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Jane Austen in Pop Culture You Probably Missed
Nothing pleases me more than when I discover another place in pop culture where Jane Austen’s legacy has infiltrated, as I love seeing where literature intersects with movies, TV, music and other media. If you’re a Janeite and also enjoy how much pop culture adores Jane Austen, here are a few you things may have missed.
Revered as a celebrity for decades, even People magazine has never been able to ignore the magnetic pull of Jane Austen’s world. Back in 1995, Jane Austen made their list of 25 Most Intriguing People and as recently as this 2013, People saluted the 200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice with much celebrity gushing over the author.
Between 2009 and 2011, Marvel released a comic series for Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma. Written by Nancy Butler these beautiful comics are illustrated by either Janet Lee or penciled by Hugo Petrus or Sonny Liew. I want them all!
I couldn’t track down any modern-day music inspired by Jane Austen (if you know of any songs, please share them in the comments). But I did find this lovely song aptly titled “Jane Austen” by musician, Holly Christina, to share with you.
The open world concept video game is a humourous story about the Third Street Saints gang and life in the violent town of Stillwater, Michigan where the gang frequently confronts the law and rival gangs. In Saints Row IV, How the Saints Save Christmas and Saints Row: Gat out of Hell, Jane Austen is a character in the game. In particular, in Saints Row IV, she is the unseen and unnamed narrator of the story who isn’t revealed until the very end. I find this really fascinating.
In Season 13 of Family Guy, Stewie, Brian and Chris travel back in time to visit Jane Austen’s house and release “time-travel farts”. Fictional Jane Austen appears and is so delighted by this passing of gas, she is inspired to write Pride and Prejudice! Not sure how that works.
A few funny stories I encountered in my research is that while working on the screenplay for Sense and Sensibility, Emma Thompson slept with Jane Austen’s letters next to her bed to remind her how funny the author had been. I also read that director Joe Wright convinced actress Judi Dench to play Lady Catherine du Bourgh in his version of Pride and Prejudice by writing a letter and saying “I love it when you play a bitch.” Indeed!
It’s that most wonderful time year. I hope everyone enjoys August in August!