For Your Reading Pleasure: Susannah Fullerton’s “Literary Reader’s Guides”

 

JASAs incomparable president Susannah Fullerton has the perfect gift for you or any of your best reading buddies. You can follow her along each month for the twelve months of 2019 with a new book to read, learn about, and discuss via email or in your own book groups. Called her “Literary Reader Guides,” you can sign up for the full year or just buy those Guides individually that interest you. This year Susannah will be doing Jane Austen’s Emma (in February) – Austen is surrounded in great company as you can see:

  • Jan – Evelyn Waugh and Brideshead Revisited 
  • Feb – Jane Austen and Emma 
  • Mar – Jerome K. Jerome and Three Men in a Boat 
  • Apr – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and The Hound of the Baskervilles 
  • May – Theodor Fontane and Effi Briest 
  • Jun – Guy de Maupassant and “The Necklace”
  • Jul – L. P. Hartley and The Go-Between
  • Aug – Samuel Butler and The Way of All Flesh
  • Sep – W. Somerset Maugham and Cakes and Ale 
  • Oct – Henry James and Washington Square 
  • Nov – Jean Rhys and Wide Sargasso Sea 
  • Dec – Wilkie Collins and The Moonstone

What a reading list! Your book group would be most content following this for the year ahead! Each guide features background information about the author, a publishing history of the title, many illustrations, and thoughtful discussion questions.

I signed on for the Guides last year, and found them most interesting and helpful in facilitating in the several book groups I belong to – I haven’t done all the featured books yet, but each of the monographs is downloadable and you can keep them for future use. The cost for 2019 for all 12 Guides is 40$AU (which is about 30$US, paypal accepted). You can also purchase previous Guides here: https://susannahfullerton.com.au/store/

You can read all about it here: https://susannahfullerton.com.au/come-with-me-on-a-literary-journey/

And visit Susannah’s blog where you shall find all sorts of literary gems: Notes from a Book Addict

******************

*****************

I append this letter direct from Susannah (where she is celebrating a very hot Christmas Down Under…!):

Dear JASNA Member,

I think Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ is the greatest novel ever written. Would you like to find out why I think that, and also learn more about its characters, themes and setting? I’d love to share with you my views on that most gorgeous of heroes, Mr Knightley, and my opinion of Emma herself. Is she really “faultless in spite of all her faults”?

Next year I am offering you not just my thoughts on ‘Emma’, but on 11 other fascinating literary works as well. Please consider joining this exciting literary journey via email. Let me share with you my insights about an author and what drove him or her to create the book. Let me guide you through the novel’s themes and inspirations, tell you about the memorable characters, and provide you with discussion questions to really make you think (or share with your book group).

My 2019 literary series contains an extraordinary short story (you can decide if it is the world’s best?), a book to make you laugh and one to make you cry, some mystery and detection, and some madness and adultery. I have chosen an intriguing mix of works from various parts of the world and from two different centuries. I hope you’ll get the feeling that I’m at your side, sharing my love for a thought-provoking work and discussing it with you and your friends. You can even talk it over directly with me via my website, I always love to hear from JASNA members.

2019 is JASA’s 30th birthday. I hope you will want to celebrate that special anniversary by joining me to discuss ‘Emma’ and other great books. The whole course is done via email, so you do not need to live in Sydney to be a part of it all. Please watch my short film to see just what I’m offering. Find out all about it here: https://susannahfullerton.com.au/come-with-me-on-a-literary-journey/

I hope that Christmas will bring you happy occasions with your family and time to re-read Jane Austen. Don’t forget that if you are planning a visit to Australia next year, JASA would love to welcome you.

