Jul 172017
 

Hi readers!  It is a significant week in the Jane Austen world – a week where we remember Jane Austen’s death (July 18th, 1817) and acknowledge that her life ended too soon.

And this year the recognition and acknowledgement is even greater as it marks 200 years since Jane Austen’s passing.

That means that it has been 200 years since a new Jane Austen novel came out, but lucky for us her stories and characters have continued to live fruitful and long lives (and it looks like that won’t be changing any time soon!)

I know many of us are so grateful for Jane Austen and all the many ways her works have brought joy, comfort, and happiness to our lives. I thought it would be interesting to wonder what our lives would be like without Jane Austen.

So if you don’t mind, dear friends,  take a moment and ask yourself…

Would you be a reader? What would you read?

My answer is yes, I would be a reader still.  But perhaps if there were no Jane Austen novels, I’d read a bit less.  Maybe mostly from the Christian-Fiction genre or Women’s Fiction genre…perhaps a little from the Brontës.  But I don’t know if I would be become as avid a fan of one author or one genre as I am for Jane Austen! 😉

Would your relationships be any different?

I have always believed that if I haven’t encountered Jane Austen than there would be no Mr. Bingley in my life.  *shudders* it is such a terrible thought, isn’t it?  But it is true.  I was not open to marriage or believing in happiness in marriage until I read Jane Austen – I saw too many examples of unhappy marriages in real life.

And while we do see some unhappy marriages in Jane Austen’s novels, there are many great examples of happy couples and harmonious relationships.  More so than any other romantic movie or book – Jane Austen’s novels made me want to dream of that type of relationship for myself.

Because of Jane Austen I decided I wanted to find my own Mr. Darcy, or in my case my own Mr. Bingley!

Would any other part of your life, personality, or work be different?

Hmm.. Well, I don’t think I would be a blogger.  I might write reviews on amazon, but I don’t think I would have started a blog.

Without Jane Austen and the Jane Austen community I would not have as many online friends or people to connect with.  I don’t know many people who read for pleasure in my real life so I’d probably be keeping a lot of my reading and thoughts about reading to myself.  In addition, I wouldn’t have any friends to travel and see in other countries and states or exchange emails and gifts with.

Perhaps, if there were no Jane Austen or Jane Austen community, I might have not lasted long in my first job.  I discovered the online world of Jane Austen during my first year as a full-time teacher, which as many of you know can be an exhausting and often thankless job.  I remember in that first year how I would look forward to my afternoons and evenings so much when I would finish work and can go online and see what my Jane Austen friends have posted and shared. 🙂  If I didn’t have that to look forward to in my days, I think I would have been more unhappy and perhaps would have wanted to switch jobs.  Which would have been mistake because teaching is good fit for me, I just prefer to do it outside of schools! 😉

With gratitude we remember and honor you, dear Jane!  Thank you so much for changing our lives!

How about you, dear readers?

I’d love to know how your life would be different without Jane Austen.

And if you are doing anything special tomorrow to remember Jane Austen, please do share that too!

 

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  60 Responses to “Our Lives Without Jane Austen”

  1.  

    Hello Meredith, what a lovely article. I definitely would still be a reader as I love to read but I would probably concentrate even more on history novels e.g. the Philippa Gregory books which I enjoy reading and I also loved read the Poldark novels. After reading Poldark and P & P, I knew what type of relationship I wanted and what I definitely did not want! I am so very grateful to the Jane Austen Community and to yourself for your blog also. Have met some lovely cyber people from all parts of the world. I love to go online to see what people are reading or where they have visited in relation to P & P and Jane Austen and long may it continue!

    In fact it is a beautiful day today in the UK. I can’t wait to go home, sit in the garden and read one of my P & P variations although haven’t decided which one yet!

    •  

      Thank you so much, Michelle! You are so sweet! 🙂 It would be interesting to have a snapshot of our book collections without Jane Austen’s novels, wouldn’t it?

      That sounds like such a lovely way to spend your afternoon! Have fun and happy reading! Glad the weather is beautiful!

  2.  

    Such a wonderful and moving post!!!!! I’m including it in a “mega” post(over at Austen in Boston) of various Austen @ 200 posts I find…much as I do for Jane’s Birthday!!!!

