Austen for fun?
That's what this web site is about.
* Don't pretend you want to be friends. We can tell. The people who run this site are an eerily exact cross between your mother and your English teacher.
Are you here because you choose to spend your free time reading Jane Austen -- or because you need something? It makes a difference to us.
The interactive parts of this web site are for recreational talk about Jane Austen. We really don't want to see your questions on our bulletin boards if you are here because you need to get information rather than having a desire to join a community of like minds*.
However, you are more than welcome to use the non-interactive reference parts of our site, which are linked below, along with links to other places on the net where you can get information, and where your questions may get a better reception.
- You may browse the Jane Austen Information Page here, which contains online texts and all kinds of background and explanatory material about Jane Austen's works.
- If you are researching the Regency period, there are some good starting points linked from our Jane Austen's Life & Times FAQ page.
Here are some sites whose purpose it is to help with class work:
- Columbia University Style Guide to citing sources, including how to cite online references like Pemberley.
- Style guides from UC-Santa Barbara's "Voice of the Shuttle" site
- Infoplease.com - This one has a lot of online almanacs.
- Schoolwork.org - 7 and up
- KidsClick! - Younger audience
GUIDELINES FOR ANSWERING STUDENT QUERIES
Tip-offs that a poster is not here just to play:
- Communicates an urgency, even desperation, for answers. Likely to say "I have to know."
- Unwillingness to offer own opinions.
- Asks to be answered in e-mail.
- Query sounds like an essay question.
Usually, it's best to let the board host or a Pemberley committee member be the first one to respond. That's your cue the question will be allowed to stay on the board. In answering, pretend you are the teacher -- a teacher who wants the student to learn from all the cognitive steps required in the production of a term paper. If you find yourself unable to don the role, or if you are not sure whether the answer you have in mind is telling too much, don't respond at all.
WHY WE DON'T HELP MORE
Students are often astonished (and even put out!) to learn that this friendly group who loves to talk should not be willing to open its arms to any and every seeker of Austen information, but that is not our charter; it's much narrower and more specific. This web site is run by volunteers obsessed with Austen for others who are similarly afflicted. Since we have limited time to give, and it costs us money every time a message is read, we choose to tightly define the content and appeal of the site for fellow obsessives. This narrowness of focus makes it all the more fun and special for true devotees, and we smile whenever we read of a newbie's delight in finding others who "understand." If we are less than welcoming to you, a student who has popped in because you are saddled with Austen, then please just understand that we didn't make this place for you.
A secondary reason for taking a hard line on homework help is that once a discussion site becomes known for allowing requests for help, it attracts more of the same inquiries. No offense to the Campfire Chat board -- some awfully good discussion goes on there, but it is a textbook example of how a recreational book forum can become choked with weeds before you know it.
If you are not just a weekend tourist in the Republic merely because you have a paper due, please check out the newcomer's page.
Have you been assigned a topic like one of these?
Summary of Pride and Prejudice, summary of Sense and Sensibility, summary of Emma, summary of Mansfield Park, summary of Persuasion, summary of Northanger Abbey. Tone in Pride and Prejudice, tone in Sense and Sensibility, tone in Emma, tone in Mansfield Park, tone in Persuasion, tone in Northanger Abbey. Characterization in Pride and Prejudice, characterization in Sense and Sensibility, characterization in Emma, characterization in Mansfield Park, characterization in Persuasion, characterization in Northanger Abbey. Irony in Pride and Prejudice, irony in Sense and Sensibility, irony in Emma, irony in Mansfield Park, irony in Persuasion, irony in Northanger Abbey. Themes in Pride and Prejudice, themes in Sense and Sensibility, themes in Emma, themes in Mansfield Park, themes in Persuasion, themes in Northanger Abbey. Plot devices in Pride and Prejudice, plot devices in Sense and Sensibility, plot devices in Emma, plot devices in Mansfield Park, plot devices in Persuasion, plot devices in Northanger Abbey. Turning points in Pride and Prejudice, turning points in Sense and Sensibility, turning points in Emma, turning points in Mansfield Park, turning points in Persuasion, turning points in Northanger Abbey. Irony and humor in Jane Austen novels. Heros and heroines in Jane Austen novels. Relevance of Jane Austen novels in modern society. Class structure in the novels of Jane Austen. The clergy as depicted by Jane Austen. Voice in Jane Austen novels. Narrativ e in Jane Austen novels. Dialog in Jane Austen novels. Tone in Jane Austen novels. Themes in Jane Austen novels. Characters in Jane Austen novels. Point of view, contrasting family ideologies, and social rhetoric in early 19th century women writers. The influence of place in Jane Austen's language with special regard to romantic and stylistic barriers. Of course you realize these last bits are strings of nonsense. Folly and social satire in the novels of Jane Austen. The role of women in the novels of Jane Austen.