The genius of Jane Austen : her love of theatre and why she works in Hollywood

by Byrne, Paula,

Format: Print Book 2017
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PR4038.P4 B97 2017x
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PR4038.P4 B97 2017x

Perfect for fans of Jane Austen, this updated edition of Paula Byrne's debut book includes new material that explores the history of Austen stage adaptations, why her books work so well on screen, and what that reveals about one of the world's most beloved authors.

Originally published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2003 as Jane Austen and the Theatre, Paula Byrne's first book was never made widely available in the US and is out of print today. An exploration of Austen's passion for the stage--she acted in amateur productions, frequently attended the theatre, and even scripted several early works in play form--it took a nuanced look at how powerfully her stories were influenced by theatrical comedy.

This updated edition features an introduction and a brand new chapter that delves into the long and lucrative history of Austen adaptations. The film world's love affair with Austen spans decades, from A.A. Milne's "Elizabeth Bennet," performed over the radio in 1944 to raise morale, to this year's Love and Friendship. Austen's work has proven so abidingly popular that these movies are more easily identifiable by lead actor than by title: the Emma Thompson Sense and Sensibility, the Carey Mulligan Northanger Abbey, the Laurence Olivier Pride and Prejudice. Byrne even takes a captivating detour into a multitude of successful spin-offs, including the phenomenally brilliant Clueless. And along the way, she overturns the notion of Jane Austen as a genteel, prim country mouse, demonstrating that Jane's enduring popularity in film, TV, and theater points to a woman of wild comedy and outrageous behavior.

For lovers of everything Jane Austen, as well as for a new generation discovering her for the first time, The Genius of Jane Austen demonstrates why this beloved author still resonates with readers and movie audiences today.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Biographer Byrne (The Real Jane Austen) explores Austen's relationship to the theater by placing her letters and novels within the context of popular Georgian-era dramas. While readers naturally associate Austen with the novel, Byrne argues that her use of devices such as comic misunderstandings and dramatic entrances and exits comes from theatrical tradition. Byrne provides a close reading of Austen's various works, with a special emphasis on Mansfield Park's play-related plotline. She draws comparisons between Austen's novels and popular plays of her day, matching Sense and Sensibility's satire to Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals and noting settings and character types Mansfield Park shares with David Garrick's The Clandestine Marriage. Byrne also explores adaptations of Austen's works for stage and screen, notably A.A. Milne's Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Amy Heckerling's Clueless. At odds with scholarship that casts Austen as provincial and perhaps stodgy, Byrne presents an Austen immersed in her time's popular entertainment, visiting Bath's Theatre Royal and London's Covent Garden, among others, and commenting astutely on performances in her correspondence, from which Byrne quotes liberally. While Byrne's language skews academic, any Austen devotee should appreciate the thorough analysis of the novels and the crediting of previously overlooked influences. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Austen, Jane, -- 1775-1817 -- Knowledge.
Austen, Jane, -- 1775-1817 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Theater -- History -- 18th century.
Theater -- History -- 19th century.
Women novelists, English -- 18th century -- History and criticism.
Women novelists, English -- 19th century -- History and criticism.
Publisher New York :2017
Edition First U. S. Harper Perennial edition.
Other Titles Jane Austen and the theatre
Language English
Notes Originally published as: Jane Austen and the theatre. London : Hambledon and London, 2002.
Description xvii, 334 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 20 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 311-321) and index.
ISBN 9780062674494
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