Merry Christmas to you all,
Susannah Fullerton
President of JASA

Susannah Fullerton, OAM, FRSN
Literary Lecturer, Author and Literary Tour Leader
https://susannahfullerton.com.au/
President, Jane Austen Society of Australia
Patron, Rudyard Kipling Society of Australia

 
Works:

Brief Encounters: Literary Travellers in Australia
Jane Austen & Crime [one of my all-time favorite books on Austen!]
Happily Ever After: Celebrating Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’
A Dance with Jane Austen
Jane & I: A Tale of Austen Addiction

*****************

Sign up today – you will be most pleased!

c2018, Jane Austen in Vermont

Susannah Fullerton on Jane Austen: “Jane & I: A Tale of Austen Addiction”

Susannah Fullerton, president of the Jane Austen Society of Australia, has just published her memoir about her life-long love affair with Jane Austen, something many of us can understand and appreciate, but mostly marvel at what Susannah has done with this obsession! Here is Susannah’s blurb on her new book – see below on how you can order it. I for one cannot wait for mine to show up in my mailbox…

 

JANE & I

A TALE OF AUSTEN ADDICTION

By Susannah Fullerton 

You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love … Jane Austen.

When I was a young girl, l was read Pride and Prejudice by my mother. I listened entranced, but little dreamed how that reading would change my life and would be the start of a life-long addiction. For I fell in love with Elizabeth and Darcy, went on to read the other novels of Jane Austen, studied them, re-read them often, lectured about them and wrote about them. As President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia for more than twenty years, I have shared my passion for Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion with thousands of people around the world. As a leader of literary tours, I have taken people to ‘Jane Austen country’. It is thanks to Jane Austen that I developed a career as a popular literary lecturer. Jane Austen, quite simply, altered the course of my life!

My memoir shows how a love of Jane Austen’s novels developed into a passionate addiction, something that I hope all readers of this blog will understand. Jane Austen expert Maggie Lane has called my new book “a vivid and original memoir”, while author Jennifer Kloester has said “More than just a memoir, this delightful account of Susannah Fullerton’s lifelong love of books will enchant, inspire and amuse her readers. A joyful reminder of why books matter.”

                                                                                       *********************

About the author:

Susannah Fullerton has been president of the Jane Austen Society of Australia for 21 years. She is a popular literary tour leader, guiding literary pilgrims in England, Scotland, Ireland, USA, Canada, France and Italy. Previous books include A Dance with Jane Austen, Happily Ever After: Celebrating Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen and Crime (one of my favorite books!), Georgette Heyer: Complete to a Shade, and others. You can find out more about her, her books, and her literary tours at the links below. She also writes a newsletter titled “Notes from a Book Addict,” a monthly treat for your inbox – you can sign up for it here: https://susannahfullerton.com.au/newsletter/

You can order the book here: https://susannahfullerton.com.au/store/jane-i-a-tale-of-austen-addiction/ : [$20 AUD = @ $16. USD + shipping – you can pay via PayPal]

Links:

c2017 Jane Austen in Vermont

Announcing Giveaway Winner of Susannah Fullerton’s Celebrating ‘Pride and Prejudice’

and the Winner is…

book cover - celebrating P&P- fullerton

Oloore, who commented on January 23 with:

Actually my first experience with P&P ever was watching last 5 minutes of episode 4 in mini series of 1995 when I was 13 or 14. Those 5 minutes intrigued me so much, that I watched all the remaining episodes and then went in search for the original. I remember reading it the same year during my summer vacation. I loved everything about the book, its plot and style, its heros and heroines, and since that time P&P has become the best love story for me: witty, humorous, illustrative of different human characters, satisfying and with wonderful happy end. After P&P I read other works by Jane Austen, and some of them I liked, some of them I liked very much, but P&P was and still remains the best for me.

Congratulations Oloore! – Please send me your contact information [full name, address, phone, email] as soon as you can and I will get the book off to you right away.  So glad you went from the 1995 movie to the book and discovered even more of its treasures!

Again, many thanks to all who commented with their stories of first encountering Pride and Prejudice – an interesting study in itself, and illustrative of the power of this book that so many remember the joys of that first reading! I included all the comments on this post on the Pride and Prejudice anniversary posted on January 28th: you can read all the “first impressions of P&P” from members of JASNA-Vermont here.

