Everyone remembers their first.
Pride and Prejudice was mine. I devoured it in big chunks on the floor of my student bedroom when I should have been studying. Jane was my first real introduction to classic literature, and Pride and Prejudice was my introduction to all things Austen. I loved Pride and Prejudice from the first time I read it — and I’ve loved it (and Mr Darcy) ever since.
Jane Austen died at the young age of 41 about 200 years ago in July. She has influenced writers down the ages and given untold pleasure to readers such as me. In honor of her short — but creative and influential — life, this Weekend Wander is dedicated to all things Austen.
Shiny New Books have been celebrating Jane’s bicentenary by posting Jane related material every day this week. There are some great posts to read. I particularly liked A Reading List of Austen inspired fiction.
I have never been to the Jane Austen’s House Museum (Why have I never been here? — I need to). It’s in Hampshire and it’s the only house where Jane lived and wrote that is open to the public as a museum.
The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler is such a great book. Set in California’s Central Valley, five women and one man join to discuss Jane Austen’s novels. Over the six months they get together, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. This is described as the book Jane may have written had she lived in twenty-first-century California.
The Jane Austen Centre in Bath is where all true Austenites go for all things Jane. The centre houses a permanent exhibition that explores Jane’s time in Bath as well as the influence this city had on her books, characters, and personal life. Here, I have visited (although some years ago now). I feel it may be time for a return trip. Or if not able to, why not spend some time with your own favorite Jane and indulge your inner Austen this weekend.