    I’d still be a reader but it would be nearly all history non-fiction. Jane Austen has been a “get way” drug to various fiction authors I won’t have tried or would have tried just one book(looking at you Edith W and Elizabeth G). And of course the people in person and on-line and and and and and…….

    •  

      Thank you, Kirk! I’m honored you would want to include it! I don’t normally do a post for this day each year, but I thought I should this year given that it is 200!

      Oh my, where would you be without your inner Anne Elliot?!? She is definitely proving to be very helpful! 😉 Glad to hear how Jane Austen inspired you to try new authors.

  3.  

    I only discovered Jane in my thirties. I had to read the novels a couple of times to grasp them as I hadn’t read anything so classical until then except for some Dickens. I loved her books and when I discovered the dvds I was in Heaven!! I’ve been a voracious reader all my life so would have been reading anyway but Jane’s books just enhanced things for me. After I discovered them it encouraged me to read different genres and to read a bit more high brow books as it were.
    Joining the online communities has helped me no end. I’m a stay at home housewife and can be a bit isolated at times. Going on line and chatting about Austen’s have been a God send.
    Great post Meredith.

    •  

      Thank you so much for sharing, Teresa! That’s great that reading Jane Austen influenced some of your other reading choices! I love the online community for Jane Austen, I truly don’t know where I’d be without it!

  4.  

    What a beautiful and moving post Meredith. I would have to agree, that I too, would still be a great reader but not have the same ‘obsession/addiction’ towards an author that I do for Jane Austen. I have other ‘favourites’ but Jane’s characters are so enduring that I don’t wish to leave them. As you know, I didn’t ‘find’ Jane until the 1995 P&P adaptation. Yours was the first blog I ever found. You and your followers opened up a whole new world to me, not only in like-minded thinking, but in our love of Jane. You have expanded our horizons, and now we have a community of friends from around the world that we can share our love of Jane with!

    I do feel the world would be a poorer place without Jane in it. Her impact can be felt worldwide. She has given ‘voice’ to many others that may not have done so before. She has given others courage to step outside their comfort zone and embark on a journey that they never imagined before.

    Thank you Jane Austen for your wit and skill of observing your fellow man/woman. Thank you Meredith for the years of spreading your love for her and for your friendship.

    •  

      Thank you, Carole! It is so kind of you to say! It’s not every author that readers can become a complete addict for! 😉 Your story of finding my blog and encountering the JA community makes me so happy! I’ve known you for several years now and am so glad to chat with you weekly and learn more about you through all this time!

      I completely agree with you about Jane Austen’s impact – I don’t even want to think about what books (by other authors) that wouldn’t exist in print today if not for her.

      Thank you, for your friendship, Carole! Just another reason I am thankful for Jane Austen and her novels!

  5.  

    My life would be a blank. I wouldn’t have met the many wondrous women who surprise me and enrich my life on a daily basis. Of course, I would still be busy raising my children and doing my art–but I do not see how I would have started reviewing and then editing… Surely I would have taken a different path. I can’t imagine what that might have been.

    •  

      Well said, Christina! It would be interesting to see what we would fill up our time with, maybe something completely different. But I can’t imagine it being better than Jane Austen! 😀

  6.  

    What a great post Meredith. I have been an avid reader all my life so yes I would still be reading. However I wouldn’t be reading as much I don’t think. Over the years I have read millions of books in almost all genres with many ‘re reads of certain books. Just prior to my discovery of JAFF my favourites were Georgette Heyer, Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers which I have collected and loved reading. Then in early 2014 I discovered that there was a sequel to P&P which I bought only to find it was one of a series and also had an advert for another series. I went on Amazon to get the rest and wow!!! An explosion of stories about Darcy and Elizabeth caught my eye. I have never looked back and if possible I could happily spend 24 hours a day reading (and ‘re reading my favourites over and over again )
    I would like to think that somehow Jane knows of the amount of pleasure she is responsible for and agree that the world would be a much poorer ace without her works.

