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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Jane Austen Abominations

In Salt Lake City a new version of Jane Austen: Her Life and Letters, a Family Record is outselling other cities by a ratio of 8 to 1. Obviously something is going on.

It's not hard to jump to the conclusion that it has something to do with Mormons.

In order to solve this mystery, the book's editor, Howard F. Clarke, contacted Aspen Anderson
the Utah Regional Director of JASNA--the Jane Austen Society of North America. He gave Clarke several reasons why Austen resonates with Utah Mormons including morality, witty, romantic prose and no smut. What I found intriguing was the following:
“There is also a great focus on early marriage (there has to be, with the doctrine of abstinence), which means that the stalwart men of our church (who are far outnumbered by the amazing women, sadly) tend to marry young, leaving a lot of fantastic women to be single and pressured by their parents to get married. This is a cultural rather than a doctrinal principle, but it tends to leave a lot of women feeling wistful, and they turn to the romance of Jane Austen.”
I've never closely examined my own reasons for being a Jane Austen fan. However, identifying with the pressure to get married probably did play a part.


Everyone in my family is an Austen fan and that goes for my brothers too. Young or old, male or female, Pride and Prejudice is our perennial favorite.


My husband likes Jane Austen too and happily watches all the various versions of Austen novel adaptations with me. Keeping them straight, however, isn't his strong point. For a meticulous man with a phenomenal memory for detail, this baffles me. Consider the following:


- As we were settling in to watch a version of Pride and Prejudice for the gazillionth time he asked me, "Does Elizabeth marry Mr. Bingley?"


- We'd been watching an adaptation for a while when he commented, "I like this Mr. Knightley." I responded with "That's wonderful, dear, but we are watching Persuasion, not Emma."


I call these his Jane Austen Abominations.


I don't consider these missteps a serious malady, just an indication he needs to view an action flick.

1 comment:

  1. Krista,

    Isn't it crazy how men can't keep that sort of thing straight?
    I found your article while doing a search for the JASNA Utah Region on Google because I am trying to spread the word about a new event we are having July 27th. If you love Jane Austen, you should come. It is a scholarship fundraiser, so it's a good cause, and Jane Austen themed, so I don't know how you could get better! E-mail me at Austenfans411@gmail.com and I will get you the details. P.S. I am a woman. :-)
    Aspen Anderson
    JASNA Utah Regional Coordinator

    ReplyDelete