Tag Archives: jane austen

Four podcasts (plus a radio program and an audio drama) for fans of Jane Austen and Mary Shelley

Podcasts and other audio presentations on a wealth of topics are extremely popular these days. Here’s a look at a few related to Jane Austen, Mary Shelley and their works.

The podcast “Bonnets at Dawn” pits Lauren Burke, a fan of the Brontes, against her friend, Hannah K Chapman, who loves Austen. The two square off weekly about different aspects of the authors and their works (with side episodes on works by other authors, such as Elizabeth Gaskell’s “North & South”). The women aim to produce a tie-in book to the podcast. Check out Episodes 13 and 14, in which they debate “Northanger Abbey” vs. “Jane Eyre,” and Episode 17, when Burke visits Bath.

Converging Cultures” explores the intersection of science and the arts. The Sept. 11, 2017, episode centers on Shelley, electricity and the “Age of Wonder.” How much scientific knowledge did Shelley have?

Each season on her podcast, “You Must Remember This,” Karina Longworth recounts real-life stories of Old Hollywood. This season she spotlights Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, the kings of Universal’s classic monster movies. Check out Episode 4, which gives listeners a peek behind the scenes of Karloff’s 1931 turn in “Frankenstein.”

The New Statesman’s “Hidden Histories” podcast produced a series last year on women writers before Jane Austen. Namechecked in the series: Mary Wollstonecraft and Fanny Burney. In Episode 5, the hosts debate who is the greatest writer of the 18th century.

And BBC Radio 4 presents a look at Shelley’s “Frankenstein” in the audio program “Frankenstein Lives!” presented by British cultural historian and writer Christopher Frayling.

The above podcasts are free, but if you’re willing to pay, a new audio adaptation of “Northanger Abbey” was released last year. Narrated with humor by the fantastic-as-always Emma Thompson, the recording also includes the voices of Douglas Booth (“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”) and Eleanor Tomlinson (“Poldark,” “Death at Pemberley”).

Find links, photos and friends on our Jane Austen Summer Program page on Facebook — and follow @JASPhotline on Twitter and @janeaustensummer on Instagram!

‘Persuasion,’ remade: How authors are reshaping Austen’s novel for today

By Jennifer Abella

We all know nothing can compare to Jane Austen’s novels, of course. But the fun thing about reading retellings and updates of her novels is seeing the imaginative ways authors can reshape her stories in various media, genres and settings. Have you read any of these updates of “Persuasion”? What others would you recommend?untitled-design-6

Persuade Me: In Juliet Archer’s contemporary retelling, Anna must face the return of her ex, marine biologist turned celebrity scientist Rick Wentworth.

None But You/For You Alone: Susan Kaye’s duology imagines Austen’s story through Captain Wentworth’s eyes, with flashbacks to his earlier courtship of Anne and details about what might have happened on his visit to his brother in Shropshire after Louisa’s fall.

The Boy Is Back: “Persuasion” is a clear influence in Meg Cabot’s new romantic comedy centering on Becky, a consultant helping an aging couple move to a new home. The hitch: The couple are the parents of her ex-boyfriend Reed, a professional golfer who returns home after a long absence to help his family. The book is told in a thoroughly modern epistolary style — through text messages, chats, emails and journal entries.

Young adult

Always You: In this sixth installment of Cecelia Gray’s “Jane Austen Academy” series, Anne is a student at a California boarding school that’s about to shut down when her ex-boyfriend returns.

For Darkness Shows the Stars: This novel sets the action in a dystopian future in which technology has been outlawed. Intriguing! Stay tuned: Next week, we’ll have an interview with author Diana Peterfreund about how she put her unique spin on “Persuasion.”

Another Little Piece of My Heart: In Tracey Martin’s update, Claire is vacationing at the beach when her ex, Jared, who happens to be a rising rock star, unexpectedly comes back into her life.


Project Persuasion: This contemporary update was told over the course of a year, through blog posts, images and social media.