Jane Austen

10 Essential Martin Amis Cultural Essays

When Martin Amis spoke to GQ about his 60th birthday, he seemed defeated, noting: “It all ends in dissolution and chaos and indignity and tears.” We can only imagine what he’s thinking today, on his 64th birthday. While the British novelist ponders mortality with cranky resignation, we’ve gathered a few of Amis’ must-read cultural reviews and essays on literature, art, film, porn, and politics. … Read More

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Then and Now: Photos of Real Places Mentioned in Fiction

Looking through Jane Austen’s England by Roy and Lesley Adkins, it’s difficult not to compare the way things were during England’s Georgian and Regency eras with the England of today. The book gives a glimpse at everything from wedding superstitions to the “Bloody Code” (the country’s system of laws and punishments from 1688 to 1815, including the 50 offenses that were punishable by death), which highlight how much has changed since the time of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. But what about the times and places that influenced other classic authors? More specifically, what do the real places mentioned in famous works of fiction look like now? … Read More

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The Writing Tools of 20 Famous Authors

It’s no secret that writers can be quite particular about their writing tools. Some might call it an obsession or fetish, but the pens, pencils, notebooks, and other implements that authors have used to create their most famous works endlessly fascinates us. After reading an ode to the beloved Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 pencil, adored for its smooth, firm graphite, we had to find out more about the tools of the literary elite. Take notes, and save your pennies to purchase these writing instruments for… Read More

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Surprise: Jane Austen’s Original Superfans Were Men

A longstanding myth about the devoted superfan following of Jane Austen — a myth fed by the apparently terrible film Austenland, which opens today, the Times calls “embarrassingly juvenile,” and that’s all we’re likely to say about it — is that it arose from the 1990s A&E adaptation starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. In fact, as early as the 1930s, you can find critics in no less than The New York Times complaining about the nitpicking of Janeites, as with this review referring to a new stage production of Pride and Prejudice: … Read More

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Jane Austen’s Most Famous Trolls, Critics, and Doubters

Such is the modern state of affairs that if you successfully argue that they should put Jane Austen’s face on a British ten-pound note, you will find yourself subject to rape, bomb, and death threats on the Internet. That’s what happened in the last little while to a British feminist who took up the cause, and everyone who swiftly came to her defense. And now, as a result, we are looking at the inauguration of a Twitter “report abuse” button which pretty much everyone points out is going to be a mess to administer. It’s all very baffling. … Read More

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The Best Mr. Darcy Fan Artwork

Although it will be intriguing to see how Vincent Kartheiser handles the transition from Pete Campbell on Mad Men into a fictional character most often described as swoon-worthy, there will probably always be one face that comes to mind when somebody brings up Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: Colin Firth. Firth’s 1995 portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet’s romantic interest was so good that most of us forget that even Sir Laurence Olivier played the character in 1940. … Read More

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Awesome Pulp Paperback Redesigns of Classic Novels

We love book covers here at Flavorwire, and we especially love redesigns, not to mention pulp fiction, so we immediately fell in love with these awesome vintage-style redesigns of classic novels. We also fell into giggles at some of these taglines: “Lock up your daughters… Darcy’s in town!” Indeed. We spotted the redesigns over at Reddit, where one user commented, “More like Tess of the B’ubervilles.” Well, there’s nothing we can add to that. … Read More

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The Smuttiest Fanfiction Stories Starring Highbrow Literary Characters [NSFW]

This week, we laughed out loud at this hilarious Craigslist ad, in which a woman seeks a Robb Stark lookalike to have sex with (we hope she found him). The ridiculous ad reminded us of all the equally ridiculous erotic fanfiction out there, and so we went snooping to see what we could find. Though there are plenty of fanfics about the kind of characters you’d expect (see a terrible Harry Potter/Good Charlotte/all-purpose Internet goth one here), there are also quite a few amateur scribes out there turning the characters from highbrow literary works to, er, devious purposes. After the jump, ten works of — extremely NSFW — erotic fiction of varying qualities, each based on Very Serious Literature. All we have to say is: oof. … Read More

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