Great May 25 article at bbc.com by Miriam Quick. She describes two recent projects that used data mining to show that that every book in the world uses one of six basic plots. And then she diagrams them, including Pride and Prejudice, which I've screen-grabbed for you above. Check it out here.
New show from August 6-November 6 at the amazing Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. It's called "Will & Jane: Shakespeare, Austen and the Cult of Celebrity." It features the very shirt Colin Firth emerged from the water with in the 1995 Pride And Prejudice movie. A lock of Jane's hair. And a bundle of sticks from Shakespeare's birthplace, how about that. If you are a part of either author's Cult of Celebrity, you will certainly want to identify yourself by buying and prominently displaying a Shakespeare or Jane sticker.
A recent piece in the NY Times reports that people who read books live longer, even when other factors are taken into account. Reading just a half an hour a day has real longevity benefits, according to the study. Well, you're exercising your brain, I suppose. And some books are as heavy to lift as dumbbells. Unfortunately the study doesn't identify which authors are the healthiest to read. If I had to guess, I would predict literary geniuses Jane Austen and Hilary Mantel are at the top of the shelf.
Do you want to buy Jane's turquoise and gold ring? You are out of luck if you are not a British citizen. It has been declared a national treasure. In 2013, The Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest declared it so, and singer Kelly Clarkson's bid to buy it and take it out of the country wasn't allowed. It is now housed at Jane Austen's House Museum, where you can buy a replica. Clarkson, who had actually purchased the ring, was really nice about it and said she was happy it was going to the museum. I wonder if Jane wore it on her writing hand. By the way, you can buy the...