A smattering Jane Austen (and Brontë!) books coming out in 2017

The Making Of Jane AustenTitle
: The Making of Jane Austen
Author: Devoney Looser
Publication date: June 21, 2017

Less a biography,  The Making of Jane Austen centers on not just what influenced Austen in her life but also how Austen’s work influenced others long after her death. According to Publisher’s Weekly, in an interview with Looser, “Austen had been invoked for political causes as early as 1908, when her name was emblazoned on banners held by suffragettes marching through the streets of London.”

While the book is being published by John Hopkins University Press, a regular publisher of academia titles, this quote, by Deborah Yaffe, of the title should change those who may normally shy away from such titles: “This highly entertaining book makes clear that contemporary Janeites – with their cosplay, their clashing interpretations of much-loved novels, their wet-shirt Darcy, and their fiercely possessive relationship to their favorite author – are heirs to a tradition of Austen-love that stretches back to the early 19th century. Devoney Looser’s brilliant detective work introduces us to a cast of creative, courageous and eccentric women and men who helped keep Austen’s work alive and vital into our own time.”

Title: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen: A KinderGuides Illustrated Learning Guide
Author: Melissa Medina, Fredrik Colting, Lett Yice
Publication date: April 1, 2017

I could not find much information about this book, even the quote by Publisher’s Weekly, is odd since I cannot find the review. It seems KinderGuides are classic literature books made simple for kids, such as this title is a children’s picture book and is only 45 pages long but despite its short length, the illustration is gorgeous.

: A Girl Walks Into a Book: What the Brontës Taught Me about Life, Love, and Women’s Work
Author: Miranda Pennington
Publication date: May 16, 2017

Finally! A Brontë book!

An “off-beat memoir,” Pennington uses the Brontës as the backdrop of her life: ” She began to delve into the work and lives of the Brontës, finding the sisters were at times her lifeline, her sounding board, even her closest friends.” This subject matter is so up my alley, I just contacted the publisher to see if I can get an advanced reader’s copy.

Cocktails with Jane
Author: Alison Maloney
Publication date: April 1, 2017

Also more my speed! Cocktails with Jane is a book of gin recipes with an Austen twist. “The cocktails, of course, all have Jane Austen associations in their names and in their character. The Darcy has great taste and an aloof charm. The Lizzy B is sparkling and zestful. The Pemberley is elegant and refined.” It’s a shame this is coming out in August as the warm summer months are perfect for drinking gin. Who am I kidding? The U.K. never gets warm summer months.
The Jane Austen Treasury
Author: Janet Todd
Publication date: May 2, 2017

This seems doesn’t see to be terribly original content – it’s basically a collection of witticisms, facts, and other miscellany about Austen. With that said, it might be a good book to have on hand when you’re doing Jane Austen trivia night. (I know some of you are probably doing this already, so don’t even try and deny it.)



Title: The Secret History of Jane Eyre
Author: John Pfordresher
Publication date: June 27, 2017

This title pulls back the novel’s exterior and looks at its influences and influencers, Charlotte’s mindset, and the hows and whys of the books’ birth.

According to the publisher’s website, the main question pushing this book forward is, “Why did Charlotte Brontë go to such great lengths, on the publication of her acclaimed, best-selling novel, Jane Eyre, to conceal her authorship from the press, the London literary establishment, and even her closest friends?”

Not much else is known about this title, but the cover alone looks intriguing enough but just like The Making of Jane AustenThe Secret History of Jane Eyre is published by an academic publisher.

: The Spirituality of Jane Austen
Author: Paula Hollingsworth
Publication date: April 1, 2017

In this title, Hollingsworth puts forth the idea Jane was a fierce, yet gentle, religious person. I’m not sure I’m following that train of thought  –  in my memory — which can be faulty — Jane’s books included religion in part of her skewering. Going to church always seems like an afterthought and any character in her books marrying a man of the cloth did so because it was the thing to do not necessarily for belief purposes. I’ve added this title to my Austen Amazon list, but it’ll probably be farther down the list to read.

The Brontësaurus: An A-Z of Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë (and Branwell)
Author: John Sutherland, John Crace
Publication date: November 14, 2017

Okay, I love this idea. I have rarely found books about siblings to encompass all of those siblings. Sutherland and Crace give us the  Brontës in digested forms. With Crace at the helm, you know it’s going to be good. Crace, some of you may know, does the Digested Reads column and podcast over at The Guardian. Crace is to the point, funny, and provides a bit of snark into his pieces. This book is sure to be a delight.

