Thirtieth in an occasional series of excerpts from Jane Austen's letters.
Two centuries ago, Jane Austen was brimming over with the joy that only an author can fully appreciate: the thrill of holding in her hands a book that she had written.
“I want to tell you that I have got my own darling Child from London,” Jane reported to her sister, Cassandra, in a letter written exactly 205 years ago today (#79 in Deirdre Le Faye’s standard edition of Austen’s correspondence). Cassa
Jane Austen’s relationship to the romance novel is a vexed topic. For every article calling her the founding mother of the genre (or perhaps the grandmother, with a line of descent through Georgette Heyer), you’ll find just as many insisting that she is a social satirist who just happens to write about heterosexual romance. My own romance-novel addiction is moderate-to-severe, and, appropriately enough, I developed it while researching Among the Janeites, which required me to
Like all Internet-connected Janeites, I had a good giggle last week about the Onion story headlined, “Man Wishes Women In Crowded Bar Would Let Him Read Jane Austen in Peace.” In the Onion's characteristically deadpan prose, the piece purported to tell the story of Russell Goldin, a Californian – from the oh-so-appropriately-named city of Modesto -- who could barely get through a page of Pride and Prejudice without being hit on by female patrons of O’Donnell’s Pub. “I came he
The Jane Austen £10 note has been circulating for only four months, but already its most collectible iterations are fetching inflated prices on eBay.
Back in October, readers will recall, the Bank of England raised money for charity by auctioning off Austen tenners with some of the most desirable serial numbers. Now a slew of Austen notes with allegedly covetable characteristics – notes from early in the print run, notes with tiny printing errors, notes with serial numbers b
Last month, the Washington Post drew well-earned Janeite derision when it published an article exploring the astonishing news that Jane Austen wrote about marriage but never married. (Turns out that novelists make up stuff they haven’t experienced personally! Who knew?) Perhaps news of this teapot tempest didn’t cross the pond: Tomorrow is the London premiere of a show I’ve mentioned before -- “Austen: The Musical” – which is apparently obsessed with the very same non-issue.
Some years ago, I attended a picnic sponsored by my local branch of the Jane Austen Society of North America, to which a fellow JASNA member had brought her small dog. Like many Janeites, she had named him after one of her favorite Austen characters. As a result, halfway through the afternoon, we all heard the witness to a moment of canine discourtesy gasp out a truly unexpected sentence: “Mr. Knightley just peed in Deborah’s purse!” (As indeed he had. Luckily, the purse was
Among the commemorations planned during last year’s bicentenary of Jane Austen’s death, one of the most delightful was the Chawton quilt project – an ambitious effort by the staff of Jane Austen’s House Museum to create a quilt whose individual panels would tell the story of Austen’s life. The museum – aka Chawton cottage, the place where Austen wrote or revised all six of her finished novels – solicited volunteer quilters, held workshops for local participants, and helped th
Jane Austen is no stranger to the quiz-show world, on either side of the pond: As blog readers will recall, just four years ago, she got a whole Jeopardy! category to herself, a few months before a team of Cambridge University students drew on their Janeite knowledge to win Britain’s much-loved University Challenge quiz competition. And now comes word that a contestant on another venerable UK quiz show, the BBC's Mastermind, plans to make Jane Austen her specialist subject in
Once upon a time, Jane Austen was a British writer. But today, she’s an international phenomenon, with fan societies on at least five continents. As 2018 dawns, herewith an entirely unscientific and incomplete sampling of a few of the places Austen will turn up this year, as fans mark the sort-of bicentennials of Austen’s last two published novels: * In a bookstore in Islamabad, where members of the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan will convene to discuss Austenistan, their ne