Was Jane Austin Edited? Does it Matter?
Jane Austen Fiction Manuscripts
The Republic of Pemberley
The Jane Austen Society of North America
Since the earliest days of the Internet, devoted fans have set up online tributes to their favorite authors. To type in the word "Shakespeare" into a search engine is to invite a potential sensory and informational overload. Jane Austen has always been quite popular in the online (and offline) world, and there is a new clutch of young people who are taking up the mantle of her work via hundreds of websites. This week, the Wall Street Journal reported on these "Janeites" and their celebration of all things Austen. What is the appeal of an author who wrote about the mores of British gentry two centuries ago? Nili Olay, the regional coordinator for the New York Metro chapter of the Jane Austen Society believes, "Ms. Austen's tales of courtship and manners resonate with dating-obsessed and social-media-savvy-21st-century youths." At a recent meeting of Austen devotees, Jennifer Potter noted "Marrying for money, crazy parents, dating-these are all basic themes." Some attribute the roots of the Austen resurgence to two big projects in the 1990s: the BBC miniseries of "Pride and Prejudice" and director Ang Lee's "Sense and Sensibility" starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet. Now of course, fans can interact via Twitter feeds, blogs, and chat rooms. One of the most fun expressions of this type of "fandom" is the faux trailer for the movie "Jane Austen's Fight Club", which is worth several viewings.
The first link will take interested parties to an article from this Monday's Wall Street Journal, which includes a direct link to the trailer for "Jane Austen's Fight Club". The second link leads to a piece from NPR's "Fresh Air" on the recent controversy regarding the editing of Austen's work. Moving along, the third link leads to the homepage of the Jane Austen Fiction Manuscripts collection. Created by the University of Oxford and King's College London, the collection includes 1100 pages of writing in Austen's own hand. The fourth link leads to The Republic of Pemberley, which is a fan site that includes information about adaptations of Austen's work, discussions of her books, and a number of discussion boards. The fifth link leads to Austenbook, which is a spoof of Facebook by DeeDee Baldwin that chronicles the goings-on in "Pride and Prejudice". The last link leads to the official homepage of the Jane Austen Society of North America.
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