It’s almost time for Austen in August!

Twice is a trend; three times is a tradition.

And for the third year in a row, we’re celebrating Austen in August in the Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club.

It started three years ago when a slew of Austen-inspired retellings earned their place in the Summer Reading Guide. Surprisingly—for a blog and book club that draw their names from an Austen character—we realized we’d never read Austen together.

We started with Pride & Prejudice.

Last year, we continued the tradition, reading Emma along with Natalie Jenner’s The Jane Austen Society, and hosting an All About Emma class.

This year, we’re turning to one of Austen’s lesser-read titles, Northanger Abbey. We’re pairing this with The Whispering House, a modern gothic featuring a strong sense of place, a slow-building character study, and a setting that’s a character in its own right.

We’re talking with author Elizabeth Brooks and Austen scholar Devoney Looser during the month, as well as hosting a Northanger Abbey watch party where we’ll view the 2007 film starring Felicity Jones and Carey Mulligan.

If you’ve ever needed a nudge to read Jane, come read along with us in the Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club! Our members have access to the full library of past author talks and classes so even if you can’t join us live, you can watch any time at your convenience.

30 Jane Austen-inspired books for Janeites of all ages

Join us for Austen in August

We have a wide variety of events for readers to enjoy, whether you’ve been an Austen fan your whole life or you’re picking up her work for the first time. Join us for book talk, author interviews, and delightfully nerdy deep dives.

Our schedule looks like this:

August Book Club selection: The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks

Classics Club read-a-long: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

August 17 at 7 pm ET A conversation with Austen scholar Devoney Looser aka Stone Cold Jane Austen

August 21 at 3 pm ET  Northanger Abbey (2007) watch party

August 24 at 7 pm ET  Author chat with Elizabeth Brooks

Get in on the action by joining the MMD Book Club, where we’re learning to read better, together. Click here to get started. We’d love to read along with you this season.

Happy reading!

P.S. We just announced our fall schedule to our Book Clubbers, and will share more info on the blog soon!


Leave A Comment
  1. Sandy says:

    There’s a minor industry of novels involving Jane Austen; I recently read Stephanie Barron’s “Jane and the Waterloo Map” and have in my library stack Gill Hornby’s “Miss Austen.”

  2. Katie says:

    Northanger Abbey is actually one of my favorite Austen novels! I think it is highly underrated. It’s been several years since I’ve reread Austen – it was Northanger Abbey actually. I’ve been wanting to pick her up again – probably Persuasion this time. My son’s name is Fitzwilliam (yes, that Fitzwilliam) so you might say I kinda like Jane Austen lol.

        • Doreen says:

          Love your son’s name! Years ago I saw an interview with Colin Firth, in which he was asked whether he’d considered any careers other than acting. He replied that even if he’d become an astronaut, the headline would have read “Mr Darcy Walks on the Moon”.

  3. Joanne says:

    So excited to read Northanger Abbey because I read it several years ago and do not remember much about it. I purchased the annotated version to assist in the immersion…lol

  4. Jennifer says:

    Sounds like a perfect motivation to read Northanger Abby, thanks for picking that one. May not have grabbed on my own even though I wanted to read. Currently reading and enjoying “In the garden with Jane Austen”, it is a great read on the gardens she visited and experienced in life that influenced those she wrote about in her novels. Perfect for someone who loves English gardening and all things Jane.

  5. Suzy says:

    I have been reading variations of Jane Austen all year and it’s been great! Seem to never get enough, although I wish that some were re-tellings of Emma or Sense and Sensibility or Northanger Abbey. N.A. is one of my favorites, it’s hysterically funny! I wish all those reading it for the first time, the very BEST reading!!

  6. Yvette says:

    Northanger Abbey isn’t my favourite Austen but I always appreciate seeing other perspectives. And I have wanted to read The Whispering House since you recommended it.

  7. Francine Sposato says:

    What a coincidence, I just started Northanger Abbey last week. It’s definitely underappreciated (in my opinion).

  8. Shannon says:

    Suzy, there are retelling of sense and sensibility (author escapes me) and Emma (Alexander McCall smith) try Amazon or Google 🙂

  9. Lee Ann says:

    Northanger Abbey is wonderful, and my trivia name is Stone Cold Jane Austen, so how can I resist? I wonder if I inadvertently lifted it from Ms. Looser.

  10. Marie Reinhart says:

    I am a huge Jane Austen fan. I have read Northanger Abbey a few years back, and if my memory serves me well, I found it to be a bit funny in places. Especially the walking in the wooded area.

  11. Ann says:

    Thanks so much for The Whispering House recommendation. I am in the middle now and really enjoying it!

    I was in a bit of a reading rut. I read What Comes After and then ever book I picked up was just not taking off. Don’t you hate when that happens!

    The Whispering House is one of those that just goes from the start.

    I thought the pairing was clever, but I may not be an Austen kinda gal. I feel horrible saying it & am surprised really because I love all the film adaptations & of course Mr. Darcy, but it must be an acquired taste & may take some getting used to.

    Are any of the Austen books easier to read? What is best for beginners?

    I thought it was interesting that Northanger Abbey was published posthumously.

    Loving The Whispering House vibe. A breezy page turner for me. Just the right amount of creepy.

  12. Hello,
    A few years ago, I wrote a P&P spin off called First Impressions: a YA Twist on Pride and Prejudice, and you listed it on your Austenesque Novel Finds. Thanks for that! I recently published a new one, Emily: a YA Spin on Jane Austen’s Emma, and I’d love it if it could be on your list again. Thanks for that monthly list, too. I like checking it out.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.