Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters Link Roundup for March 27, 2022

Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters Link Roundup for March 20, 2022

Reminder: JASNA 2022 Annual Student Essay Contest

JASNA Essay Contest 2022

It’s that time of year again for the JASNA Annual Student Essay Contest.

The theme this year is “Jane Austen’s first published novel, Sense and Sensibility” to match this years AGM.


Family relations loom large in this book, and Austen has more than one story to tell, with four sets of siblings and notable mothers. Essays can focus on relations between siblings or pairs of siblings, between mothers and their offspring, or perhaps on characteristics (apart from sense and sensibility) embodied by a related or unrelated pair.

A PDF of the family tree is available here.

The contest is open to all students from high school to graduate school. You do not need to be a member of JASNA to enter.

The deadline for submissions is Thursday, June 2, 2022. For more information, visit the submissions page.

Per the entrance information page, JASNA awards scholarships to winners in three divisions:

  • First Place:  $1,000 scholarship and free registration and two nights’ lodging for JASNA’s upcoming Annual General Meeting (Transportation to the conference is not provided.)
  • Second Place:  $500 scholarship
  • Third Place:  $250 scholarship

The winners will receive a single year memeber to JASNA, a set of Norton’s Critical Editions of Austen’s work, and the winning essay will be published on JASNA’s website.

For more information, FAQs, guidelines, and previous winners, visit the information page for the essay contest.

Review: Sanditon: S1 E02

In which: Charlotte attempts to apologize to Sidney only to have him rebuff her. Lady Denham’s luncheon turns into an awkward lunch when Lady Denham prods Miss Lambe about her fortune and pointing out Miss Lambe’s mother was a slave to the astonishment at the table. Arthur cuts open Lady Denham’s pineapple to find that it is rotten and filled with maggots. Miss Lambe attempts to flee to London only to not afford the price as she does not make it a habit of carrying cash and makes friends with Charlotte instead. Tom badgers Sidney to work on Sidney’s fashionable friends from London much to Sidney’s distaste. Lady Denham threatens Edward, and in turn Esther, not to cross her.

Lots and lots goes on.

I was thankful that we discover that Edward and Esther’s relationship are as step-brother and sister rather than full blood. I was quite shocked last week to think that Edward’s caress up Esther’s arm while they were playing cards was hinting at incest but no, just a conniving pair looking to be supported by Edward’s future wife. Who knows what goes on in their leaky home but no one seems to be of mind that they are alone together. Where is the chaperone? Was it okay for unrelated siblings such as step-children to live openly together without retribution?

What is with Sidney coming out of the sea naked? Why is it in most Jane Austen adaptations there must be a male lead who is coming out of water to show off his physique? I don’t mind as I appreciate the female gaze as much as the next but it’s just interesting to point out.

I also have reservations about Sidney and Charlotte pairing because you know this is the way but he looks far too old for her even though a: It was typical for older more “experienced” man and a young lady to couple up and b: Yet the actors are ten years apart. Only if Sidney didn’t look 20 years older that it would make character sense but nope.

But we all know, as this is an Austen story, they will get together in the end. Or at least some variance of it since Theo James isn’t coming back for season two.

I’m glad to see the inclusion, albeit so far only in Miss Lambe, of a person of color in Regency era.  People of color did live, breathe, make money, and love in Regency England. I’m hoping that future episodes bring more people of color characters in such in the vein of Bridgerton and it’s color blind casting.

Will Charlotte break Young Stringer’s heart? (Of course she will.)

I’m enjoying the slight sexing up of Edward/Esther (though it is creepy) and Sidney/Charlotte. It’s important to show, even if it seems to be against what we’d expect of Austen, that people were attracted to each other and desired one another during the Regency era. However, it was kept on the down low. Men were allowed to tom cat around, as Lady Denham points out, but a woman had to remain virtuous until marriage and succumb to their husband’s demands in the bedroom.

Overall, good episode and a lot was packed in. Subplots are beginning to emerge and hinting at what’s to come. I’ll give it a 3.5/5.

Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters Link Roundup for March 13, 2022

Update: MORE Jane Austen and Bronte Podcasts

The original piece got a lot of traction on Twitter and it seems I missed a few!

Here is an update!

