On Tuesday 22nd November there is a treat waiting in store for us on BBC Radio 4. Professor Janet Todd is presenting a programme based on Jane Austen’s juvenilia entitled  Juvenile Jane.

Here is a link to the programme’s page on the BBC 4 website. It will,  I hope,  be available to listen to and to ‘listen  again'( for one week only from the date of transmission) for all of us and not just those of us in the UK.  Her co-presenters are Posy Simmonds, the writer and illustrator, and the actress, Anna Maxwell Martin who will give readings from Frederic and Elfrida, Henry and Eliza and Love and Freindship

Writing in today’s Sunday Telegraph, Professor Todd describes in some detail her love of the juvenilia, which inspired the programme, and also comments on what makes Jane Austen’s crazed youthful writings so fantastical and different:

Jane Austen was inspired by what she saw, heard and read – and what she noticed others reading and sighing over, the invented world of romances. In her burlesques, the mundane and the fictional cliché both become magical by being speeded up, turned over, and mixed with fantasy. Some topics especially amused her: for example, ageing. Over and over again a lover will be 52 or 63 or 36, all equally absurd in the child’s eyes, or a gentleman of the village of Pammydiddle will exclaim at finding that, 12 months after being 54, he should become 55 and be so delighted that he decides to hold a masquerade to celebrate.

Go here to read the very entertaining article in full. Then put the date and time in your diary and enjoy.