And hearty thanks to Susannah Fullerton for joining us, and for writing the book! and to Voyageur Press for generously supplying the giveaway copy!

c2013, Jane Austen in Vermont

Susannah Fullerton on Celebrating Pride and Prejudice ~ Guest Post and Book Giveaway

Gentle Readers All: Please see below to enter into the Giveaway for a copy of Susannah Fullerton’s Celebrating Pride and Prejudice.

book cover - celebrating P&P- fullerton

**********************

Today I welcome Susannah Fullerton, president of JASA, author of numerous articles on Jane Austen, a leader of literary tours , and author of  Jane Austen and Crime  (2006),  A Dance with Jane Austen (2012), and most recently the author of Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen’s Masterpiece [Happily Ever After in the UK].

Susannah shares with us a few thoughts on the her new work and the joys of discovering and re-discovering Austen’s most popular novel – and out just in time as we all celebrate the 200th bicentenary of Pride and Prejudice this year, all beginning on January 28th. I highly recommend this book, a must-have for your Austen Library, a perfect companion to the novel, and a lovely work in its own right.

And now Susannah:

______________________

I was about 11 years old when my mother first read me Pride and Prejudice. We were away on a family holiday in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the only thing I remember of the visit there was lying at the end of a double bed while my Mum read aloud. It was not all joy – I did get very frustrated when she stopped to laugh. I was too young to appreciate the irony of the novel and just wanted to know what would happen to Elizabeth and Darcy. Now of course I know exactly why my mother laughed. In spite of my mother’s ‘interruptions’, I loved the story, and soon went back to read it by myself.

pandp_darcy_robertball

Mr Darcy,  by Robert Ball. Pride and Prejudice (Doubleday 1945)
[image from Austenprose.com]

So for just over 40 years Pride and Prejudice has been a vital part of my life. That first reading has been followed by countless others. Sometimes I have just picked up the book and it has fallen open in just the right place (any place is the right place) and I’ve read of the Meryton Ball, or one of Darcy’s proposals, or a scene with Mr Collins making a fool of himself. Even a ‘one page reading’ has always left me feeling better. Again and again I have picked it up and started with that brilliant opening sentence (to which I devote a whole chapter in my book!) and gone through to the end, knowing exactly what would happen but loving it more every single time.

And I have read ‘P & P’ in other ways – I adore unabridged audio versions, I’ve read it as a comic book, I’ve read it on my Kindle, and of course I’ve seen film versions and loved them too. Elizabeth and Darcy are my dear friends and while I would not want to actually meet Mr Collins, I always delight in his company within the pages of Jane Austen’s great novel.

It has been said that you never read the same book twice! Every re-reading is a different experience – you know what is going to happen within the plot and so you look out for other things. And with ‘P & P’ there are always other things – some slight nuance you missed last time you read it, a different inflection by an audio book reader can make you react to a sentence you know well in a different way, and you pick up on the tiny details of setting or character that you failed to notice last time. And the other thing that means you are not reading exactly the same novel, is that you yourself have changed. You have grown older and wiser, experienced things in your own life that have slightly altered you from the person you were on the first reading. I groaned over Mrs Bennet when I first met her – she was so vulgar and embarrassing and I pitied Elizabeth for having to put up with her. But now I’m a mother myself, with children who are forming romantic partnerships, and I have so much more sympathy for Mrs Bennet. And as a wife, I can understand her frustration when Mr Bennet goes off to the library and shuts the door, leaving the worries of 5 unmarried daughters totally up to her. Reading Pride and Prejudice changes your life, but your life also changes each re-reading of Pride and Prejudice.