    •  

      Thank you, Glynis! I appreciate you checking it out! How fun to find JAFF through just one book and then learn about all the others! I can imagine it feeling both tremendous and overwhelming! It is amazing to think that just one person launched so many other stories and inspired so many writers! That just goes to show you, you never know your impact on others.

  7.  

    I don’t think I would be participating in an online discussion group. I wouldn’t have those wonderful Austen Quotes that I loved to use on my students. I would be stuck in the historical romance genre [not saying that is a bad thing]. I was just learning to write reviews. I’ve now written several hundred.

    I had never been to a blog in my life and now follow 5 [who happen to be friends]. I didn’t even know what Goodreads was until a reviewer introduced me to the experience [not sure but what she doesn’t regret that]. I love reading Austen’s Classics. Every single time, I learn something about human nature, or something about myself that I never new before. Her work is a deep well and you can dive as deep as you want and will still learn something new. How can one person do so much in such a short time? Wow, we are so grateful for her hard work and insights. Thanks Jane…

    •  

      Same here, Jeanne! And when I did find JA blogs and groups I was a little hesitant to comment much. It’s great how we are able to connect from our homes with each other!

      I love what you said about learning something knew about human nature and yourself when you read Jane Austen! I feel the same way! Jane Austen is such a keen observer and so astute in her understanding! Very well said, thank you so much for sharing!

  8.  

    I LOVE this post, Meredith. Love it! Love it! Love it!

    Just thinking about what my life would be without Jane Austen makes my mind go blank, my hands start to shake, and I want to cry. I’ve had some severe bouts with bad health in my life and I happened to read Pride & Prejudice at a particularly bleak period. After my second stroke from my brain tumor, the doctor recommended writing as an exercise to help with memory. I had read “The Journey” by Jan Hahn the day prior. As much trouble as I had keeping facts present, I retained almost every single word of that story. I’ve been vocal about the impact Jan’s book had on me personally, but I don’t think I’ve ever put into words how powerful an influence it had when combined with Jane’s original.

    So, at a time when I felt most hopeless and helpless, I was infused with zeal to the point that I devoured almost everything offered in JAFF at that time (2013). I followed the doctor’s orders and my first book was born. I’m secretly afraid that without the joy of Jane Austen, I would be a drooling vegetable tucked away in a nursing home somewhere. Needless to say, my gratitude for Jane Austen and Jan Hahn is endless.

    •  

      Oh, Joy, your story makes my heart happy every time I read it! I know it was Jane’s characters and plot and genius that really inspired you, but if my book helped you see that you, too, could write an Austen variation, then I’m grateful for the small part I played in the process. You’re an inspiration, knowing you’ve been so ill in the past and yet managing to write the number of stories that you have.

      It’s difficult to think how much less my life would be without Jane Austen. I’ve always been a reader, but as an adult, I tended to read more non-fiction until I returned to Jane. Her world is my perfect escape. I long to live in a world of civility, elegance, manners, and gentility, and I find that in Jane’s books. I also find those attributes among Jane’s readers online. It’s a marked difference from that of many online communities. I’m so thankful for Austen bloggers like you, Meredith, and for the happy place you and Jane provide for all of us to be together.

      •  

        I HUG you, Jan.

      •  

        Thank you so much for reading this post, Jan, and sharing your story! I love this sentence ” I long to live in a world of civility, elegance, manners, and gentility, and I find that in Jane’s books.” And I have to agree with you about those words applying to the JA community as well! It is indeed a happy gathering and it is great to see how many people are brought together through this shared love. Thank you so much, Jan!

    •  

      Joy, I’m so deeply glad you came away from your stroke, recovering….triumphing!! And I am so glad your doctor recommended writing. You took his idea and soared!! God Bless.

    •  

      Your story is so moving, Joy! It is amazing to see all you have overcome and to know that in some way Jane Austen played a hand in it! And I’m so so so thankful to your doctor, brilliant man! I love how special Jan Hahn’s The Journey is to you – it is one of my faves and she created such a fascinating and riveting adventure for Darcy and Elizabeth! We have so much to be thankful for, I am so thankful to you for sharing your story, Joy!

  9.  

