reads from Camp Austen: My Life as an Accidental Jane Austen Superfan, a raucous tour through the world of Mr. Darcy imitations, tailored gowns, and tipsy ballroom dancing.
"A treat for any Jane Austen fan . . . a fascinating window into a man's experience in a largely female world. Scheinman is a wonderful guide to the world of Austen, and this honest and thoughtful discussion of the role Austen's works have played in his family will delight any Janeite." --Booklist
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The son of a devoted Jane Austen scholar, Ted Scheinman spent his childhood eating Yorkshire pudding, singing in an Anglican choir, and watching Laurence Olivier as Mr. Darcy. Determined to leave his mother's world behind, he nonetheless found himself in grad school organizing the first ever UNC-Chapel Hill Jane Austen Summer Camp, a weekend-long event that sits somewhere between an academic conference and superfan extravaganza.
While the long tradition of Austen devotees includes the likes of Henry James and E. M. Forster, it is at the conferences and reenactments where Janeism truly lives. In Camp Austen, Scheinman tells the story of his indoctrination into this enthusiastic world and his struggle to shake his mother's influence while navigating hasty theatrical adaptations, undaunted scholars in cravats, and unseemly petticoat fittings.
In a haze of morning crumpets and restrictive tights, Scheinman delivers a hilarious and poignant survey of one of the most enduring and passionate literary coteries in history. Combining clandestine journalism with frank memoir, academic savvy with insider knowledge, Camp Austen is perhaps the most comprehensive study of Austen that can also be read in a single sitting. Brimming with stockings, culinary etiquette, and scandalous dance partners, this is summer camp as you've never seen it before.
Ted Scheinman is a writer and scholar based in Southern California, where he works as a senior editor at Pacific Standard magazine. He has taught courses on journalism, satire, and poetry at the University of North Carolina and has written for The New York Times, the Oxford American, Playboy, Slate, and many other publications.