Jane Austen in Pop Culture

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Jane Austen in Pop Culture You Probably Missed

Nothing pleases me more than when I discover another place in pop culture where Jane Austen’s legacy has infiltrated, as I love seeing where literature intersects with movies, TV, music and other media. If you’re a Janeite and also enjoy how much pop culture adores Jane Austen, here are a few you things may have missed.

People Magazine

Revered as a celebrity for decades, even People magazine has never been able to ignore the magnetic pull of Jane Austen’s world. Back in 1995, Jane Austen made their list of 25 Most Intriguing People and as recently as this 2013, People saluted the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice with much celebrity gushing over the author.

Marvel Comics

Between 2009 and 2011, Marvel released a comic series for Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma. Written by Nancy Butler these beautiful comics are illustrated by either Janet Lee or penciled by Hugo Petrus or Sonny Liew. I want them all!

Pop Music

I couldn’t track down any modern-day music inspired by Jane Austen (if you know of any songs, please share them in the comments). But I did find this lovely song aptly titled “Jane Austen” by musician, Holly Christina, to share with you.

Saints Row

The open world concept video game is a humourous story about the Third Street Saints gang and life in the violent town of Stillwater, Michigan where the gang frequently confronts the law and rival gangs. In Saints Row IV, How the Saints Save Christmas and Saints Row: Gat out of Hell, Jane Austen is a character in the game. In particular, in Saints Row IV, she is the unseen and unnamed narrator of the story who isn’t revealed until the very end. I find this really fascinating.

Family Guy

In Season 13 of Family Guy, Stewie, Brian and Chris travel back in time to visit Jane Austen’s house and release “time-travel farts”. Fictional Jane Austen appears and is so delighted by this passing of gas, she is inspired to write Pride and Prejudice! Not sure how that works.

Funny Facts

A few funny stories I encountered in my research is that while working on the screenplay for Sense and Sensibility, Emma Thompson slept with Jane Austen’s letters next to her bed to remind her how funny the author had been. I also read that director Joe Wright convinced actress Judi Dench to play Lady Catherine du Bourgh in his version of Pride and Prejudice by writing a letter and saying “I love it when you play a bitch.” Indeed!

It’s that most wonderful time year. I hope everyone enjoys August in August!

13 Comments on “Jane Austen in Pop Culture

  1. Great post! I love the tidbit about Emma Thompson. It makes me love her even more.

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  2. Other modern influences include the scene in Friends where Rachel finds out Ross is in love with her, which supposedly has an Austen link. And who can forget the Sheldon/Amy episodes related to P&P on The Big Bang Theory!

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  3. I’ve seen the Big Bang episode with Sheldon and Amy, but I forgot about the Rachel and Ross scene. Can anyone else think of other television references?

    Emma Thompson is one of my favourite actresses and I love her involvement with the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility. I highly recommend reading her S&S diaries because it’s not only funny, but it really does contain great little gems about making the film like how much she missed Hugh Grant after he filmed his scenes.

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  4. Hmm, Austen is so much more effusive than this. I can’t even list all of the references that are made that aren’t this specific to Austen, but to her characters and her turns of phrase there are so many!

    Two things to note, there was also a Marvel Illustrated version of Northanger Abbey. And one of the best modern songs about Jane Austen that I’ve come across recently was this:

    It also mentions a lot of what is discussed in this post.

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      • Yes, there will be more on Jane Austen in comics/manga coming up in a guest post very soon. 🙂

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  5. Thanks for sharing these with us, Geoff! I didn’t realize there were so many comic/manga versions of Jane Austen out there or seen Oh, Mr. Darcy.

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  6. Pingback: #AusteninAugustRBR 2015 and Jane Austen in Pop Culture | ebookclassics

  7. Pingback: Austen in August – Roundup | Girl with her Head in a Book

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