The Janeite Times, No. 7


Stephanie Barron, author of the Jane Austen Mysteries (there is a new one, hurrah! More on that in Friday Bookblogging) wrote a piece for NPR’s Three Books feature, tying them into the bicentennial of the English Regency, which officially began 200 years ago. We have made notes on our reading list.

Lev Raphael, who also has a new Austen-related book (again, more in Friday Bookblogging), wrote a piece for the Huffington Post on loving Jane Austen. Wait, there are people who don’t love Jane Austen?

Carol Adams wrote a piece for the Washington Post enumerating myths about Jane Austen. We suspect there are probably more than five of them.

We weren’t going to mention this until Friday Bookblogging, but everyone’s sending the link. Novelist Joanna Trollope will be the first of (presumably) six authors “of global literary significance” who will each write modern-set adaptations of Austen’s novels, because that’s never been done before. Trollope will take on Sense and Sensibility. Has anyone asked V.S. Naipaul to contribute?

9 thoughts on “The Janeite Times, No. 7

    • My temper might be called resentful. My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever. And one becomes a target of mockery forever. 😉

      Lorraine, I don’t see your e-mail address–I think you’re okay.


  1. Allison T.

    “…because that’s never been done before….”


    But presumably these wil be Real Authors: it will be interesting to compare their efforts with some of the best of the already-published modern-set versions.


    • Yes, that’s true! I am interested in seeing what they come up with. It could be that Austen-related Wide Sargasso Sea that I’ve been looking for, or it could be a trainwreck, or something in between. /Captain Obvious


    • Allison T.

      Yes, that’s right! And Jane Austen and other inhabitants of the Regency knew nothing at all about sex. So putting sex in will automatically make it all modern-like. Ahahahahaha!


  2. Sandra

    I’m highly skeptical. Firstly about the need for this in the first place–we can read the originals, so it does seem superfluous. And secondly, because I don’t believe I’ve ever enjoyed a book wherein one author tries to continue the work of another in that person’s own style. (I don’t count The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew in this category, because all the writers were working to a spec that none of them created. And yes, the younger me adored them.) A case in point is Eoin Colfer’s “And Another Thing”; it was just so obviously and totally NOT Douglas Adams that I couldn’t even finish it. I’m not saying it is necessarily bad, but when you notice what something isn’t more than what it is, then that thing has not achieved its purpose. I’ve never read any of Ms. Trollope’s work (nominative determinism, anyone?), but I bet I’d like that more than Joanna-Trollope-Does-Jane-Austen.

    To be fair, this criticism applies to the five writers not yet named as well.


    • Abigail Thompson

      I don’t think I’ve ever read Austen prequels, sequels, modernizations written IN HER STYLE. I wonder if that is the intent here? Probably not if they are modernizing Austen.
      But if these literary authors did want to write in Austen’s style, an interesting exercise might be to type one of (or a significant part of) her novels. I guess this makes you slow down and see the structure and pacing and conversation better. Maybe you would have to do this every day before you begin writing. (I heard this hint from an author on Fresh Air – that was how he learned to write well, not necessarily in someone’s style)
      I’ll bet they’ll be better paid than fan-fic authors – get advances and all.


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