Jane Austen is buried in Winchester Cathedral, as all good Janeites know, but it’s another prominent medieval English church that will host an academic lecture about her work next week: Westminster Abbey, perhaps the most famous religious site in the British Isles. For three evenings next month, the abbey and the British non-profit Art + Christanity are sponsoring a free lecture series on nineteenth-century English female novelists who “use fiction to explore questions of fai
Last month, as blog readers will recall, a non-profit executive and Janeite with the extraordinarily appropriate name of Janet Austin was appointed lieutenant governor of the Canadian province of British Columbia. This month, she confirmed her Janeite credentials in a twenty-question Proust questionnaire with the Toronto Globe and Mail. For question #3, “Which living person do you most admire?” Austin named her friend Anne Giardini, chancellor of British Columbia’s Simon Fras
Thirty-third in an occasional series of excerpts from Jane Austen's letters.
Although Jane Austen was, famously, not a big fan of Bath, London was a different story: Her trips to the metropolis to visit her worldly brother Henry seem to have been delightful whirls of shopping, parties, and culture – much like London tourism today.
The letter Jane Austen wrote to her sister, Cassandra, exactly 205 years ago today (#85 in Deirdre Le Faye’s standard edition of Austen’s corresp
It’s been quite a while since I last discussed the unfortunate phenomenon of faux-Jane Austen quotes, usually originating in Jane Austen movie scripts, proliferating in the Internet echo chamber. Perhaps this pause has lulled you into the belief that my good work, along with that of untold numbers of other Janeites laboring to correct the record, has borne fruit, driving the legions of misquoters into retirement.
Once again, our text is drawn from Bustle, that rah
Over the years, I’ve swooned about Austen-linked real estate coming up for sale or rent. Perhaps I have said things like, “If money were no object, I’d buy that place in a minute.” I was kidding, but Canadian Tara Rout apparently isn’t. Rout, an Edmonton lawyer who has written Austen fanfic under the name Melanie Kerr, has launched an insanely ambitious Kickstarter appeal to buy Luckington Court, the stately Wiltshire home that played Longbourn in the BBC’s iconic 1995 adapta
By now, pretty much every Janeite in the known universe has seen the moment in the BBC’s iconic 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice when Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy dives into a lake for a refreshing swim and then strides home across a field with his wet white shirt clinging fetchingly to his manly chest. Most of us were, um, not paying attention to the scenery when we watched that part. But if you’re the kind of person who found Firth’s pectorals an annoying distraction from
If only “literary Darwinism” had existed when I was in school, I might have liked science a whole lot more. Yes, according to a story on the BBC’s website last week, a new branch of scholarship is “asking what exactly makes a good story, and the evolutionary reasons that certain narratives – from Homer’s Odyssey to Harry Potter – have such popular appeal.” The gist of the explanation is that stories give us practice at social strategizing, allowing us to imaginatively navigat
Jane Austen’s mature novels are not, by and large, very foodie. Although important scenes occur over meals – think Mary Crawford’s unfortunate “Rears and Vices” joke – Austen seldom mentions what dishes the characters are eating at the time. Indeed, a preoccupation with food is usually the marker of a fussy, hypochondriacal, or excessively sensuous nature: the gruel-eating Mr. Woodhouse of Emma, the picky Parkers of Sanditon, the gluttonous Dr. Grant of Mansfield Park. So it’
Apparently, judges just love Jane Austen. Or so Ohio State University Professor Matthew H. Birkhold claims in a recent article in the online journal Electric Literature. Birkhold argues that, while judicial references to such canonical male authors as Shakespeare, Kafka, Melville, and Dickens predominate, Austen tops the list for female writers. Sort of, anyway: “The most-cited female authors include Harper Lee, Mary Shelley, and Jane Austen,” Birkhold writes. “Only the last,