It’s the 200th anniversary of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, and such a shame that we have to wait until September for Deborah Yaffe’s AMONG THE JANEITES: A Journey Through the World of Jane Austen Fandom, and, well, basically a celebration of all of you.
What is it about Jane Austen and her books that inspires such a devoted, diverse fan base? So wondered Deborah Yaffe, as she set out to investigate the zeal Austen has kindled and the remarkable cross-section of lives she has touched.
There’s the Florida lawyer who is pursuing a byzantine theory about hidden subtexts in the novels, the writer of Austen fan fiction who found her own Mr. Darcy while reimagining Pride and Prejudice, and the lit professor whose roller derby nom de skate is Stone Cold Jane Austen. Yaffe goes where Janeites gather en masse, attending the lectures and dress-up ball at the Jane Austen Society of North America’s annual conference, and joining a pilgrimage to historic sites across the pond.
Ultimately, the rich diversity of the Janeites brings Yaffe back to the books themselves. The depth and complexity of Austen’s writing unite readers in a vibrant literary community that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a Jane Austen novel, and that reflects the nature of fans everywhere.