I had my first email address when I was 5 years old.
[it included the name of my American Girl doll]. Apparently this also means that I had very trusting parents, because for a long time I had pretty much no one to email. So we wrote letters.
Moving around meant that my closest childhood friends were faraway pen pals. Letters were a necessity for keeping in touch, but there was something special about them too.
Letters are to be cherished, and read slowly with one’s full attention. They communicate from the heart, down the arm, through the pen.
When I read Jane Austen’s novels, I learned that her writing should be read like letters: slow and deliberate. At first I mistook them as ‘difficult’, but really I was reading too quickly. There is so much packed into each sentence, but when paid proper attention, I realised that she masters the deceptively challenging task of capturing everyday life and everyday people.
I thought, I want to share the art of reading Jane Austen with you, whether you are a first-time visitor to her Regency England, or a Janeite like me. I wish I could write each of you a letter.
So I spent a year “deliberating over my paper” like Elinor Dashwood, writing eight letters for each of Jane Austen’s novels. They started by pen and were transcribed for the digital age [for postage is no longer a penny].
Join me today, and the letters are yours forever. Each subscription also includes a handwritten note on your subject of choice, upon request [if you are already signed up, just email me to request yours]. Interested? Take a peek at Letters from Jane Austen.
P.S. Taylor Swift songs that are actually about Jane Austen heroines