I Can’t Help Myself, I Heart All Things Jane Austen

~”It is a truth universally acknowlegded, that” Chrissy is a lover of all things Jane Austen~

It’s been 200 years, today, since Pride & Prejudice was first published.  Happy Anniversary P&P!  What is most amazing to me is how much Jane Austen’s novels still resonates with the world today.  Think about it, it’s been 200 years and thousands, upon thousands, of us are still obsessed with her stories.   Her fans, of which I am happy to call myself one, can’t get enough.  We devour fan fiction, we lap up every new film/tv adaptation that come our way, and we re-read her novels over and over again.  I can’t think of any other author off the top of my head (well, ok, I’ll give you Shakespeare and Dickens) who has managed to keep such a hardcore, and crazy fan base, who 200 years later are still constantly craving more.  “Please Sir, I want some more.” as Oliver Twist in Dickens states (shout out, Dickens!).

Looking back, I have to give credit where credit is due, I owe my love for all things Jane Austen to my Mother, the biggest Jane Austen fan I’ve ever known!   Since I was a young girl, she has always had a fascination with the Regency England era of history, from the clothing, to the rules of etiquette that dictated society at that time.   It was very easy for me to also fall for this period of time.  It just seems to ooze romance to my modern sensibilities.  I am definitely a romantic at heart.

My Mom’s obsession with Jane Austen herself, didn’t really begin until she saw the BBC adaption of Pride & Prejudice on PBS about 15 or so years ago.   Not long after that, she introduced me to the story.  Since then I have devoured all of Miss Austen’s books and seen most of the numerous movie adaptations of her stories.  Persuasion is my favorite novel of hers, and my favorite movie adaptation is without a doublt the BBC’s Pride & Prejudice.  Quite honestly, I don’t know how you can’t fall head over heals for all things Jane Austen after seeing this adaptation.  I also don’t think it is physically possible not to fall madly in love with Mr. Darcy, or Colin Firth for that matter, after watching it! 🙂

My latest Jane Austen related craze is a modern adaptation of Pride & Prejudice in the form of Youtube webisodes called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.  I stumbled across this webseries when I was on Reddit about a month ago.  In this series, Lizzie begins a web diary of her life for a grad school project.  The webisodes are all 4-7 minutes long.  There are currently 82 videos and counting, and new ones are posted every week to my utter delight.  The series is also very social media driven.  You can  follow all the characters on Twitter, there is a Tumblr page, a Facebook page and so much more.  You can truly immerse yourself in the lives of the characters, if you so desire, and I do!!!  I honestly don’t know what I’ll do when the series comes to its inevitable conclusion.  Hopefully, they will adapt another of Miss Austen’s stories to consume myself with.

Besides The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I’ve also heard talk of a modern day adaptation of both Pride & Prejudice and Sense & Sensibilites for television.  There are also a couple of fan fiction movies coming out soon: “Austenland”, and “Lost in Austen”.  I can’t wait to see all of them!

As much as I heart Jane,  I don’t know as I’ll ever get to the level of super fan that my Mom has reached.   I’m pretty close, but she is so obsessed that about 80% of the time I pop over to her house for a visit, she will have a Jane Austen dvd playing.  She has watched every movie version ever, 1000’s of times each.  We think  it is very likey she just might have been Jane in a past life!

Most recently, we welcomed a new member to our lovely family.  My brother, Bryan, and his wife had a little girl.  I knew it was highly imperative that she follow the footsteps of her Nana and Bestest Auntie Ever in our love of all things Jane, so I tracked her down a totally adorable Jane Austen onesie, which you can check out on CafePress.com!  She looks tres adorable in it, too!  I’m not sure if she gets it quite yet, but I have high hopes. 🙂

Speaking of Jane Austen themed gifts, one of the great things about obsessed fans is they make it super easy to shop for.  I don’t think a holiday goes by without either my brother, I, or both gets her something Jane related.  My absolute favorite find to date is the Jane Austen Action Figure I gave my Mom a couple years ago. I don’t believe you can truly call yourself a Jane Austen super fan without one!  (Unfortunately, it looks as though they aren’t being made anymore, so if you find one snatch it up quickly, they are a collectors item!)

If you are a fellow Jane fan, I would love to hear which novel/movie adaptation is your favorite.  If you are a romantic at heart and have not had the pleasure of either reading a Jane Austen novel or watching one of her stories come to life in the movies, please, please do yourself a huge favor and do so right away.

~Chrissy

*Top photo is a pic I took of the book “Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasurey” by Rebecca Dickson.

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