Jane Austen did not write The Great American Novel. Nope. This would be highly impossible – first and foremost because Ms. Austen was decidedly not American – but namely because her contributions against the Romanticism movement so indicative of her era could not (and do not) mix so well with many of the emphatically alcoholic transcriptionists who would make the GAN an iconic paragon of modern writing. Byronic Heroes were like Honey Badger (only with less reptile-eating and a cravat): troublesome, tropically-acquired wives were sometimes confined in attics, occasionally your friends might have you falsely-imprisoned and abscond with your hot fiancé – but that’s a risk all swashbuckling winners must take. Those with defiance on their brow and misery in their heart (and probably really suave hair) would have easily gelled with bull-fighting in Mexico or ridiculously opulent parties thrown by introverted millionaires we’ve come to love in our Great American Novel.
But Jane Austen would influence the world in other ways.
Her novels implemented a casual relationship between humor, wit and colorful characters (this formula would later come to be abused by countless romantic comedies) that continue to inspire artists of all mediums and readers of (most) all tastes. Jane Austen’s work is The Great Victorian Equalizer. And while some yanks might furiously scribble towards the next Gatsby, others look across the pond and back in time. Join one such wordsmith (and savvy businesswoman) – publishing under the penname Ava Farmer – as she presents her new book continuing the story of Pride & Prejudice’s Darcy family; the fresh release, Second Impressions, will be discussed over tea and scones in conjunction with the Jane Austen Society this evening at Historic Locust Grove. The reception for Sandy Lerner (“Ava Farmer”) begins at 6:30pm and will feature a reading, book-signing and plenty of Regency dialogue, with all proceeds supporting the non-profit study of early English women’s writing championed by Chawton House Library in Hampshire, UK.
Your favorite GAN got you down? Channel your inner Victorian, leave your Gothic fiction at the gate and prep those pinkies for the next chapter in Austen’s legacy.
Image: Courtesy of www.amazon.com