So what's your favorite Jane Austen?
People take Jane Austen personally: she's all about us. Readers and moviegoers line up behind their heroine of choice with the fierce ambition to be special that little girls bring to telling you their favorite color ("I used to like pink, but magenta..."). As I show in my new book, "Why Jane Austen?," most fans identify with brilliant Elizabeth, over-confident Emma, or exquisitely sensitive Anne--and simultaneously with the novelist herself.
The heroine of "Northanger Abbey" is not so popular, maybe because the title is hard to pronounce, maybe because the novel wasn't re-made for television until 2007, but probably because Catherine Morland doesn't have much in the way of an identity. The narrator writes that no one would take her for a heroine--and then throws a hero in her path and makes her one.
To look beyond the big three Austen novels most often read and adapted is to find unexpected pleasures. So you think you know Jane Austen? Here are some works you may not have discovered yet...