Ep 12: Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship

July 8, 2016
In Episode 12, Kristin and Maggie review Love & Friendship, a newly released movie adaptation of Austen's comic novella, Lady Susan. Kristin relates an encounter with director Whit Stillman which raised him very much in her estimation, while Maggie bemoans the saccharine sweetness of star Kate Beckinsale's performance. In the end, the girls agree to disagree, and you'll be relieved to hear that (spoilers!) no tables are ultimately flipped. 

Kristin and Maggie are also announcing their next book in the series: break out your smelling salts, everyone, and get ready for our discussion of Sense & Sensibility, coming up in episode 13!

The First Impressions podcast is a safe space for us to discuss our love for Jane Austen away from the haters, and perhaps even convert some skeptics in the process. Thanks for listening, and if you enjoyed it, please spread the word and let us know what you think! We can be reached at first.impressions.podcast@gmail.com.
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Ep 11: Lady Susan Would Totally Win the Hunger Games

June 6, 2016

In this episode, Kristin and Maggie discuss one of Austen's minor works, Lady Susan, which stars a delightfully charming, possibly-sociopathic main character built in the Crawford mold. Austen's feminist streak is on full display in this epistolary novella, in which Lady Susan takes control of her own destiny, and we get a peek at her wicked and ruthless private correspondence! This podcast discusses the text of Lady Susan; stay tuned for our next podcast for a discussion of Whit Stillman's adaptation, Love & Friendship (possibly in theaters now depending on where you live!)

The First Impressions podcast is a safe space for us to discuss our love for Jane Austen away from the haters, and perhaps even convert some skeptics in the process. Thanks for listening, and if you enjoyed it, please spread the word and let us know what you think! We can be reached at first.impressions.podcast@gmail.com.
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Ep 10: Experimenting with Movie Commentary - Douglas McGrath’s Emma

May 10, 2016
[NEW FILE AVAILABLE - Dear listeners, we discovered and deployed some further audio fixes after releasing this episode, so if your episode auto-downloaded, we recommend deleting and re-downloading it to get the new version. We deeply apologize for the inconvenience!]

Hello First Impressions fans! Everyone, we bespeak your indulgence: Episode 10 of the podcast is our experimental attempt to do a Rifftrax-style movie commentary on Douglas McGrath's adaptation of Emma (starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam). This track is meant to be listened to while simultaneously watching the movie (we tell you when to press play!), however, if you're just doing data entry at work, Maggie tells me that it is still quite entertaining to listen to on its own.

Two important notes! First, we pretty much talk over the whole movie, so, if you've never seen the movie before, you might want to give it a watch on its own first! Our verdict is that a delightful adaptation.

Second, the audio quality improves greatly at minute 18, as we discovered and corrected a minor microphone issue. Better late than never, right? 

Thanks to all for indulging our experiment, and look for our next podcast on Lady Susan, including a movie review of Whit Stillman's Love and Friendship, coming soon!
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Ep 9: Special Guest Arnie Perlstein Discusses Shadow Stories in Emma

April 24, 2016
Have you ever wondered about coincidences, apparent allusions, and other mysterious elements that appear in the plots of Jane Austen's novels? In this special episode of First Impressions, we welcome Austen scholar Arnie Perlstein to share his revolutionary ideas about the "shadow stories" in Austen's works. We discuss the theory of shadow stories in detail, and Arnie presents his theories about the shadow stories in Emma, including the real parentage of that new baby of Mrs. Weston's, and why Frank's aunt dies conveniently just at the right time!

If you want to get Arnie's thoughts without all the questions, comments and digressions introduced into the podcast by Kristin and Maggie, you can find his blog at http://sharpelvessociety.blogspot.com/. You can also follow him on twitter @JaneAustenCode.
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Ep 8: Emma Part 2: Practising Vigorously for an Hour and a Half

March 29, 2016

In Part 2 of their discussion of Jane Austen's Emma, Kristin and Maggie delve deep into the fraught and controversial relationship between Emma and Mr. Knightley, dodging the looming specters of "daddy issues," constant mansplaining, and general creepiness to find vindication for feminists who think the Emma-Knightley pairing is perfection.

(We apologize that this podcast is a full hour and a half even AFTER Kristin cut thirty minutes of hilarious digressions from the recording.)

