The Jane Austen July Tag

The end of July is coming soon, but I still have a little time to join in with #JaneAustenJuly and gush about one of my favorite authors!

I discovered this tag through Fatma @ The Book Place (whose blog you should definitely go check out if you’re also an Austen fan!). The tag was originally created by Blatantly Bookish on Youtube.

Without further ado, let’s talk about Austen!

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What’s your favorite Jane Austen book?

Pride And Prejudice Book Cover Locket Necklace keyring – FRA Persuasion: Jane Austen | Persuasion jane austen, Jane austen books, Jane  austen

It’s a tie between Pride and Prejudice and PersuasionI simply cannot choose between these two.

P&P was the first Austen book I ever read and it remains one of my favorite stories of all time, which I will happily revisit through retellings, adaptations, or simply rereading at every opportunity.

Writing a Persuasion retelling last year gave me a new appreciation for this book, so now it’s right up there as an all-time favorite. I also feel like I have to love it a little something extra to make up for the fact that it’s so under-appreciated!

Who is your favorite Jane Austen protagonist?

There’s something I love about all of Jane Austen’s protagonists, but I’m going to stay basic with my answer, because who else could I choose but Elizabeth Bennet?

elizabeth

Elizabeth is truly in a class of her own. There’s a reason she’s one of the most beloved literary characters in history; who could possibly read P&P without admiring her wit and liveliness? And she’s such a well-rounded, interesting character that I will never get tired of reading about her.

Name a book off of your shelves that you think Jane would wholeheartedly approve of and why

This was surprisingly difficult to choose! But The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows feels like something that Jane would enjoy.

This historical novel is told through letters, following a woman who travels to a British island in 1946 to learn about the book club they formed during German occupation. Not only does this book understand the inherent romanticism of letter-writing (something that Jane obviously believes in), but it includes many of the aspects that make Austen’s novels so great: well-developed main characters against a backdrop of quirky side characters, people being Very British, sweet romance, and an appreciation for literature. I think Jane would approve!

Name a book off of your shelves that you think Jane would have hated and why

Instead of just choosing a book that I don’t like and claiming that Jane would also hate it (which I can’t really do anyway, since I don’t keep books that I don’t like on my shelves), I’m instead picking something that I do like. But I doubt that Jane would. And that book is Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

First of all, this book is just so….modernist, which is not something that I think Jane would enjoy. And the characters are all legitimately awful. Not awful in a fun way like in Austen’s works, but just unlikeable people; Billy Pilgrim is (intentionally!) one of the blandest protagonists ever written. Vonnegut is much more concerned with Big Ideas and Concepts than characters. And since Austen’s books are so focused on characters and relationships, I think she would have little patience for this book.

Who is your favorite minor Jane Austen character?

Oh, so many! Austen excels in creating minor characters, so choosing only one is impossible. I’ll go with a couple…

minor

First, Harriet Smith from Emma, because she’s so hapless and sweet and innocent. I want to wrap her in blankets and protect her from all the awful people in the world.

Next, Admiral and Mrs. Croft from Persuasion, because they just seem like the chillest people! Funny enough, they’re one of the only happily married couples that Austen writes, aside from her main couples. Love that for them.

Finally, Charlotte Lucas from Pride and Prejudice, of course! To me, she is one of the most interesting minor characters in Austen’s works, since she doesn’t really get what she wants but she still ends up more or less content. I would love to know more about her!

Name a book off of your shelves that you feel was somehow inspired by Jane Austen’s body of work

*side-eyes the multiple Austen retellings on my shelves* I mean…

Okay, besides than the obvious choices, there are a few books that feel like they could definitely have been influenced by Austen.

Pretty much every romance novel written probably owes at least a little to Austen, but Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston feels particularly Austen-esque. Between the well-developed characters, witty writing, and social commentary, I wouldn’t be surprised if Casey McQuiston was inspired somewhat by Jane’s works. Plus, Alex and Henry have a very Elizabeth-and-Darcy dynamic starting out. It’s about the yearning.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite might not exactly scream Jane Austen at first glance, but it certainly has some similarities. First, and most obviously, is the strong sister relationship at the heart of this book, which is almost always a theme in Austen’s books. And My Sister, the Serial Killer involves a lot of darkly witty commentary on how women are treated in society, which is very Jane Austen.

