Welcome to All Things Austen in April!
Why Jane? Have you ever wondered where your obsession comes from?
Comment on the All Things Austen posts to be entered in the weekly giveaways. See the April 1 post (link here) for a list of the prizes. Winners will be announced on Sundays.
As I was faced with a last minute topic change, I started pondering All Things Austen in April, and what to post about (I mean, how to narrow it down???). My thoughts went to the question, WHY JANE?
Why do we love her so much? Why do we buy action figures and tea sets and ball gowns? Why are there countless retellings and movies of her books and her life? What is with this obsession?
It could be because Jane was an early feminist, writing about strong women in a time when women didn’t have a lot of choices or say in their lives.
It could be because her books talk of a simpler life- where men were gentleman, being a ‘lady’ was celebrated, and there weren’t internet trolls, crash diets, or reality TV.
Maybe it’s the wit and humour of her books that draws you to Jane. Or her fascinating commentary on class. Maybe it’s her well-drawn, perfectly imperfect characters. Characters you can identify with, despite the two-hundred year generation gap. I mean, who hasn’t seen herself in Elinor Dashwood, or wanted to be just like Lizzy Bennet?
Most would say it’s the love stories. The romance. The heroes. The shirtless Darcy or the Wentworth letter or the stalwart (and deep-voiced) Colonel Brandon. Reading about women who struggle but finally achieve their happy endings. Their “incandescent marriages,” as Anne Hathaway says, playing Jane in the movie BECOMING JANE.
If I was an Austen scholar, I’m sure I could come up with an answer to WHY JANE?, with research and diagrams, facts and big words. But I’m no scholar, I’m just a fan. One of many who love Jane and her books because of everything I mentioned above. Because while I read her books, I both learn and escape. I swoon over the heroes and want to be like the heroines. I laugh, and I cry. And mostly, I can’t wait to pick up another Austen book and do it all over again.
WHY JANE for you? Is it all of the above like it is for me, or something else entirely? Comment below for your chance to win prizes!