Welcome to my podcast, ‘What would Jane do?’. This podcast is for all those who want to spend a little time in the world of Jane Austen, or are maybe studying her at school or college and just need a fresh take on her work and her life. My aim is to bring her times alive for us now. And have fun!

But why listen to me? I do have a doctorate in her period and have written about her in my fiction, but the main reason is that I love her books and hope you’ll find new ways of loving them too if you follow me on this journey.

You can find out where I’ve gone by checking out the first season.


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Julia Golding turns to Jane Austen for help with understanding how to handle social media. She first takes a look at the world of eighteenth century society, the networking via letters, and the public disasters that can fall in such a gossipy world. What can we learn today about keeping a balance between our private and public selves and who is handling it in our times with a discretion Jane Austen would’ve appreciated? Stay tuned to the end of the episode to find out! 

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Are you a GoT fan and/or a Jane Austen one? Can you describe GoT and Jane Austen in 3 little words? Take the challenge and find out what would Jane Austen have made of the cult TV hit. Going back in time for an early nineteenth century perspective, Julia Golding takes a tour of the gothic in fiction and fact, touching on the scandalous hit of the 1790s, The Monk, and the gothic-lite of Ann Radcliffe. Next stop is Lord Byron and his GoT-worthy life. And what would a mash-up of Austen and Thrones have been like?

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Questions about gender identity may seem to be characteristic of our time, but others have gone before us in challenging societal roles. From Harriet Freke in Maria Edgeworth’s Belinda (1801) to the real life Chevalier d’Eon, men and women have been pushing the boundaries of what it means to be male and female. Where does Jane Austen come in this debate? How would she negotiate current questions about how we engage with our gendered social roles? We go from Lady Susan to Persuasion in our quest for some of the answers. 

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Marvel or DC universe? Iron Man or Batman? Wonder Woman or Black Panther? Our cinema culture has for over a decade been dominated by our love of super heroes. Julia Golding explores how each era makes the heroes suited for its own day. She goes back to the novelists writing before Jane Austen to look at the big rivalry: Richardson Universe v Fielding Universe. Following their negotiation about the nature of the hero, Austen picks this up when she explores what it means to be a heroine in her early novel, Northanger Abbey. So are there any super heroes to be found in Jane Austen? There is indeed – and you’ll be surprised by a guest appearance from General Zod (Man of Steel) if you stick around for the big battle at the end.

A very special episode recorded on location at the Jane Austen House Museum in Chawton. Listen to Julia Golding in conversation with the museum director, Mary Guyatt and find out how Jane’s last home became a museum open to the public. What was daily life like in this home for Jane, her mother and her sister Cassandra? Who made the breakfast and dealt with the tea? What objects in the house feature in her novels? What do visitors learn by coming here that they can’t get from books or adaptations? And just how big was her writing desk? Finally, what would Jane have thought if she came today to find that 40,000 international visitors walk around her house each year.

What surprising room might Mr Darcy and guests retire to after dinner? What exactly was Admiral Croft looking at in the shop window in Bath? Where did Jane and Cassandra get their ideas from for their youthful collaboration on The History of England? You can find out the answers to these questions and much more when you listen to Dr David Taylor, St Hugh’s College, Oxford, and expert on the political cartoon culture in Jane Austen’s era. He can also tell you about how Austen’s work has provided modern cartoonists with material for their satirical pictures.

Ever wanted to time travel back to the theatre in Jane Austen’s time? Find out in this podcast with world expert, Dr David Taylor of St Hugh’s College, Oxford, what Jane Austen would have seen when she entered a theatre in the 1790s. Who was there and what did it look like? What plays were on offer? Which writers inspired her? Were there special effects and what were they like? Turning from this, we go on to discuss the influence on her work, particularly looking at Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park. Finally we turn to the knotty question of which is the best dramatic adaptation of her novels in our age – and you may be surprised by David’s answer!

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