“Lady Russell had little taste for wit, and of anything approaching to imprudence a horror.”
from Persuasion by Jane Austen
If you happen to find yourself in New York City between this Friday and March 14, 2010, head over to the Morgan Library & Museum for their new exhibition, “A Woman’s Wit: Jane Austen’s Life and Legacy”. As The New Yorker noted recently, “If you blanch at the idea of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, take solace” at the Morgan’s exhibit:
This exhibition explores the life, work, and legacy of Jane Austen (1775–1817), regarded as one of the greatest English novelists. Offering a close-up portrait of the iconic British author, whose popularity has surged over the last two decades with numerous motion picture and television adaptations of her work, the show provides tangible intimacy with Austen through the presentation of more than 100 works, including her manuscripts, personal letters, and related materials, many of which the Morgan has not exhibited in over a quarter century.A Woman’s Wit: Jane Austen’s Life and Legacy also includes first and early illustrated editions of Austen’s novels as well as drawings and prints depicting people, places, and events of biographical significance.
The exhibition is organized into three sections — Jane Austen’s life and personal letters (one-third of all of her surviving correspondence are at the Morgan), her works, and her legacy — and also includes a documentary-style film directed by Francesco Carrozzini with interviews with Fran Lebowitz and Cornel West, who may or may not be Janeites.
And if you find yourself in NYC with children, bring them along. On Saturday, February 6, the Morgan offers the Family Program, “Paper Dolls at the Ball: Jane’s Fashion for Kids”. Then again, if you can’t make it to NYC and still want paper dolls at the ball, try this Dover book or Donald Hendricks’ Paper Dolls website for Miss Austen herself as well as many of her characters, including a jazzy Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey, an elegant Emma, and Anne Elliott and a very dashing Captain Wentworth from Persuasion.