What’s New in Austenland 2013

“No man is offended by another man’s admiration of the woman he loves; it is the woman only who can make it a torment.”  Henry Tilney to Catherine Morland, Northanger Abbey


Jane Austen, watercolor by her older sister, Cassandra

Guess what? It’s that time once again when I highlight some of the newest titles in Jane Austen scholarship. As I’ve happily written about for the last two years, Austen continues to be an endless inspiration for writers to discover new and different topics of discussion about the celebrated early nineteenth-century author. Nearly 200 years after her death in 1817, how many authors can you say that about?


 Jane Austen’s Cults and Cultures by Claudia L. Johnson. Just how popular is Jane Austen? Well, there are two JASNA* chapters in the state of Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh is one of them and I’m proud to say that I am a member. Austen scholar Claudia Johnson traces Austen’s fame throughout history, from soon after the author’s death through the Victorian period, and into the middle of the twentieth century when landmarks began to be set aside and preserved for their historical affiliation with the novelist.


Everybody’s Jane: Austen in the Popular Imagination by Juliette Wells. Similar to the above, however, Wells’s focus is on the present day amateur madness for all things Austen, from book spin-offs–into diversities as graphic novelszombies, vampires, mysteries, and even (gasp!) erotica–to the tourism industry of Jane Austen’s England tours, and  individual collectors and their impressive collections.


Image source: austenprose.com

Emma: An Annotated Edition edited by Bharat Tandon. Harvard University Press has produced yet another gorgeous coffee-table edition of annotated Austen novels. These are truly gift editions for the Austen aficionado. Reproductions of period fashions, maps, advertisements, and artists‘ portraits provide an understanding of not only Austen’s arguable masterpiece, but also early 19th century England.


The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things by Paula Byrne. Paying attention to the smallest details of Austen’s brief life, such as her topaz cross (a gift from a beloved brother), a shawl, a hat, and other personal artifacts, Byrne attempts to go beyond the published literature and delve deeper into the novelist’s personal life.


What Matters in Jane Austen: Twenty Crucial Problems Solved by John Mullan. In this elegantly written and fascinating book, many interesting facets of Austen’s novels  are discussed with intriguing chapter titles such as: “Is There Any Sex in Jane Austen?”–yes, there is–, “What Do Characters Say When the Heroine Isn’t There?,” “How Much Money is Enough?,” and “Why Do Her Plots Rely on Blunders?”

Same time next year!


*The Jane Austen Society of North America


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11 responses to “What’s New in Austenland 2013

  1. Reblogged this on Musings Of The Caffeine Addict and commented:
    As a woman, I find this incredibly true.

  2. Will have to add at least two of these to my ever growing list of Austen-esque things to read! Its great to have the factual ones listed together to add to my list of the most recommended spin-offs and re-reads of the orignal novels themselves!

  3. Thanks for reading, Phoebe & Why? Well, Why Not? Austen’s writing and quotes are as true today as they always were.

  4. If only I had found your blog earlier this year, finding contemporary bibliography for my research paper on Austen would have been so much easier! Great list, definitely added to my to-read list.

  5. Steph

    Thanks for the Northanger Abbey quote. Picked up it and its graphic novel incarnation from Sq Hill branch today :)

  6. Hi Maria, I wanted to bring your attention to another Jane Austen book, “Jane Austen’s Rules of Romance: The Necessary Refinements and Situations for the Successful Procurement of the Marriageable Man,” compiled and with introduction by Ticia Blackburn, a NYC based writer, with illustrations by myself, Diane Keane of Pittsburgh! Here is the Amazon link:
    The Look Inside feature shows only the cover illustration, but you can see others on my blog, http://www.collagitation.blogspot.com. These are all done as silhouettes, a style associated with Jane’s time. Thanks,


  7. Pingback: Seeking Silence | Eleventh Stack

  8. Pingback: What’s New in Austenland 2014 | Eleventh Stack

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