    I think that I would have been lost with reading in general and Jane Austen’s works in particular. I don’t say much about it, but my childhood was challenging (to say the least) and getting lost in books kept me sane. I started at my local library with all the usual books – Grimms Fairy Tales, Black Beauty, Nancy Drew etc, and as I got older I discovered John Jakes’ novels, Gone With the Wind and Catherine Marshall’s Christy series. I know that I would never have had the courage to write my first book had I not been a reader all my life. I am just happy that so many of us love reading Jane’s stories and have invested in helping other to discover them too.

    •  

      Thank you so much for sharing, Brenda! It is great to hear examples of how books and reading can provide so much comfort and inspiration. Your writing is a gift and I am so thankful that you found the courage to try it!

  10.  

    Wonderful to read your words and the experiences of other devoted Janeites. It’s impossible to know all the ways her novels have effected my life, but certainly at the very least, many friends would be missing, as well as the online community of fellow admirers.

    •  

      Thank you, Susan. I think it is safe to say our live are richer for Jane Austen and her works. I don’t think I’d spend nearly as much time on my laptop if it wasn’t for Jane Austen! LOL!

  11.  

    Hi Meredith, 😀
    I love the theme of this article.
    First of all, I would still be a reader, before discovering JA, I was into Harry Potter books (still am), I love Agatha Christie’s books. I would still read historical fiction, or Bronte (not a massive fan) and Gaskell. But I discovered Gaskell thanks to JA. Hence the range of genres that I enjoy is wide.

    •  

      Thank you, Mariam! I though it would be a fun way to talk about and commemorate Jane Austen this week. 🙂 It is interesting to think of what books we would or wouldn’t have read!

  12.  

    It has been a long time now, but from what I remember she helped me be positive and happy, back then I was bullied, it helped me take a distance with other students and simply be me.I loved Dracy 😀
    She also helped me built my view on women’s rights, I went for a bachelor degree in English mostly because I loved her work and English.
    I visited Chatsworth house because of her and fell in love the gardens . Which made me realise how much I love parks and Nature.
    She also made me question a lot in my life.

    •  

      That is so inspiring to hear! I love the many different ways Jane Austen has impacted your life! Thanks so much for sharing, Mariam!

      •  

        Hi, I hope you having a good special day today 😀
        I wroet two seperates comments because otherwise I could not click on the “post comment” button and used two différents mail, still me 😀 Sorry about that.
        Yes, she did, She helped me a lot and made me less unhappy because I could focus on what mattered to me with time and accept that I was not into the same hobbies as the teenagers of my school. I’m happy to see that you found it inspiring.
        The more I grow up more I focus shifted on different aspect of the novels. Her wit and her way fo writing make me laugh and happy 😀
        By teh way, did you see that in the UK , they have now the first statue of JA and the first 10£ bill 😀

      •  

        My bad I didn’t readproof myself -_-
        What I meant was I was able to found what I like and focus on it instead of not only not sharing the others hobbies or having nothing. It made me confident. I also had manga ( japanese comics)back then.
        It is so hot here (weather) that I am not focused.

  13.  

    Nice idea, this post! If it weren’t for Jane Austen I wouldn’t be a writer. She gave me my voice and my point of view—as well as teaching me a lot about technique.

  14.  

    Lovely blog and excellent tribute to Jane Austen, Meredith. So interesting that she inspired you to expand your horizons in looking for a man with just the right attributes and finding “Mr. Bingley”. I, too, have been an avid reader all my life but like Carole in Canada didn’t find Jane Austen until I watched the 1995 P&P movie. And like Jeanne read hundreds of Historical Romances beginning in my 20’s as a co-worker lent me one of her paperbacks. I didn’t find the JAFF community and blogs (I have subscribed to many.) until I retired at the end of 2012. I loved Jane Eyre and have read that 8 times since it was required Summer Reading in 7th grade. I have eclectic tastes having read Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Dickens, all the children’s classics, Twilight, Enders Game, The Hunger Games, Outlander, etc. and many paranormal JAFF books also. I have also read some historical novels and love learning about history from those, i.e., The Guns of August, Nicholas and Alexandra, etc. Then there are books like The Shack which blow you out of the water.

    I read to escape. There are no Mr. Darcys in my life. For a man to change with no promise of reward is the height of romance for me. Elizabeth changes also but he is the one who did so much in secret and not even wanting her to know about it.

