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Jane's Juvenilia Jams

Austen's Teenage Writings/Juvenilia have an exuberant energy, playing fast and loose with generic and social expectations. The playlist below is designed to celebrate that energy and get you in the mood for discussing these works at JASP 2023. Special thanks to our guest D.J., Jennifer Hill.

And a timely reminder: Jane Austen Books will not be present with us in person for JASP, BUT they have a specially-curated collection of JASP 2023 titles available for online order (and on-campus delivery!)


First let's just focus on the vibe of these works as a whole:

  • "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper: Jane Austen wrote these works for fun, so don't take them (or these songs) too seriously.

"Only Happy When It Rains" by Garbage: Have you noticed how much misery and death is dealt out in these works? But it's all in good fun. The young Austen ruthlessly tosses her heroes from carriages, sends young women to India looking for husbands, deals out death by broken heart with aplomb, and then invites us to laugh at the folly.

  • "Material Girl" by Madonna: A number of characters in the works are focused on making the best of living in a material world. Who wouldn't want their new chaise to be blue spotted with silver? Or fret about consuming leftovers. . .?

  • "Oops!. . .I did it Again" by Britney Spears: Austen’s younger characters often seem to lose their heads over people they meet. And Austen herself, with her canny sense of genre (and how to skewer it), is perhaps "lost in the game."

  • "The Boy is Mine" by Brandy & Monica: Young women having a conversation that remains civil despite the heated situation being discussed. Sounds like some of the letters. . . .

  • "Irreplaceable" by Beyonce: because many of the men in these stories are interchangeable. (Or the women just die, but I prefer Queen Bey's take.)

  • "Wannabe" by The Spice Girls: Some women in the stories know exactly what they want, and friendships are key.

  • "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes: before there was Snap or DMs, there was the mail.

  • "Dear Future Husband" by Meghan Trainor: How much trouble could be avoided if these women could just write the young men directly and speak their minds? (though that might not work so well for Mary Stanhope. . .)

  • "It Should Have Been Me" by Yvonne Fair: This could be a missing scene for any of the stories where men marry the other woman (or Caroline Bingley's inner monologue in P&P).

Here are some songs related to specific works:

  • "Trouble" by P!nk: Imagine "The Beautiful Cassandra" singing this as she took her walk around town. The Pastry Chef would surely agree!

  • "Fake Friends" by Sadie: For Charlotte Lutterell in "Lesley Castle" and all the other women with the misfortune to correspond with fake friends.

  • "Tasty Fish" by The Other Two: No, not for Charlotte Luttrell as she polishes off the leftovers. "Love and Friendship" moments seen through the lens of '90's electronica.

  • "Kind & Generous" by Natalie Merchant: dedicated by Mr. Gower and the Webbs of "Evelyn" - to each other.

  • "Breakfast" by Dove Cameron: this is Lady Susan's theme song. Reginald never stood a chance. . .

  • "Sweet But Psycho" by Ava Max: Lady Susan as seen by others.

  • "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson: sentiments shared by almost everyone in Lady Susan's life, but perhaps Frederica most of all.

  • "Brave" by Sara Barelles: what we want for Frederica, Lady Susan's daughter and the other young women in these fast and fun works.

Bonus Blog track: "Spicy" by aespa: Another Lady Susan-esque bop, the video has a campus vibe to get you ready for the weekend at UNC-Chapel Hill. (fun fact: large portions of the video were filmed on the University of Redlands campus, including in the very hall of your humble editor).


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