First Impressions: Why All the Austen Haters Are Wrong
Ep 43: Among the Janeites Part 2 and JASNA Pre-game

Ep 43: Among the Janeites Part 2 and JASNA Pre-game

September 12, 2019

Hello dear First Impressions fans! We're back with the second part of our discussion of Among the Janeites by Deborah Yaffe. This time, our discussion focuses on the founders of JASNA and the fascinating history of the organization. After wrapping up our remarks on the book, Maggie and Kristin share their views and expectations about their upcoming trip to Williamsburg - because if adventures will not befall these 30-something women in their own villages, they must seek them abroad!

Ep 42: Among the Janeites - Part 1

Ep 42: Among the Janeites - Part 1

September 2, 2019

Join us, listeners, for part one of our discussion of Among the Janeites: A Journey Through the World of Jane Austen Fandom, authored by journalist Deborah Yaffe. As a "a warm and witty look at the passionate, thriving world of Austen fandom," this book satisfied our curiosity about famous Janeites, centered our understanding of our fabulous fandom, and gave us plenty of context for our own Austen-love. The book contains stories from fans whose lives were touched and irreparably changed by their relationship with Austen, and your First Impressions podcasters can certainly relate. [Content warning: Mental illness]

Options for purchasing the book can be found on the author's website: http://www.deborahyaffe.com/buy-share-the-book/4572595698

Ep 41: Regency Daze Part 3

Ep 41: Regency Daze Part 3

August 25, 2019

Gentle listeners, we present the third and final installment of our Regency Daze roleplay game! Join us as Kristin, Maggie, and Priya bring our characters' stories to an end with the help of game-master Selvi. As always, intrigue, romance and silliness abound.

Ep 40: Movie Review: Emma with Kate Beckinsale

Ep 40: Movie Review: Emma with Kate Beckinsale

July 15, 2019

Gentle listeners, we bring you yet another review of an Emma movie adaptation! This one was released in 1996, and stars Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong, with a screenplay by the ever-productive Andrew Davies, right off his 1995 success with Pride and Prejudice. From surprising plot omissions to unusual acting choices, this socially-conscious adaptation provides a lot to ponder, especially with regards to the Frank Churchill/Jane Fairfax pairing. Check out our thoughts, and we hope you will not find this podcast... BADLY DONE.

Ep 39: Regency Daze Part 2

Ep 39: Regency Daze Part 2

June 22, 2019

Gentle listeners, we're back! Kristin and Maggie welcome guests Priya and Selvi for the second installment of our Regency Daze game. In this ongoing series, our game master Selvi has crafted a Regency-themed role-playing game (RPG) where our three heroines must plan a neighborhood ball, all while preserving their families' good names, learning the truth of one young lady's parentage, and perhaps, finding love. Join us for more intrigue, flirting, love triangles, party-planning disasters and other historically inaccurate fun!

 
An RPG is a game in which players take on the roles of imaginary characters who engage in adventures, typically in an environment with a particular theme. Using the RPG system, "School Daze" as a model, game master Selvi created a huge Regency-style playground for Maggie, Kristin, and Priya. All four ladies work together to tell a story for you, our gentle listeners. Enjoy!
Ep 38: Movie Review: Emma Starring Romola Garai

Ep 38: Movie Review: Emma Starring Romola Garai

June 6, 2019

Gentle listeners, at long last we bring you a review of the 2009 adaptation of the novel Emma, starring Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller! In this episode, Maggie and Kristin talk about how they developed a new appreciation for this excellent adaptation, as the characters are given an emotional depth that some other adaptations lack. The girls also analyze how this version falls short of the mark, especially with regard to under-using some of the more comedic characters in the book. Overall, the girls deem this one totally worthy of a re-watch! For details on the movie, see the IMDB page: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1366312/

Ep 37: Regency Daze Part 1

Ep 37: Regency Daze Part 1

May 16, 2019
Gentle listeners, we are thrilled to bring you a very special podcast event! In this episode, your faithful First Impressions podcasters, joined by some good friends, are players in a Regency Era tabletop Role-Playing Game (RPG). Join Maggie, Kristin, and their friends Selvi and Priya, as together they uncover a world of secrets, love, and party planning in "Regency Daze." Game Master Selvi has crafted a Regency-themed RPG where our three heroines must plan a neighborhood ball, all while preserving their families' good names, learning the truth of one young lady's parentage, and perhaps, finding love. 
 
