About the Austen Connection

Welcome to the Austen Connection! We’re so glad you’re here.

Our goal with the Austen Connection is to lift up and expand the range of voices contributing to conversations about Jane Austen as we explore how her stories connect to us today and connect us to each other.

If you’re new here, you can join us by subscribing, and all the conversations will drop into your Inbox. You can also find us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and you can follow the Austen Connection podcast on Spotify, Apple, and most any place you get your podcasts.

We approach this project in the spirit of journalism - diving into things we don’t know much about in the spirit of exploration, curiosity, and illumination. Our host and convener “Plain Jane” is a public-radio journalist and journalism professor with a couple of degrees in Literature - and has written about arts for NPR, the BBC, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Los Angeles Times.

We believe in the power of talking and listening to each other. And we believe there are important - and really fun - things to talk about when it comes to the stories Jane Austen tells us: Stories about the human experience; stories about faithful sisters, terrible parents, bad boyfriends, and domineering aunts; stories about oppression, marginalization, endurance, and desire; stories about integrity and character. Stories about love. 

With her stories, Jane Austen is talking to us. Let’s talk back. 

How to do this

Simply sign up, and you’ll get regular letters from us - two per month more or less - providing conversation, hopefully some insights, and opportunities for more community and conversation. For free. 

And if you want to support this independent project, there are opportunities to do that too. Paid subscribers are the ones who keep this work going, and have access to all content at all times. We’re committed to making all of our content free, but our posts are archived and go behind a paywall after two weeks.

Teachers, professors, librarians, and readers: The Austen Connection archives and discussions can provide engaging content for students of Austen and literature. If you would like access to archived posts and do not have institutional support or a budget for a paid subscription, please just send a note from your school email address to austenconnection@gmail.com, and we’ll provide access to what you need.

Keep a lookout for the Austen Connection podcast episodes as they roll out - and all episodes and seasons are available for streaming right here, and on Apple and Spotify.

Also keep a look out for special series and themes like Austen and Democracy, Austen and Shakespeare, Horror Shows, Heroines and a Hot Girl Summer, and upcoming plans like Girls with Grit about the hardships, endurance, and ambitions of our most iconic writers, Love Stories, and Austen Undressed about the Regency, desire, and how the Marriage Plot is interpreted in contemporary boundary-busting fanfiction and retellings.

All of this is best consumed while curled up on a sofa - maybe, like me, with a cup of tea.

Thank you for being here - let’s explore the unexplored and the unexpected in Austen and her world.

The Charlotte Lucas Loyalty Club - Become a member

This is a completely independent project, produced by a hard-working journalist-and-friends, off the clock. And it’s free. If you’d like to support the writing and conversations we’re creating, you can sign up for a $5 per month subscription. You can also make a one-off payment of $50 that subscribes you for a year. 

Either paid option makes you a member of the Charlotte Lucas Loyalty Club - and you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of supporting independent writing and dialogue around the topic of Jane Austen’s world. 

Thank you for being here - let’s do this!


Talk to us! Get in touch at AustenConnection@gmail.com, on Twitter at @AustenConnect, and on Instagram and Facebook at @austenconnection.

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

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How Jane Austen's stories connect to us today, and connect us to each other.


I’m a public-radio producer and journalism professor who's assigned myself the Jane Austen beat. At the Austen Connection, we're talking about how the stories of Jane Austen connect to us today and connect us to each other.