Saturday, July 15, 2017


I didn't realize that this was the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death until today.  There are a variety of events set to mark this occasion, including putting Austen on the UK's 10 pound note.  Of course, the best way to honour her is to read her works.  I've read Northanger Abbey and either Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility (back in my undergrad years).  I know it is kind of crazy not to know which I've read,* but it was a long time ago...  I have several Austen novels on my long reading list, but I will have to move them up to ensure I get to them by the end of the year.  In terms of pacing, I'll make sure I read both Sense and Sensibility (1811) and Pride and Prejudice (1813) in 2017.

I'll see if I can get through the rest: Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815) and Persuasion (1817) in 2018.  I don't intend to either reread Northanger Abbey or to read her unfinished novel Sanditon (although this commentator makes a strong case for it).  I've also been intending to reread Barbara Pym, and I'll sneak a couple in along the way, since I've often thought of Pym as one of the chief successors to Austen.  In general, I'm making more of an effort to fill in those gaps in my reading (like Jane Eyre, which I'm starting this week for the first time!), so the Austen project comes at a good time.

* I had actually convinced myself that we read Pride and Prejudice for my Honors English course in university, but a few pages into Sense and Sensibility I realized that we had read Austen's first novel instead.  Definitely looking forward to the next one, which I should be wrapping up by (US) Thanksgiving.

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