“You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love … Jane Austen”
July is an extremely important month in the literary world. On 18th July it will be 200 years since Jane Austen died, at the tragically early age of 41, in Winchester. She left us a legacy of six completed novels, two unfinished ones, some juvenilia, letters and a few poems and other small pieces. The world will be marking this important anniversary in many ways. There will be exhibitions, talks, dances, guided walks, conferences, afternoon teas, trivia nights, and events hosted by Jane Austen societies in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, England, Denmark, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, North America, Pakistan, Scotland, Singapore and Spain.
This month the Bank of England will issue a £10 note, featuring Jane Austen, and also a £2 coin – this will make Jane Austen the first person ever (apart from the reigning monarch) to appear on her country’s bank note and coin simultaneously. Public benches decorated with scenes from her novels are being erected around England, a new statue of Jane Austen is being placed in the Basingstoke marketplace, in Hampshire a project called ‘Rain Jane’ will make words from her novels appear as if by magic when it rains, and several new books about her life and works are being published this year. I will be giving a talk on the day of this anniversary, and then meeting with good friends who share my love of her novels, so that we can marvel together at all she created. I will also sit quietly and read over some especially beloved passages from the books which have given me more pleasure than any others.
It is no exaggeration to say that my life has been totally changed by Jane Austen’s novels. When I was about 12 years old, on a family holiday in Christchurch, NZ, my mother suddenly announced that she thought I might be ready for Pride and Prejudice. I lay at the end of her bed, while she sat and read aloud to me. Little did I then dream that the book would shape the course of my life!
To celebrate this anniversary, I am giving several talks in Sydney, will speak on radio, will participate in various events being held in Australia, and will give a talk at a bookstore in the Netherlands. However, I have also written a memoir, showing just how Jane Austen has shaped my career, my social life, and my travels. My new book is called Jane & I: A Tale of Austen Addiction. It can be ordered through my website (only $20, including postage in Australia), or you can buy it at any of my talks in the coming months. I had huge fun telling the story of how I slowly grew addicted, and choosing photos of my earlier years to include in it. I have also added a guide to Jane Austen addiction in 10 easy steps, so that you too can become a Jane Austen addict. I recommend different biographies, critical works and novels featuring Jane Austen or her characters.
There is no better addiction to have, and there is no known cure. I would be delighted if you were to order my new book and read it. You will also find out many things you didn’t know about the person who sends you this newsletter every month.
FREE COMPANION GUIDE
Once you have received your copy of Jane & I: A Tale of Austen Addiction increase your enjoyment with a FREE Companion Guide. Susannah has prepared this recommended reading list to accompany Jane & I: A Tale of Austen Addiction with a list of resources and other relevant readings.
Share your thoughts about Jane Austen, her books and add your own tales of Austen Addiction in the comments below.
Jane & I: A Tale of Austen Addiction by Susannah Fullerton
A Dance with Jane Austen by Susannah Fullerton
Happily Ever After: Celebrating Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Susannah Fullerton
Jane Austen and Crime by Susannah Fullerton
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Emma by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Lady Susan by Jane Austen
I only recommend books I have read and know. Some of these links are my affiliate links. If you buy a book by clicking on one of these links I receive a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but does help cover the cost of producing my free newsletter.