“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. I have read all Mrs. Radcliffe’s works, and most of them with great pleasure. The Mysteries of Udolpho, when I had once begun it, I could not lay down again; I remember finishing it in two days – my hair standing on end the whole time.”Henry Tilney,
Behold Janeites! Is this not an amazing sight? A gold mine of Austen delight!
Displayed on this table are current books in print by Jane Austen, about Jane Austen, or inspired by Jane Austen! All assembled together, possibly for the first time.
Did I hear a collective sigh across cyberspace? I had the honor of ordering the books as part of my contribution to, “An Evening with Jane”, event held at the Alderwood Barnes & Noble in Washington last week.
Ok, so I went a little Jane crazy, but all for a good cause, right? Don’t tell my store manager that I also ordered the complete Northanger Cannon of Gothic fiction in print, and all of Jane Austen’s favorite authors and poets. Hey, this was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to just go Austen wild, and I reveled in the call to duty!
The reaction to the table by customers is just as amazing as the display of books themselves. I love explaining the large nuances between the writing styles of the Austenesque writers Pamela Aiden and Linda Berdoll, or why every young girl needs a heads up on how to become a well-bred Regency Miss, even if she does not know that she can be, with The Jane Austen Handbook.
Yesterday, during a very busy pre-Valentine’s Day crush, I assisted a retirement aged woman in locating a long list of titles on an assortment of subjects, none of which was Austen or Austen inspired. Her husband joined us after a few minutes with a joyous look on his face, obviously pleased that he located the title that he had wanted to purchase. “I found it” (he holds up the cover and shows it to his wife who looks surprised but annoyed). “Oh what is it now?” she bellowed. (she had selected about six books to his one) “The Mysteries of Udolpho! They had it featured as a staff rec.” He exclaimed. (I am a silent smiling observer of their husband wife acerbic discourse, and then the wife turns to me) “My husband just loved that Jane Austen movie on television, and now he wants to know why that young girl was hooked on that book.” (She points at the book cover. He smirks at her) “Her name was Catherine Morland dear.” He says coldly!
Ok, that made my day!
What a great story. It reminds me that I have two P&P sequels on my TBR bookshelf that I need to read.
Know what’s sad? I own a lot of the books displayed on your table. I must be one of those crazy Janeites!!
Thank Jane he didn’t buy The Monk.
The event at the Plymouth Meeting, PA B&N at which I spoke last week also had an amazing selection of books…I walked in and our JASNA R.C. whispered to me, “They have books that I’ve never seen in a bookstore before!” People walked out with baskets full of books…I only bought two, the S&S Diaries (which I’ve wanted for ages) and a sailor’s dictionary type thing. I guess it’s sort of related to Jane Austen through Persuasion. :-)
LOL, Ms. Place, glad that you are indeed a true follower! Cheers, Laurel Ann
My bed-side table almost looks like the table in the pictures! I wish my local B&N would have a JA tribute/celebration!
oh how I envy people living in Washington! (And everywhere else where there are such enormous, full-of-variety and wonderful Jane Austen book displays.) Stupid Jane Austen inactivity in Montreal. We don’t even have a Barnes and Noble!
Great story :)
I have a little private Austen-related collection that I’m very proud of. It ranges from academic non-fiction (“Jane Austen and the Theatre” by Penny Gay) to fun non-fiction (“Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating” by Lauren Henderson), chick-lit (“Persuading Annie” by Melissa Nathan ), biographies, fan-fic, etc.
I also went a little further and started colleting P&P is several languages. 25 so far!
Oh how I wish I had known about that event before it happened! I would have been there (and been significantly poorer by the time I left, no doubt). Looks like an amazing display – kudos to you!
I know this is an old post, but how I envy you! I live in Denmark, and would you believe that the ONLY Jane book in print is a newly translated version of P&P? I own some old paperbacks of 4 of her books (and the translation is dreadfull, especially in S&S). Everybody loves he movies, which are shown very often in TV, but not a lot of people read or get the books. I wish that I could get some of the JA related literature in Danish though.