Paula Byrne: The Genius of Jane Austen - Althorp Estate Paula Byrne: The Genius of Jane Austen - Althorp Estate

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Paula Byrne: The Genius of Jane Austen


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2017 marks the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and to mark the occasion, Althorp Literary Festival is delighted to welcome Paula Byrne. Austen expert and author of The Real Jane Austen, Paula follows her heroine from stage to page to screen, introducing new readers and old to a wholly neglected aspect of her art, and to stage and film versions of the novels, including the BBC ‘wet shirt’ Pride and Prejudice, Emma Thompson’s Sense and Sensibility, and the phenomenally brilliant and successful Clueless.

Jane Austen loved the theatre. She learned much of her art from a long tradition of English comic drama and took joyous participation in amateur theatricals. Her juvenilia, then Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Emma were shaped by the arts of theatrical comedy. Her admiration for drama’s dialogue, characterisation, plotting, exits and entrances is why she has been dramatised so successfully on screen in the last twenty years – and these versions are at the centre of her continuing fame, culminating in her depiction on the new £10 note.

The Genius of Jane Austen presents an Austen not of prim manners and genteel calm, but filled with wild comedy and outrageous behavior.

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