    I love all things Jane and have all the movies on DVD as well as many articles and books about her, her homes, her impact on history and, of course, the numerous JAFF books which are a tribute to her. Like Joy, with health and aging issues, for me writing reviews and comments such as this keeps my mind active and has expanded the world of friends and acquaintances in ever growing circles.

    Thank you and all the other blog writers for comments and suggestions, facts and figures to help us know this wonderful lady ever better.

    Thank you for this blog and sharing with everyone here.

    •  

      Thank you, Sheila! It is scary to think how empty and unhappy my life would be without my sweet Mr. Bingley! He is the best thing (tied with Jane Austen) that has ever happened to me. 🙂

      I love what you shared and how it is more than just books that we enjoy when it comes to Jane Austen. It is her characters, what they do, the escape they provide. 😉 It is inspiriting to hear how Jane Austen and participating in the JA community positively impact your life. I hope to be as avid a reader as you, my dear friend, when I grow up!

  15.  

    What a lovely post, Meredith. As I didn’t discover Austen until I was in my fifties, I’m sure I would still have been a reader, but still ….

    I have often wondered why I am so drawn to her writing; after all, I am certainly more in the mold of the testosterone-poisoned male than her usual fan. Perhaps it is the stateliness of the time, perhaps the unstudied genius of her ability to create human portraits, or because I agree with her mordant assessment of our species. I have known both love and heartbreak in my own life, so that is not what I need from her; I know them well enough. Wit, rich characters, a well-turned phrase—others have written with these gifts. But for me the most unique aspect of Austen’s genius is her constant benevolence, resting on an informed and unflinching view of her subject: us. Even her most flawed characters reveal some hint of gentler feeling, some faint redeeming thought or feature that makes them worthy to hold their place in the world. Certainly we lack that wise and understanding charity today—although perhaps she might have said the same of her time. In any case, we have been blessed by her legacy, as limited as it is.

    Thank you again, Meredith, for your thoughtfulness and for the gentle haven you provide to all of us who are bonded by our admiration of Austen’s works. May your line never diminish. 🙂

    My best regards,

    Stan

    •  

      Thank you, Stan! I appreciate you reading it and sharing your own thoughts! I love how you broke down and analyzed what you personally are drawn to most in her writing. It is interesting how the answer is different for each person. I do love seeing the flaws in her characters because they are so honest and true – her characters seem so real and accessible, no matter how many years separate them from the reader.

      Thank you for all your kind words, Stan! I am so thankful for the outpouring of comments on this post, it only reaffirms that Jane Austen has given me so much to be thankful for. 😉

  16.  

    I wouldn’t have the pleasure of reading her wonderful novels. I wouldn’t have enjoyed her happy ends, something that is not very common in the literature of those times (that’s the reason I’m not so fond of Sisters Bronte…).
    I wouldn’t have met characters like Lizzy, Emma, Elinor, Mr Darcy, Mr Knightley or Mr Ferrars.
    And of course, I wouldn’t have met all of you, the JAFF community! It’s so splendid to share opinions with so many people that I think Jane Austen wouldn’t have ever imagined something like this !
    Thanks for this post Meredith!

    •  

      I like how you said Sisters Bronte! 😉

      I agree, little did Jane Austen know how celebrated, beloved, and revered her characters and novels would one day become!

  17.  

    Meredith,

    What a lovely tribute to our dear Jane,an author that holds a special place in all our hearts.

    I first heard of Jane when,as a student,we were told P&P was our novel for our state exams. When I think back at the innocent yet determined scribblings in the margin, red underlining and highlighting of various paragraphs and quotes that I now know practically by heart,it brings a smile to my face!

    I never once thought that this novel would have such a profound effect on me and that years later I would continue to read it or listen to it on a yearly basis.

    Where would I be without Jane? I would definitely be a reader but one devoid of the online friendships,shared laughter,and sparkling humour that are a hallmark of the online JAFF community.

    I would like to think that Jane is looking down on us,a little chuffed to think that we are remembering and celebrating her works,the literary ‘children’ she gifted the world with.

