07 September 2015

Author Addiction: Jane Austen

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Author Addiction is a feature where Kaja at Of Dragons and Hearts and I talk about authors we love who may not have gotten the attention they deserve on our blogs. It is an opportunity to declare our love for them and basically fangirl over how great they are. And, more excitingly, this month the lovely Danya over at Fine Print wants to join us in announcing our love for Jane Austen, which I am definitely looking forward to reading.

I do not doubt you have all heard of this month’s favourite author. Jane Austen is a name everyone knows, even if not everyone has read her books. I think it would almost be impossible for you to have avoided her, I mean, who doesn’t know the famous opening line of Pride & Prejudice:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.
Her work is so well known and influenced so many different books and films that it was always inevitable I would read one of her books, and I’m sure they probably feel as familiar to all of you, even if you haven’t ever read one of them.
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The first Austen book I read was a gift from my nan, I had spoken about how I was interested in trying her books when I was about 15 and she brought me a copy the next time I visited. She also borrowed a copy of the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice from the library. I began reading and then we watched the first few episodes that week. I quickly rushed through the book before going to visit the next week and we enjoyed the second half of the series. It is one of my most enjoyable days around her house. I am fully convinced this must have happened during the summer holidays from school because I can think of no other way we could have spent so much time watching a TV series. I think it was watching that and reading the book which began my love for Austen, and also my love for period dramas.

After reading Pride and Prejudice I saved all the money I had at the tender age of 15 and hunted all of her books down (quite an achievement considering the measly offering in my town for bookshops) and happily read through all of her books. I adored every single one of them, but like all authors, there are some of her books I treasure of others. I do think there are some I favour over others, Persuasion became a firm favourite of mine because I am a huge fan of second chance love stories and that really is one of the best. Anne Elliot is absolutely lovely being the woman who sacrifices so much for her family and persuaded by those closest to her to do as they wish, she could easily be written off as being easily led, but I never felt that way about her. And Captain Wentworth is utterly charming as well, who could resist him?

I think the thing I love most about Austen is how her books her popular, even now, and you continually see rewrites and adaptations of her books because her stories can never get old. I loved Clueless before I ever knew it was an adaptation of the story of Emma, now I can’t believed I missed it, it’s quite obvious. And then there are all the books out there which are based on Austen’s books. There is The Austen Project by HarperCollins, which is a full on modern day rewrite of her books by largely well known authors. I’ve got the three books out so far, I really enjoyed Val McDermid’s modern retelling of Northanger Abbey, it just worked so well and made me like the book so much more. I know not everyone is a fan of retellings, I am a bit touchy on them as they can be a bit hit or miss, but I cannot complain that people are doing it because it shows the longevity of the stories Austen had to write.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my ramblings about Jane Austen, I really love her books and hope I’ve managed to persuade any of you out there who haven’t read her books to give her a try, and those that have… well there’s nothing wrong with a good reread every now and then, is there?

As always, don’t forget to check out Kaja’s post, and this month Danya is joining us so please go read what she has to say. Do you have a favourite Austen book, or a favourite well known classic of your own?

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