To mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s first novel, Sense and Sensibility, Amanda Vickery, broadcaster and author of Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England, returns to our TV screens with ‘The Many Lovers Of Miss Jane Austen’. In this new show on BBC2 Amanda Vickery, who presented the acclaimed TV series ‘At Home with The Georgians’, explores the ebb and flow of Austen’s popularity and the hold her fiction has on us now.
Fans of Georgian history books will know Amanda Vickery as the prize-winning author of The Gentleman’s Daughter and Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England. In recent years Vickery has also made a name for herself writing and presenting history documentaries for television and radio. Her enchanting three-part TV series ‘At Home with the Georgians’ aired on BBC2 in December 2010, and was a critical success. BBC Radio 4 listeners will also have heard Vickery on ‘A History of Private Life’ and ‘Voices from the Old Bailey’ which aired its second series in the summer.
“Simon Schama possibly excepted, television has never before seen so exuberant a history presenter: Vickery enthuses about her Georgians like soap-opera characters and treats the viewer as a confidante” – Sunday Times
This Christmas Vickery turns her attention to Jane Austen for her new 60-minute programme ‘The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen’ (airing on 23 December at 9pm), where she considers what it is about the great novelist’s plots and characters that continue to delight, amuse, console and provoke. Her fans insist Austen’s current popularity is due to the timelessness of the fictional world Austen created, but for Vickery the question is: Why have her novels gone in, and out, of fashion?
What interests Vickery is how different periods and generations have looked for their own reflection in the characters and plots of the novels. She wants to work out what that says about them, as well as about Austen. Interviewing a variety of literary scholars, film directors and costumed devotees who attend the Austen conventions, Vickery also views the Sotherby’s sale of an incredibly rare, handwritten manuscript of an unfinished Austen novel.
‘The Many Lovers of Miss Jane Austen’ is part of the ‘Books on the BBC’ season and promises to be fantastic Christmas viewing for those fascinated by Jane Austen and Georgian history in general.
In this blog article Amanada Vickery reveals how Criminal Court transcripts can provide a uniquely personal insight into the relationships and attitudes of the ‘unlettered and unsung’ inhabitants of Georgian society