What Matters in Jane Austen?
Please Welcome Karen from Karen’s Books and Chocolate!
Be sure to read all the way through for a special treat following this excellent guest post!
Welcome to Austen in August! I’m so happy to be participating and thanks to Adam for allowing me write a guest post. My regular readers know that I’m a dedicated fan of Jane Austen’s works and most things relating to the Regency time period, so this is right up my alley.
As most of you have probably noticed, Jane Austen has created an amazing following — she wrote only six novels, yet they’ve been adapted, discussed, and dissected more than the works of any other novelist than I can imagine. For the devoted fan such as myself, you can find scores of books analyzing her work. (I personally own at least a dozen.) For Austen in August, I’m reviewing What Matters in Jane Austen? Twenty Crucial Puzzles Solved by John Mullan.
In this book, Mullan has written twenty essays that dig deeper into the background of Jane Austen and her works. He explains many of the things that modern readers might miss. For example, facts including which of Austen’s characters addresses her husband by his first name (Mary Musgrove from Persuasion); which key characters never actually speak dialogue; and what a trip to the seaside signals. Some of these fun facts may seem like trivia, but many of them would have been significant to Austen’s contemporary readers.
The great thing about this book is that there’s something in there for all Janeites — whether you are a casual fan or a serious scholar of the works of Jane Austen. You can read it for the fascinating trivia, or grasp the deeper significance and scholarly aspects of the work. Each of the essays are fairly short, so you can read a few at a time, in manageable chunks. However, it does include plot spoilers for all the books (plus some of the minor works), so I’d recommend reading it after you’ve read all the books. I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend reading it to anyone who wants to get more out of the Jane Austen experience.
And now for the giveaway! I’m giving away a paperback copy of What Matters in Jane Austen to any commenter, world-wide! Just leave a comment below telling me which is your favorite novel by Jane Austen and why. (you can have more than one, like me) In one week, I’ll pick a winner from my favorite comment. Don’t worry, the winner doesn’t have to like my favorite book best (but they do have to be a registered participant in this year’s Austen in August event!)
Here are the giveaway rules:
- Participants must post a comment telling me about their favorite Jane Austen book (or books) in the comments below, and include a good email address.
- Comments must be posted by 11:59 p.m. (US CST) on August 8 to be eligible;
- The winner will be announced on August 9 and must contact me with a good mailing address by August 12, or I’ll choose another winner;
- The winner must live in a country to which The Book Depository will ship. If you’re not sure, visit BookDepository.com and click “Free Delivery Worldwide” to see if your home country is listed.
So that’s it! Good luck and happy reading, Janeites!
Thanks Karen & Good Luck to All Entrants!