Which Jane Austen character do you simply love to hate?

Once again, it’s impossible to choose only one, because Austen is amazing at creating characters that are delightfully awful. So I’ve picked a few…

annoying

Lady Catherine from Pride and Prejudice, obviously, is one of the most iconically terrible characters in literature. She’s pretentious, condescending, and thinks her opinion is the Only Correct One in the World. I think we’ve all met a Lady Catherine in our lives, which makes her even more fun to hate.

Frank Churchill from Emma is a fantastic character even though he’s the actual WORST. Every time he shows up in a scene, he ruins everything, and I can’t look away like it’s a train wreck. Yes, he’s charming, but he’s infuriatingly privileged and self-centered! Jane 👏 Fairfax 👏 deserved 👏 better 👏

Isabella Thorpe from Northanger Abbey makes me want to scream every time she shows up. Once again, we’ve all known an Isabella, right? Someone who loves taking advantage of others, pretending to be sweet and helpful while actually being the worst. Which is what makes her so brilliantly terrible! You can’t help but love to hate her.

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What’s your favorite Jane Austen novel and protagonist? What books on your shelves do you think Jane would have liked or hated?

x Margaret

goodreads | twitter

31 thoughts on “The Jane Austen July Tag

  1. I don’t know if Jane would like it, love it, or hate it into ashes, but I would love to know how she’d feel about Sorcery and Cecelia Or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot, by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer. It’s told in exchanged letters between the two main female characters. It is very Pride and Prejudice and I love that the Darcy character is absolutely the worst at sneaking around.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Noooo I love Frank Churchill 😭 Isabella can go CHOKE though.

    I love Elizabeth so much. Catherine and Emma are my favorites, though.

    You wrote a Persuasion retelling? That’s so cool! I love this tag, I may have to steal it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahaha Frank is a great character! I just know that if I met him in real life I would constantly want to punch him 😂
      Catherine and Emma are truly amazing. It’s so hard to choose a favorite protagonist bc they’re all great!
      Yes I had so much fun writing a Persuasion retelling! Please go ahead and steal the tag if you’d like — it’s lots of fun 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read anything by Jane Austen, but I really want to. A little while ago I tried reading Pride and Prejudice, but I didn’t get very far. Someday though…I do think that I might want to wait a few years though! Is there one that you would recommend starting with?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yay, I love that you’re excited to read her books! They can definitely be a bit difficult to get into at first, but I recommend listening to the audiobooks bc they can be a bit easier to understand. I think Pride & Prejudice is a great one to start with, or Northanger Abbey because it’s short and a little simpler than the rest!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah I LOVE this post so so much! And all these questions. I,,, have not read the P&P or any of Jane’s works yet. I know I’m so sorry. But I’ve watched the movie a few times and have read a few retellings.

    AHHH OMG RED WHITE AND ROYAL BLUE! LOVE the comparison there.Okay I’ll leave now and go read one

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much!! 😀 Haha perfectly reasonable not to have read Austen’s books like me, the giant Austen nerd 😉 But hey, watching adaptations and reading retellings is still something!
      Yesss RWRB feels like a modernized Austen novel in many ways 😀 I hope you love any that you pick up!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahh, this is such a fun tag! I loved reading your answers. I want to read more Jane Austen- so far I’ve only read P&P, Emma, and Northanger Abbey. I definitely agree with your answer about Isabella, though- she was infuriating and I hate that I liked her at first and then later realized how horrible she actually was. This made me want to read Persuasion, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. omg so much jane austen content this month and i am LIVING FOR IT !!! i love the crofts too especially when anne joins them on their gig and theyre like casually about to crash into a random tree or something and mrs croft is like ill take the reins thank u very much 😎 also FRANK CHURCHILL!!! when emma calls him out when hes being childish by telling him to “invent a few hardships for himself” since hes feeling “sick of” all his privilege…OOF EMMA WENT OFF

    Liked by 1 person

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