Copious notes accompany the text, and suggestions for further Austen study are a welcome addition for both the uninitiated and veteran Janeite
. Stories of the people who played roles in the perpetuation of Jane Austen as a crucial literary figure often rival the fictional characters contained in Austen's works.
The modern "Janeite
" in Raff's account assumes the role of the eighteenth-century "quixote," a figure that embodied apprehensions about the potential negative impacts of novel reading for young (usually female) readers.
Genial "Austenland" stars Keri Russell as a die-hard Janeite
who hopes her real-world-incompatible dreams of Regency Era courtship will come true at the titular English literary theme park.
Although merely alluded to in the book, any Janeite
up on their biography will know that her father was involved in slavery while she herself was a great admirer of Thomas Clarkson, the abolitionist, and that the book's very title is a reference to the Mansfield Judgement, a hotly debated contemporary slavery limitation legislation.
Pictures "can't establish an ironic context." They cannot "manage time, or summarize." "Pictures can tell only of the surface of things." Finally, Gard disposes of every one of the Austen-based movies in a single sentence: "[I]sn't it unfortunately the case that none of them remains in the mind as even a minor work of art?" Fortunately, New Zealand film director Gaylene Preston helps level the playing field with a tribute to Ang Lee's film of Sense and Sensibility, and Kate Bowles ignores the whole either/or noncontroversy by discussing the vitality of Janeite
"Jane Austen and the Common Reader: 'Opinions of Mansfield Park,' 'Opinions of Emma,' and the Janeite
Phenomenon." Texas Studies in Literature and Language 37, no.
Freudenberger knows Amina as well as Jane Austen knows Emma, and despite its globe-spanning set changes, The Newlyweds offers a reading experience redolent of Janeite
charms: gentle touches of social satire, subtly drawn characters and dialogue that expresses far more than its polite surface." RON CHARLES
You're bringin' forth abundant fruit, like a good Janeite
Cassell's advertisement for Talking of Jane Austen, which appeared in the Times Literary Supplement in December 1943, placed the book firmly on the Janeite
side of the divide, declaring that "two confirmed and ardent Janeites
have got together" to produce "a delightful book that will charm all true Janeites
." The book's splashiest review was the full front-page notice of the American edition in The New Tork Herald Tribune Weekly Book Review in May 1944, in which the top half of the page is entirely occupied by the very Hugh Thomson illustrations that Kaye-Smith declares had turned her off as a reader.
But if we except items designed for the coffee table, various Janeite
effusions, and the many continuations and adaptations of the novels, the overall figure still left of thirty to forty full-length works produced in such a short span of time remains impressive.
But it was her unpublished, and now apparently lost, letter advocating for Austen's entree into Poets' Corner that changed the course of Janeite
history (Southam 10).
I am, on the one hand, an enthusiastic Janeite
(which I define as someone who loves and studies the works of Jane Austen) and a long-time JASNA member: by profession a teacher and writer rather than a professor or scholar.