    To think that after two hundred years we are still having our share in the conversation,one that flowed so freely from her humble pen,is something that I,for one,am very grateful for! ☺️

    •  

      Thank you, Mary! I’ve greatly enjoyed reading all that everyone has shared! How wonderful that you have treasured memories of your first reading of P&P!

      Beautifully said, Mary! I think she would be chuffed! 😉

  18.  

    I can not imagine my life with out Jane Austen. I was influenced by her at such a young age. I would be a completely different person (perhaps a little less annoying by not quoting Austen all the time). I do not have fellow readers or lovers of Jane near me but I love the Jane Austen Community and the world of JAFF because though 200 years have passed since her death, it still seems as if there is something knew to learn.

    •  

      LOL! Sagan! I am sure many of us would not consider that an annoying habit! 😉 I like you feel like I would be a different person as well. Thanks for sharing!

  19.  

    I CAN imagine my life without Jane Austen, but don’t want to go there. Can anyone imagine being part of such a truly fine group of friends and acquaintances we have here on this and several other Austen related blogs and websites, without Jane? I can’t. Amazon is great in so many ways, but I can’t connect and share with other reviewers, especially in such a genteel, intelligent and caring atmosphere.

    Meredith, I can so relate with your comment regarding not having anyone to share this literary love with anyone in my personal life. And I’m so glad you and your Mr. Bingley found each other.

    •  

      Thank you so much for sharing, Michelle! The Jane Austen community is all those things you said! I think my life would feel very bereft without it! I am so very glad I have Mr. Bingley in my life, I don’t want to think about who I’d be with or where I’d be without him!

  20.  

    I wrote such a long comment that it timed out, I wrote too much, and I really rambled. I tried doing a cut and paste and only ended up with the above last part of it. And I am sure that it will suffice. I may revisit that ‘saga’ I wrote again some day. 🙂

    But I do have to repeat that this has been the best idea for commemorating Jane’s passing. As much as I get to gushing I can never thank you enough for all you give us on this blog. But, thank you anyway. The comments that have already appeared have really touched me. Thank you all.

    •  

      Noooo! I’m so sorry! I hate when that happens, wish there was an auto save! I would have loved to read your whole comment.

      Thank you so much for all your kind words and support of my blog. 😉 I am so thankful for all the friendship and caring I see take place in this community, it is so fulfilling to be a part of it!

  21.  

    Thank you so mich for such a warm and heartfelt tribute, Meredith. Today, I don’t think Jane will be far from the thoughts of any of us, will she? I’d love to be in Winchester today, in the company of quite a few of the friends I’ve made through her. Alas, I have to work but I’ll be listening to Juliet Stevenson’s narration of Emma on my commute and reading David Shapard’s annotated version in my lunch break. I’ll be raising a glass to Jane at dinner tonight.

    Without our dear Jane, I’d still be a voracious reader, but would probably be a lot more heavily focussed on my love for sci-fi/fantasy. Writers such as Anne McCaffrey, J. R. R. Tolkien, George R. R. Martin, Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov feature heavily on my bookshelves.

    I’d still be married to my lovely husband, I think, as I met him through my choice of career and though I hadn’t expected to marry as early as I did (age 22), I always hoped that I would eventually marry. Jane has had an influence on the type of marriage we have, along with modern expectations. No way would I tolerate the kind of marriage that Mr. and Mrs. Bennet had, for instance! Or even my own parents. Ours is very much one of equals and we’ll celebrate 40 years next month.

    When it comes to the rest of my life, Jane Austen and the wonderful online community I discovered a few short years ago have given me so much enjoyment in my leisure time. For many years, it was just a case of rereading her works but now that I’ve discovered (actually it was more like stumbled across) all of you amazing people, a whole new world has opened up to me. For instance, I’d never have thought that I could become a beta/proof reader and when I eventually retire, I’m seriously considering taking up blogging. I’d love to do the latter now, but simply don’t have the spare time, unless I can lay my hands on Hermione Granger’s time turner or persuade The Doctor to loan me her TARDIS! Until then, like Sheila, I’m a subscriber to so many wonderful blogs. Yours was one of the first I discovered and will always be one of my favourites.

    Thank you for all of the time you devote to us with your reviews and compiling your fantastic lists.

