Less than a Week Away

As I ready myself for travel to the UK, I am also priming myself to become a full fledged Janeite. You might have thought that I was already a Janeite, but you would have been mistaken. I was only a Janeite in the making before this summer. Although I attended a five-week NEH seminar on Austen and her contemporaries in 2012, I have been thinking intently and writing about Austen’s works for only five years–I’m practically a baby in the Austen world. This summer changes everything for me. I will spend six weeks immersing myself in everything Austen in the environs in which Jane became Jane Austen.

A couple of weeks ago I began this pre-immersion process. I started listening to audio versions of Austen’s novels. I began with Pride and Prejudice (narrated by Rosamund Pike) and then moved to The Watsons and Sanditon (both narrated by Anna Bentinck). I carried on with Emma (narrated by Juliet Stevenson). Tomorrow I will begin Persuasion (also narrated by Stevenson).

On top of this, I decided to binge watch the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice (swoon!) this past week, and to begin the BBC Emma. (NB: The latter production sacrifices fidelity at times for the sake of continuity, which bugs me a bit. However, the casting is divine, especially Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller.)

I have been rereading Austen’s juvenilia, especially pieces of it that I have not taught before, such as “A Letter from a Young Lady,” and one of her in-betweens, “Sir Charles Grandison.” I have also been reading David Nokes’ Jane Austen and Brian Southam’s Jane Austen’s Literary Manuscripts.

I have to admit: all of this listening, viewing, and reading has pumped me up! 🙂 I am so excited to go to England–which I want to call Austenland, but shouldn’t–this week!

One response to “Less than a Week Away”

  1. Oh oh oh, I’m feeling excited to my bones for you. Your preparation sounds almost as wonderful as the trip itself! Almost.
    The BBC versions of Emma and Pride & Prejudice are two of my favorite go to’s again and again.
    Thank you for sharing this experience with us folk who will thrill with each posting.
    Safe travels soon-to-be-full-fledged-Janeite.


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