Jane Austen’s Birthday, Season of Giving, and Chawton House Library

We’re coming to the end of a year commemorating the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, but I prefer to celebrate the great author’s birth. December 16, 2017, marks her 242nd birthday. This day of celebration falls in the middle of the Christmas season, a time of joy and giving….
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Brotherly Love?

In a recent blog, I wrote about the general but oft ignored belief that cousins should not marry. Cousin marriage was fashionable in Jane Austen’s time among the wealthy, but it also happened more than once in Jane’s immediate family. Her brother Henry (top, by headline) married their cousin Eliza, and the…
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To Celebrate Austen’s Life, Chance to Win Collector’s Edition

Jane Austen lovers the world over have spent the last week commemorating the loss of the author at the far too young age of 41. She died on July 18, 1817, and was buried in Winchester Cathedral on July 24. In recognition of her passing, we are inviting our fellow…
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Marrying a Cousin

There’s a whole lot of marrying going on in Jane Austen’s novels. Among the major characters of her six major novels, at least nineteen couples tie the knot. One wedding was so singular that it could have been halted in certain quarters, then and now. The marriage in Mansfield Park…
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Miss Austen—No Politician, She

In this, the 200th anniversary year of Jane Austen’s death, we learn that white supremacists are co-opting the English author in support of a racial dictatorship, shocked opponents are claiming that true readers are “rational, compassionate, liberal-minded people,” and conservatives are chiding Janeites for assuming that great literature can be…
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Rules of the Road for Regency Language

Recently, some writers online were discussing language, particularly the use of language for an historical period such as the Regency age. I was traveling and unable to jump into the discussion, but the comments set me to reflect about my approach—which I had considered for quite a while as I…
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Austen in Australia

I spent the week in Australia, giving presentations on the history and work of Jane Austen. The lectures took me to Sydney, where I spoke at the Annual General Meeting of the Jane Austen Society of Australia, and at a local library; and at the Austen societies in Newcastle and…
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Do Austen’s Novels Reveal Her Views on Slavery?

My last blog explored the effort in England to abolish the slave trade—the buying and selling of human flesh—which was accomplished in 1807—as well as the effort to eliminate slavery itself throughout all British possessions, which was not accomplished until 1840. Slave owners were helped through their “difficult” six-year period…
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Fight Against Slavery Carried on Beyond Austen’s Life

Slavery was one of the most contentious issues of Jane Austen’s time. Some scholars claim that she ignored the issue or even accepted the legitimacy of the practice. Others claim that her novel Mansfield Park serves as an anti-slavery tract. For certain, Austen would have tackled the complex issue in a…
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Strolling in the Pleasure Gardens of Jane Austen’s Bath

Whereas the first day of the Jane Austen Festival in Bath was as dreary as anyone could wish to avoid—enlivened only by the gaily dressed ladies and gentlemen who braved the rain for the Promenade—the next day broke off as sunny and pleasant as anyone in England would wish to enjoy….
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Just Jane

“The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen: Volume 1″/ By Collins Hemingway/ A Review & Giveaway The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen reimagines the life of England’s most famous female author by asking: How would her life have changed if she had married and had a child? How would this thinking…
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News Release

Author Collins Hemingway Hosts Book Launch for The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen: Volume II at Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England BATH, England, 7 Sept., 2016 – Author Collins Hemingway will officially launch Volume II of The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Trilogy, a new historical novel based on…
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Did Austen Speak Posh?

In our last blog, we heard how Shakespeare’s English much more resembled the accents of the provinces than the “proper” English favored today by actors and newscasters, the latter being an accent called “Received Pronunciation” or “RP.” Jane Austen had knowledge of and appreciation for Shakespeare. There are parallels between her social…
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‘To Bay or Not to Bay’: Did Shakespeare Talk Country?

When I was in college, the drama department at the University of Arkansas wanted to do a bang-up job on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.” Over the summer, they sent the actor playing the lead role off to study proper enunciation. He returned with an impeccable rendition, but no one anticipated the disconnect…
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Sweepstakes update, Austen movie fun

All– Just a brief update to let you know that “The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen” Sweepstakes 2016 has concluded, and we’ll be announcing our Grand Prize Winners soon. Watch for updates here. Also, Mary Jo Murphy in the New York Times ranked all the Austen movies done to date….
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A Taxing Subject for Americans–and for Austen and her Peers

April 15 being tax day in the U.S., I thought it appropriate to celebrate the many ways the tax man visited Jane Austen and her fellow citizens during Regency times. The tax philosophy of the day echoed the views of the famous tax philosopher, George Harrison of the “Beatles”: “If…
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JASNA Interviews Collins

Collins Hemingway was recently interviewed by Christopher Duda, Treasurer of the Eastern Pennsylvania Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA), about The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen and what inspired him to write a novel about one of the world’s most beloved English writers. Listen to the…
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Austen Sweepstakes Offers Grand Prize of Trips to Bath

Trips to Bath, England, are the grand prizes of The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen Sweepstakes 2016, to coincide with the city’s annual Jane Austen Festival in September 2016. The sweepstakes, which honors Jane Austen, her work, and the many readers around the world who have made her a literary…
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Reader Thoughts on ‘Marriage,’ Austen’s Journey of the Soul

’Tis better to give than receive, but in this holiday season I would like to take a moment to thank readers for what I have received—their very generous thoughts and comments on my novel, The Marriage of Miss Jane Austen. What touched me most was the number of times “beautiful”…
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Wilsonville Spokesman

December 16, 2015 Marrying Microsoft and Jane Austen It may come as some surprise that after several decades co-authoring nonfiction works on science and business with the likes of Bill Gates, Eugene-based writer Collins Hemingway — who is unrelated to Ernest Hemingway — should direct his efforts to a literary…
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Reflections on JASNA AGM

As one of 150-plus first-time attendees to the 2015 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA), I found the event to be as educational as I had hoped and more charming than I expected. Here are a few of my JASNA reflections. The AGM…
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News Release

Ex-Microsoft Exec Goes from High Tech to Novel About Jane Austen Historical fiction imagines impact of mature love on author’s life, work; Early reviews positive on ‘imaginative journey of the soul’  PORTLAND, Oregon, October 8, 2015 – A long-time Microsoft executive who co-authored a book on business and the Internet…
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Clarkson, Anning, Austen Ring

  Of Jane Austen’s known jewelry, her topaz cross came from her younger brother, Charles, who bought one each for his sisters with his first navy prize in 1801. Her turquoise bracelet probably came from another brother, Edward, as a memento relating to the death of his beloved wife Elizabeth…
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