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A treat I just have to share…(and yes, it has been a long time, I do apologise!)..this morning Melvyn Bragg’s long running radio series, In Our Time, devoted the whole of a programme to talking about Emma, Jane Austen’s most brilliant novel ( in my humble opinion) and, of course, it entirely appropriate to do so as it is 200 years since the novel was first published.
The quests were distinguished Jane Austen scholars all: Professor John Mullan, Professor Janet Todd and Professor Emma Clery. The discussion was lively and I think you will all enjoy it even if you don’t necessarily agree with some of the statements made!
I have loved this series for years. The guests are always well informed on the given topicand Lord Bragg always plays a slightly curmudgeonly “Everyman” role: he dismissed talk of Jane Austen’s brothers pretty swiftly today ( bravo!).
Here is the link to the programme…..I think it can be heard outside the UK ( at least I hope so.) And here is a link to the accompanying quiz on Emma again on the BBC Radio 4 page. (Yes, 10/10 was my score but it is my favourite of all her novels!) I hope you enjoy it!
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.