Jane Austen | The Republic of Pemberley: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

...about the discussion boards and the laws we live by in this micronation -- with some of the answers, too!

Questions about being here

Those were the questions. Here are the answers.

Questions about being here

History and community life

Who operates this place? How did it get started?

The collection of boards and supporting sites are run by a volunteer committee headed by Myretta Robens and including Barbara, Carol, Carolyn, Cheryl, Golda, Kathleen (elder), Laraine, Laurel, Linda, Lynn and Nan. You can reach the committee by e-mailing manager -at- pemberley.com (replace the -at- with the usual).

The original P&P2BB, a one-horse web bulletin board (message board) for those addicted to the adaptation, started by Amy, spun off in July 1996 from AUSTEN-L, an email discussion list. In Nov. of 1996, Amy formed an informal partnership with Myretta and they, along with the volunteer committee, have seen the community through many changes to become The Republic of Pemberley as it is today. The community was nomadic for a time, but settled in at a fine ISP in Boston in March 1997, when we registered our own domain name. Amy and Myretta managed the site together until 2000. Amy has has moved on to pursue other interests. Myretta now oversees the day-to-day operations of the site and the committee.

Every once in a while we update the look of our site. We have made albums of our previous designs. You can find them here: 1997-2003 2003-2011

Jane Austen Republic of Pemberley timeline
What kinds of people post here?

All kinds. Though some people, who take pleasure from generalizing, say we all speak French, play the piano and own a cat. Read our bios on our Pemberleans Board.

Why is this place so clubby? It seems so civil, and, in some ways, welcoming, but...

We do tend to be a little cliquey, don't we? This site is volunteer-run. We made it for our own pleasure and have created a world that we like, knowing that it won't be to everybody's taste.

The site's narrow appeal is intentional. We exude a bit of an attitude, which could be characterized as polite with a bite. We miraculously manage, even within this odd framework, to remain one of the most civil places on the Internet, a distinction we prize, but one which is cultivated through an emulation of Jane Austen's own honest, moral and forthright ways, as opposed to sprinkling artificial sweeteners on our words.

Keep in mind, as a new community member, that many people come and go. We regulars will not know, during the first few weeks you post, whether you will be a tourist, or somebody who turns out to be a lifelong friend -- and lifelong friendships have been formed here since community got its start in 1996. It takes a while to get a handle on a personality using this method of communication, but yours will emerge gradually. Give it time -- you shouldn't expect to become instant pals with everyone here any more than you would expect it in the real world. Neither should you expect that you should instantly have a say in the way things are done around the site. If that sounds like an initiation, it is, in a way -- but no more so than the culturally accepted norm of waiting until you have been on a new job for a while before you begin to say how the workplace should be changed.

Of course we hope you like it here, because we made this place in our own image, but if you don't like what you see, keep shopping. There's a place on the net for every taste.

Getting Started

Do I have to introduce myself before I post?

Yes. Because our board software does not support online registration, the only way we can keep track of our posters is if they introduce themselves on our Newcomers' board. It may be old fashioned, but it works for us (and we tend to be a little old-fashioned anyway). When you do introduce yourself, check our List of Names in Use and then use a unique version of your real name. Please do not use honorifics, just initials, or aliases. Using our real names fosters our sense of community and is one of the things that differentiates us from many other online communities.

Why does it matter which board I post on?

As a newcomer, you might be confused and even a bit hurt if you are asked to move a post from one place or another on the site. Please don't take the request as being criticism. We understand how certain boards get to feel like home, making it hard to venture elsewhere. We also understand that it's "just easier" to post in the thread that you are already in. However, we like to keep the discussion on each board focussed and on topic. Like the Regency culture we so admire, we value order. You may notice that we seem variably picky--sometimes you may be asked to move a post that was like one for which no move was requested--but again, we ask that you don't take it personally. We're only human.

What is your posting etiquette?

In a true Austenian style, we adhere to posting etiquette.

  • Before bursting upon the scene and posting, spend some time getting to know us and what we talk about.

  • If you like to be rude (or love a brawl), you will not like our company. If you don't like our ways, don't come here. We do tease and needle each other in a Lizzyesque fashion, but endeavor not to be so mean as Emma was on Box Hill, and strive never to let our differences get personal.

  • If, as you have done your "getting-to-know-us" lurking, and after reading the list of names currently in use, you discover that a regular poster shares your name, please affix a number to your first name, use a middle name, incorporate your geography as an identifier, something like that -- but stick to it! Only one name per customer.

  • Use your own name. We find it helps to keep things friendly, civil and accountable when people can't hide behind aliases. Just be yourself -- we have never found it to be a problem here. There are a few exceptions made for charter or nearly-charter posters. Also, aliases are expected on the Lady C board, where you may be certain that the venerable old bat will keep matters of civility well in hand.

  • It's polite to read all or at least the latest posts in a thread before posting to it. If you end up repeating the same view another participant voiced earlier, it tends to make that other participant think, "Didn't anybody listen to me?"

  • Please do not quote excessively from messages to which you are responding. Readers can easily click on the post and reread it, if they are so inclined, and our server does not need to serve up the same information twice.

  • Don't correct people's grammar or spelling, please. The threat of being corrected may impede discourse, and we want people to feel comfortable here.

  • Typing in all capital letters means that you are shouting. So, unless you mean to shout, don't.

  • Don't post links to your own commercial ventures, or collect our e-mail addresses for unsolicited mailings.

