It’s a Year of Jane Austen!

It’s a Year of Jane Austen!

Happy New Year!

2020 is shaping up to be a great year, especially for fans of Jane Austen. It seems each month of the new year brings an event to look forward to; and no matter where you live in the U.S. or U.K., there’s probably an Austen-related event scheduled near you. Let’s take a month-by-month look at some of the highlights:

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January

January 12: Sanditon

Hooray! The wait is over! Sanditon (based on Jane Austen’s unfinished novel about the making of a fashionable beach resort) finally debuts in the U.S. on PBS.

It’s already aired in the U.K. and fans loved it. The version we’ll see in the U.S. will probably be edited (sorry, no nude sea bathing scenes allowed). Here’s the trailer for the PBS version:

Jane Austen died before she could finish the novel. Over the years various authors have taken up the mantel to finish Sandition as they believed Austen would have wanted. If you’d like to read one of those versions before you watch the series, there are several to choose from. Click here to learn more.

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January 10 – 12: Modesto JaneCon, Modesto, California

This central California event promises a weekend filled with “All Things Jane Austen,” including workshops, lectures, games, contests, and costumes. The star of the weekend: Opera Modesto’s production of Mansfield Park. Click on the image below to learn more.

 

January 25: The Jane Austen Evening, Pasadena, California

This one-of-a-kind event is incredibly popular and tickets sell out quickly. If you live in southern California (or think you might like to visit in the future), consider putting this event on your calendar. The evening consists of High Tea, where performers improvise a brand-new Austen-inspired story based on prompts from the audience, followed by a formal ball. You can click on the image to learn more about this magical night.

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January 28 – March 15: Emma, the Musical, Chicago, Illinois

This new stage production of Emma as a musical looks delightful! If you live in the Chicago area (or plan to visit) you can click on the image to learn more and purchase tickets.

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February 14: Emma (the movie)

A new film version of Emma hits U.S. theaters on Valentine’s Day, and I have to confess, I’m in love with the look of this adaptation already.

Here’s the official trailer:

It looks like we’ll see some physical comedy in this version of the story of Austen’s matchmaker. Click here to watch another scene where Emma catches Harriet Smith and her school friends playing a parlor game called “bullet pudding.”

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March

March 31: Pride and Prejudice at Lyme Park, near Disley, Cheshire, UK

What could be more perfect than seeing a stage production of Pride and Prejudice on the grounds of Pemberley—Oops, I mean, Lyme Park—in the heart of the Peak District? It’s a one day event, so tickets will go fast. The performance is free, included in the cost of admission to the grounds.

If you go, be sure to also check out Lyme Park’s “Pemberley Walk,” which lets you follow in the footsteps of Darcy and Elizabeth while you explore some of the idyllic filming locations from the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Click on the image of Our Dear Couple to learn more.

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April

April 14 – May 20: Sense and Sensibility, Indianapolis, Indiana

If you’re in the Midwest you can see a brand new stage adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, presented by the Indiana Repertory Theatre.

Click here to see the schedule; some of the performances include a tea before the performance, post-show discussions with the actors, and backstage tours.

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June

June through September: Emma, at various dates and locations in UK and Ireland

The warm days of summer bring a new, open-air stage production Emma. The Chapterhouse Theatre Company will be touring venues across the UK and Ireland from June until September. Click the image to learn more.

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June 18 – 21: Jane Austen Summer Program, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Jane Austen Summer Program is one of the premier Austen events in the U.S., filled with plenty of dancing, dinners, elevenses, lectures, shopping and fun. You can view the jam-packed schedule by clicking on the image below.

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July

July 10 – 12: Jane Austen Festival, Louisville Kentucky

The Louisville chapter of The Jane Austen Society has TWICE hosted the fabulous Regency tailor, Zack Pinsent; perhaps this year’s Festival attendees will be lucky enough to have Zack attend again this year (I’d love to meet him!).

If you’re unfamiliar with Zack’s work, here’s a short video interview he did with the BBC last year:

In 2019 Zack attended the Louisville Chapter’s Jane Austen Festival, which is one of the best in the U.S. They haven’t yet announced their schedule for 2020, but you can click on the image below to receive news and updates as they become available.

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September

September 11 – 20: Jane Austen Festival, Bath, England

This world famous Jane Austen Festival takes over the city of Bath every year as Austen lovers congregate to take the waters at the Pump Room, attend a Country Dance and a Masked Ball at the Assembly Rooms, and promenade through the streets in Regency costume. It’s one event that’s definitely on my bucket list.

You can click on the image below to find out about schedules, accommodations, and priority ticketing.

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October

October 9 – 11: JASNA in Cleveland Annual General Meeting

This year’s Cleveland AGM meeting will concentrate on Jane Austen’s early years, with lectures and events that examine some of Jane Austen’s funniest juvenile writings, including Lady Susan. Click on the image below to learn more:

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November

November 6 – 8: JAFF Reader/Writer Get-Together, Virginia

Austen Author Victoria Kincaid put together the first ever “JAFF Reader/Writer Get-Together” last November. Attendees thought this event was such a great success, plans are already underway for the next Get-Together in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. Save the date!

If you’re on Facebook, you can get the latest news by clicking here. Or you can watch for future announcements here at Austen Authors.

