Linkapalooza: The Editrix Is So Behind Edition


Hi gang! Because we have had a few very busy weeks, we are rather behindhand in posting stuff, so we’ll just get right to it.

Alert Janeite Kay sent us a link to an article celebrating Peter Firth, which is all very well (we like him, too) but…

And it’s very entertaining to see a much younger Firth playing a much younger man, Henry Tildney,


We are surrounded by Philistines and that’s all there is to it.

in the 1987 screen adaptation of Northanger Abbey. Tildney’s in a number of ways, a typical Austen hero: he’s sensible, he likes to read, he’s got a younger sister to whom he’s much devoted. If he weren’t a funny character, somewhat gregarious in his wisdom, Firth would be setting a precedent for Colin Firth’s (no relation) performance as Mr. Darcy eight years later.

One imagines Colin Firth sneaking up on Jennifer Ehle and whispering, “It’s a canaaaarrrrrry.” *falls over laughing, much entertained with own wit in manner of Henry TILNEY*

Novelist Lev Raphael has written a piece for the Huffington Post about Jane Austen’s fame during her lifetime and after.

The sequel to Terminator Salvation is going to be subtitled Revenge of the Regency and Christian Bale goes back to save Jane and her novels from destruction. Could there be a better date film?

SHHHH DON’T GIVE THEM ANY IDEAS. But do check out his idea for a Mel Brooks musical featuring Jane.

(In the piece, Mr. Raphael mentions the recent media fray with authors Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Weiner complaining publicly about media treatment of commercial fiction compared to literary fiction, to which we have only to say: while we’ve enjoyed Ms. Picoult’s work, it troubles us that a New York Times bestselling author does not know the meaning of the word “lapidary.” Admittedly Michiko used it oddly in her review of Freedom, but still, we’re just saying.)

We are looking forward to the publication of a new Jane Austen Mystery from Stephanie Barron, who was interviewed in Publisher’s Weekly about the series.

What’s next for Jane?

There are so many gaps in Austen’s actual record. What I find so exciting is exploring the possibilities of unknown history. It would be fun to use 1815, Waterloo, but I may find myself going back farther in time. Last week I found myself creating a plot line set around Trafalgar, in 1805, since Jane Austen’s brother served under Nelson. There Jane is with a relative right in the middle of one of the seminal events of British history, and it’s hard not to use that. I would very much like to write up to 1817, the year Austen died. Meanwhile, Jane and the Canterbury Tale is due in 2011.

Wheeeeee! Can’t wait! (and yes please, Trafalgar!!! Bring back Lord Harold!)

ETA: To add word so sentence makes sense. Sheesh.

14 thoughts on “Linkapalooza: The Editrix Is So Behind Edition

  1. Glad you enjoyed my exercise video idea, I mean, my HuffPo blog on Austen.

    I, too, was surprised Picoult made fun of a reviewer using “lapidary” to describe prose. Would she have preferred dromedary?


  2. Trai

    Tildney? Oh, dear. One despairs at the state of Austen-related fact-checking these days. The most annoying lapse I’ve come across is “Knightly” on the back of the DVD case for the Garai-Miller Emma.


  3. Just wanted to add, Mags, that never mind Jodi Picoult’s status as a bestselling author–it’s more troubling that she’s a Princeton grad who’s misplaced the meaning of lapidary…(I feel I can say this because we were a year apart in college. Although we did not know each other. I was too busy dating crew guys.)

    I appreciate the shout-out for the forthcoming Jane. Lord Harold returns, btw, in a short story I’ve just contributed to Laurel Ann Nattress’s forthcoming anthology, JANE AUSTEN MADE ME DO IT. The story’s entitled “Jane and the Gentleman Rogue,” and is set in Bath. There’s a duel. Need we say more?

    Stephanie Barron


    • I have to admit I can’t recall seeing the word “lapidary” used in that way before, which is why I said Michiko* used it oddly, but I could certainly figure out what she meant by context… “jewel-like.”

      (For our Gentle Readers who haven’t seen the review and are interested, here you go.)

      People can’t figure stuff out by context these days. I’m very into ebooks and a lot of the people who compare ebook readers get hung up on the fact that certain ereaders don’t have dictionaries. I think, do they REALLY run across so many words they don’t understand that it keeps them from reading? They can’t figure the word out reasonably well from context? I don’t get that.

      *WE ARE ON A FIRST-NAME BASIS, ha-ha…actually I think of her like Madonna or Beyonce, she doesn’t NEED a last name–which might be part of the perceived-in-some-quarters problem.


  4. Sandra

    I didn’t know what lapidary meant until I looked it up either, but then again, I went to a state school. 😀

    Maxine, I love your explanation of Austen’s endings as “hopeful” rather than the ubiquitous “happy.” I think it is more descriptive of the growth and maturation that her main characters experience.

    See you Wednesday, Madame Editrix. Three cheers for the sea!


  5. Maria L.

    If Picoult really wanted to sting, she might have been better off criticizing Ms. Kakutani’s less-than-original use of lapidary in this context; “lapidary prose” has been used previously to describe the work of authors ranging from E.B. White to Joan Didion, John McPhee and Vladimir Nabokov to name just a few.

    Though I sympathize to some extent, perhaps next time she should Google before she preaches.


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