The Philosophy of Jane Austen


This video from the School of Life YouTube channel presents an introduction to Jane Austen and her work from a philosophical point of view.

Tweet of the Week


Around the Web


Many of you no doubt have already seen these posts, but we found them interesting and wanted to share!

Deborah Yaffe sent us this article and begged us to turn the Cluebat upon it; we planned to oblige, but with one thing and another, never got to it; and then Deborah did it herself, so thoroughly we found it impossible to add much more.

(Though we will add: in what benighted universe are William Collins and John Thorpe leading men?)

A couple of days ago, Austen paraliterature author Alexa Adams posted on Facebook that an Individual posted (on an old post and not really on-topic, which around here we call spam) a comment about his book claiming that Jane Austen’s novels were really written by…wait for it…Eliza de Feuillide. Such a claim is completely silly, of course, but Janine Barchas wrote a guest post for the Jane Austen in Vermont blog reviewing the book and refuting the Individual’s claims. It’s quite thorough. Go check it out.

Introducing IndieJane


We would like to introduce our Gentle Readers to a new website called IndieJane. Founded by authors Jessica Melendez and Nancy Kelley, the site is a community for readers and writers of independently-published books inspired by Jane Austen’s work. The site includes a blog, a message board with group reads of Austen’s novels, a chat room, and links to other sites.

We were delighted to contribute a guest post to the current celebration of Northanger Abbey: Making Love, the Henry Tilney Way. There also is a giveaway going on for lots of NA-related swag, including a couple of copies of There Must Be Murder. Last day to enter is October 31, so make haste! Also check out Emily C.A. Snyder’s hilarious guest post on How to Write Your Own Gothic Novel and a review of Emily’s fabulous NA sequel, Nachtsturm Castle. (Modesty protests, but practicality dictates that we post a link to the review of There Must Be Murder as well. Jane, we know, would approve.)

And do check out the rest of the site–there are lots of reviews and news and talk about the writing process.

So you want to write like Jane Austen? Start here


We heard from Ian Flitcroft, the creator of a fabulous new tool for writers who are trying to get the correct period sound for their work: The Jane Austen Thesaurus. Ian wrote,

This site provides a completely free Austen thesaurus allowing users to see if Jane Austen used a particular word, how often it appeared in her novels and what other semantically related words she might have used in its stead. It also lets you know what related words she never used, one of which is, of course, the word ‘zombie’.

This sounds a bit academic but in reality it is intended as a fun tool for Austen enthusiasts who, when looking up that perfect word, would, naturally enough, prefer to choose a word that was used by Austen herself.

What fun! And how useful! We decided to put it through its paces with a word we were fairly certain never appeared in a Jane Austen novel, Ada Lovelace notwithstanding: computer.

Jane Austen never used this word.
In place of ‘computer’ you could select one of the following words that was used by Jane Austen:

(numbers in brackets tell you how often she used that word)
printer (1), reckoner (1),

You may wish to note that Jane Austen never used any of these related words:
multiplier, integrator, estimator, figurer, hardware, receptor, telecomputer, transmitter, statistician, relay, selector, divider, adder, analyzer, bookkeeper, actuary, accountant, IDA, Teleplotter, Telereader, abacist, calculator, coder, differential, detector, decoder, collator, compiler, computer,

Guess it told us! Note you can also click the button for “What Word Would Jane Use?”, which is the thesaurus, so you can look up the proper word. Now, if we can only get authors to stop sending Darcy and Lizzy to gift shops conveniently located in country inns, we might be getting somewhere.

Mr. Tilney issues an invitation to the Gentle Readers of AustenBlog


We have been directed by Mr. Tilney to issue an invitation. He is making himself available to answer questions from the Gentle Readers of AustenBlog. It’s sort of like having an instant big brother. Do you need advice about your love life, your career, your accomplishments, or your reading list? Are you wondering about the great philosophical questions regarding life, the universe, and everything? (He has promised not to answer “42” to any of the questions.) Do you require wardrobe advice? Mr. Tilney can explain it all. Please send your questions to the Editrix at austenblog AT gmail DOT com by August 2, 2011.

While the answers will be entirely via text, we figure any excuse to post Mr. Tilney’s Old Spice parody is a good one.

This event will be part of the Austenesque Extravaganza taking place at the Austenesque Reviews blog throughout the month of August. Check out the blog for the schedule and participants. There will also be a giveaway as part of the Extravaganza that we think will interest the Gentle Readership!

Help El Sitio de Jane celebrate the S&S bicentenary and the site’s ninth anniversary


Congratulations to El Sitio de Jane, a Spanish-language website dedicated to Jane Austen, which is celebrating its ninth anniversary! To celebrate the S&S bicentenary, they are asking Austen fans to contribute photos with Sense and Sensibility somewhere in the photo. In celebration of the site’s anniversary, if you submit a photo by June 1 (instructions on the Flickr page), you will be eligible to win one of 5 prizes!