to members to borrow materials until the next meeting, with a small fee of 25 cents. To plan your reading in advance, review the Library List. Send an email to JASNA Calgary to request particular books, as our library is now too large to bring all the books to each meeting. If you cannot wait until the next meeting, try the resources of the Calgary Public Library.

New Media Jane Austen

Jane Austen: Essay Contest Winners 2013

JASNA annually sponsors an essay contest for students, from high-school to graduate studies. Our Jasna Calgary member, Judith, was a judge for the 2013 contest. The essays of all winners are on the JASNA site. Judith particularly recommends Time of the Season: Time as an Expression of the Individual in Pride and Prejudice for a fresh look at the suite of characters in the novel; and, Punctual to His Time: An Examination of Mr. Collins and Time in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for a sympathetic analysis of Mr Collins' actions and motives.

Local Books

Our very own JASNA Calgary scribe, Samantha Adkins, has published another Jane Austen themed book, Suspiciously Reserved, A Twist on Jane Austen's Emma. This tantalizing novel helps us imagine the story of Jane Fairfax, who is shabbily treated by Frank Churchill and by Emma Woodhouse. Samantha invites us to imagine her tale as set in present-day Canada.
Strathmore author, Samantha Adkins wrote Expectations, a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, for her sister's birthday. Expectations is set six months after Pride and Prejudice ends, in the style and voice of Jane Austen. It begins at Longbourn with Mrs. Bennet exhorting Mr. Bennet to write his married daughters, Elizabeth Darcy and Jane Bingley, telling them they must provide male heirs for their new husbands. Find out more about Expectations and make a purchase online.

Contemporaries on Jane Austen

Jane Austen Jane Austen's Family and Friends

Sir Walter Scott Sir Walter Scott

Charlotte Bronte Charlotte Bronte

Obituary for Jane Austen

The Gentleman's Magazine of July 18, 1817 carried this announcement of Jane Austen's death.

Austen recognized as author of four novels