Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Among the Janeites: A Journey through the World of Jane Austen Fandom


Today's post is on Among the Janeites: A journey through the world of Jane Austen Fandom by Deborah Yaffe. It is 241 pages long including notes and is published by Mariner Books. The cover is yellow with a young woman on a horse jumping on it. The intended reader is someone who is a Janeite or just interested in the Janeite world. There is no sex, no violence , and no language in this book. The story is told from the first person perspective of the writer. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- They walk among us in their bonnets and Empire-waist gowns, clutching their souvenir tote bags and battered paperbacks: the Janeites, Jane Austen's legion of devoted fans. Who are these obsessed admirers, whose passion has transformed Austen from classic novelist to pop-culture phenomenon? Deborah Yaffe, journalist and Janeite, sets out to answer this question, exploring the remarkable endurance of Austen's stories, the unusual zeal that their author inspires, and the striking cross-section of lives she has touched.
Along the way, Yaffe meets a Florida lawyer with a byzantine theory about hidden subtexts in the novels, a writer of Austen fan fiction who found her own Mr. Darcy while reimagining
Pride and Prejudice, and a lit professor whose rollier-derby nom de skate is Stone Cold Jane Austen. Yaffe goes where Janeites gather, joining a pilgrimage to historic sites in Britain, chatting online with fellow fans, and attending the annual ball of the Jane Austen Society of North American- in period costume. Part chronicle of a vibrant literary community, part memoir of a lifelong love, Among the Janeites is a funny, touching meditation on the nature of fandom.

Review- As a Janeite is was fun to read about other people, kind of, like me. This is a fun book with lots going on. Yaffe talks about Austen both in her time and what she has become in ours. It is interesting to read about all the different kinds of people that love Austen from professors to lawyer to housewives and they all get something different out of her. It made me think about one of my favorite authors in a new way and that is always good. I think that some of the people we meet are a little odd even for me but I liked learning about how Austen touched their lives and made them better. It is also interesting to read about the way fanfiction works in this scene. I remember when I saw some of the books talked about, I did not know that they started out as just fanfiction but I do not know why I surprised by this. I guess Austen has always just been so important to me that of course people would want to read more about the characters.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.