What Would You Write to Jane?



By Petar Milošević (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

We heard from Gabrielle, who has started a very interesting website called the Dear Jane Project. We will let her tell you about it in her own words.

I know exactly the ways in which Jane Austen has affected my life. I am very interested in knowing how Jane has had an impact on everyone else. I propose to start a collaborative blog. I have created a blog titled “Dear Jane Project”: https://dearjaneproject.wordpress.com. Someone who is interested in participating in this project can submit a letter to Jane explaining how her works and her life have affected them through an email: dearjaneproject@gmail.com. Submitted texts will be uploaded to the blog. Hopefully, this project will allow fans from around the world to share their stories, and create a community with people around the world.

I believe this project can become something great. Each one of us has a story, and my goal is for us all to be able to share them. I think it is a great way to commemorate the life of Jane Austen as we approach the 200th anniversary of her death.

What would you write to Jane?

We love the idea of this project and will be keeping an eye on the blog!

Tuesday Tweets


An experiment, and perhaps the start of something…

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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.