An RPG is a game in which players take on the roles of imaginary characters who engage in adventures, typically in an environment with a particular theme. Using the RPG system, "School Daze" as a model, Game Master Selvi created a huge Regency-style playground for Maggie, Kristin, and Priya. All four ladies work together to tell a story for you, our gentle listeners. Enjoy!
Lona Manning’s guide to Researching on the Cheap!

Lona Manning’s guide to Researching on the Cheap!

April 1, 2019

Lona Manning’s guide to Researching on the Cheap!  

Prepared 3/31/2019 by Lona Manning, author of A Contrary Wind and A Marriage of Attachment

Your search might start at Wikipedia or Amazon to develop leads for books and articles.

To get books you need, speak to your friendly local librarian. If your library system doesn’t have it, they might be able to get an inter-library loan. Or go to your library’s website and suggest the book for purchase—they might do it. Librarians are great!

Google Books (and Project Gutenberg) also carry thousands of out-of-copyright books. You might find an older book written about the topic you’re searching on, plus you can find novels written by Austen’s contemporaries, and books that she read and enjoyed.

Even books that are give limited previews on Google Books can be searched if you type in the key words you need.

 

Avoiding anachronisms:

A fun book: Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders by Susanne Alleyn     https://amzn.to/2HEgkVi

 

Geography:  

Can your heroine travel from Bath to London in an afternoon? I have never been to London. But nobody has been to Regency London. Use Google maps to work out how long it would take someone to walk from A to B.

“Layers of London” map   https://www.layersoflondon.org/map

Map of London – excellent resource:  http://mapco.net/darton1817/darton.htm

 

Some of Lona's favourite knowledgeable history bloggers:

https://www.regencyhistory.net/

https://penandpension.com/

https://janeaustensworld.wordpress.com/

 

Austen’s language

Did Austen use the word “smithereens”?  Check with the online Austen thesaurus:

http://www.writelikeausten.com/

Did anyone use the phrase “check it out” in Regency times? Use the Google Ngram:

https://bit.ly/2TvgPCx

Do you know that Jane Austen used litotes, antithesis, asyndeton, and understatement? Check out this amazing Handbook of Rhetorical Devices: https://www.virtualsalt.com/rhetoric2.htm

Ep 36: Writing Jane Austen Fan Fiction with Lona Manning

Ep 36: Writing Jane Austen Fan Fiction with Lona Manning

March 31, 2019

Dear First Impressioners, have you ever been curious about the wide world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction (JAFF), and the writers that publish it? In this special episode, our friend Lona Manning joins us to discuss her experience writing and publishing her JAFF novels and stories! Be ready for some intriguing insights, from how historical fiction authors research details about Regency life, to tips for mastering Austenesque language and grammar. Kristin and Lona also discuss what to expect from the writing life, and why everyone should give writing fiction a try!

See Lona's tips for researching and Austen's language in this Google Doc!

Ep 35: The Making of Jane Austen Book Review

Ep 35: The Making of Jane Austen Book Review

February 24, 2019

Hello First Impressions fans! We're excited to present our book review of The Making of Jane Austen by Devoney Looser! In her highly entertaining, amazingly informative and exhaustively researched work, Dr. Looser discusses how our view of Austen has evolved over two centuries, from kindly "Aunt Jane," to conservative darling, to feisty suffragette. Told through cultural artifacts such as books, plays, movies, banners, letters, and even the odd séance or two, Looser's work is an entertaining dive into the rich world of Austen reception studies. You'll be amazed at how many afterlives our beloved Jane has lived.