“Giving contemporary Austen-inspired fan culture its due, in a style that feels as if you’re having a conversation with smart friends over a glass of wine, the authors of Austentatious have given us a seriously fun, information-filled, and thought-provoking read. Whether you already know what today’s Austen ‘fanon’ is, or don’t yet know that you need to know, you’ll be grateful to Luetkenhaus and Weinstein for simultaneously illuminating it and entertaining you—which is, of course, in keeping with the mode of the great author herself.”—Devoney Looser, author, The Making of Jane Austen
“Written by two self-professed ‘Janeites’ for both scholars and fellow Austen fans, Austentatious offers an accessible overview of Jane Austen fandom from its beginnings in the nineteenth century to its digital and diverse iterations in the twenty-first century, reminding us that fandom, as we think we know it, began long before Star Trek or Sherlock Holmes.”—Katherine Larsen, coauthor, Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls (Iowa, 2013)
The amount of fan-generated content about Jane Austen and her novels has long surpassed the author’s original canon. Adaptations like Clueless, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Jane Austen’s Fight Club, and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries have given Austen fans priceless opportunities to enjoy the classic texts anew, and continue to bring new and younger fans into the fold. Now, through online culture, the amount and type of fan-created works has exponentially multiplied in recent years. Fans write stories, create art, make videos, and craft memes, all in homage to one of the most celebrated authors of all time.
This book explores online fan spaces in search of “Janeites” all over the world to discover what fans are making, how fans are sharing their work, and why it matters that so many women and nonbinary individuals find a haven not only in Jane Austen, but also in Jane Austen fandom. In relatable chapters based on firsthand experience, the authors explore how Austen fandom has and continues to build communities around women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. Whether Janeites are shrewdly picking up on the latent sexual tension between women in Emma or casting people of color in leading roles, Luetkenhaus and Weinstein argue that Austen fans are particularly adept at marrying fantasy and feminism.