Author Archives: Collins Hemingway

Commemorating 40 Years, and 400

Commemorating 40 Years, and 400

Today’s blog provides a capsule of the recent Annual General Meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America, in Williamsburg, VA. The week involved history, pageantry, and good manners—and that was outside the conference halls. It was the 40th anniversary of the founding of JASNA, and the 400th commemoration of major events in Virginia’s… more goodness …

‘It was certainly a very remarkable coincidence!’

‘It was certainly a very remarkable coincidence!’

“It was certainly a very remarkable coincidence!”—Northanger Abbey. Writing from roughly 1795 on, Jane Austen is usually seen as the last major writer of the 18th century. In many novels of that century, plot coincidences were not only accepted, they were expected. It was a big coincidence if there were not major coincidences driving the… more goodness …

Austen Letters, Rooms, TV, and Library …

Austen Letters, Rooms, TV, and Library …

This month’s mailbag brings a bundle of news related to Jane Austen. Autumn is a busy season for our favorite author! First is that Jane Austen’s House Museum has been able to purchase a section of one of Jane’s letters, thanks to a generous outpouring of public support. The letter, from Jane to her niece… more goodness …

Third Time’s the Charm: More Fun Facts about Austen

Third Time’s the Charm: More Fun Facts about Austen

Though this may not be as exciting as Sheldon’s “Fun With Flags” segments on The Big Bang Theory TV show, today’s episode features the “Third Time’s the Charm Quiz” with questions about Jane Austen’s life and times. (It’ll also be the last quiz, so all those who stress over test-taking can look forward to a… more goodness …

Another Look at ‘Pride and Prejudice’

Another Look at ‘Pride and Prejudice’

I’ve seen most of the television and movie productions of Pride and Prejudice. I’ve enjoyed almost all of them. Like most people, my favorite is probably the 1995 television production with Jennifer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet and Colin Firth as Darcy. The reason has as much to do with the length—it is a six-hour miniseries—as… more goodness …

More Questions—More Answers!—on Austen’s Life and Times

More Questions—More Answers!—on Austen’s Life and Times

Last month’s pop quiz was so much fun that we’ll do another one today. These questions go somewhat further afield, so they may tax your Regency knowledge. As before, there’s no rhyme or reason to topic order. Today’s quiz has twenty-five questions. The answers appear below each question to avoid vertigo from excessive scrolling. Ratings:… more goodness …

Pop Quiz for All You Students Suffering Spring Fever

Pop Quiz for All You Students Suffering Spring Fever

Today brings a little fun and games in celebration of spring. (It comes late to the high desert in Oregon. Our trees are just now in bloom. See the dogwood by the headline.) Today’s blog features a quiz on a variety of Jane Austen topics. There’s no rhyme or reason to topics or order. The… more goodness …

Survey of Janeites, Thoughts on the Results

Survey of Janeites, Thoughts on the Results

In 2008, the Jane Austen Society of North America took a survey of its membership about Austen’s characters. I’ve come across the results several times. I thought I’d recap them here and offer a few thoughts of my own. Fully one-third of Janeites read three or more of Austen’s books in a year. Eleven percent… more goodness …

Sailing the Seas on a Family Ship

Sailing the Seas on a Family Ship

Last month, we saw how Jane Austen’s family used connections to help promote the careers of her two sailor brothers, Frank and Charles. When we left them, the Napoleonic wars were ending, causing a glut of naval officers. The Austen brothers’ lack of connections—their few sponsors had fallen out of favor—stymied both brothers’ advancement. Both… more goodness …

Networking in the Age of Sail

Networking in the Age of Sail

Unlike Army officers, members of the Royal Navy could obtain commissions without purchasing them. This difference created opportunities for the penurious sons of gentlemen like Jane Austen’s father, the Rev. George Austen. Two of his younger sons, Frank and Charles, joined the Navy when they were barely into their teens. Getting ahead in the Navy… more goodness …

Presents for Jane, Meant for All of Us

Presents for Jane, Meant for All of Us

Beginning this blog on December 16, the 243rd anniversary of Jane Austen’s birth, and finishing it on December 25, the 2018th anniversary of the birth of that little child of Bethlehem, I find myself in a reflective, seasonable mood. There are many gifts in life, and in Austenia. I hope you enjoy your gifts as… more goodness …

Does Henry Tilney Speak of a Modern Riot?

Does Henry Tilney Speak of a Modern Riot?

Last month, this blog covered the confusing conversation between Catherine Morland and Eleanor Tilney in Northanger Abbey, when Catherine is talking about the horrors of a new Gothic novel but Eleanor thinks she’s describing rioters about to descend upon Bath. Henry Tilney sees what’s happening but eggs on the confusion. Finally, he tells Eleanor that… more goodness …