    •  

      Thank you for all your kind words, Anji! I am glad you enjoyed this post. What a great way to remember and celebrate Jane Austen today.

      I love hearing that you feel Jane Austen has influenced your marriage and big congrats on celebrating your 40th together! That is so lovely to hear! I cannot help but feel the same way, Mr. Bingley and I are partners in everything – I like that we share responsibilities and chores.

      That is so great that you discovered the Jane Austen community and are happy to be a part of it! I’m so thankful you found my blog, I love seeing your comments and getting to know these past years! I look forward to seeing what you do in the future! 😉

  22.  

    Meredith, I have to add that I found your blog as I kept finding reviews by you on Amazon and finally clicked on the link to your blog. Viola! A new and wonderful world. It was on your blog that I made friends with Carole in Canada, Joy Dawn King, Anji and many others. Thank you.

  23.  

    I’ve always been a reader. My mother’s one too. Sad to see the comments where people say they don’t know many readers. I’ve met readers at different workplaces. Mostly I read mysteries (cozy and historical, especially Victorian). Also classic mysteries such as Sherlock Holmes (there are lots of writers now writing Sherlock stories) and Agatha Christie. I also like Y.A., including paranormal. Appreciating Austen has made me like other Regency books (romances and mysteries). You could say it’s made me branch out my reading into more general fiction. Every now and then I get into a Darcy or Austen mood and dig out the Austenesque books (such as now!).

    I discovered Austen around 2008 when they had an Austenfest on P.B.S. Well, they didn’t call it that but they had a lot of Austen movies on. At first it was hard to get into that time period since the language is more formal and the dress is different than in the Victorian period. I fell down the rabbit hole and one of the first Austenesque books I discovered was Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange. I started accumulating a few Austenesque books. I think I saw some at the library and then looked them up on Amazon. Previously I wasn’t too familiar with Austen but had a few of her books that I picked up at book sales.

    •  

      That’s great that you and your mom share the love of reading! You have great interests! I’ve not read any Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie books – I’d like to though! I love that Jane Austen made you branch out! If it weren’t for Jane Austen I don’t think I would be as interested in the Regency era as I am now – maybe my favorite time period would be Victorian or American Colonial! 😉

  24.  

    I loved your post and your thoughts. As for Jane’s impact on my life…well nearly 30 years ago I met and married my own Mr. Darcy, but did nor know he was my Mr. Darcy until 5 years ago. I have always read. I loved variations on the Legend of King Arthur or Robin Hood and historical romance….usually Viking through Victorian era and early America through around the 1890’s.
    What I would have missed, the friends around the world who love Jane Austen. Because of her my life is richer with people who share my love of reading and of Austen.

    •  

      Thanks, Debbie! I really appreciate you checking it out! 😉 Interesting reading choices! I love early American stories too.

      Very true, these friendships we made through Jane Austen have definitely made our lives richer!

  25.  

    This was such a beautiful and thoughtful post, Meredith. I loved reading how Jane Austen has touched and changed so many of our lives.

    She always reminds me of the power that each person has within his/her own life. Thank you for your wonderful blog!

  26.  

    Well here I am, Miss Tardy to the Party! Without Jane Austen the past few years of my life would have been spent reading international spy thrillers. I don’t know that I would have ever found my way to Jane’s books despite being totally enamored of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice and, shortly thereafter, Sense and Sensibility. But now I’m making up for lost time. If not for finding a freebie JAFF book on a discount website I never would have found JAFF, blogs, websites and numerous friendships with fellow readers and authors. My days and nights are full and only once in awhile do I allow myself time for an international spy thriller. So I send many thanks to Jane. I hope I represent my admiration for her well.

    •  

      Aww! So happy to have you comment, Katherine, you aren’t late to the party! 😉 You did a wonderful job of representing your admiration! <3 I know if I didn't read Jane Austen or blog I would have a lot more free time...but I am way happier that my days and nights are full like you said! I wouldn't change a thing! 😉

  27.  

    I am just reading your comment, Meredith, about being an avid reader like me when you grow up…love your humor. I do consider myself so lucky to be able to read so much and to have found so many friends in doing so…as I said.

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