As far as we know, Jane Austen lived a quiet life, two hundred and more years ago, in an England that had just lost the American colonies.
But you would never know it by the Austen hoopla gushing out of Hollywood and Bollywood and the BBC and bookstores these days.
Jane Austen is hot. As hot as "Pride and Prejudice" and "Sense and Sensibility." As hot as Anne Hathaway of "The Devil Wears Prada," starring in the loose new biopic "Becoming Jane." As hot, says Time magazine, as Colin Firth's Regency-era nipples under a cool wet shirt. Oh dear!
This hour On Point: It's back — the Jane Austen mania.
Claudia Johnson, professor of English and department chairperson at Princeton University;
Jenny Davidson, professor of English at Columbia University;
Lev Grossman, book editor at Time Magazine
This program aired on August 10, 2007.