About the Austen Connection

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

Our goal with the Austen Connection is to convene a lively conversation around the stories of this iconic novelist, and to uncover the unexpected themes that are hiding in plain sight and have so much relevance to our complicated lives today.

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 at @AustenConnect on Twitter, and at @austenconnection on Insta and Facebook. And you can follow the Austen Connection podcast on Spotify and Apple.

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 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.

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 lives and experiences of women; stories about faithful sisters, bad parents, and domineering aunts; stories about the oppressions of class and society and how endurance, desire, imagination, and intelligence can break through the restrictions placed on us; 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 me about once a week or the equivalent 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. Our paid subscription allow you to support this work - but I’m committed to making all of our content free, it’s the public-media background coming through!

Keep a lookout for the next Austen Connection podcast season three - and seasons one and two are available for streaming right here, and on Apple and Spotify.

Also keep a look out for upcoming special series like Girls with Grit, about the hardships, endurance, and ambitions of our most iconic 19th century writers, 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, for as long as you wish or as long as this project runs. (Six months, a year, or longer - and subscriptions will partly determine how long we’re able to keep this going!) You can also make a one-off payment of $50 that subscribes you for the project run, or up to a year. 

Either paid option makes you an Austen Connection Member and honorary 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.

If you know someone who might find joy and inspiration in this community, feel free to share it!

Share The Austen Connection


Plain Jane
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.