Jane Austen’s Language …

… is the topic of this year’s Sample Lecture for English organised by the Leiden University Humanities Faculty on 15 April 2016. During this lecture you will learn why Jane Austen’s language (in addition to her novels) is of interest in its own right, and why the language of her letters is particularly important when we want to learn more about Jane Austen as a person.

The lecture will be followed by a seminar in which we will look at things like the form of Jane Austen’s letters, and in which we will use a digital tool to analyse the language of the letters and the novels. If you are interested: register for the lecture plus seminar here. And if you do decide to come to Leiden for this event: don’t forget to bring a pair of scissors!

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Happy birthday, Jane Austen!

Yesterday, if she had lived that long, Jane Austen would have turned 240. Imagine all the novels she would have been able to write! Not to mention letters …

Birthdays, it appeared, were important events in her life, as an analysis of her letters shows. Read all about it on OUP’s blog.

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The Mary Hamilton Papers available online

Letters carefully transliterated from the Mary Hamilton Papers in the John Rylands Library are freely available to any interested reader. The corpus currently stands at 161 letters dated 1764-1819 – over 70,000 words of text. The Image to Text project website displays each letter with mouse-over notes and clarifications alongside a high-quality image of the original letter, plus metadata. The site works best with Chrome or Firefox.

Mary Hamilton Papers
The content will be of interest to historians, students of Late Modern English letter-writing, and historical linguists.

For offline research, including corpus searches or systematic use of metadata, we are happy to supply a zip archive of fully compliant TEI/XML files plus a zip of plain text versions, a frequency list of word forms in the corpus and a table of word counts per letter. The corpus is for non-commercial use, is free, and is being added to each year. Please see the website for a short online registration form.


Contact David Denison and Nuria Yáñez-Bouza for further information.

 

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A treasure trove indeed

Not Late Modern and not English either – still, a real find, this treasure trove of undelivered Dutch letters from the 17th sentury, 2600 of them.

From what I heard on the radio yesterday, the letters will remained unopened. They will be read though, with the help of new X-ray techniques. What will they be about, and what will we be able to learn about the language of the period? Exciting news indeed.

Thanks to Carol Percy for the link.

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Jane Austen and James Stanier Clarke

If you are interested in what this satirical print has to do with Jane Austen – read the following article, which has just come out:

Tieken-Boon van Ostade, Ingrid (2015), Jane Austen’s correspondence with James Stanier Clarke, in Anglistentag 2014 Hannover, Proceedings, ed. by Rainer Emig and Jana Gohrisch. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag. 79-90.

Small hint: you will find the image in the Wikipedia entry on James Stanier Clarke. The key question is: would Jane Austen have known about its existence?

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Belle van Zuylen’s letters

The Belle van Zuylen Correspondence project is looking for volunteers to transcribe the letters (most of which are in French). Look at their blog (in Dutch) for more information.

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Periphrastic do and Colonial Lag

And since she sent me both blogposts all at once, here is Esther Spaanderman’s second one, also on the Adams Papers: “But as I speak french very imperfectly and she understands not a syllable of English I suppose she did … Continue reading

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