The Six Month Austen Challenge

by | Jul 12, 2009 | Fiction Book Reviews | 1 comment

Well, it’s time for the 6 month Jane Austen challenge where I have to pick 12 things related to complete related to Jane Austen within the next 6 months. Jane who, who might ask? (To this question I try not to gasp and remind myself that you are probably male 😉

Jane Austen was one of the most well-known Renaissance authors in history. Though her life was relatively short, her works have been read and reread, made into plays, movies, and book sequels for the past two hundred years. She was born December 16, 1775 (another December author…sigh) in Hampshire, England. Most likely she began writing at a very early age to entertain her family and their guests, but her earliest works available for perusal are Love and Friendship and A History of England by a partial, prejudiced, and ignorant Historian, which she wrote at the age of 14. Already her fabulous wit shines through, which is an everpresent feature throughout all of her novels.

Never traveling far from home in body, her mind seemed to be continually filled with imaginary people – or real people who she transformed into magnificent characters for her novels. Situations from her life become entangled in the lives of Emma and Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Prejudice. Many people believe that Jane’s most beloved novel was Persuasion, because of some unrequited love in her past.

There are several clues about Jane’s life and loves in her surviving letters to her sister (and best friend) Cassandra. During her life, her books were popular, although her authorship wasn’t widely known. Her first novels were written By a Lady, and what a lady; one who observed the lives of those around her and brought them to life on the page.

She died at 41 years old on July 18, 1817, but her novels have inspired many other novels…and novelist. Which is where this challenge comes in.

As an aspiring novelist, I want to learn from the best, so here is my list of 6 of the 12 Austenish things to do within the next 6 months: (more to follow)
1. Read Nancy Moser’s book Just Jane
2. Watch the new BBC version of Northanger Abbey
3. Read the ‘completed’ version of Sanditon
4. Watch Jane Austen Regrets by BBC
5. Watch Becoming Jane and compare it to Nancy Moser’s interpretation
6. Read one other book sequel to Jane Austen’s works that I”ve never read before
7. (extra) read P & P, which I read once a year anyway along with Jane Eyre 

Since I’m a Christian, most of my interpretations and ‘spins’ of Jane Austen’s works have a Christian worldview, which works out well since many historians believe Austen held to a Christian doctrine, as well. There are even a few of her prayers that are still in existence today. At the least, her novels attest to the ‘living’ of morals, not just the ‘spouting off’ of them.

Hope you enjoy the blogs, or at least skip over them with a smile.

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