The First Impressions podcast is a safe space for us to discuss our love for Jane Austen away from the haters, and perhaps even convert some skeptics in the process. Thanks for listening to this episode, and if you enjoyed it, please spread the word and let us know what you think! We can be reached at first.impressions.podcast@gmail.com.

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Ep 7: Emma Part 1 (Starring Ewan McGregor’s Wig)

March 2, 2016

Kristin and Maggie tackle the novel Emma and wrestle with its challenging heroine, the disgustingly handsome, clever and rich Emma Woodhouse herself. The girls discuss how their ambivalent relationship with Emma changes during the progression of the novel, and Kristin reads page after delightful page of monologue from Miss Bates, one of Austen's finest comic creations. They also confront the age-old question: Frank Churchill: utter douchebag, or just *kind of* a douchebag?

The First Impressions podcast is a safe space for us to discuss our love for Jane Austen away from the haters, and perhaps even convert some skeptics in the process. Thanks for listening to this episode, and if you enjoyed it, please spread the word and let us know what you think! We can be reached at first.impressions.podcast@gmail.com.
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Ep 6: Northanger Abbey

February 8, 2016

Bonus episode! Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen's delightful parody of gothic romance, is full of surprises and humor. Kristin and Maggie highlight the hilarity of this adorable novel as it skewers of romantic convention, and review the charming meta-context Austen provides about novels and their value. They also discuss the 2007 BBC adaptation written by Andrew Davies, and the extra sexy special sauce he ladles onto beloved heroine Catherine Morland's coming-of-age story. No vampires; no blood... the worst crimes are the unsubtle interpositions of modern screenwriters. (Just kidding, Davies, we love ya).


This is the last episode we recorded before we launched the First Impressions podcast into the world, so we have not yet had a chance to give any shout-outs to our awesome fans. Thank you, everyone, for your amazing support!  And stay tuned for our upcoming podcasts on Emma!

The First Impressions podcast is a safe space for us to discuss our love for Jane Austen away from the haters, and perhaps even convert some skeptics in the process. Thanks for listening to this episode, and if you enjoyed it, please spread the word and let us know what you think! We can be reached at first.impressions.podcast@gmail.com.
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Ep 5: Mansfield Park Part 3: The Lists of Hymen

January 19, 2016

NOTE - NEW FILE AVAILABLE: If you are a subscriber and this episode auto-downloaded, we recommend deleting your file and re-downloading it. The new file has better audio quality. We apologize for the inconvenience! (Kristin did something to the file before converting it down to MP3 that degraded the audio quality and she didn't realize it. Oops.)

In Part 3 of the Mansfield Park series, Kristin and Maggie discuss the amazing buildup to the awesome conclusion of Austen's masterpiece Mansfield Park, which reminds us that morality is complex, self-deceit is dangerously easy, and sentence structure does not have to be simple no matter what your English teacher once told you. 
The First Impressions podcast is a safe space for us to discuss our love for Jane Austen away from the haters, and perhaps even convert some skeptics in the process. Thanks for listening to this episode, and if you enjoyed it, please spread the word and let us know what you think! We can be reached at first.impressions.podcast@gmail.com.
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Upcoming Discussion: Emma!

January 11, 2016

Hello wonderful First Impressions fans,

We've had a request to post our upcoming reading plans! The next Austen novel we plan to tackle is Emma, so if you plan to read up beforehand, now you're prepared! When Jane Austen created Emma, she said "I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like," and luckily for us, it turns out she was quite wrong indeed.

You are welcome to send thoughts, questions, feedback, really anything you want to tell us, to our e-mail address at First.impressions.podcast@gmail.com. We will be introducing a segment for "reader mail" in our upcoming episodes (starting with episode 7).
Thank you for listening, and talk to you soon!
Kristin and Maggie

Ep 4: Mansfield Park Part 2: Seduced by the Theater

January 7, 2016

In part 2 of the Mansfield Park series, Kristin indulges herself with an entire episode centered around the novel's famous set piece, in which the gang gets up a production of the scandalous play Lovers' Vows. Maggie contributes her theory as to how Mary Crawford's décolletage might affect the narrative. Kevin (Kristin's husband) guest-stars to provide incisive analysis and agree that Kristin is right.

The First Impressions podcast is a safe space for us to discuss our love for Jane Austen away from the haters, and perhaps even convert some skeptics in the process. Thanks for listening to our first episode, and if you enjoyed it, please spread the word and let us know what you think! We can be reached at first.impressions.podcast@gmail.com.
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