Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First post: Welcome

 Welcome to Jane Austen and Other Writers. This blog arises out of my participation during the past seven years in two Jane Austen lists--Janeites and Austen-L--and more recently in WomenWritersThroughtheAges, Trollope19thCStudies and EighteenthCenturyWorlds, yahoo lists run by Ellen Moody. I hope here to continue the conversations begun there. Interactions with people such as Ellen, Diana Birchall, Nancy Mayer, Elaine Pigeon, Anielka Briggs, Arnie Perlstein and many I have not named have enhanced my understanding of Austen and other writers. At its best, the discoveries we make are exciting. I appreciate the Web a place where scholarship can occur in a pure form, divorced from careers and credentialing.

Above is my favorite picture of Jane Austen, drawn by her sister Cassandra in about 1810. We see here what contemporaries described as Austen's rosy cheeks, dark curls and big eyes. What I like is her no-nonsense expression as looks at something outside the picture frame that we can't see. She presents as serious, intelligent, and perhaps a bit world weary, but not as the sweet pre-Victorian maiden that her nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh presented to the world in 1869.

I wonder what thoughts people have as this blog begins.


  1. Congratulations on starting your new blog, Diane, just as our group reading of Jane Austen's Letters comes full circle, to its end. I wish you good fortune with your friends and your thinking here, and whatever you do with it, I know you will enjoy having and using your own public space in your own way.

  2. Yes, congratulations on your blog, Diane. I think it's so exciting to have your own blogasphere and hope to participate. While I have only been on womenthroughtheages for a short time, I have already benefited from the insightful exchanges and interesting, friendly company. Best of luck!

  3. Diane, I very much look forward to reading your thoughts here! Stick with it, and over time, you will grow a following, because you have something to say worth reading!