Bonnets off, dukes up: Jane v. Jane

In this corner, Team Austen. Also known as Janeites, Jane-iacs, and Janesters; with six novels to her name, two of them published posthumously.

In that corner, Team Bronte. Also known as Charlottans, Eyre-heads, and Brontophiles; three writers with a total of seven novels, only one posthumous.

These two perennial and classic book group faves are about to square off and we get to reap the benefits from the box seats in the drawing room and the cheap seats on the moors.

Because, really, how do libraries and book groups lose here? The release of the latest cinematic version of Jane Eyre will beg comparisons to the book and then to all those previous filmed versions of JE and then to all the Pride & Prejudice movies. Where Colin Firth will win. Again. (Hands down.)

For my latest book group event, I’m going to assign Jane Austen and the Bronte Sisters. We’ll discuss whose heroines are more admirable: the witty and chatty Austengals or the headstrong and passionate Brontebabes. Then we’ll move onto the heroes: the upright yet emotionally-tethered Austen guys or the volatile, ardent Bronte boys. Otherwise known as “guy you take home to mother” vs. “guy in black leather with motorcycle and baditude.”

And there’s always fun with mash-ups: Pride & Prejudice & Zombies vs. Jane Slayre: Vampire Hunter.janeslayrefinalpride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-cover

And dueling blogs: BronteBlog and AustenBlog.

Even the Washington Post is weighing in.

Such a delightful time we’ll have! Why, more fun than a box picnic or tramping about the moors!

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About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

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