Lost in Austen: 11 Essential Reads for Janeites
2013 has been a year brimming with distractions for Austen fans. After suffering with a distinctly Darcy-shaped hole in our lives, all things Pride and Prejudice burst onto the scene in January to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Austen's best-loved novel. Suddenly, we had readathons to enjoy, the movie Austenland to indulge in, and best of all, a plethora of gorgeous Austen-related books to satisfy our empire-waisted cravings! Now that 2013 is at an end, we've decided to collate the cream of this year's releases (along with a couple of fun older titles you can't do without!). So don't fear, if 2014's Austenian offerings seem about as stimulating as a proposal from Mr Collins, dig out one of these books and you're sure to be pleasantly diverted!
- By Kate Hutchings @uk_crumpet
A new release in August, this book explores the England of Austen's day: including medicinal leeches, selling wives in the marketplace, and buying smuggled gin. This is fascinating reading for any classical fiction or history enthusiast. And for Janeites? It's an essential guide to getting your Austenian life accurate to the last detail.
1 / 11
Acclaimed literary biographer Paula Byrne provides a portrait of Jane Austen revealed through the small things – a scrap of paper, a gold chain, an ivory miniature – that held significance in her personal and creative life. This is one of the most beautiful and intimate accounts of Austen's life.
2 / 11
The Austen reimagining we were all waiting for this year! "Longbourn" follows life belowstairs in the Bennet household. The drama rivals that of its predecessor "Pride and Prejudice," and this is the perfect read if you want a Downton Abbey-esque view of Lizzy's world.
3 / 11
Preeminent Austen scholar Susannah Fullerton delves into what makes "Pride and Prejudice" such an enduring masterpiece. She explores the story behind the novel's creation, its reception upon publication, and its tremendous legacy. This is one to read for its wonderful anecdotes, including the use of "Pride and Prejudice" as bibliotherapy in the WWI trenches.
4 / 11
Austen fans should turn to this guide to ensure they never become a Charlotte Lucas! An energetic and humorous book, it uses Austen's heroines to instruct and guide us all in the minefield of modern dating.
5 / 11
Michael Suk-Young Chwe
April brought us this fun offering from Austen enthusiast and political scientist Michael Suk-Young Chwe. The author reveals through Austen's novels that she was in fact a game theorist whose characters exercise strategic thinking. This is insightful literary analysis at its most accessible and enjoyable.
6 / 11
This June release offers nine well-researched walking tours that allow you to follow in Austen's footsteps. Desperate for a dose of Austen? Pack this book and head to London!
7 / 11
In this charming travel memoir, English Professor Amy Elizabeth Smith take us on a year of travel in South America with Jane Austen. The book is a true celebration of Austen's reach and power across cultures. So if a trip to London's out of the question, you could still sample the Austen experience in Guatemala!
8 / 11
In this book, Jane's own correspondence is used to teach the reader how to pay and return formal "calls," what to wear for a morning walk, and most importantly how to properly refuse a proposal of marriage. A must-read for all Janeites.
9 / 11
Another new release this summer. Author Deborah Yaffe took the plunge, going out among you "Janeites!" She attended the JASNA's annual regency ball and generally immersed herself in the Austen fandom. This is a fun and touching chronicle of her time with the Austen community.
10 / 11
And finally, for the die-hard fan, this June release is the ultimate Jane Austen compendium. Its fascinating lists include: what books Austen had in her library, the last lines of everything she wrote, her royal ancestors, and even what flowers she had in her garden! You don't know Jane fully until you've read this book.
11 / 11