I’ve always loved Jane Austen. There’s something about reading her novels that makes me feel so absolutely and totally immersed in her late 18th Century reality. I know this is a huge leap, but much in the same way that Sarah Dessen’s characters often overlap, I totally expect to see the Bennetts pop into the Dashwood sisters’ lives once in a while. Maybe that’s what I love so much about Jane Austen? Different but familiar stories existing in the same context. It’s like reading about your old high school acquaintances. You may not know where they’re going, but you know where they’re from, and that grounds the reader. (I’m struggling to think of other authors that so expressly write about a very specific aspect of society, at a very specific time in history. Ideas? I’m sure there are a bajillion, but…)
As is often the case with most things I enjoy, once I get started on something, I like to see it through to its fruition– in an almost obsessive manner. I.E. I like to watch every R&H Musical, read every Jane Austen novel, etc. (To be fair, there aren’t too many Jane Austen novels to make such a conquest seem absurd!)
On that vein, I have begun a Jane Austen Reading Extravaganza, in which I shall read through all of Austen’s books. I just finished up Sense & Sensibility, Austen’s first novel, and I’m about to move on to Northanger Abbey. Admittedly, I’ve never read the latter, so I’m excited for an unexpected, un-tested (on my part) story. At the end, I hope to give a fair, thorough ranking of my favorites.
I always enjoying looking up other peoples’ rankings—what’s the best episode of “Law & Order: SVU?” Biggest Real Housewives fight? Easiest way to get in shape without lifting a finger (or a toe)? So, rather than doing a recap, like my Rogers & Hammerstein posts, I’ll save you some reading: Whenever I do finish re-reading, I will post a definitive-Avery ranking of Jane Austen’s books. If you want to follow along with me, post-Northanger Abbey, I will be reading: Persuasion, Emma, Mansfield Park and Pride & Prejudice.
If anyone wants to join me, I’ll also be wrapping things up with a fun, Jane Austen tea. Even if the only people (dogs) who join me are Lucy, Deacon and Cooper, I will be a happy woman. It is a truth universally acknowledged that I am just as content by myself as I am when in the company of multiple people. But I would like it if you wanted to join me for tea… 🙂