At Home with Jane Austen
Author: Lucy Worsley
Publication date: July 11, 2017

I am so excited about this book, I gave the book its own post!

From the post, “Holy cat’s pyjamas! One of my favourite historians is releasing a book on Jane this summer to coincide with the 200th anniversary of her death. (Pour one out for Jane’s death, amen.)

“From the publisher, ‘On the eve of the two hundredth anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, take a trip back to her world and the many places she lived as historian Lucy Worsley visits Austen’s childhood home, her schools, her holiday accommodations, the houses – both grand and small – of the relations upon whom she was dependent, and the home she shared with her mother and sister towards the end of her life.
‘Worsley examines the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her, and the varying ways in which homes are used in her novels as both places of pleasure and as prisons. She shows readers a passionate Jane Austen who fought for her freedom, a woman who had at least five marriage prospects, but – in the end – a woman who refused to settle for anything less than Mr. Darcy.'”

TitleTake Courage: Anne Brontë and the Art of Life
Author: Samantha Ellis
Publication date: February 28, 2017

This title, like Jane Austen: Secret Radical, has been making the reviewing rounds. I’d say about 20% of the news articles coming my way about Austen/Brontës are about this title. I think much of why that is is because it’s about Anne Brontë, the often forgotten sister. I wrote a post about Anne last month (in conjunction with the docudrama about the Brontë siblings , “To Walk Invisible.). I am excited for this title as I’m always a big fan of the underdog.

Amazon’s page for the book says the book is to be internationally released on February 28th, but there isn’t an option to pre-order.

Jane Austen, Secret Radical
Author: Helena Kelly
Publication date: May 2, 2017

I wrote last week about the furor and decisiveness over this book but for me it piqued my interest so much so I contacted the publisher to get an advanced reader’s copy which arrived a few days later. I have stumbled across a few other reviews, one pretty indepth alleging Kelly was “inspired” by their work heavily and it’s evident throughout the book. I’ve stepped away from any publications with reviews for this title to form my own opinions. I hope to have an honest review up within the month.

: The Genius of Jane Austen
Author: Paula Byrne
Publication date: June 27, 2017

I KNEW this title seemed familiar! This is an updated version of Bryne’s book, first published in 2003, published by Bloosmbury Press, a small academic-y publishing house. I’m hoping with the updated content, I can assume will match the recent surge of movies since 2003, AND a contemporary publisher (Harper Collins) that will make the work more reader friendly and widely available, this title will rock socks.

The Jane Austen Project
Author: Kathleen A. Flynn
Publication date: May 2, 2017

Super, super stoked about this book. The premise of two time travellers who arrive in Jane Austen’s time to meet, befriend, and steal from her. Plus I love the cover. So imagine to my great delight when the author contacted me directly and asked me if I wanted an ARC? Hells to the yes! The book arrived yesterday and I’ve bumped it to the top of my reading queue. Expect a review soon that will be honest and as thorough as possible. (Thanks again, Kathleen! I’m super looking forward to reading this!)

On the Sofa with Jane Austen
Author: Maggie Lane
Publication date: May 1, 2017

Containing essays from Regency World, they “celebrate the quirkiest corners and cleverest contrivances of Jane Austen’s art.”  Topics covered from “gossip to grandmothers.” It’s noted in the author biography Lane is a celebrated lecturer on the world wide JASNA circuit so expect a lot of in depth pieces on the minutiae of Austen’s life and works.

Top 5 Jane Austen t-shirts for you to buy

I have a love affair with t-shirts.

What’s strange, to me, is I did not set out one day and say, “OH! I need to collect t-shirts!”  No, it became evident when I was clearing out my closet one day and counted how many t-shirts I owned.

200. I’ll let that sink in.

I’m always on the look out for new t-shirts. I buy them to commemorate a trip as they are cheaper than most swag, barely noticeable in packing, and wearable. I celebrate concerts and fandoms. I support local businesses. I like vintage ones as well.

I just plain like t-shirts.

