In the maze of Austen’s ever-expanding textuality – with its prequels, sequels, rewritings and adaptations – it may be worth paying attention to an unpretentious little book by Shannon Hale titled Austenland (2007). The story is about the adventures of a New Yorker thirty-something with a name that says it all: Jane. Being obsessed with Mr Darcy as played by Colin Firth, she decides to be healed by her excessive Austenian fantasies (or rather to indulge in them for the last time) by spending all her savings on a English Regency Theme park that promises to offer Janeites a real full immersive Austen experience. What interests me in this post-Austenian story is the embedded discourse of leisure and tourism in the age of participatory culture, when an everywoman like Jane brings to the fore the need to be more involved in re-creative activities that are triggered by reading Austen’s novels.
Pennacchia, M. (2017). Recreating Jane: "Austenland" and the Regency Theme Park. PAROLE RUBATE, Speciale Jane Austen Austen Re-making and Re-made. Quotation, Intertextuality and Rewriting(16), 143-154.