So a little digression here.  Often read books from what I call the Jane Austen Universe which includes but isn’t limited to: fan fiction, fiction inspired by Jane Austen’s life (reimagining her as a detective, etc.), and fiction inspired by her characters and her literary work.  Recently I read the book:  The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. It was a fast and enjoyable read, I had previously seen the film which was basically the same story but the plot and characters somewhat edited and re-ordered but that often happens when Hollywood does its version.  Spoilers follow — the book features a group of people who start a book club reading all of Austen’s novel.  The different characters narrate parts of the book, but there is also a third person narrator — I believe this narrator is actually the book club as a character unto itself which I really loved.

Early on though there was this reference: “Wasn’t it Kipling who said, “Nothing like Jane when you’re in a tight spot“? Or something very like that?”  Fowler tweaked it a bit —

Here is the actual quote from Rudyard Kipling’s short story, The Janeites: “You take it from me, Brethren, there’s no one to touch Jane when you’re in a tight place.”

Kipling’s story is set during or just after World War I or the Great War.  The men had apparently read Austen’s novels in the trench during the lull between fighting for comfort and to keep their spirits up.

The term Janeite originates from this short story, which can be difficult to read because a lot of the dialogue is written with the characters speaking very heavy Cockney dialect.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s