  • Jane Austen Bedtime Stories Each episode covers a chapter in an Austen book and they are currently working their way through Pride and Prejudice. Updated biweekly. Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • The Jane Austen Podcast A monthly podcast covering all things Austen from her family and friends to her works and influences. Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • Sips & Sensibility Updated every two weeks, this podcast is hosted by two best friends who talk about all things Jane Austen adaptations. From Pride, Prejudice & Atlanta to Becoming Jane. Other episodes talk about clothing, actors, and anything else related to the delightfulness of Austen adaptations. Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • Bonnets at Dawn One of the longest running Austen, and Bronte, podcast with over 150 episodes, Join the hosts as they talk about everything Austen and Bronte related from their books and lives to other authors, inspirations, time periods, and interviews with renowned scholars. Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • The Pemberley Podcast Updated weekly, another Austen podcast dedicated to Austen adaptations both movies and book form as well as other related books and movies/tv shows such as Bridgerton. Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • Manners and Madness: A Jane Austen and David Lynch Podcast  Two friends, one who loves both Jane Austen and David Lynch, one who is only passingly familiar with both, explore their bodies of work and the adaptations of that work. Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • The Thing About Austen A podcast about the material objects and culture that shaped Austen’s works. “Come for historical context and stay for the literary shenanigans.”  Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • First Impression Podcast: Why All Austen Haters Are Wrong  A semi-regular podcast that covers all thing Austen and other 19th C authors including Elizabeth Gaskell. Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • What the Austen? Podcast The hosts dig into Austen’s world both fictional and real from talking about the dreamy characters and references in adaptations. Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • The Ents and Sensibility Podcast  The podcast for people who like Jane Austen…and dragons. Updated semi-regularly. Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • Pod and Prejudice Two friends, one has read Austen and the other has not, go through Austen’s books chapter by chapter, as well as the adaptations from a feminist perspective. Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • Reclaiming Jane A biweekly Jane Austen podcast for fans on the margins. Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • Austenesque Musings Join host Christina Morland on conversations, readings, and interviews related to the Austenesque community.  (There doesn’t seem to be much of an online presence for the podcast but it is available on Apple, Spotify, and other popular podcast apps.)
  • Reading Jane Austen  A monthly podcast presented by a mother – daughter duo who are reading Austen’s books chapter by chapter. Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • The Austen Connection “We’re talking about the stories of Jane Austen – how they connect to us today, and connect us to each other.” Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • Jane Austen Culture Night  “Laurel and Akina talk about growing up in the Moonies and their favorite author, Jane Austen.” Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
  • Jane & Jesus A close reading of Austen’s novels by examining her characters in light of Christ’s teaching Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

The Courtship: S01 E01 First Impressions

It’s being referred to as Bridgerton meets The Bachelorette.

Formally known as “Pride & Prejudice: An Experiment in Romance,” NBC’s The Courtship, where swiping is out and courting is in, kicked off on Sunday March 6 with the premier episode entitled First Impressions.

Of course.

In the premier episode, we’re introduce to Nicole Remy, a software engineer from Seattle. Her family, and bestie, are also there with her to act as chaperones of sorts as Remy navigates Regency era courtship.

(The word “Regency” is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that last sentence, but be warned, the only thing “Regency” era about the show is, well, nothing.)

And while I know 99% of my dear readers will know when and what the Regency era refers to, before I continue for those who don’t, Regency refers to early 19th C England. It’s a niche of a mere 20 or so years that fits between the Georgian and Victorian periods. Attitudes, economics, and politics all changed near the end of the 18th C and the years of “mad” King George III. He was deemed unfit and his son, soon to be known as King George IV, ruled as prince regent. Some continue to call that period from 1790s ish to 1820s ish as Georgian and the truly barbarians refer to Austen and her contemporaries as Victorian, which I assure you the Brontes would have a word or two to say about that!

Now I continue.

In the opening scenes, Remy is handed 16 letters from her suitors. The gentlemen, and I’ll try and refrain from calling them dude bros, took calligraphy lessons for this challenge. As Remy opens up each letter, she and her entourage ooh and aww over which letters capture her heart and what letters didn’t make the grade like the gentlemen who wrote about wanting a “best friend with sexual passion” (that was read by Remy’s mother).


While this is going on, Mr. Edwards, the host, meets the gentlemen at the entrance of the castle where they are all saying. Introducing themselves, Mr. Edwards asks what would make them stand out from the others and most offer up the usual answers: “I’m fun.” “I’m kind and loving.” Etc ad nauseum. Some have dance moves and others sing (badly).

The men make their way and meet Remy and her chaperones. Just like The Bachelorette’s cocktail hour, the guests mingle and chat while Remy tries to figure out which ones she likes best.

Later, like the rose ceremony in Bachelor Nation,  a grand ball is held. Remy has singled out the guys she likes least by putting them on her dance card. The rest of the evening follows Remy and her suitors as she gentle tells them, “I appreciate you but your carriage awaits” to those she’s not clicking with.

Some choice quotes:

  • “Ever been in love?” “With cake maybe, not with people.”
  • “I’ve taken girls in my van to places … Not in a creepy way!”
  • “Where can I get a corn dog around here?”

