There’s a great story behind every pattern we select to use on our products, but behind two of Signare’s most recent designs, there’s a great storyteller too.
More than 200 years after her death, Jane Austen remains one of Britain’s best-loved and best-selling writers, and we’re delighted to be able to introduce a pair of delightful patterns that have a direct connection to the author.
Austen was just 42 years old when she died in 1817, but in her short life, she wrote some of the most enduring novels in the English language. Her major works - Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were all written in the last eight years of her life.
Born in Hampshire in 1775, Austen spent much of her life in the historic and beautiful county. She mingled with local society and enjoyed dances and visits in great houses throughout Hampshire which provided the inspiration for many of her novels.
Her books have been translated into dozens of languages, and have inspired numerous film and TV adaptations, introducing her characters to new generations.
Of all her characters, Mr Darcy, the darkly-brooding romantic male lead and love interest of Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice is perhaps her best-known. Played by Colin Firth (opposite Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth) in the critically acclaimed 6-part TV series of 1995, Mr Darcy set millions of pulses racing as he emerged dripping from the ornamental lake in the grounds of Pemberley, his country estate.
Pride and Prejudice has been reimagined in numerous forms, including Bridget Jones’s’ Diary, for which author Helen Fielding admitted to ‘pillaging the plot’ of Austen’s classic. In a further nod to their inspiration, the big screen adaptations of Fielding’s books have Colin Firth playing Mark Darcy – a contemporary incarnation of the original Mr Darcy.
Many other films and books have paid homage to Pride and Prejudice, including the novel Death Comes to Pemberley by P D James – also later adapted for TV. James’ based her murder mystery on the style and characters of Austen’s book.
Both our new patterns are inspired by an oak leaf motif from a pelisse coat in the care of Hampshire Cultural Trust and thought to be Jane Austen’s only surviving garment. A pelisse coat was a garment worn over a dress or gown and was fashionable during Austen’s lifetime.
The oak leaf was a popular national symbol in Britain at a time when the country was at war with France.
Jane’s Oak sympathetically reproduces the pattern of Jane Austen’s pelisse coat. In the design, repeating gold oak leaves are set against a contrasting background of soft, earthy brown.
In our Austen Blue design, the gold oak leaves of Jane’s pelisse coat are enhanced by twisting, swirling stems of white oak flowers. The beautiful floral design is set against a Regency Blue background.
Own a Piece of Literary History!
Alongside your Jane Austen novels, our two new patterns offer another way to express appreciation for your favourite author. Jane’s Oak and Austen Blue are available on a wide range of our products including Handbags, Day Packs, Computer Bags, Purses, Makeup Bags, Sling Bags and Shopping Bags.
Order yours today and own a piece of literary history!
Need help? If you’d like any help or advice regarding Signare products, please call us on +44(0)1276 29483 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hampshire Cultural Trust manages 26 museums, galleries and arts centres across Hampshire and cares for 2.5 million objects relating to the county’s internationally significant heritage. To find out more, visit www.hampshireculture.org.uk.