Editor's note: Of course, the first thing to do to get ready is. . .
Whether you are sitting at work, cleaning your house, or traveling, podcasts are the perfect way to gain knowledge while doing everyday things. As JASP quickly approaches, if you are looking to learn more about the world of Jane Austen or brush up on your favorite novels and adaptations, I have some perfect podcast recommendations!
Bonnets at Dawn looks at the lives of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. Since 2017, Lauren (Team Brontë) and Hannah (Team Austen), two women with a background in comics, have looked at the many parallels between the lives of their favorite authors and tried to convince each other that their respective side is superior. Sometimes, they bring in experts to aid their side of the fight. Jane Austen & Co. presenter Devoney Looser, for example, has appeared on their show. This is not only a weekly hour-long podcast. The podcast is made in conjunction with a series of illustrations and essays that expand upon the episodes. Some of these were compiled into a book, Why She Wrote. You can find them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Kristin and Maggie are two friends who share a love for Jane Austen and a hatred for the patriarchal "prejudice" against her work. This hour-long podcast feels like two friends letting you into a conversation about their favorite topic. The first episodes, published in 2015, discuss the novels and set up their future discussions of adaptations. Episode 11, a discussion of Lady Susan, is perfect for JASP prep! One thing that sets them apart from other Janeite podcasts is that they talk about the expanded world of Jane Austen-esque works such as Bridgerton, Bridget Jones Diary, and Sanditon, as well as other works of fiction with predominantly female fan bases such as Wuthering Heights and Little Women. You can also check them out on Twitter and Facebook.
Pod and Prejudice is a great podcast to listen to for first-time readers of Austen who want a guide through the books or for Austen fans wanting to revisit the material from a new perspective. In 2019, this podcast was created by Becca and Molly, best friends who read through the works of Jane Austen. Becca is a huge Jane Austen fan, and Molly has never read any Jane Austen before the podcast. Each season focuses on one book. So far, they have covered Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma. Each episode, published every other week, is a walkthrough of a few chapters and ends with study questions. It is a spoiler-free podcast. So, people new to Austen can predict what will happen right along with Molly! For Austenites, it is fun to hear what Molly predicts, including which actors play the characters in the adaptations. After they finish reading the books, Becca and Molly watch adaptations of the novels and discuss how well they captured the book. You can check out their website, Instagram, and Twitter!
As Austenites, we would love to pick the brains of those who are involved in the adaptations of our favorite novels. With the Lookback Diaries, we get to do just that. 10 years after the creation of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, the podcast, created in 2022, is hosted by Ashley Clements, Lizzie Bennet herself. The episodes are around 20 minutes long and are published twice a week, like the original series. Each episode focuses on discussing one episode of the show, usually with the guests. Some of the guests are very familiar faces, such as the original cast or Hank Green, the co-creator. Others are the people who worked behind the scenes to create this beloved adaptation. It is a great look back on a series that inspired many young readers to get into reading Jane Austen. In keeping with the original, the podcast is completely on YouTube.
If you are looking to expand your knowledge of the world Jane Austen lived in, The Thing About Austen is perfect for you. The podcast was created in 2021 by Zan and Diane, two friends who met in a Jane Austen course in graduate school. Each 20-minute episode takes a small part of one of the novels, such as Darcy’s portrait or Frank’s haircut, and does a deep dive into its historical context. This gives the listener a greater understanding of the subtext of the novels that would have already been understood by the contemporaneous readers of Austen’s time. For example, in episode 28, where they discuss Blaize/Blaise Castle, for 21st-century readers, we would assume that Blaize Castle is the oldest castle in England, as John Thorpe says. However, a Regency reader would know he was completely lying because the structure was built in 1766 and was a folly. I highly recommend following them on Instagram and Twitter for their amazing graphics created by Zan.
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