In September, we suspected. We hoped. We crossed our fingers. And now it’s confirmed. In perhaps the least likely household on Planet Earth, a nest of Jane Austen fans has apparently hatched. Yes, it’s true. The Kardashians are Janeites. Four months ago, blog readers will recall, Kourtney Kardashian, the eldest of the K-named tribe, posted an Instagram shot of herself draped across an empty bathtub reading a handsome hardback of Emma. Admittedly, it was all in the service of
Last December, the owner of a very trendy new car got into a minor accident on an English roadway. And thus we learned some exciting news: Jane Austen drives a Tesla. Earlier this month, a person going by a rather famous name posted a twenty-five-second video clip on YouTube showing how a Tesla on autopilot failed to compensate adequately for a narrowing lane, side-swiped a parked car, and sheared off a mirror. Oh, fine. I admit that “Jane Austen” is probably a pseudonym chos
Fifty-first in an occasional series of excerpts from Jane Austen's letters. It’s an occupational hazard of the writing life that once you’re known to be an author, everyone in your life will want you to read their stuff. This works great if you are, say, the historian and author Timothy Garton-Ash, and the friend who wants you to read his new novel is Ian McEwan. If you are Jane Austen, however, the people who want you to read their stuff will be your unevenly talented nieces
“I have just learnt to love a hyacinth.” “. . . . So much the better. You have gained a new source of enjoyment, and it is well to have as many holds upon happiness as possible. . . . I am pleased that you have learnt to love a hyacinth. The mere habit of learning to love is the thing.”
--Northanger Abbey, ch. 22
January is a dreary month here in New Jersey, so I’ve sought a new source of enjoyment by sprouting a hyacinth bulb (pictured above) on my windowsill.
Just when you thought it was safe to put some cookies in the oven, toss a few snowballs, and top your hot chocolate with a dollop of whipped cream . . .
. . . it looks like another Jane Austen-themed Christmas movie will be coming to the Hallmark Channel later this year.
Yes, the folks who brought us the remarkably mediocre Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe in 2018 and the equally tedious Sense, Sensibility and Snowmen less than two months ago have noticed that Jane Austen wro
Search engine optimization and web analytics are topics about which I know very little. (OK: nothing.) So when Google sends me its periodic report on the performance of my web site – yes, this very site – I mostly ignore it. (Go ahead. Tell me I should grit my teeth and learn this marketing stuff even though it bores me. I deserve the lecture.) December’s Google report, however, included one tidbit hilarious enough to catch even my negligent eye. Apparently, the search query
Like all American girls, I loved Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, and when I shared it with my daughter many years after my first reading, I was delighted to see that it held up beautifully – not just a good book for children but a great American Victorian novel. But it wasn’t until I saw Greta Gerwig’s new movie adaptation – which is one of the year’s best films, in my not-so-humble opinion – that I noticed the Jane Austen reference. I had completely forgotten that the news
If only the Austens had invested in Steventon real estate. Back in 1801, as Janeites will recall, the Rev. George Austen moved out of the rectory in the rural village of Steventon, turned the house and the minister’s job over to his son James, and retired to Bath, taking along his wife and his daughters, Cassandra and Jane. James Austen kept the Steventon living until his death in 1819; the rectory itself was torn down some years later. That teardown looks like a grievous mis
The year that began yesterday will not bring us any important Jane Austen anniversaries: The bicentenaries of her death and of the publications of her books are behind us, and the 250th anniversary of her birth is still five years away. But 2020 will nonetheless mark an important milestone for Janeites: the eightieth anniversary of organized, institutionalized Jane Austen fandom.
In May 1940, an Austen fan named Dorothy Darnell launched the UK’s Jane Austen Society (JAS), th