Everybody's Jane: Austen in the Popular Imagination

Everybody's Jane: Austen in the Popular Imagination

Juliette Wells

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 1441145540

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The first bookto investigate Jane Austen's popular significance today, Everybody's Jane considers why Austen matters to amateur readers, how they make use of hernovels, what they gain from visiting places associated with her, and why theycreate works of fiction and nonfiction inspired by her novels and life.The voices of everyday readers emerge fromboth published and unpublished sources, including interviews conducted with literary tourists and archival research into thefounding of the Jane Austen Society of North America and the exceptional Austencollection of Alberta Hirshheimer Burke of Baltimore.Additional topics include new Austenportraits; portrayals of Austen, and of Austen fans, in film and fiction; andhybrid works that infuse Austen's writings with horror, erotica, or explicitChristianity.Everybody's Jane will appeal to all those who care about Austen and will change how we think about theimportance of literature and reading today.

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ways, Recreating Jane Austen, Jane Austen on Screen, and Jane Austen and Co. take a broader approach than does Jane Austen in Hollywood to the phenomenon of Austen’s popularity on screen in the 1990s. Many of the essays collected in Recreating Jane Austen and Jane Austen on Screen analyze the 1990s versions in relation to the history of Austen adaptation—a history that, in the absence of significant prior critical work, these scholars also actively fill in. Recreating Jane Austen, while primarily

Media Are Destroying Our Economy, Our Culture, and Our Values (New York: Doubleday, 2008). 47 Deidre Lynch, “At Home with Jane Austen,” in Cultural Institutions of the Novel, ed. Deidre Lynch and William B. Warner (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996), 159–92. Claudia L. Johnson, “Austen Cults and Cultures,” in The Cambridge Companion to Jane Austen, ed. Edward Copeland and Juliet McMaster (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 211–26. See also Johnson’s influential 1996 article “The

(which Alberta had not mentioned in writing) that a different institution would receive the Austen manuscripts.82 In reply, Alberta expressed her relief at settling the question of her collection’s future: “From the time when my Jane Austen material first began to overflow the one-shelf bounds assigned to it, I have always intended that Goucher should be the ultimate recipient of the Jane Austen books, and I have hoped that, sometime in the future, others would partake of the very great pleasure

albeit to a lesser degree, with people who don’t particularly like Austen, or who come to her with initial reluctance. Such is Austen’s prominence in today’s popular culture that people can sometimes feel embarrassed about not having read her, or by having read her (or viewed a screen adaptation) and not seen what the point was. Jane Austen is not, in fact, for absolutely everybody. Men in particular are underrepresented among today’s lovers of Austen, a fact that is especially striking given

affection for the author. Visitors are not the only ones who enjoy the experience of being in Jane Austen’s House. Many of the museum’s staff members, both professional and volunteer, are lovers of Austen and take a special pleasure in working Getting Closer to Austen: Literary Tourism 131 at the house where she wrote. “You have to have a love of Jane Austen,” says Catherine Hogan, a volunteer steward, who describes herself as feeling “privileged” to work at the house. Hogan’s own copies

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