“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,
Northanger Abbey, Chapter 14
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!