Fifty-fourth in an occasional series of excerpts from Jane Austen's letters. Some years ago, as I was finishing up Among the Janeites, I decided to include an appendix summarizing the plots of Jane Austen’s novels, so that readers who were rusty on the details wouldn’t be lost when I referred to specifics. As I boiled Austen’s brilliant creations down to their bare bones -- meetings, flirtations, dances, proposals, marriages – I came to a realization: It’s not about the plots
It’s no secret that the closing of pretty much everything in response to the coronavirus pandemic has hit non-profits and arts organizations especially hard. And Janeites’ favorite pilgrimage spots are no different.
Already, the Jane Austen Festival in Louisville, Kentucky, scheduled for mid-July, has announced that it's going virtual; it remains unclear whether closures will last long enough to force the postponement or cancellation of some other much-anticipated upcoming e
It’s no secret that many Jane Austen screen adaptations owe their popularity in part to the appeal of their detailed period costumes and elegant settings. Bonnets! Ballgowns! Stately homes with floor-to-ceiling French windows! The meticulously coordinated pastel color scheme was practically an extra character in this year’s movie version of Emma. So perhaps it’s not surprising that an entire Jane Austen-themed video game is devoted to the task of dressing up a Regency avatar
Two years ago, Chawton House Library – a research center for the study of early English writing by women, located in an Elizabethan mansion once owned by Jane Austen’s brother -- rebranded itself, dropping the “Library” from its name in an effort to lure non-scholarly tourists. Today, when you Google “Chawton House,” the top listing is a paid advertisement describing the site as “Historic House with Tearoom.” Step right up, folks! And now in Janeite Rebranding, it’s the turn
Last week’s online premiere of a new musical version of Pride and Prejudice, streamed for free by Streaming Musicals, drew a more than respectable audience: 160,000 viewers from fourteen countries, according to Variety. Compared to the audience for a new theatrical production, P&P’s viewership numbers are staggering: Broadway theaters seat between five hundred and nineteen hundred people. Compared to the audience for network TV, not so much: The most popular show (NCIS) is av
Just in case last Friday’s live-on-tape streaming version of a Pride and Prejudice musical hasn’t slaked your thirst for Austen adaptations, our friends across the (northern) border are offering another: One Man Pride and Prejudice, a theatrical performance that is, apparently, pretty much what it says in the title. The man in question, actor Charles Stuart Ross, seems to specialize in one-man versions of pop culture classics: he’s done the One Man Star Wars, the One Man Lord
At this point, roughly three weeks into All-American Shelter at Home, you -- the average Janeite -- have probably watched, or re-watched, your entire collection of filmed Jane Austen adaptations.
The first week, you gorged on the really good stuff – the cinematic comfort food: the Colin Firth-Jennifer Ehle Pride and Prejudice, the Emma Thompson Sense and Sensibility, Clueless.
The second week, you turned to the mediocre, unnourishing, but acceptable choices -- the filmic eq
I was not enthusiastic about Sanditon, the ITV/PBS series based on the novel Jane Austen left unfinished at her death. Although the show, which aired in Britain last year and in the US this winter, was created by Andrew Davies, the legendary screenwriter who brought us the iconic Colin Firth-Jennifer Ehle Pride and Prejudice, I found the storytelling slack, the characters generally unconvincing, and the dialogue devoid of humor and wit. And I wasn’t alone: the series got deci
Trendy fashion accessories come and go. One year, it’s thigh-high red boots and black berets; the next it’s purple shoes and tiny handbags. Right now, it seems to be Jane Austen novels. Months ago, blog readers will recall, first one and then a second Kardashian sister took to social media to publicize photos suggesting her previously unsuspected love of Jane Austen. And now the trend has gone royal. Last Sunday saw the release via Instagram of what the British celebrity maga