mrs bennet

With such a deep love of this novel, you can imagine what a joy it was for me to sit down and write a book about its incredible 200 years. I could not think of a nicer way to celebrate this important literary anniversary. For months I was immersed in its pages, learning even more about the book and its characters as I worked on my own book. I was so fascinated by the translations of it – how very quickly it was translated into another language and what a mess was made of that first translation, and what huge challenges it gives a translator (do you think Mr and Mrs Bennet should say ‘vous’ or ‘tu’ to each other in a French translation  – I’d love to hear your opinion?). I especially loved writing my chapter on Elizabeth, trying to analyse what it is that makes her so charming and lovable, while not making her a ‘goody-goody’ in whom we can’t believe. I had lots of fun with my chapter on all the merchandise inspired by this novel – don’t you just love the idea of a BBQ apron that announces ‘Let’s BBQ Wickham!’ And I was fascinated by the responses to ‘P & P’ over 200 years from famous people. A.A. Milne quite rightly judged people by their reactions to this book, while Robert Louis Stevenson wanted to go down on his knees and worship Elizabeth Bennet whenever she opened her mouth.

My book is very gorgeously illustrated and has pictures that may be unfamiliar to many. It is available in two editions – the American edition is Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen’s Masterpiece and the UK edition is Happily Ever After: Celebrating Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I do hope my book gives pleasure to those of you who read it, and also teaches you new things about this much-loved novel.

book cover - happily ever after uk

HAPPY PRIDE AND PREJUDICE ANNIVERSARY YEAR!

********************

About the Author:

susannah fullertonSusannah Fullerton is President of JASA, and author of Jane Austen – Antipodean Views, Jane Austen and Crime, A Dance with Jane Austen, and her latest Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen’s Masterpiece – note that the UK title of this work is Happily Ever After: Celebrating Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Frances Lincoln, 2012).

 

 

Celebrating Pride and Prejudice
Voyageur Press, January 1, 2013
ISBN-10: 0760344361; ISBN-13: 978-0760344361
$25.99

Contents: (I have abbreviated the title to P&P)

  • ‘My Own Darling Child’- The Writing of P&P
  • ‘A Very Superior Work’ – Reactions to P&P
  • ‘A Truth Universally Acknowledged’ – The Famous First Sentence
  • ‘Bright and Sparkling’ – The Style of P&P
  • ‘As Charming a Creature’ – The Heroine, Elizabeth Bennet
  • ‘Mr Darcy … is the Man!’ – The Hero, Fitzwilliam Darcy
  • ‘The Female Line’ – Her Relations
  • ‘The Same Noble Line’ – His Relations
  • ‘Delighting in the Ridiculous’ – Other Characters
  • P&P Goes Overseas – The Translations
  • ‘Pictures of Perfection’ – Illustrating and Covering P&P
  • Did They Live Happily Ever After? – Sequels and Adaptations
  • Bonnets and Bosoms – Film and Theatrical Versions
  • Mugs and Skateboards – Selling P&P
  • ‘Behold Me Immortal’ – P&P Now and in the Future
  • Bibliography and Index

_____________________________________

Please enter into the drawing for a copy of Celebrating Pride and Prejudice by commenting below: either by asking Susannah a question or telling us of your first experience in reading Pride and Prejudice [or like Susannah, perhaps being read to?].  Deadline is Tuesday January 29, 2013 11:59 pm; winner will be announced on Wednesday January 30th.  Worldwide eligibility. Good luck all, and thank you to the publisher for donating the book for the giveaway [please note that I happily purchased my own copy].

c2013, Jane Austen in Vermont

All I Want for Christmas? ~ Anything Jane Austen Please! Day 2: Take a Literary Tour with Susannah Fullerton, President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia

I cannot think of a gift I would want more than this! [do hope my caro sposo is paying close attention!]– I had the pleasure of meeting Susannah Fullerton at the JASNA AGM in Brooklyn – she goes above and beyond as the President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia (JASA), has just published A Dance with Jane Austen [she wrote a guest post here], and she has a new book coming out in early 2013 Celebrating Pride and Prejudice (titled Happily Ever After in the UK)

Continue reading

Giveaway winner announced ~ A Dance with Jane Austen by Susannah Fullerton!

