Weekend Bookblogging: Current Events Edition


Welcome to Weekend Bookblogging! This week’s links seem to have an overall theme of current events, in that they are related to the latest news both in the Jane Austen world and in the bigger world as well.

Alert Janeite Cate sent a link to the latest installment of Open Book on BBC Radio 4, featuring Claire Harman, author of the new cultural history/biography Jane’s Fame, and Deborah Moggach, screenwriter of P&P2005, discussing Jane Austen’s continuing cultural significance.

Speaking of audio, Cate also sent the news that the very popular Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will be coming out on audiobook next month.

If you want to rock your Jane old-school, the Jane Austen in Vermont blog has news of an upcoming auction that will include first editions of five of Jane’s six novels; though three volumes of NA? Perhaps it is missing one volume of Persuasion?

Alert Janeite Robin sent in a link to an article in The Week by economist Brad DeLong, who has written about Mr. Darcy’s fortune in the past on his blog. The article, about the Panic of 1825 and its resemblance to current financial events, contains the following Austenian reference:

Marianne writes of profits of 40,000 pounds a year, which is quite a lot when you reflect that Jane Austen’s creation, Fitzwilliam Darcy, the richest commoner in early 19th-century England—other than Nathan Meyer Rothschild—receives (I refuse to write “earns”) only 20,000 pounds a year from his estate of Pemberly. Forty thousand pounds a year in income corresponds to a market capital value of 1 million pounds, which bears the same proportion to the size of the British economy then as $10 billion would bear today.

While we have no arguments with his larger points, Dr. DeLong needs to check his references a bit. Darcy, of course, only has TEN thousand pounds a year, placing him behind not only Nathan Rothschild but Mr. Rushworth of Sotherton, who would be a very stupid fellow if he had not twelve thousand pounds per year. We also recall dimly that Edward Austen’s estates brought him on the order of thirty thousand pounds per year, but cannot recall where we read it or if it is true. While Darcy was very rich indeed, was he really the second-richest commoner in England? If he were not fictional, that is. 😉

Here’s a mashup that takes not only the latest thing (P&P&Z) and mixes it up with a theme previously seen on AustenBlog, evolutionary psychology, i.e. the literary Darwinists. Thanks to Alert Janeite Sarah for the link.

And Rob Hardy posted this in comments, but we have to promote it to the front page. Following up on a Getting Local post, he gave a talk at Northfield Public Library last week and has posted it at his blog. Part travelogue, part lit crit, check it out!