This reading group guide for Writing Jane Austen includes discussion questions and a Q&A with author Elizabeth Aston. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book. For Discussion
1. When Georgina takes the Jane Austen tour in Bath, she’s startled to learn one tourist’s opinion of the original books and the written word in general: “Never read it, and don’t want to,” said Dot. “Haven’t got time for that, and reading’s passé, no one reads these days, books and all that are finished” (page 77). Do you agree? What do you think of the disparity among the fans on the tour?
2. Early on, Georgina resists Austen’s style and subjects. “That’s why this fascination with Jane Austen is so damaging, people harking back to a time when people were seriously oppressed, and pretending it was some kind of golden age” (page 78). Do you identify with the subject matter of Jane Austen’s novels or do you find them alienating?
3. Were you surprised by Georgina’s first reaction to finishing the chapter of Jane Austen’s novel, Love and Friendship
? Why do you think Georgina so fervently resists this job at first, and later is so reluctant to read t