Giveaway winner for Susannah Fullerton’s A Dance with Jane Austen: How a Novelist and Her Characters went to the Ball is Diana Birchall! – she wrote this on November 3:

I love Susannah’s writing, and I have long been a great admirer of her awe-inspiring range of abilities.  That is why I cast her as “my Marianne”!  I must and shall own this book, but they ran out of them at the AGM, and I haven’t got mine yet.  I just won a fabulous biography of Keats on the Dovegreyreader blog, and my mother-in-law’s electricity got restored in NYC today, so let’s make it good luck comes in threes.  Please enter me to win Susannah’s book!

Congratulations Diana – luck comes in threes indeed! And the fact you cast Susannah in your play as “Marianne” makes this even sweeter – I promise a completely objective random drawing [you can thank my husband who picks a number from 1-whatever in order of posting – he doesn’t even know what I am asking for!]

Please email me privately with postal direction!

Thank you all for such wonderful responses, to Susannah for her lovely post and responses, and to Sue Forgue, my go-to person for all things Regency (and London!) for her dance information!  For those of you who will be attending the JASNA-Vermont Tea on December 2nd, this book will be one of the door prizes, with thanks again to the publisher Frances Lincoln for their generosity.

c2012 Jane Austen in Vermont

Guest post: Susannah Fullerton on her A Dance with Jane Austen and book giveaway!

The AGM in Brooklyn brought many pleasures, and one of the most pleasurable was meeting and talking with Susannah Fullerton.  I have long been an admirer – she is the President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia and a quick perusal of their website shows the extent of what she and her organization do, from annual meetings to conferences and the JASA publications Sensibilities and The JASA Chronicle.  Susannah also leads a number of literary tours for ASA Cultural Tours  [Australians Studying Abroad], and lectures on Austen around the world. And I must add that she was perfectly cast as the close-to-hysterical Marianne in the “Austen Assizes” script by Diana Birchall and Syrie James staged in Brooklyn!

Susannah has written many articles and a few books, one on which remains an all-time favorite, Jane Austen and Crime (Jones Books, 2004), wherein Ms. Fullerton gives us the real world that Jane Austen alludes to in all her works, the realities of such pieces in the narrative as Willoughby as serial seducer, Lydia’s “elopement,” and even the gypsies in Emma.  In her newest work, A Dance with Jane Austen: How a Novelist and her Characters went to the Ball (London: Frances Lincoln, 2012), Fullerton offers up the same detailed analysis of what Austen so off-handedly tells us, most of which we don’t quite “get” as 21st-century readers – the dressing for the dance, getting to the Ball, the various types of balls, proper etiquette, the music, the conversation, the Men! – all of it to enhance our understanding of Austen’s time and therefore her stories…

I have asked Susannah to join us today to tell us a little about her book, and her publisher has generously offered a copy for a giveaway – please see the information below on entering to win!

*************************

SF:  Some years ago I was having dinner with Joan Strasbaugh of Jones Books, the publishing firm which had brought out the American edition of my book Jane Austen and Crime, when Joan suggested that a book that really needed to be written was a book about Jane Austen and Dance. I was taken aback for a moment! Surely, with dances playing such a vital role in Jane Austen’s fiction, that subject had already been covered. But when I stopped to think, I realised it had not. Many Austen scholars have written about her dance scenes as part of other works, but there was no one book devoted entirely to that subject, a book that explored the social etiquette of the ballroom, the vital role dance played in courtship, the suppers served and the music played. Would I be interested, Joan asked, because if so, she could recommend the project to Frances Lincoln UK Ltd. And so I started writing.

image: Republic of Pemberley

What I wanted to do, I decided, was to follow Jane Austen’s characters to a ball. Had I been Jane or Elizabeth Bennet, what would the whole process of going to a dance have involved? How did a heroine get to a ball in the first place if her family had no carriage (the case for Emma Watson), how did she dress for the occasion, what rules governed her behaviour while there, and what differences did she find between assembly balls and private balls? When she stood up with a young man, what were the possibilities for flirtation and courtship, and how does Jane Austen show this happening with Elizabeth and Darcy, Jane and Bingley, Emma and Mr Knightley, Catherine and Henry, Marianne and Willoughby, when they are dancing with each other? Poor Fanny Price suffers the day after the Mansfield ball when she has no suitable confidante with whom to talk it all over, but for luckier young ladies often the ‘post-ball discussion’ was almost as much fun as the event itself.

