First Impressions: Why All the Austen Haters Are Wrong
Ep 52: The Jane Austen Society: Author Interview with Natalie Jenner

Ep 52: The Jane Austen Society: Author Interview with Natalie Jenner

June 1, 2020

Please join us for an interview with debut author Natalie Jenner, whose delightful book THE JANE AUSTEN SOCIETY was released in May 2020 from St. Martin's Press (NA) and Orion (UK). The book follows a group of unlikely Janeites in postwar England who come together to save Chawton cottage, and wind up saving themselves instead (through reading Jane, of course!). We discuss Natalie's personal relationship with Austen, her connection to Chawton, and what inspired her to create her story and characters. We also delve into some fascinating insights about Austen's work that are woven into the book. As a meditation on what Austen can mean to us through difficult times, The Jane Austen Society is the perfect book for First Impressions listeners, especially those ready to experiment with reading Austen-related fiction. SPOILER NOTE: Although we attempt to avoid major spoilers in this podcast, we do discuss the book's characters and relationships in depth. If you like to be completely unaware of these details when you begin a new book, we recommend only listening to the first 15 minutes or so of this podcast!

Minipod 3: The Mandalorian

Minipod 3: The Mandalorian

May 25, 2020

And now for something completely different! Once again we have another just *slightly* off-topic minipod for a little extra fun in these crazy days. In this episode, Maggie, Kristin, and Special Guest (TM) Kevin take on hit Star Wars universe series The Mandalorian. Plus, you get bonus Bay content, as he keeps us on track when our Star Wars knowledge fails us. SPOILER ALERT: This episode includes details about Season 1 of The Mandalorian. But don't you deserve to be spoiled? After all, you work hard.

Ep 51: Exploring Jane Austen Fan Fiction with Sarah Pesce from Lopt & Cropt

Ep 51: Exploring Jane Austen Fan Fiction with Sarah Pesce from Lopt & Cropt

May 18, 2020

Maggie and Kristin welcome Sarah Pesce of Lopt & Cropt to continue our exploration of the wonderful world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction, this time from an editor's perspective! In our lively discussion, Sarah explains how reading JAFF can provide new insight into Austen's original works. She gives us a tour of the JAFF universe with an overview of online archives, an explanation of common tropes used in the romance world, and a fantastic list of recommendations that will keep us busy for quite some time! Have you ever wondered what Jane Austen's works have in common with science fiction or fantasy? Join us to find out!

And for more on JAFF or to get an author's perspective, check out episode 36: Writing Jane Austen Fan Fiction with Lona Manning!

Ep 50: Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice 2005

Ep 50: Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice 2005

May 10, 2020

Big news! Maggie and Kristin are back to review the 2005 movie version of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen and directed by Joe Wright. Knowing that this adaptation has generated some controversy in the Austen community, the girls attempt to tread lightly over difficult ground, acknowledging where this movie shines while also attempting some thoughtful critique. While we'll never be able to love this version wholeheartedly, we fully support and respect our fans that do! We hope you enjoy our thoughts on the movie, the direction, the performances, and the "Brontefication" of Jane Austen. For purists, please note that Kristin says something historically inaccurate in this podcast: by 1797 there was a trend toward natural hair color because of the 1795 hair powder tax. So please disregard her assertion that all the men would have had powdered hair!

Minipod 2: Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Minipod 2: Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

April 18, 2020

Hi y'all! We're back with another fluffy minipod for those of you who need extra podcasty-goodness during this time while we're all staying home. In this mini-episode, Kristin and Maggie talk about something ENTIRELY unrelated to Jane Austen - the recent theatrical release of Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn. Despite not having even a whiff of Jane Austen about it, Maggie and Kristin greatly enjoyed this darkly funny superhero movie from the DC-comic universe, and highly recommend it.

Ep 49: EMMA Part 2: It Was With the Gloves

Ep 49: EMMA Part 2: It Was With the Gloves

April 9, 2020

Okay, we know, it's been out for months. But we asked ourselves, did we REALLY understand the new Emma movie on our 3rd, 5th, or even 8th viewing? Of course not! It darted through us with the speed of an arrow that we had to do a second EMMA podcast! Here are all the things we SHOULD have said, all the things we FORGOT to say, and all the things that were too brilliant to burst upon us until our brains had marinated in this movie for weeks. Join us for our laughing, crying, singing, essential second podcast on the movie EMMA.

Minipod 1: Emma and Harriet in “Three Loves,” a Duologue by Rosina Fillipi

Minipod 1: Emma and Harriet in “Three Loves,” a Duologue by Rosina Fillipi

April 1, 2020

Maggie and Kristin bespeak your indulgence as young performers, because they've decided to amuse themselves with a mini-podcast format during this time of social distance! Today, they're tackling a duologue from Rosina Fillipi's collection, first published in 1895. For the history of these duologues, check out the book The Making of Jane Austen by Devoney Looser, which explains the cultural significance of this collection, which was intended for drawing room performances. In honor of our current obsession of the moment, we've chosen a selection from Emma!

Ep 48: EMMA.

Ep 48: EMMA.

March 8, 2020

The wait is over! At long last, we're back to talk about the new movie EMMA. directed by Autumn de Wilde, screenplay by Eleanor Catton, and starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Johnny Flynn. This totally bonkers adaptation subverted our expectations at every turn, yet still managed to be wonderfully faithful to the source material. The movie's score is inspired, the sets and costumes are divine, and every cast member is downright fantastic! We loved the deft insertion of slapstick comedy, the honest exploration of Emma's relationship with Harriet Smith, and also the butts. If you want to listen to two dorks rave about something for an hour, this is the podcast episode for you.

Ep 47: Sanditon, Or, a Once-in-a Lifetime Investment Opportunity!

Ep 47: Sanditon, Or, a Once-in-a Lifetime Investment Opportunity!

January 30, 2020

First Impressions fans, we're back with a discussion of Jane Austen's Sanditon, the unfinished novel fragment, now a major motion picture! (Uh, make that a BBC miniseries written by Andrew Davies). In this podcast, we examine Jane Austen's opinions on medical science, her feelings about her own illness, and the question of whether the Sanditon enterprise was ultimately destined to succeed or fail. We also include a discussion of the first three episodes of the miniseries that have so-far aired in the US. Jane Austen may have died before she could render her verdict on capitalism, but we like to think she would appreciate our... speculation.

Ep 46: Movie Review - Northanger Abbey 1987

Ep 46: Movie Review - Northanger Abbey 1987

December 30, 2019

We're ringing in a new decade with a very special movie review episode! Hardcore Austen fans out there may be aware of the delightfully weird 1987 BBC adaptation of Northanger Abbey, starring Peter Firth and Katharine Schlesinger. Despite "missing the joke," this bizarre adaptation throws the viewer many delightful curveballs, including the surprise new French characters, the steamy Roman baths, and the unexpected saxophone solo! We review the movie, discuss our thoughts, and take a look at the year ahead. (Sadly, since finishing this episode, the white rosebush has died of grief.)