My latest research into the Austen family, slavery, and the slave trade appeared earlier this month in the TLS in an essay about Captain Charles Austen's experiences in 1826, capturing a slaver's ship, off the coast of Cuba. I also had the opportunity to talk about the piece on the TLS podcast, with wonderful host Alex Clark.
Getting the chance to talk about Jane Austen and Bridgerton with Anne Cohen for this piece for Netflix Tudum was the perfect revving up for watching season two. That "rake shops for a wife" segment in episode one is absolutely amazing.
Generous collector-friend, thank you!
To hold this beautiful book feels magical. A collector-friend loaned me her rare copy of Anna Maria Porter's Artless Tales (1793), published when future-famous Maria was 14. Just five known copies of this book!
I couldn't have pieced together the never-told stories in Sister Novelists without the labor and generosity of collectors and librarians. So grateful.
Pre-order (out in September) and/or add to want-to-read on Goodreads? I'd be so grateful for your support.
I had a blast talking to Jace Lacob and Masterpiece Podcast team for the third episode of their Sanditon previews. I'm looking forward to the second season's start in March!
Pride and Prejudice, the 1917 silent film? It almost was. The ad calls it "A sweetly simple tale of a mother's hunt for daughters' husbands," from a company that liked to boast its films didn't involve breaking furniture or crockery.
The July/Aug issue of Jane Austen's Regency World Magazine just arrived, with my article about this previously unnoticed part of Austen adaptation history. How I wish this and these other advertised films had been made (Mary Barton! Shirley!), even with the unpromising tag lines. (Sweet? simple? Focusing on the mother? Oof!)
My cover story in the Times Literary Supplement includes new information on Jane Austen's family's involvements in British slavery. It adds details about her father Rev. George Austen as an Antiguan plantation co-trustee and describes her brother Henry's previously unknown anti-slavery activism. I hope you'll read and share it. I presented an extended version of the research as part of the Jane Austen & Co. "Race and the Regency" lecture series, on May 18th. Please make the time to watch the previously recorded events in this series, with incredible talks by Robert Morrison, Lyndon Dominique, Damianne Scott, Danielle Christmas, Ibi Zoboi, Patricia Matthew, Gretchen Gerzina, and Juliette Wells.
Selected Bibliography from Devoney Looser’s “Jane Austen’s Family, Slavery, and Anti-Slavery” lecture, with Jane Austen & Co. "Race and the Regency" lecture series (18 May 2021)
(Please consider supporting Jane Austen & Co. with your donation.)
Read the essay and listen to the interview: Devoney Looser in the Times Literary Supplement:
“Breaking the Silence: The Austen Family’s Complex Entanglements with Slavery,” TLS (21 May 2021) pp. 2-3.
and TLS Podcast Interview.
Anonymous. The Woman of Colour: A Tale. Ed. Lyndon J. Dominique. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2007. [Originally published 1808]
Dominque, Lyndon J. Imoinda's Shade: Marriage and the African Woman in Eighteenth-Century British Literature, 1759-1808. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2012.
Gerzina, Gretchen. Black London: Life Before Emancipation. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1995. Available for free download: https://www.dartmouth.edu/library/digital/publishing/books/gerzina1995/
White, Gabrielle V. Jane Austen in the Context of Abolition: 'a fling at the slave trade.’ New York: Palgrave, 2005.
Deep Dives into George Austen, James Langford Nibbs, and Morris Robinson
Coulombeau, Sophie. “’Fill up His Blanks’: Making Matthew Montagu,” [Morris Robinson information], Huntington Library Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 4 (Winter 2018): 537-71.
Gibbon, Frank. “The Antiguan Connection: Some New Light on ‘Mansfield Park,’” The Cambridge Quarterly. Vol. 11, No. 2 (1982): 298-305.
Perry, Ruth. “Jane Austen and British Imperialism,” Monstrous Dreams of Reason: Body, Self, and Other in the Enlightenment. Ed. Mita Choudhury. Lewisburg: Bucknell UP, 2002, pp. 231-254.
Southam, Brian. “The Silence of the Bertrams: Slavery and the Chronology of Mansfield Park,” Times Literary Supplement (17 February 1995): 13-14.
Free Access Websites/Videos for Further Exploration/Research
Akin to Jane: https://www.janeaustensfamily.co.uk/akin-to-jane/akin-to-jane.index.html
British Fiction, 1800-29. http://www.british-fiction.cf.ac.uk/
Legacies of British Slavery: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/
National Portrait Gallery, for Benjamin Robert Haydon painting, “The Anti-Slavery Society Convention, 1840.” https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw00028/The-Anti-Slavery-Society-Convention-1840
Virtual JaneCon 2021 Playlist (on YouTube): www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLMwGZNvZFhh66CjTAN0l0ntVV4ldLrJXQ
Austen Criticism and Austen Family Biographies Mentioned
Baugh, Victoria. “Mixed-Race Heiresses and Early Nineteenth-Century Literature: Sanditon’s Miss Lambe in Context,” European Romantic Review. Vol. 29, No. 4 (2018): 449-458.
Chander, Manu Samriti and Patricia A. Matthew, “Abolitionist Interruptions: Romanticism, Slavery, and Genre,” European Romantic Review, Vol. 29, No. 4 (2018): 431-434.
Clery, E. J. Jane Austen: The Banker’s Sister. London: Biteback Publishing, 2017.
Hubback, J. H. and Edith C. Jane Austen’s Sailor Brothers: Being the Adventures of Sir Francis Austen, G. C. B. Admiral of the Fleet, and Rear-Admiral Charles Austen. London: John Lane, 1906.
Kindred, Sheila Johnson. Jane Austen’s Transatlantic Sister: The Life and Letters of Fanny Palmer Austen. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2017.
Lane, Maggie. Jane Austen's Family Through Five Generations. London; Robert Hale, 1984.
LeFaye, Deirdre, ed. A Chronology of Jane Austen and her Family, 1600–2000. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
Slothouber, Linda. Jane Austen, Edward Knight, & Chawton: Commerce & Community. Gaithersburg, MD: Woodpigeon Publishing, 2015.
Devoney Looser’s Mentioned Recent Work on Austen and the Austen Family
The Great Courses: The Life and Works of Jane Austen (24 30-minute lectures, The Teaching Company, 2021). (720 min.)
The Making of Jane Austen. Johns Hopkins UP, 2017. 304 pages. Paperback, 2019 (with new afterword).
“Fame in the Family: Jane Austen’s Political Legacy,” Victorians: A Journal of Culture and Literature. 133 (Summer 2018): 7–23. DOI 10.1353/vct.2018.0002
“Pride and Prostitutes” (co-authored with Ruth Knezevich), Jane Austen’s Regency World Magazine 76 (Jul/Aug 2015), pp. 23-30.
“Jane Austen’s Afterlife, West Indian Madams, and the Literary Porter Family: Two New Letters from Charles Austen” (with Ruth Knezevich), Modern Philology, vol. 112, no. 3 (2015), pp. 554–568.
(Full CV here: https://isearch.asu.edu/profile/284225/cv )
Ways to Stay Connected to Devoney
Free author newsletter on Substack: https://devoney.substack.com/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/Devoney/
Great Courses: https://www.thegreatcourses.com/janeausten
Does it have to be over? No! The full program playlist from this past weekend's Virtual JaneCon is now up, including my first attempt at YouTube Live. It's no picture of perfection, but it was great fun! With thanks to Bianca Hernandez-Knight for her vision and labor in year two of this fabulous online event. Sign up for info about future Virtual JaneCons here.