Late 2020: A New Pride and Prejudice from ITV:

There’s a new “darker” version of Pride and Prejudice in the works, which focuses more on the adult problems of the characters than the charm and romance usually portrayed on film. Sound interesting? Here’s a bit more information:.

The Producers Of ‘Poldark’ And ‘Victoria’ Are Making A New Pride And Prejudice Series For ITV

There’s been talk that the new production might be released in late 2020, so watch for updates.

But wait, there’s more …

There are many more Jane Austen-related events slated for the new year. If you’d like to see a list of them all, just type “jane austen”+2020 into your internet browser and scroll through the results. Chances are you’ll find an event, lecture, meeting, or theater performance close to your neighborhood.

If you don’t live near a large city, you might consider joining the Jane Austen Society of North American (JASNA). Membership is open to anyone interested in the life and works of Jane Austen. For a $30 annual membership fee, you get access to all JASNA’s national events, conferences, programs, and publications. You can also join one of 79 regional JASNA groups in the U.S. and Canada, each of which have their own schedules of programs and meetings. Click on the map below to find a regional group near you:

More Austen goodness:

If your taste runs more toward “staying at home for real comfort,” there are several new Jane Austen inspired novels in the works for 2020. Your favorite Austen Authors will announce their new releases here, and you can see previews on the home page under this banner:

What did I miss?

If you know of any other Jane Austen novels, events, or performances that will debut in 2020, please share the news with us!

I wish you a happy and blessed 2020 filled with love, good health, and plenty of Jane Austen!

34 Responses to It’s a Year of Jane Austen!

  1. Hello,
    From El Sitio de Jane (SalonJaneAusten) in Spain, we have the following events for the year:
    – Microgatherings in Spain (and maybe some Latinamerican country) for the Emma release in cinemas in April (https://www.janeausten.org.es/blog/emma-toca-la-espera/).
    – Austen Gótico (Austen Gothic) in Madrid: Conference, lunch and exhibition.
    – Janeite picnic in Granada (Spain) on 25th July (conferences, activities and picnic).
    These two you can find their announcement here.
    https://www.janeausten.org.es/blog/novedades-en-el-sitio-de-jane-2/
    When we give more details, we will inform you!

  2. Hi Nancy! I think I can do a year of Jane Austen, though I won’t get in all of the events. Still, I love it and love seeing the posts from those who attend and participate and of course all the wonderful writers who keep contributing to JAFF. Happy New Year!

    • Happy New Year, Jen! We’re truly lucky to be part of a generous JAFF community that shares so much about events, books, research, etc. related to Jane Austen. They’re the best!

  3. Wow! Great summary. I will share it in our forum “Salón de Té”. Just to tell you that you must add our annual gathering in Spain in July…as soon as we confirm a date 😀

  4. We in British Columbia had an early treat last night with our local educational channel (BC’s Knowledge TV) starting a full re-broadcast of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, 6 commercial free episodes over six weeks! And then in February a special program called ““I hate Jane Austen” wherein Giles Coren lines up a set of Austen experts and academics to persuade him that Jane Austen can in fact be enjoyable.
    And for those visiting the UK, the very popular stage production of The Watsons (directed by Samuel West) which originated at Chichester, was moved to London’s West End for a limited run. After rave reviews and complete sell-out performances, it has now been given a new home in London as of May 8th for as long as it needs. I hope to see it later this year, if I can get tickets. https://thewatsonsplay.com/ So wonderful to see these lesser known works getting a new lease of life.

    • These sound great, Joan! My local PBS televisions station is also re-running all episodes of the 1995 P&P as a lead-up to Sanditon. I never get tired of watching that production! The Giles Coren program sounds interesting, as does the new play based on The Watsons, which I’d love to see. I’m crossing my fingers it will one day tour the U.S. 🙂

      Thank you for sharing this info!

  5. My goodness. I didn’t realize that there were so many events connected with Jane Austen. Definitely curious about the new P&P and am looking forward to the new Emma as well. Thank you for the peek at the new year, Nancy. 🙂

  6. Thank you for sharing al of this, it reminded me to set my DVR for Sandition and I had not heard that a new Emma was coming out.

  7. Those video clips were amazing. All these new films. Wow. This was a lot of hard work and research. Thank you for sharing with us. I may not be able to travel but it is fun to see what is happening in the world of Austen.

  8. Wow! I’d no idea. Thank you, Nancy! What a list 🙂 (Thank goodness I’ll be saved from nude bathing scenes as I’ve never seen a nude human and wouldn’t want to now! My eyes! My eyes! 🙂 🙂 🙂 )

  9. I have my calendar alert set for Sanditon so I’m ready to go. I was thinking I couldn’t watch this with my daughter due to the nude scene but you are right that scene will definitely be edited so I guess can watch together after all.

  10. Not everyone liked the new Sanditon so it will be interesting to see what the US makes of it. Thanks for all the info you provided here.

    • I’ve heard the same thing, Teresa, but I’m going to do my best to watch Sanditon as Elizabeth Bennet would, “with no expectation of pleasure, but with the strongest curiosity.” Thanks for commenting!

  11. So many wonderful things to look forward to. You will have to write a review for Emma. I live outside the US so I won’t see it until it comes out on iTunes.

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