My collection is down to about 100 shirts, but I’m always on the look out for new ones (I keep my eye on dayoftheshirt.com which collates the best deals for the day) and one of my favorite themes is literature. Book covers, author’s quotes, interesting approaches to the work. I’m a big book nerd and I let my nerd flag fly.

Below you’ll find some rather adorable, interesting, or just plain NEED t-shirts to add to your collection of Austen memorabilia.


O. M. G. If you’re a big literature geek (or even a small one) and you’re not shopping at Out of Print Clothing, you need to. They create t-shirt, sweatshirts, and gifts based on various works of literature from Jane Austen to The Very Hungry Caterpillar. To your left you’ll find a woman’s t-shirt (up to sizes XXL) for Pride and Prejudice with a gorgeous design. I also have the Pride and Prejudice pouch.

If you do decide to give Out of Print a go, do use this link for shopping as it gives you $5 off your purchase! 

Another gorgeous t-shirt, this Litograph’s Pride and Prejudice t-shirt has the complete book printed on it. yes, the complete book. I have this version of the t-shirt. Litorgraph’s has a huge variety of different shirts for your favorite authors and like Out of Print, they also carry gifts like scarves, posters, and totes.

Word of caution: The shirts are blurred around the seams and some of the words can look like they are cut off. This is normal and part of the printing process.

It’s rare, I believe, to find products and gifts that celebrate the other works of our Jane. It seems as if every vendor on the planet is all Pride and Prejudice all the time but we shant forget Jane’s other five works so when I saw this t-shirt pop up in my list, I knew I had to add it.

The shirt is done by TeePublic and affixes the semi-famous Northanger Abbey quote, “If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.”

The shirt comes in male (unisex) and female cuts, a wide variety of styles, sizes, and colors. While I adore the shirts I get from TeePublic, they do tend to shrink a bit in the wash (even in cold water) and the length always seems to be one inch to short than I need so definitely size up!

Just like Northanger Abbey shirt, finding a non Pride and Prejudice shirt can be a pain so that’s why when I stumbled across this Emma shirt available at the Jane Austen Centre, I knew it had to be included in this list. The shirt, which is available in unisex sizes S – XL, has the Emma facsimile as its design. the Jane Austen Centre is located in England so be mindful the prices are in pound sterling and does not reflect cost of shipping to the U.S.
I may have to buy this shirt after this post is published. Nothing says delightful than a shirt with all of Jane’s men listed. The shirt, available in women’s and unisex sizing, is available at this lovely Jane Austen centric Etsy shop, Brookish. Also check out the store’s other goods such as scarves, mugs, and other assortments.

Jane Austen and the Ideals of Romance

If you live in or around Bridgeport, CT (or really, anywhere in CT since it’s so damned small), on February 13th, the Housatonic Community College’s Humanities department is proud to present a lecture on the topic, “Jane Austen and the Ideals of Romance.”  The lecturer is Professor Rebecca Adams, who is the chair of the department.

The event is open to public and free and begins at 2PM. It will take place at Housatonic Community College Women’s Center Beacon Hall.

(The article from the Connecticut Post is sparse with details and there doesn’t seem to be a press release avaiable or even a notice on the college’s website other than a lone Facebook post.)

Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë web series

Now that we’re in the middle of winter and we are all getting cabin fever, it’s time to turn to YouTube for some entertainment!

Web series have been popular for awhile covering everything from make-up tutorials to unboxing, so it seems ripe that there would be retellings of Austen and Brontë’s works and behold, there is! Below you’ll find modern adaptations of four of Austen’s works, one Jane Eyre, and a quick summary and analysis of Pride and Prejudice just in case you have forgotten.

Word to the wise each of the series runs between 75 – 100+ episodes but each of the episodes are 2 – 4 minutes long. This should keep you plenty entertained during those slow days at work.

(I will recommend you start with The Lizzy Bennet Diaries since those are the most well known as well as popular.)

The Lizzy Bennet Diaries (Pride & Prejudice)

Autobiography of Jane Eyre

Emma Approved (Emma)

Northbound (Northanger Abbey)

Elinor and Marianne take Barton (Sense & Sensibility)

Pride & Prejudice – Thug Notes Summary and Analysis

Don’t let the name fool you. “Dr. Sparky Sweets” gives a great summary and really thought out analysis of the book, so if you’re not adverse to some strong language, definitely check this out.

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