Austen Chat

Austen Chat

Welcome to Austen Chat, the podcast of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA). Join us the first Thursday of each month as we interview scholars, authors, and subject experts on a wide range of topics related to Austen’s writings, her life and times, and more. There is always more to learn and enjoy about Jane!


April 4, 2024 34 mins

During the Georgian era, gender differences in domestic goods became increasingly common. For example, a gentleman's writing desk was a sturdy, substantial piece of furniture, while a lady’s desk was a small, delicate writing table.  In this episode we sit down with art historian and museum curator Kristen Miller Zohn to discuss gender and the decorative arts in general, and how Austen’s references to consumer goods in her nov...

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Professor Juliet McMaster, grande dame of Austen scholarship and one of the founding members of JASNA, joins us for a wide-ranging discussion about the genius that is Jane Austen. We touch on all six of her published novels, dip our toes in her teenage writings, and take a stroll down memory lane with Juliet as we chat about the early days of JASNA and how it's evolved over the past 45 years. 

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From roast mutton to white soup, pickled melon to Bath buns, Jane Austen and her characters enjoyed a variety of fascinating foods. To learn more about Georgian-era cuisine and culinary practices, we invited food historian Julienne Gehrer to guide us on a gastronomical journey through Austen's world. She provides glimpses into the daily life of our favorite author you won’t want to miss. Julienne has spoken and written on Jane...

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JASNA member Renata Dennis joins us to discuss the fascinating story of Dido Belle, a woman of color caught between two identities. Dido was the daughter of an enslaved woman and a British naval officer but was raised as a gentlewoman in the household of William Murray, Earl of Mansfield and Lord Chief Justice of the Court of the King's Bench. Until recently, she was lost to history.  Renata also shares her thoughts on Dido Be...

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In this episode, we welcome Adrian Lukis, the actor who made the role of George Wickham his own in the 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. We discuss his experience filming the beloved miniseries, his critically acclaimed one-man play Being Mr. Wickham, and his thoughts on everyone’s favorite Austen rogue!

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Ending a Regency-era marriage was difficult and daunting! In this episode, attorney James Nagle helps us navigate the murky legal waters of dissolving marital ties, Regency-Style, in a variety of ways. We're talking scandal. We're talking Maria Rushworth running away with Henry Crawford. We're talking wives being sold at auction to the highest bidder. What?! Yes. Crazy, but true.

Podcast Host:  Breckyn Wood...

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How "happy" are the endings of Jane Austen’s novels? In this episode we chat with Professor Inger Brodey about Austen’s endings: what she includes, what she leaves out, her unique mix of romance and satire, and her technique of “zooming out” that often leaves readers wanting more. Drawing from her forthcoming book, Jane Austen and the Price of Happiness, Inger also shares her thoughts on why Austen ended her novels as she...

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What did Jane Austen wear? Was she a stylish dresser? A dowdy spinster? In this episode, noted fashion and textile historian Hilary Davidson sets the record straight, revealing that Austen was much more fashion conscious and on-trend than many suppose. Join us as we discuss what would have been in Austen’s personal wardrobe, from headwear and gowns to everything in between, and Davidson shares fascinating insights gained while rese...

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Though never preachy, Austen’s novels have a rich moral depth that was heavily influenced by her faith. In this episode, we chat with Brenda Cox, author of Fashionable Goodness: Christianity in Jane Austen’s England. Brenda spent many years and several trips to England researching everything from Austen’s private daily devotions to the role churches played in the many social reforms of her time. We discuss all this, plus:

  • Some c...
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In July 1809 Jane Austen and her mother and sister moved into a cottage in Chawton, England, known today as Jane Austen’s House. As the place where she wrote and revised all of her beloved novels, the house is truly "the most treasured Austen site in the world.” In this episode, we visit with the museum’s director, Lizzie Dunford, to discuss the early history of the house, its influence on Austen's writing, some of the Au...

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June 5, 2023 2 mins

Meet our podcast host and learn about Austen Chat and what you can expect in upcoming episodes.

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