Monday, December 13, 2010

IN THE WORLD OF SOCIAL MEDIA, JANE AUSTEN HAS A NEW GROUP OF DEVOTEES

I am old enough to remember the early days of Masterpiece Theatre, with Alistair Cooke's social history wraparound commentary, which I loved and still miss (click here to view the entire program history).

Masterpiece Theatre continues to broadast with new productions, but I've often thought that it's too bad those older programs are not rebroadcast, although many are available on DVD and via Netflix.

But the younger generations who were born well after the broadcast of those wonderful productions should not be underestimated. It seems that Jane Austen, at least, has gained a new audience of fans. (Now if only we could do the same for the Bront√ęs.)

A recent post from the Internet Scout Report had this to say:

"Jane Austen has always been quite popular in the online (and offline) world, and there is a new clutch of young people who are taking up the mantle of her work via hundreds of websites...the Wall Street Journal reported on these 'Janeites' and their celebration of all things Austen. What is the appeal of an author who wrote about the mores of British gentry two centuries ago? Nili Olay, the regional coordinator for the New York Metro chapter of the Jane Austen Society believes, 'Ms. Austen's tales of courtship and manners resonate with dating-obsessed and social-media-savvy-21st-century youths.' At a recent meeting of Austen devotees, Jennifer Potter noted 'Marrying for money, crazy parents, dating-these are all basic themes.' ... Now of course, fans can interact via Twitter feeds, blogs, and chat rooms. One of the most fun expressions of this type of "fandom" is the faux trailer for the movie 'Jane Austen's Fight Club,' which is worth several viewings."

Here are some additional links from the Internet Scout Report post:

I especially enjoy this site, titled "The Republic of Pemberly"
http://www.pemberley.com/

Was Jane Austen Edited? Does it Matter?http://www.npr.org/2010/11/15/131335890/was-jane-austen-edited-does-it-matter

Jane Austen Fiction Manuscripts:
Homepage of the Jane Austen Fiction Manuscripts collection. Created by the University of Oxford and King's College London, the collection includes 1100 pages of writing in Austen's own hand.
http://www.janeausten.ac.uk/index.html

The Jane Austen Society of North America
http://www.jasna.org/

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