Author Archives: Collins Hemingway

Jane Austen, Contagions, & the Danger of Doubling

Jane Austen, Contagions, & the Danger of Doubling

It has been so long since a disastrous contagion swept through the Western world that most of us have forgotten how deadly contagious diseases are. The scariest in my lifetime was polio, because the disease could cripple as well as kill. I remember lining up at the local high school with all the other kids… more goodness …

Jane Eyre: The Other Woman

Jane Eyre: The Other Woman

Charlotte Brontë featured a Jane Austen-style heroine in her novel Jane Eyre. Despite her inferior social and financial position, Jane would not back down against Mr. Rochester any more than Elizabeth Bennet would back down against Mr. Darcy. Jane Eyre’s difficult situation as a governess is exactly what Austen’s Jane Fairfax sought to avoid—and finally… more goodness …

Coincidences Kick Off P&P; Chararacter Carries It

Coincidences Kick Off P&P; Chararacter Carries It

In a recent blog, I wrote about coincidences in Jane Austen’s work. I’m following up again today with a few more examples of how she used them and how this use affected her work. Coincidences were a common contrivance to solve plot problems before and during Austen’s life. (And remain so in too many poor… more goodness …

Christmas Presents for Austen Lovers

Christmas Presents for Austen Lovers

December is a joyous month for Janeites. The month includes Jane Austen’s birthday on Dec. 16 and of course Christmas on Dec. 25. Many Austen groups have December celebrations that partake of the holiday spirit. I was fortunate to speak at a December tea in Boise and a dinner in Salt Lake City. It was… more goodness …

Giving Thanks with Austen

Giving Thanks with Austen

With my regularly scheduled blog appearing this year on Thanksgiving, I wondered whether there was any formal giving of thanks in Jane Austen’s work. The November U.S. holiday has spread to most of the Americas. The English have a more general harvest-related tradition of providing bread and other food to the poor, often through the… more goodness …

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 …