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  • Deborah Yaffe

Sugarplums

As Christmas approaches, the internet has been filling our Janeite stockings with tidbits of Austen-related news:


--Ahoy, there: Last week, PBS released a new thirty-second trailer for the third and final season of Sanditon, the on-again-off-again-on-again TV series based very, very loosely on the novel Austen left unfinished at her death.


The trailer, filled with dramatic vistas of near-deserted beaches, breathy snippets of dialogue (“You cannot choose who you fall in love with”), and closeups of hot men in cravats, seems to promise that Season 3 will be . . . exactly like Seasons 1 and 2. If you like that sort of thing, you can tune in March 19.


--P.S. CryptoJane: Earlier this month, I noted that Caroline Ellison, one of the fallen crypto CEOs at the center of the ongoing FTX crisis, reviewed Persuasion on her now-deleted Tumblr blog. Now comes word that Ellison wasn’t just an occasional Austen reader: At her Massachusetts high school, the Boston Globe reported, Ellison “played the cello and was in clubs for Nordic skiing and Jane Austen fans,” in addition to heading up the math team in her senior year.


Ten years after graduation, Ellison finds herself near the center of multiple civil and criminal investigations into the loss of billions of dollars of other people’s money. High school sure was a long time ago.


--Tommy Who? I’m not much of a music aficionado, so it was only a random online mention that alerted me to the existence of Tommy Lefroy, the indie-pop singer-songwriter duo of Wynter Bethel and Tessa Mouzourakis. Apparently, the two met in Nashville in 2017 while writing songs for other artists, spent COVID isolation working on their own stuff over Zoom, released an album last year, and have a North American tour starting in February.


And yes: They named themselves after that Tom Lefroy, described on their website as “the heartbreaker muse of Jane Austen,” and in an article about the band elsewhere on the web as “the dashing Irish politician who shattered Jane Austen's heart (and also inspired Mr. Darcy).”


At this point, it is probably useless to continue pointing out how exaggerated and implausible these claims are—how there’s no evidence that Lefroy broke Austen’s heart, inspired her writing, or served as a model for Mr. Darcy. But whatever. Rock on.

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