I joked with Erika that The Courtship was bad, but not really. Mostly. The Regency era, thanks to Bridgerton, is having a renaissance so I can see the appeal of show. The gimmick, courtship and chivalry, will appeal to many as long as they understand the Regency era, for all the beautiful gowns and handsome men in cravets, was wholly different then what is being shown on TV. I worry that Regency and Austen purists will clutch pearls watching the show but it’s harmless fun. We’re not curing cancer here, we’re having a good time watching people make fools of themselves.

The Courtship is filmed at Castle Howard, a 145 room “manor house” located in Yorkshire, UK. The home is a private residence but has been open to the public since the 1950s.

145 rooms! Heck, my partner and I live in a open plan condo and we can barely keep that clean.

The Courtship airs Sunday nights at 8PM ET on NBC and the following day on Peacock.

(I hate commercials so I am watching on Peacock the following day so recaps may be a day or two behind.)

Review: Sanditon: S1 E01

I’m shocked to find out it is “Sand-eh-ton” and not “San-dish-ion” which is how i’ve been pronouncing it for years. No one ever corrected me. Kristin says I’m going to lose my status as a Jane Austen fan and be mocked mercilessly for this.

Please forgive me.

In E01, we meet Charlotte Heywood, eldest of 12, who lives with her family in a small estate. One day, while out shooting rabbits for fun or food, it’s never made clear, she and her brothers and sisters watch a runaway carriage lose a wheel and toss about Mr and Mrs Parker of Sanditon. After rescuing the Parkers, and introducing them to her family, it is decided that Charlotte, as a way of thanks, will travel to Sanditon with the Parkers for a visit.

(There is no way in hell this would happen in the 21sC.)

Mr Parker has huge plans to turn Sanditon from a small fishing village to a five star resort town to entice the ton from London to come visit.

We meet most of the main characters in the first episode. We have Charlotte, Lady Denham, Mr Parker’s benefactor, her ward Clara Brereton who becomes fast friends with Charlotte. Mr Parker’s two brothers, Arthur and Sidney, as well as their sister Diana. Of courses we have to have the villains, Sir Edward Denham, Lady Denham’s nephew, and Edward’s sister Esther.

Action ensues.

My second confession, other than mis-pronouncing the name, is that I have not read Sanditon the unfinished Austen book so I’m not up to speed on the plot so I have nothing to compare it to. I’m not terribly upset by this since it gives me leave to learn the plot as it unfolds rather than comparing it to the book.

But no matter. The set-up already has all the hallmarks of an Austen novel: innocent and often naive young  woman who struggles with romance with someone she’s not sure she quite likes as well the class distinctions that hangs over her. We know from the beginning, when Charlotte rightly points out to Sidney the capabilities of his brothers, that his dressing down is a matter of fliration. He’s been hurt you see, says Tom Parker, and hasn’t recovered from whatever it is.

The best heroes are always the brooding ones.

Sir Edward and Esther are a whole ‘nother kettle of fish. Was Edward flirting with Esther during that card game or was it another lady? Could Andrew Davies be so obtuse to throw in some incest? Either the lighting was poor or the actresses too similar in looks but we couldn’t quite figure out what’s going on.

I winced when Lady Denham said that Edward was a catch. He, to me, looks like a messy rake and not an attractive one at that. Lady Denham confides to Charlotte that he must marry a fortune, which Charlotte most certainly does not have. And impresses upon Charlotte to keep her crush on Sir Edward on the quiet side. Nuts to you Lady Denham! Charlotte, a keen observer we have learned, already knows that Sir Edward is a rogue and is not privy to his felicitations.

We’re also introduced to Miss Lambe with the fortune: £100,000 which in today’s market is worth $10M USD.

(Kristin and I were comparing Caroline Enys, from Poldark, fortune of £200,000 which makes her worth about $20M USD in today’s money. These women are not broke.)

The viewer is left to wonder, however, her connection to Sidney Parker is since there were some tense words at the ball. Is Sir Edward going to make a play to Miss Lambe or remain the rake that he already is? Are we ever going to learn what Sidney’s past is tainted with (a woman, it’s always a woman)? Will Lady Denham live forever? What was Clara ensuing when she mentioned to Charlotte (I think the viewer got it (Sir Edward was abusive towards her)) but will Charlotte understand what that means?

There isn’t an Andrew Davies production I haven’t liked so I’m sure I’ll adore this show. He’s left a lot open to speculation (see above) so it is with great curiosity to see how he approaches the open plot lines and I hope to dear god we were not seeing Sir Edward flirt with his sister!

Until next week!

Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters Link Roundup for March 6, 2022