Jane Austen - avid blogger?? Seems a bit of a stretch doesn't it? But a Reuters article last week proposed that if Jane Austen was alive today she would be on facebook, twitter and be an avid blogger. Laurel Ann Nattress, the editor of a new anthology of Jane Austen inspired stories, believes that Austen's fascination with social culture and commentary would have led her to today's social networks. I have to say it put a bit of a smile on my face.
Growing up with the name in Emma in North America (decades before it was made popular by Jennifer Aniston on Friends) I was often asked about my somewhat unusual name. Most people assumed it was because of the Jane Austen book but in actual fact it has always been a quite popular name in England which is where my parents and I originally hailed from. I even had one English professor who really thought I was an embodiment of all things Jane Austen and would wag his finger at me as I walked down the hall saying, "Jane Austen". I realized rather quickly that I should probably read Austen's Emma so I knew what everyone was talking about. I read it from cover to cover in the back of a very hot car on a family trip when I was about 16 years old. Since then, I've read a few more of her books and of course seen some of the more well-known adaptations (Gwyneth Patrow's Emma, Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson's Sense and Sensibility.) However, I wouldn't classify myself as an Austenphile.
In recent years, there seems to have been a new found love and adoration of all things Jane Austen. The other day I spotted a Jane Austen themed birthday party on one blog and a Jane Austen inspired wedding on another. I admit that I haven't read any of the new adaptations that involve vampires or the newer films like the The Jane Austen Book Club, Becoming Jane or the new Latina spin on Sense and Sensibility called from Prada to Nada. Perhaps, this holiday season would be a good time to check some of them out.
Jane Austen themed Birthday Party
The one book I would like to read is Persuasion which I've heard is possibly her best. Cold winter nights and candlelight seem like the perfect companions to Ms. Austen. Do you have a favourite Jane Austen novel? Has anyone seen any of the newer movies or read some of the recent adaptations? Any good ones to look out for? And what do you think would Jane Austen have been an avid blogger if she was alive today?
Image Credits: Emma Penguin Cover - Jillian Tamaki via The Purl Bee Jane Austen Birthday Party - Dear Lillie