Category Archives: Jane Austen

The company we keep …


Photo Credit: Glyn Lowe Photoworks (Creative Commons Flickr)

Susan Kaye and I were mentioned in Janet Todd’s The Cambridge Introduction to Jane Austen. Seriously, we are in the same paragraph with one of our most favorite writers ever, P.D. James.

It’s our moment of semi-academic fame. Well, as fan fiction writers, anyway. We are smiling as we shake our heads. We are “ebullient and incorrigible spinners-off” of Austen’s novels, ha!

The moral of this story: googling your own name can unearth pleasant surprises. As well as the other kind …

Take a look! This screenshot is from a sample page from Google Books.



I Am Alive

I didn’t fall off the face of the earth. I just buried my head in the sand for a couple of weeks. I’m better now.


Jane Austen’s birthday is Friday. She would be 241 years-old if she were alive. I think she would be awfully tired.




Jane’s novel, Persuasion was published in December of 1817.





This is, in my opinion, still one of the most beautiful stills of all the adaptations:


Have a lovely week.

A Little Something after all these years…


Dy Brougham Searches for Lt.Richard Fitzwilliam
Pamela Aidan

(1815, 2 years or so after Darcy & Elizabeth are wed)

The wagon jolted and shivered over the shell pocked roads until Dy’s teeth ached and his fingers cramped in their grip on its splintery sides. Rain continued to fall in unrepentant bursts that were soaking through his oiled cape. His hat was most likely a loss, even for its protective coverings, and the cold crept into the reaches of muscle and bone, both thoroughly wracked by the paths he had been required to travel to get to the farm house in which Darcy’s cousin was said to have been deposited before Uxbridge moved out.

“Il ya la ferme de Emille. Nous sommes presque hors de la pluie damnés,” his driver tossed over his shoulder. (There is Emille’s farm. We’re almost out of the damned rain.”) Continue reading

A Most Happy Day

To the lady who brought us to this point!

Anyone hazard a guess where they might be and what they might be doing were it not for Jane Austen and her tempting characters?

I’m thinking that instead of writing I’d be working in retail. And at this time of year, that would be dangerous for me and for the buying public!

How about you? What sorts of things would you be reading, or writing had Jane Austen, and the fan fiction craze, come along?


An Assembly Such as This gains a little oh là là !

Une Telle Assemblée
A novel by any other name reads as sweet!

Une Telle Assemblée

Une Telle Assemblée

What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and the 10th anniversary of Pamela Aidan’s first book in the beloved  Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy than the publishing of it in French, the “language of love?”

Yes, it’s been ten years since the original self-published edition of An Assembly Such as This hit the world in book form.

Originating as a bi-weekly posting at the popular Republic of Pemberley and The Derbyshire Writers websites in the late 1990s, Pamela’s work then became available through her website, Austenesque, and later, in late 2003, as a self-published work through her own Wytherngate Press, Inc.

The Austen world exploded with enthusiasm! Soon the trilogy was acquired by Simon & Schuster.

Aidan’s trilogy as been set to audio ( and translated into Italian and Spanish. The French translation was accomplished just this past year. Book Two, En vain ai-je lutté, arrived in time for Christmas, and Book Three, Un mot de vous, is scheduled for this spring 2014.

Pamela’s working on a new “Austenesque” series that promises more Darcy & Elizabeth but even more Dy Brougham and Georgiana Darcy, as well as a new and darker take on Col. Fitzwilliam.

Keep up with her here at Jane Started It or her own blog, Traipsing After Jane.

Her trilogy & novella, as well as the anthology Jane Austen Made Me Do It in which her short story appears, are carried by and Her novella, Young Master Darcy: A Lesson in Honor is also available through Wytherngate Press.

And if you should want the French version, print or ebook, try Amazon France!

Jane’s Birthday Buffet

young_janeToday is Jane Austen’s 238th birthday. The Austen fandom is alive with accolades to her, sharing how her books have influenced us as individuals, our culture, our literature, and particularly the way we see romance. And the Austen fandom will do such lofty topics proud.

We at Jane Started It! have chosen to do none of this. We angle more to the ordinary, the common, and the just plain ridiculous. We think it is time dear Jane was repaid for all the entertainment she’s given us over the years. What better way than to introduce her to a part of our culture that intersects with her novels? Yes, dear reader, it’s true confession time. For whenever most of us sit down to read, we also eat. And what do we eat? Of course you know. Junk Food.

Now if you are a food purist, we ask that you loosen your corset and put aside your prejudices against BHT, artificial colorings, artificial flavorings, high fructose corn syrup, and sodium pentothal — those modern, chemical wonders Jane has missed over the years.

On the whole, the foods we chose to introduce to Jane are not completely nutritionally wicked. In our case, portion size is more the problem! So, if we just put it all out there, confusion might work as quantity control.

The first from Robin Helm wasn’t so out-of-this world: crock_potroast beef, gravy, and potatoes. Jane would have had roast beef, but having it cooked in a Crock Pot was the modern twist. To explain that you can good a beef roast without even being in the house would mean explaining electricity. The concept of this visible energy was floating around the scientific community of Jane’s day but she may never have lived in a house with an enclosed oven so perhaps the Crock Pot would be the real wonder to her. Robin also mentioned making her a Punchbowl cake. I’m thinking that is a southern treat and she’ll have to explain that one when she drops by.

Pamela Aidan thought Jane would like bacon-wrapped water chestnuts in Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. I’m thinking the Aidan household has been partying and finger foods have been playing a big role. While we’re at it, hamburgers would be a great item to show Jane. The sandwich was around and the burger is a riff on that. Of course Americans take it to new heights with the super galumping burger: hamburger

The junk food Susan Kaye would really like to show Jane is Cheetos. Not so much for the snack itself but to watch her amazement when that unnatural, neon orange crust builds up on her fingers. Will she daintily suck it off, trying not to be vulgar? Or, would she search out a finger bowl to rid herself of the residue?

Both Robin and Laura Hile went Mexican nachosand respectively thought that nachos and build-your-own tacos would be appropriate. See? Healthy. Kind of, depending on how thick you lay on the veggies compared to the meat and cheese sauce. (But what, we wonder, would Jane think of avocados?)

This brought us to a discussion of how to eat the above goodies. And where.

sporkNow, we know the roast beef is an at-the-dining-room-table meal. Most of us do. But the others, this is finger food at its finest. We have read that in the Regency they ate with their fingers more than we would think, but when you consider that Americans in the 21st century can pretty much eat away from home for every meal, and, never touch a utensil stronger than the spork, I think we could give Jane a run for her money.

This brings us to where to eat our mass-produced delicacies. Maybe I’m telling on myself, but I think we need to go right to the couch, the alter of food and entertainment in our time.

Now, the modern couch will be new to Jane. I am trusting the set dressers of BBC, PBS, and A&E got it right and that couches in Jane’s day were a nightmare. They were lovely, wood turning marvels that fetch high dollars when at auction.

However, we have become used to cushy, upholstered behemoths that dominate the room. sectionalThat being the case, we will proudly introduce her to chairs, loveseats, and even sectionals that recline, massage, apply heat, store cold drinks, and have pouches for the three-remote minimum most living rooms require. When paired with a wide-screen TV, there is no reason to indulge in Jane’s favorite hero/heroine pastime: the long walk. Heck, even short ones are unnecessary if you have family members willing to bring you snacks and drinks.

So, what item of junk food do you think Jane Austen would like? Add your favorite to this celebration buffet.

Happy Birthday to you, Jane. Happy birthday to you.