Jane Austen Birthday Week

Jane Austen was born Dec 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, England, a day for us all to celebrate; however, we Riskies are celebrating Jane Austen ALL week.

We want you to celebrate with us. There will be prizes. We’ve managed to scrape up Jane Austen-related prizes to send to one lucky commenter chosen at random next Sunday after Amanda’s Saturday blog finishes our week.

What was your first introduction to Jane Austen?

I first read Pride and Prejudice in college, but I cannot say my love of Austen hit me then. At the time, I loved everything about English Literature, enough to focus on English Lit as an English major. The real impact of Jane Austen came later for me and not through her books but through a movie.

Shortly after I’d first started writing, my critique group went to see Persuasion in the movie theatre, the Amanda Root-Ciaran Hinds version. There on the big screen the world of the Regency came alive in front of my very eyes. I’d just started reading traditional Regencies at the time and the beautiful houses, the clothing, the lush countryside, the sea coast, Bath, were all before me to experience as if I were really there. I loved the performances in the movie. I loved how Amanda Root as Anne began the movie looking like a dowdy spinster and ended up beautiful when the love she’d lost came back to her. I loved how Ciaran Hinds as Captain Wentworth was not movie-star handsome, but seemed like a real man from that era. All the characters in the movie seemed perfectly cast and the scenery was unsurpassed. Look here for the movie trailer and you will see what I mean.

I still didn’t return to reading Austen at that time. That came later when I decided to try writing a Regency Historical. To help me develop a “Regency Voice” I listened to Jane Austen’s novels in audio book form over and over. Persuasion was still my favorite. I loved the “second chance” aspect of it.

You can hear a sample of that audio recording here.

Through the audio versions of Jane Austen’s novels, I truly began to appreciate her storytelling mastery. It is no wonder that librarians chose Pride and Prejudice as their number one favorite novel of all time…and Persuasion as number 82.

For more about Persuasion look here

For Cara’s Jane Austen Movie Club discussion of the 1995 movie Persuasion look here.

Tell us, did you love Jane Austen at your first exposure or did it happen later? Did you start with a movie or a book?

Don’t forget, we’re giving away Jane Austen-related prizes in honor of her birthday, so make a comment today and all week.

Come visit my website and enter my contest by Dec 20 for a chance to win Mistletoe Kisses.

 

Oh, by the way, here’s a photo of my son’s graduation. He really did it!!
The little arrow is pointing to him. If you can see a bearded face, my son is right behind him.

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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