When you’re off to attend the Jane Austen Society of North America’s annual conference, and the theme of that conference is Persuasion, it’s irresistible to quote the following exchange from the novel, the last one Austen finished before her death:
"My idea of good company, Mr. Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company."
"You are mistaken," said he gently; "that is not good company; that is
Thirty-seventh in an occasional series of excerpts from Jane Austen's letters.
Jane Austen never lived alone. From her earliest days, she was surrounded by parents and siblings; on visits away from home, she stayed with friends and extended family. Her writing time was snatched in shared living spaces rendered temporarily quiet enough to facilitate mental concentration. Surely she must sometimes have been frustrated by the enforced companionship.
Perhaps that’s why I like t
Last year, I blogged about Alejandra Carles-Tolra, a young Spanish photographer, based in London, who had won a competitive grant to photograph Jane Austen fans. Carles-Tolra’s photo essay, “Where We Belong,” is now finished. Twenty-one photos are available on her website, and a selection accompanied a recent article in the Guardian about her subject: the Jane Austen Pineapple Appreciation Society, a smallish band of British Janeites, most of them female, who met a few years
Dissing the members of the British royal family -- at least the popular ones -- is not for the faint of heart.
Jane Austen confined her criticism of the royals of her day to her private correspondence, where she revealed her dislike of the Prince Regent (later George IV) and her not-unmixed support for his slandered and abused wife, Princess Caroline.
Sandi Toksvig, the current co-host of TV’s Great British Bake Off – known to American audiences as The Great British Baking
One of the occupational hazards of Janeite life is a heightened sensitivity to every mention of Jane Austen, no matter the context. Whatever you’re reading – a cookbook, a computer manual, an obituary column – if you stumble across an Austen sighting, that’s what will stick in your memory later. Thus it was that my last few days’ perusal of the New York Times turned into a veritable festival of Janeite delight, as I ran across no fewer than three Austen mentions in three diff
Poor never-married Jane Austen: Lacking nuptials, she never got a bachelorette party, either. Strange, then – not to say strangely hilarious – to see Austen cited as a key reason for the proliferation of risqué bachelorette parties in Bath, England. According to the UK news-and-entertainment website Somerset Live, Bath’s Jane Austen connections, along with its architecture, location, and quintessential Britishness, are likely responsible for the increase in Bath-based “hen do
For sale: four-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,400-square-foot house that -- as the long-time residence of Elizabeth Jenkins, Jane Austen’s first modern, non-family biographer and a co-founder of the UK’s Jane Austen Society – has a real, if tangential, Austen connection.
I know what you’re thinking: At last! An Austen-related home that I can afford! Not one of those palatial English country mansions that’s out of the price range of everyone but a Russian oligarch!
Um, sorry. The
Only two months ago, I announced that second-order Austen adaptations -- adaptations of adaptations of Austen novels -- were now officially A Trend. It seems I was onto something, for now comes word that yet another piece of Austen fanfic has been sold to the movies. This time, the hot property is Ayesha At Last, by first-time novelist Uzma Jalaluddin, a Pride and Prejudice update set in the world of young Muslims in contemporary Toronto. Last week, rights to the book – alrea