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The Darcy Connection: A Film, An Accidental Superfan, and the Jane Austen Summer Program


Hello again, Janeites!

We're back a few days early with a fun Mr. Darcy connection to share. If you read our previous post on Paging Mr. Darcy, the first in Hallmark's Loveuary and Jane Austen series, you may recognize the name Reina Hardy. Hardy, screenwriter for the film, spoke with JASNA about her writing process and Austen experiences earlier this year.

Eloise and Sam (Mr. Darcy) of Paging Mr. Darcy.

In the interview, Hardy says, “...I happened to read a memoir by a young man who, at the behest of his mother, dressed up as Mr. Darcy for a Jane Austen conference… when I had the opportunity to pitch… one of the ten or so ideas I submitted was about an academic getting involved with a man who was taking on this costumed Mr. Darcy role.” 

Here comes the connection. This quote directly refers to Camp Austen: My Life As An Accidental Jane Austen Superfan, a brilliantly clever memoir written by Ted Scheinman, who actually played Mr. Darcy at the very first Jane Austen Summer Program! (JASP sat down with Ted in 2018, concurrent to the release of his book. Read more here.)

In Camp Austen, Ted recounts his upbringing as the son of an Austen scholar, Deborah Knuth-Klenck, as well as his time with JASP. Per his mother's request, Ted donned period attire, (we're talking tailcoat and tights), and portrayed Austen's most famous hero for the early Jane Austen Summer Program festivities.

Ted Scheinman at JASP in 2014.

According to Macmillan Publishers, Camp Austen is "A raucous tour through the world of Mr. Darcy imitations, tailored gowns, and tipsy ballroom dancing." If that sounds like your cup of tea, consider giving Ted's book a read. And if the premise of a film on the subject strikes your fancy, make your way to the Hallmark Channel. Paging Mr. Darcy is the perfect movie for you.


Don't miss the next Jane Austen inspired film, Love & Jane, premiering tonight (Saturday, February 10th) at 8/7c.

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