Fan Phenomena: Jane Austen (Book)

Nearly two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen is one of the most widely read and beloved English novelists of any era. Writing and publishing anonymously during her lifetime, the woman responsible for some of the most enduring characters (and couples) of modern romantic literature—including Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy, Emma Woodhouse and George Knightley—was credited only as "A Lady" on the title pages of her novels.

It was not until her nephew published a memoir of his "dear Aunt Jane" more than five decades after her death that she became widely known. From then on, her fame only grew, and fans and devotees, so-called Janeites, soon obsessed over and idolized her. Austen soon found an appreciative audience not only of readers but also of academics, whose scholarship legitimated and secured her place in the canon of Western literature. Today, Austen's work is still assigned in courses, obsessed over by readers young and old, parodied and parroted, and adapted for films.

Were she alive today, Austen might not recognize some of the work her novels have inspired, such as a retelling of Sense and Sensibility featuring sea monsters, Internet fan fiction, or a twelve-foot statue of a wet-shirted Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy depicting a scene that doesn't even appear in her novel. But like any great art that endures and excites long after it is made, Austen's novels are inextricable from the culture they have created. Essential reading for Austen's legions of admirers, Fan Phenomena: Jane Austen collects essays from writers and critics that consider the culture surrounding Austen's novels.

Series: Fan Phenomena

Edition

Nearly two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen is one of the most widely read and beloved English novelists of any era. Writing and publishing anonymously during her lifetime, the woman responsible for some of the most enduring characters (and couples) of modern romantic literature, including Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy, Emma Woodhouse and George Knightley, was credited only as ‘A Lady’ on the title pages of her novels. It was not until her nephew, more than five decades after her death at the age of 41, published a memoir of his ‘dear Aunt Jane’ that she became widely known. From then on, her fame only grew, and fans and devotees, so-called ‘Janeites,’ soon idolized and obsessed over her. Like any great art that endures and excites long after it is made, Austen’s novels are inextricable from the culture they have created. Essential reading for Austen’s legions of admirers, Fan Phenomena: Jane Austen collects essays from writers and critics that consider the culture surrounding Austen’s novels.

Gabrielle Malcolm is visiting research fellow at the Department of English and Language Studies at Canterbury Christ Church University, and a script consultant with Vsauce.

'The celebration and fandom of Jane Austen’s novels truly is a cultural phenomenon! This compilation wonderfully combines fan appreciation with academic study and can be enjoyed by die-hard Janeites and new Austen admirers alike! I recommend this book for readers who like to “geek-out” over Jane Austen!'

Meredith Esparza from Austenque Reviews

'A wide range of essays, interviews and observations that will delight many. It's a well-considered collection of writing on a hugely interesting subject.' 

Joceline Bury from Jane Austen's Regency World

Fan: Phenomena: Jane Austen contains a number of other interesting and balanced essays on Jane Austen fan culture. These include essays on fanfiction, Darcymania, the film locations that are used for Pemberley and on monster mash-ups.' 

Karen Quint from Jane Austen Netherland

'Intellect Books’ Fan Phenomena: Jane Austen is for fans, Critics and scholars. A wonderful immersion into the world of Austen.'

Victoria Irwin, Fan Girl Nation

'Fan Phenomena: Jane Austen edited by Gabrielle Malcolm poses intelligent questions about readerly identification with Austen's heroines and other forms of adaptational experiences.' 

Jane Stabler, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900
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