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Why are we so obsessed with Jane Austen?

I read an article in Entertainment Weekly called “Will Jane Austen ever rest in peace?” I’m one of those fans that loves to read all these new additions to Jane Austen’s classic stories. But why? Why are we so obsessed with anything Jane Austen?

I’m part of a group where I can find many great books to read at The Jane Austen Book Club http://thesecretunderstandingofthehearts.blogspot.com/.   A friendly meeting place to read and discuss anything Austen…

I love the classics by Jane Austen. I have two copies of “Pride and Prejudice” and “Northanger Abbey,” At least one copy of “Persuasion,” “Emma,” and “Sense and Sensibility.” I need to pick up a copy of “Mansfield Park” and my collection will be complete.

My bookshelves are full of spin off stories like “Darcy’s Story” by Janet Aylmer, “Becoming Jane Austen” by Jon Spence, and

“Echoes of Pemberley” by Cynthis Ingram Hensley (My review http://juliemartinwallace.blogspot.com/2012/04/modern-day-pride-and-prejudice.html.)

“Jane Austen and The Archangel” by Pamela Aares ( My review http://juliemartinwallace.blogspot.com/2012/09/book-review-of-jane-austen-and.html)

“A well crafted novel by Pamela takes us into a new world and gives us the peace of mind that Jane truly knew love. “

The entire “The Jane Austen Diaries” series by Jenni James

NorthangerAlibicover.inddpride and popularityEmmaleecoverideas.indd???????????????????

(Pride and Popularity book review and Northanger Alibi book review- http://anythingbutnormal-juliewallace.blogspot.com/2012/08/book-reviews-of-two-of-my-favorite-books.html)

(Persuaded book review- http://anythingbutnormal-juliewallace.blogspot.com/2012/12/book-review-persuaded-by-jenni-james.html)

(Emmalee book review- http://anythingbutnormal-juliewallace.blogspot.com/2012/12/book-review-persuaded-by-jenni-james.html)

“Austenland” and “Midnight in Austenland”by Shannon Hale are great reads:

(Midnight in Austenland review- http://juliemartinwallace.blogspot.com/2012/09/book-review-of-midnight-in-austenland.html)

The movie “Austenland” is spectacular. (Here’s my movie review- http://anythingbutnormal-juliewallace.blogspot.com/2013/08/movie-review-of-austenland.html)

I won’t even get started on all the movies out there that are Jane Austen inspired.


So the question is why? Why are we so obsessed? What calls to us and drives us to read more and more? I can’t speak for the millions of other obsessed fans, but for me I think there is a happily ever after feeling in all of Jane’s works.  Her characters I can relate to and even if the issues with family and acceptance are a little different than mine I can understand the dilemma that they face. But on the flip side I can envy the simple life of going on holidays and dances. I wish my biggest worry was what lace will look best on my dress for the next ball.  Of course Jane Austen’s stories have much more depth than that. I enjoy getting lost in another time and place and leave my rat-race world behind.  All these spin-off Jane Austen stories have kept her core values alive and given me a new Austen-like heroine to cheer for and a love story to enjoy.

Here’s a great article on our Jane Austen obsessions.  http://www.thecredits.org/2013/08/austenland-latest-in-our-centuries-long-love-affair-with-jane/. It speaks of another author/playwright who has Austen like popularity. Shakespeare of course.

“Austen isn’t our most adapted writer, of course, not by a stretch. According to IMDB, Shakespeare’s been included in the ‘writer credits’ of films and TV shows an absurd 831 times, which is 511 more times than his closest competitor, Anton Chekhov.”

I do enjoy a good cry every once and awhile and read a Romeo & Juliet spin-off, but they lack the “happily ever after” affect Jane Austen has on me.

Tell me, what other authors have stood the test of time?


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