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Posts Tagged ‘Jane Austen’

Jane Austen Murder Theory

Crime novelist Lindsay Ashford‘s new novel, The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen, explores the possibility that Pride & Prejudice author Jane Austen was murdered.

According to The Guardian, Ashford read about symptoms of arsenic poisoning while combing through old volumes of Austen’s letters. A scholar told her that Austen’s hair was once tested for arsenic. Austen said she suffered from rheumatism, a disease treated with arsenic in the 1800s.

In the article, Ashford explained: “Having delved into her family background, there was a lot going on that has never been revealed and there could have been a motive for murder. In the early 19th century a lot of people were getting away with murder with arsenic as a weapon, because it wasn’t until the Marsh test was developed in 1836 that human remains could be analysed for the presence of arsenic.”

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Emma Thompson to Write New Peter Rabbit Book

Oscar-winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson has landed a deal with Penguin Young Readers Group to write The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit.

The book is slated for release in September 2012 to commemorate the 110th-year anniversary of Beatrix Potter‘s The Tale of Peter Rabbit. The book will be released simultaneously in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Here’s more from the release: “In The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit, Peter’s adventures take him beyond the boundaries of Mr. McGregor’s garden, all the way to Scotland, where he meets the gentle giant Finlay McBurney, a distant Scottish relative. Emma was inspired to set the tale in Scotland by her knowledge of Beatrix’s childhood holidays there.”

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Ralph Fiennes to Adapt The Invisible Woman

While many know actor Ralph Fiennes for playing Harry Potter‘s nemesis Lord Voldemort, he has also started directing. One of his post-Harry Potter film projects includes directing an adaptation of The Invisible Woman by Claire Tomalin.

The nonfiction book tells the story of an affair between Great Expectations author Charles Dickens (pictured, via) and actress Nelly Ternan. According to The GuardianAbi Morgan wrote the script. The release is set for late 2012, coinciding with Dickens’ 200th birthday.

Here’s more from the article: “Dickens was 45 when he met Ternan, then 18, in 1857. Their relationship remained secret from the public, even after Dickens’s separation from his wife the following year. Ternan travelled with the author for the rest of his life; after his death, she married a man 12 years her junior, having disguised her own age as 23, rather than 37.”

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Free eBooks Every Day

Feeling strapped for cash after buying a $130 eReader? No problem–try eBookNewser’s Free eBook of the Day column. Today’s free eBook is Hello Kitty Must Die by Angela S. Choi.

The free selection includes everything from new eBooks that are only available for free for a limited promotional time period; public domain classics by authors like Jane Austen and Mark Twain; self-published works from authors looking to find readers from sites like Smashwords and Lulu.com to Kindle eBooks.

We try to vary the devices, so there is a little something for everybody. For more free eBook exploration, check out our list of 10 Websites To Download Free eBooks.

Jane Austen Stars in ‘Word Fighter’ Video Game

Pride & Prejudice author Jane Austen stars in a new video game called “Word Fighter.” The video embedded above shows two characters from the game, J.D. “The Hero” (an orphan scholar) and Neil “The Rival” (an ivy league graduate student).

According to Pixels, Panels & Playthings, the game’s developers were influenced by Princess Peach Toadstool (from the Super Mario Bros. franchise). Jane “appears to be a very prim and proper lady … but when it’s time to throw down, she’s ready to destroy you.” The game will be available for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices.

Here’s more from the article: “Inspired by Boggle, Scrabble, Words With Friends and Super Puzzle Fighter, the object of the game is for players, as famous authors personified by their literary works, to spell words quickly on separate tile grids. The better the word — based on length and letter value — the more damage you do to your opponent. Special power-ups like attack multipliers and tile shufflers are added to the mix, so it can be anybody’s game.”

Jane Austen Manuscript Sold for $1.6M

Oxford University’s Bodleian Library paid $1.6 million for 68 pages from Jane Austen‘s unfinished manuscript, The Watsons–far exceeding expectations for the auction.

The handwritten manuscript actually includes the author’s editing notes. However, New York’s Morgan Library and Museum owns the first 12 pages of the work.

The AP had the scoop: “Sotheby’s books specialist Gabriel Heaton said the heavily corrected draft ‘has afforded an extremely broad audience an insight into the author’s writing process and reworkings.’ Sotheby’s says it is the only major manuscript by the author still in private hands.”

Jane Austen Manuscript Up For Auction

Jane Austen‘s unpublished manuscript for a novel called The Watsons will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in London tomorrow.

The manuscript is handwritten by Austen and includes the work alongside her notes and edits. While New York’s Morgan Library and Museum owns the first 12 pages of the work, the rest of the unfinished manuscript will be included in the auction. The Sotheby’s listing describes the pages as loose but kept together in a box. The listing reads: “in total 68 pages plus 6 blanks (these being the versos of the three inserted leaves and the final three pages of the final section), housed in collector’s folding box…”.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the manuscript is expected to fetch between $330,000 and $490,000.

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V.S. Naipaul Claims No Female Writer Is His Equal

Nobel laureate V.S. Naipaul made a few more enemies in a Royal Geographic Society interview. According to The Guardian, the novelist told an interviewer that he does not consider any female writer to be his equal.

Naipaul (pictured, via) remarked: “I read a piece of writing and within a paragraph or two I know whether it is by a woman or not. I think [it is] unequal to me … My publisher, who was so good as a taster and editor, when she became a writer, lo and behold, it was all this feminine tosh. I don’t mean this in any unkind way.”

Angry readers have responded in the article’s comments section and on Twitter. The Guardian to create “The Naipaul Test,” analyzing readers’ ability to guess an author’s gender.

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Anonymous Obama Novel Excerpts Released

Today Simon & Schuster released more details, a web video, and excerpts from O: A Presidential Novel–an anonymously written novel about the Barack Obama White House.

Here’s an excerpt: “‘Even though O assumed it wouldn’t happen, he wished The Barracuda, as he liked to think of her, would join the Republican race. O knew they wouldn’t be that lucky, but he had let himself imagine such a contest. He had watched her speak to a rally of her faithful. There she was, thick hair piled up high, chin out, defiant, taunting, flaunting that whole lusty librarian thing, sweet and savory, mother and predator, alluring and dangerous.”

In a letter to readers, publisher Jonathan Karp compared the author’s choice of anonymity to both Jane Austen and Lemony Snicket–a surreal, possibly satirical, pairing. According to The Cutline, the publisher has urged journalists not to comment on the book. What do you think about this mysterious book?

Jane Austen Gets Google Doodle for Her Birthday

U.K. Google users can see a Jane Austen-themed Google Doodle as they search the web today. The image is embedded above, follow this link to see the image at Google.

Today is Austen’s 235th birthday (she was born in 1775). Other Google Doodles have honored Oscar Wilde, Agatha Christie, and Ahmad Shawqi.

The Guardian has more: “A Regency couple – most likely the novelist’s most celebrated characters, Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice – are pictured taking a stroll through the English countryside, eyeing each other rather coyly, in the illustration on the search engine’s site.” (Via Publishers Weekly)

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