Jane Austen

30 Legendary Literary Mean Girls We Love to Hate

Literature loves a mean girl, an archenemy, or just an undermining frenemy. Let’s face it: this archetype is often (though not always) realized as a charming blonde who’s either a snob guarding her place against interlopers or a determined social climber. For every spunky heroine, she’s the prissy antagonist who scorns our protagonist’s rough ways, while her nimble feet fight for their place on the rungs of a given novel’s social ladder. She represents the apex of the idea that men can fight each other out in the open, but women are forced to be underhanded in their jockeying for alpha status. Her machinations make plots get thicker and tension ratchet up. Here’s a selection of literature’s most delightfully nasty mean girls. We love to hate… Read More

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The 50 Sexiest Literary Villains

In The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy, open-mouthed, says “I’ve never heard of a beautiful witch before,” Glinda famously quips that only bad witches are ugly. But ’tis not so — or at least, there are plenty of very bad witches who are the opposite of ugly: beautiful, sexy, charming, devastatingly intelligent, or all of the above. So, in honor of J.K. Rowling’s outrage that we all love Draco so much, here’s 50 villains that we wouldn’t kick out of… Read More

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5 Ridiculous Jane Austen Book Covers, Explained in Hilarious “Deleted Scenes”

This month marks the release of Margaret C. Sullivan’s book exploring the history of Jane Austen covers in print, Jane Austen Cover to Cover (Quirk Books). While the book showcases Sullivan’s skills as a publishing-history sleuth, we already knew the author for her witty Austen blogging and fan fiction. So naturally, we were thrilled at the chance to have her come up with some humorous “outtakes” from her cover collection. She obliged with five of the most absurd covers found in the book, paired with added “scenes that Jane Austen never wrote.”  — Sarah Seltzer
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50 Novels Featuring Famous Authors as Characters

With not one, but two novels featuring Jane Austen, one featuring the ghost of Dorothy Parker, and a third about Virginia Woolf and her sister hitting shelves soon, it seemed like a good time to survey the entire “writer-as-character” category of novels. Who are the most popular fictionalized writers? It’s no surprise to see a ton of Shakespeares, Dickenses, and Brontës scampering with pens through the pages of other peoples’ novels. But a graphic-novel Susan Sontag? Cranky Robert Frost? Witty Alexander Pope? These are some of the delights we uncovered for your reading… Read More

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‘Death Comes to Pemberley’ Episode 2 Recap

After a first episode full of intrigue and bad dialogue and fissures in the Darcy marriage, we begin this week’s installment with Lizzy in a, well, a tizzy. She’s worried that Darcy doesn’t want anything to do with her anymore. She recollects all the awful things First Proposal Darcy said to her about her crazy family and their lower station and their impropriety, things that insulted her but were also sort of true. Jane is there, and offers words of wisdom (or wizzy?) but it cannot be helped: someone is NOT looking back on the past only as it gives her happiness, and her name is Elizabeth Darcy. … Read More

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You Can Buy Sia’s Breath for a Good Cause: Links You Need To See

Being the President of the United States of America comes with a lot of expectations. It’s very surprising, but we expect the ruler of the free world to be great at everything. This is kind of impossible, so it’s not that surprising that Michael Jordan called Obama out for being a “shitty” golfer. … Read More

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‘Death Comes to Pemberley’ Premiere Recap

Death came to Pemberley last night. Yet if we were lucky, it was not death by boredom, which was a risk we may have incurred while reading the novel upon which the mini-series is based. But let us think of the past only as it gives us happiness. Expect lots of Austen inside-witticisms as we recap this solid BBC adaptation of a mediocre Austen sequel together. … Read More

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Why We Can’t Stop Reading — and Writing — Jane Austen Sequels

Death Comes to Pemberley comes to American TV screens this Sunday night (be not alarmed, dear sirs and madams, for Flavorwire will provide recaps of each installment). For those who don’t know, it’s a mini-series based on a book by P.D. James which is itself a mystery novel based on the characters and locations from Pride and Prejudice. This unauthorized sequel places the married Elizabeth and Darcy and their estate in the middle of a British murder mystery with clues hidden on the grounds, ancestral secrets and frowning magistrates galore. But books like this are nothing new: readers have had a burning desire to return to Pemberley and peek in on Darcy and Elizabeth since the beginning of Austen’s… Read More

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Dating Advice From Classic Non-Jane Austen Literature

This week, Melville House released The Jane Austen Rules: A Classic Guide to Modern Love by scholar Sinéad Murphy. It’s a dating advice book culled from the Austen oeuvre, with chapters entitled things like “Dress Up,” “Find a Man, Not a Guy,” and “Be Quite Independent.”

This witty, brief new guide is part of an “Austen advice” mini empire, coming on the heels of Elizabeth Kantor’s rather conservative The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After and William Deresiewicz’s A Jane Austen Education and many other books of similar intent. … Read More

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