"What would my CV look like if it recorded not just the successes of my professional life but also the many, many rejections?" Check it out in today's Chronicle of Higher Education.
Jane Austen's Mr. Darcy, hot or not? Check out my piece in The Independent, "Mr. Darcy Through the Ages, to learn more about his history, from receding hairline to heartthrob, on the 20th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice's Wet White Shirt day.
Getting to make a three-minute video essay about being a writer, wearing roller derby gear, and counting it as work? Life is good. Thanks for the invitation and inspiration, Superstition Review!
I'm so wishing I were there in Louisville this weekend, at the Annual General Meeting of the Jane Austen Society of North America. At least I have the JASNA AGM in October 2017 in Huntington Beach, CA to look forward to! I'll be a plenary speaker at that meeting, along with Chawton House Library Director Gillian Dow and Austen descendant Richard Knight. (Thanks to Angela Crovetti for snapping this pic and sharing it.) The bicentenary of Austen's death--er, immortality--will be celebrated in 2017, so if you aren't a member of JASNA yet, this is definitely the right time to join.
I've just published an essay, "Jane Austen, Illustrated," in The London Magazine in its October/November 2015 issue. http://www.thelondonmagazine.org/tlm-current-issue/?issue=october-november-2015
(The content is behind a paywall, but your $5 or some similar amount in pounds for an electronic copy would help support a great magazine!)
If you aren't sure if you want to splurge, I'll tease you with some of the gory details. I’ve discovered that Jane Austen’s previously unidentified first English illustrator was a proto-Van Wilder, whose wide-eyed, dark-and-stormy-night images for her books influenced generations of readers and probably came from a personally dark place. The artist, Ferdinand Pickering (1810-1889), responded to a brother who stabbed their mother in the face and neck over breakfast and had another brother who was a convicted bigamist. (That may go some distance toward explaining why Pickering's images of Austen's characters emphasize female and family conflict..)
His images also show Austen's characters in costumes from his own time, the 1830s, which I suspect contributed to Austen's being imagined as a Victorian novelist. Pickering himself became a life student at the Royal Academy Schools. His illustrations for Austen’s novels, published in 1833, ended up being his most notable work, reprinted into the 1890s, long after he'd dwindled into total obscurity.
This essay is part of material I'm working on for my in-progress book, The Making of Jane Austen, under contract to Johns Hopkins University Press. Stay tuned for more Austen afterlife news!
Prof. Devoney Looser (Known to a few as Stone Cold Jane Austen).
©2017 Devoney Looser, Dept. of English, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287