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Austenland: The Film

MV5BMjE2MTUzMjgyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjY4NDM4OQ@@._V1_SX214_We have viewed the approach of the release of Austenland with very mixed feelings. On the good side, the trailer looked like fun, and Jennifer Coolidge is usually a riot. On the other side, we read the book by Shannon Hale quite a while ago and had a hard time remembering much about it, other than we felt that for a book allegedly about an obsessed Janeite, we did not find the protagonist sympathetic or even likable. With the film coming out, that time seemed to have come to give it another try; and when an opportunity arose to see a preview of the film, it seemed even more pressing. We got through the prologue and part of the first chapter when we decided we had better stop reading until after seeing the movie.

We were hoping for better things from the movie, and were determined to go into the movie with an open mind. The cast looked pretty good, and the trailer made us smile. How bad could it be?

For those who haven’t read the book or kept up with the publicity (which is really quite extensive for a “small” film), the general plot is that the protagonist, Jane Hayes (Keri Russell), is obsessed with Pride and Prejudice–more P&P95 than the book, as far as we can tell, but at one point she volunteers that she memorized the first three chapters of the book when she was a teenager. Jane’s obsession with P&P seems to have affected her love life; she only attracts losers. Any “nice” men, we are shown, are turned off by her insistence on watching the pond scene rather than making out with them, and no doubt by the existence of a life-size Flat Darcy in her apartment. When a co-worker crudely hits on her in front of everyone, rather than report him to HR for sexual harassment, she spends her life savings on a trip to Austenland, where she will have an “immersive Regency experience” and live like a Jane Austen heroine–complete with costumes, a Regency ball, and romance with one of the establishment’s hired actors. Continue reading Austenland: The Film

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Chat with Jane Austen Fans Around the World

e who’s ever searched for Jane Austen on the internet has, at some point, come across the The Republic of Pemberley. As the oldest and largest Austen Forum, they are known far and wide for the variety of topics they cover and the number of posters they attract. But what if you are looking for a different type of discussion, information or simply a place to meet like minded people? Whether you have a question about the Regency and Georgian England or simply wish to discuss some small piece of Austenia, there are a wealth of other boards out there, happy to receive visitors.

Austenblog, the newest board on the scene is a compendium of news about Jane Austen in popular culture. This site has links to upcoming film and book information and hot off the press news and photos. It is updated daily and the editors welcome comments and questions.

Mollands, an extension of Tilneys and Trapdoors, offers yet another choice for the Janeite who wishes, if not tea, at least conversation. The nine continuous topics are not all Austen related, but include “The Chawton Round Table” (conversations about Jane), “Inkstaind Wretches” (for posting fan fiction, poetry and other scribblings), “The Stacks” (to talk about books, books, and more books) and range from sports to movies to space simply to sound off. Truly not only good company, but the best.

The International Movie Database offers message boards for each film, so if you have comments, scoops, questions or just want to see what’s being said, you can head over there for what’s sure to be stimulating conversation. Just type in the title of the movie you want to discuss and scroll to the bottom of that page to read the posts.

Jane Austen Fan Fiction is rampant on the internet. If that’s what you are looking for (a place to read, a place to post, a place to recommend) try a Google search of “Jane Austen Fan Fiction” the results are too many to list here.

Have fun enjoying Austen on the internet with new friends from around the world.


Laura Boyle runs Austentation: Regency Accessories, creators of custom made Regency Hats, Bonnets and Accessories. Click the link above to visit her site.