Jane Austen loved to put on her satin slippers and go off to dance. In my book I wanted to provide information about the balls she attended, from the Basingstoke assemblies of her youth when she danced happily with neighbours and family friends, to the later balls where she chaperoned nieces and preferred to sit by the fire with a glass of wine rather than dance. She too enjoyed courtship in a ballroom when she danced with Tom Lefroy; she too knew the excitement of being asked by the right man, and the challenges of avoiding the wrong one.

As I wrote my book I discovered patterns in Jane Austen’s use of dances in her fiction. Several of the novels have one informal dance and one more formal one, and she uses each to progress her themes, characterisation and relationships. In some novels what happens is romantic, as is the case when Darcy and Elizabeth are partners and you can almost see the sparks between them, but in Mansfield Park everyone always seems to be dancing with the wrong person and balls in that novel illustrate selfishness, not romance. Jane Austen makes a great deal happen at a ball!

image: Brock illus Mansfield Park, Mollands

A Dance with Jane Austen is beautifully illustrated with contemporary pictures or illustrations from the novels. I include a brief chapter about dances in the film versions, but decided not to make this extensive because so often film-makers get it wrong and put in a dance, such as Mr Beveridge’s Maggot, which Jane Austen would not have danced. However, there are some lovely pictures from some of the movies that I chose to include.

For the past 17 years I have served as President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia. In that time I have lectured extensively about Jane Austen and her works, and have seen the joy that her books give to readers around the world. I hope that my book will increase the enjoyment of those readers by taking them into the ballrooms to discover that there is “nothing like dancing after all.”

***************

JAIV: One question I would ask Susannah is ‘What is your favorite dance scene in a Jane Austen novel and why?’

SF:  My favorite dance scene is the Crown Inn ball in Emma. This is the evening when Emma first starts to view Mr. Knightley as an attractive male, rather than as an old friend and family connection. She watches his “erect” figure move about the room, sees him rescue Harriet Smith from the embarrassment of being rejected as a dance partner, prods him into asking her to dance with him, and can hardly take her eyes off him all night! Jane Austen achieves so much in all her dance scenes – she gives a sense of a full community of living people, progresses courtships, reveals character and shows faults and foibles – but this scene is particularly rich. The moment when Emma reminds Mr. Knightley that they are “not really so much brother and sister as to make (dancing together) at all improper” and he replies “Brother and sister! No, indeed!” is one of the most erotic moments in all of Jane Austen’s fiction. It thrills me every time!

image: theloiterer.org

Oh I agree – I love this scene! Thank you so much Susannah for sharing your love of Jane Austen and dance with us!

**************************

Gentle Readers!  please ask any question you might have for Susannah Fullerton or post a comment here and you will be entered into the random drawing for a copy of A Dance with Jane Austen. Please do so by 11:59 pm, Sunday November 4th, 2012. Winner will be announced on Monday Nov. 5th – Worldwide eligibility!

For a review of the book, please visit:

About the author: 

Susannah Fullerton is President of JASA, and author of Jane Austen – Antipodean Views, Jane Austen and Crime and the forthcoming Celebrating Pride and Prejudice: 200 Years of Jane Austen’s Masterpiece (due out Jan. 2013) – note that the UK title of this work is Happily Ever After: Celebrating Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

A Dance with Jane Austen
Frances Lincoln, October 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0711232457

Upcoming book: (Feb. 2013)

US edition title and cover

UK edition title and cover