Christina will be receiving Jane Austen's Guide to Dating by Lauren Henderson, So You Think You Know Jane Austen? A Literary Quizbook by John Sutherland and Dierdre Le Faye, Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners by Josephine Ross, a box of Jane Austen notecards and, of course, the amazing Jane Austen action figure! Christina, can you please e-mail me via the contact form on my website so we can arrange mailing sometime after this holiday weekend?
The noodling around on the internet that I've done as we held our Jane Austen extravaganza has pointed up an interesting fact: Jane Austen is big business. Look at the books we're giving away above...what other 19th century author has spawned such titles? Can you picture, say, Thomas Hardy's Guide to Living Happily Ever After, or Henry James's Simple Country Living Stylebook? But joking aside, I don't think any other author has inspired modern books like these.
And then there are the Jane Austen continuations and fictionalized biographies. My November issue of The Historical Novels Review had reviews of no fewer than six Jane Austen "sequels" or other Jane-related fiction: Eliza's Daughter by Joan Aiken, Cassandra and Jane by Jill Pitkeathley, The Darcys and the Bingleys by Marsha Altman, Pemberley Shades by D.A. Bonavia-Hunt, Lydia Bennett's Story by Jane Odiwe, and Impulse and Initiative: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Abigail Reynolds. And there are dozens of others, some more fanciful and free-wheeling, others as close to JA as their authors could make them.
What about Jane on the silver screen? Every one of her completed novels has been made into a movie, be it for Hollywood or for release on television--some of them several times. Battles rage between Laurence Olivier-as-Darcy fans and the Colin Firth supporters (not to mention Matthew Macfadyen), and the Keira Knightly movie vs. the A&E miniseries. (I have my preferences, of course...can you guess?)
Lastly, there's fan fiction and the internet. Googling "Jane Austen fan fiction" showed nearly 90,000 hits for hundreds of sites, and included Yahoo Groups for JA fan fiction not to mention fabulous sites like The Republic of Pemberley for all things Jane. Um, wow.
So to close our Jane Austen celebration, I'm going to ask you a few questions:
- What is it about Jane Austen--why do you think she still speaks so clearly to people today?
- What's your favorite JA sequel or JA-related fiction or movie/TV version of JA?
- Are you a secret (or not-so-secret) JA fan fiction writer?
And finally, Regina and I wish you a very happy and healthy 2009, thank you for visiting and chatting with us at Nineteenteen over the last year, and hope you'll continue to do so in the new year to come!