Review; Austentatious: The Evolving World of Jane Austen Fans by Holly Luetkenhaus and Zoe Weinstein
Description from Goodreads
The amount of fan-generated content about Jane Austen and her novels has long surpassed the author’s original canon. Adaptations like Clueless, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Jane Austen’s Fight Club, and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries have given Austen fans priceless opportunities to enjoy the classic texts anew, and continue to bring new and younger fans into the fold. Now, through online culture, the amount and type of fan-created works has exponentially multiplied in recent years. Fans write stories, create art, make videos, and craft memes, all in homage to one of the most celebrated authors of all time.
This book explores online fan spaces in search of “Janeites” all over the world to discover what fans are making, how fans are sharing their work, and why it matters that so many women and nonbinary individuals find a haven not only in Jane Austen, but also in Jane Austen fandom. In relatable chapters based on firsthand experience, the authors explore how Austen fandom has and continues to build communities around women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. Whether Janeites are shrewdly picking up on the latent sexual tension between women in Emma or casting people of color in leading roles, Luetkenhaus and Weinstein argue that Austen fans are particularly adept at marrying fantasy and feminism.
My Thoughts on the BookThis was a fun book to read. It's suitable for Jane Austen fans as well as scholars and the authors combine those two angles nicely. One can notice the authors are scholars, but as they are Austen fans at the same time, they make a point that it is possible to be both. They also make use of both angles, which makes it a well researched book without being scholarly show-off.