  • Please do not post pictures from other websites within your messages without asking permission of the owner. Pictures use up quite a lot of bandwidth for which the person hosting the picture usually has to pay. When you post it within a message, it is loaded every time someone reads your message at a cost to the person who put it on the web. If you particularly want us to see a picture, it would be better to post a link so that it is not forced to load when the message is opened. Either way, however, the polite thing to do is ask first. Conversely, please do not post a picture hosted at Pemberley at another site.

  • We do not discuss religion, politics, or sports (this includes hunting) -- even on the Ramble board. So many other things to talk about, and lots of other places to talk of those things.

  • We do not discuss the personal lives of actors, authors or other celebrities. You may say what you like about their work, but let's let them have whatever privacy they can get. Please don't make rude personal remarks about them, either.

  • Some of our aging eyes have a rough time with all lowercase messages. There's no rush here, as in a chat room, so if you're inclined to make your messages a little easier to read, by starting off sentences with capital letters, the grannies would really appreciate it.

  • Several of the boards have guidelines that go a little beyond those enumerated here. So, please check the Ramble Guidelines, Milestones Guidelines, Life and Times Guidelines and Lady Catherine & Co. Guidelines before posting at those boards. You will be able to find these guidelines linked from the top of the their respective boards.

May I post whatever I want on the boards?

The Republic of Pemberley is a private website, not a public one. Because many people have access to the site, we must have some rules about what is written and posted. We reserve the right, at our absolute discretion, to remove any post, block anyone from posting at our site. If we must take such action, we will do it because we regard the post or the actions of the person who is posting or chatting to be incompatible with the tone of our site. If we do remove a post or block someone from the site, we may choose to tell the poster why (if we have an email address). While we often enter into quite detailed discussions about the actions we choose to take, we do reserve the right not to provide any reasons or to discuss them.

For more explicit rules for this site, please visit our Terms of Use and Privacy statements.

Is this site safe for children? Should I worry about what I say here?

Pemberley is safe for children, and we like to keep it that way. We have registered the site with the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA), and have an almost perfectly safe rating. The only things that keep us from absolute purity follow:

  • We had to admit to showing revealing clothing. What else could you honestly call Regency dresses such as those worn in the adaptations?
  • We admitted to allowing slang, but the RSACi deems this lapse a lesser blemish than "mild expletives."

It might surprise you to learn that we have kids as young as nine years old who frequent Pemberley. To be sure, they are precocious if they're reading Austen and liking it enough to want to discuss the fine points with us -- but they're still nine! So, keep those little faces in mind when posting out in to the faceless void. We appreciate your help.

What is a group read and how can I join one?

A group read is not as elaborate as it might sound. It is merely what we call it when we determine on reading and discussing a book. Pemberley group reads take place on the Group Read board, which is only open for the duration of the particular group read. More information on group reads, including upcoming schedules and links to past group reads, can be found at the Group Read page which is always linked at the top of the Library board.

Can you give me a quick summary of the novels for a class paper?

The short answer is "no."

We do not help with homework of any sort. We love Jane Austen and want others to discover her for themselves. For a more complete explanation,see our homework policy. If you would like to read Jane Austen's novels (which we encourage you to do), you can find searchable electronic texts of all her novels right here at Pemberley.

May I use your content in the class I'm teaching?

To reuse the content of the Republic of Pemberley for any reason, including classes, websites, and books and articles, please visit our Terms of Use page and check the paragraph about Copyrights and Trademarks.

How can I help support the site?

It does cost money to run this place -- over $1000 each month for our Internet service provider bill. No one profits from Pemberley. We operate mostly on contributions.

For detailed information about how to help support us, check our
Support page. But here are the basics.

Checks should be made payable to The Republic of Pemberley and addressed to:

The Republic of Pemberley
P.O. Box 560223
Medford, MA 02156
Direct contributions can be made through PayPal.

Help us by Shopping at the Pemberley Shoppe.

Another way to help is by shopping at Pemberley Affiliates.

A complete list of ways to support us can be found at our Support Page.

We take the occasional appropriate advertising. If you know anyone who might like to advertise, please direct them to manager -at- pemberley.com

Can you recommend other Internet sites relating to Jane Austen?

Here are some we find interesting and useful:
General Jane Austen Sites

Jane Austen Society (UK)
Jane Austen Society of North America
Jane Austen Society of Australia
Jane Austen Society of Buenos Aires
Jane Austen Society of Brazil
Jane Austen Society of the Netherlands
Jane Austen's House Museum
Chawton House Library
Jane Austen Center in Bath
Jane Austen's Hampshire
North Waltham, Steventon,
Ashe & Deane History Society

AUSTEN-L Archives
Janeites Discussion List
Ellen Moody's calendars for
Jane Austen's works

Jane Austen's Family

Jane Austen Blogs

Jane Austen's World
Jane Austen Today
Jane Austen in Vermont
Austenesque Reviews
Chawton House Library Blog
JASA Canberra Blog
The Jane Austen's House Museum Blog

Related Sites
The DiCamillo Companion to
British & Irish Country Houses

British Titles of Nobility
Regency Costume Companion

Jane Austen in Other Languages

Austen All-in-One - Finnish
JA Castellano - Spanish
Jane Austen Freunde - German
Strona Kazika - Jane Austen na ekranie - Polish
Jane Austen in Italy
Jane Austen Italian Translations
JaneAusten.nl - Dutch
Jane Austen em PortuguÍs - Portuguese

Jane Austen - Republic of Pemberley -

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