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.
First, a preview of yet another version of P&P1995–this time, a Blu-ray edition with extras. Sadly, can’t embed it, apparently, but you can pop over to the Entertainment Weekly site to watch.
In addition to the classic story, the new version will include extras such as a featurette celebrating the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s most popular novel, and two featurettes exploring love, courtship, money, and social class in early 19th-century England.
Secondly, something rather more earthy. Heather L. brought this to our attention on Facebook–we had seen it before but forgot about it and it made us laugh, so we are sharing. The language is earthy, but bleeped, and the literary analysis excellent. Jane be slingin’ irony all day, e’er day.
Enjoy, and have a good day!
I’m a little late in the day with my remembrances, but they are nonetheless heartfelt.
For these birthday posts, I usually post a quotation that has directly to do with Jane herself. This year, I had a hard time thinking of something that felt satisfactory. I’ve long felt (and perhaps this is projection) that Jane, as an author, would consider her work her best remembrance. Thus, I’m sharing the passage that turned me from a casual Jane Austen reader to a lifelong fan. It’s not hyperbole to say that it changed my life. From Persuasion, Vol. II, Ch. XI:
Mrs. Croft left them, and Captain Wentworth, having sealed his letter with great rapidity, was indeed ready, and had even a hurried, agitated air, which shewed impatience to be gone. Anne know not how to understand it. She had the kindest “Good morning, God bless you!” from Captain Harville, but from him not a word, nor a look! He had passed out of the room without a look!
She had only time, however, to move closer to the table where he had been writing, when footsteps were heard returning; the door opened, it was himself. He begged their pardon, but he had forgotten his gloves, and instantly crossing the room to the writing table, he drew out a letter from under the scattered paper, placed it before Anne with eyes of glowing entreaty fixed on her for a time, and hastily collecting his gloves, was again out of the room, almost before Mrs. Musgrove was aware of his being in it: the work of an instant!
The revolution which one instant had made in Anne, was almost beyond expression. The letter, with a direction hardly legible, to “Miss A. E.–,” was evidently the one which he had been folding so hastily. While supposed to be writing only to Captain Benwick, he had been also addressing her! On the contents of that letter depended all which this world could do for her. Anything was possible, anything might be defied rather than suspense. Mrs. Musgrove had little arrangements of her own at her own table; to their protection she must trust, and sinking into the chair which he had occupied, succeeding to the very spot where he had leaned and written, her eyes devoured the following words:
“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in
“I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening or never.”
Such a letter was not to be soon recovered from.
It’s been some twenty years since I read it, and I haven’t recovered from it yet. Thanks, Jane. I hope all the love from Janeites all over the world today reached you beyond the ether.
“You’ll be fascinated to learn (from me that hates novels) that I finally got round to Jane Austen and went out of my mind over Pride & Prejudice which I can’t bring myself to bring back to the library till you find me a copy of my own.” – Letter from Helene Hanff to Frank Doel at Marks & Co., Booksellers, May 11, 1952, as quoted in the book 84, Charing Cross Road, which if you haven’t read you should do so immediately
“The process by which academic critics deprecate Austenian admirers outside the academy is very similar to the way…trekkies, fans, and mass media enthusiasts are derided and marginalized by dominant cultural institutions bent on legitimizing their own objects and protocols of expertise.” – Claudia L. Johnson, “Austen cults and cultures,” The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen