How many references can you find to Jane Austen in popular culture? A new addition to the University Library collections, Jane’s Fame by Claire Harman, tells the story of the transformation of Jane Austen from a fairly obscure 18th century author to one of the most studied and referenced authors other than Shakespeare. Here are a few instances of ‘Jane’ in popular culture:
- Numerous film adaptations of her works such as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion.
- References in novels and movies: Cold Comfort Farm: Flora Post “I want to write a novel as good as Persuasion by the time I’m fifty.” Bridget Jones’ Diary, the novel that started ‘chick lit’: the character Mark Darcy and the mix up about his character; the actors Hugh Grant, Jemma Jones , and Colin Firth from previous Jane Austen films.
- Quotes or paraphrases from her works in articles and book titles.
- Web sites, societies, and publications: Persuasions and Jane Austen Society of North America; Jane Austen’s House Museum; & more!
- Popular novels such as the mystery series by Stephanie Barron and the recent “mash-up” Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Can you think of more? One of my favorites from Cold Comfort Farm is the advise from Flora to Elphine not to write poetry if she wants to catch the local squire , Dick Halt-Monitor. This echoes Elizabeth Bennet’s assertion in Pride and Prejudice: “I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love?….. I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away.”
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