Bluestocking Salon

Betsy Austin and Hannah Lewis: Female Entrepreneurs in Jane Austen’s Transatlantic World

“Rachel Pringle Of Barbadoes” (1796) 
By Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827)
Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2015

In our recent article in Modern Philology, “Jane Austen’s Afterlife,” Devoney Looser and I discuss Jane Austen’s literary legacy and its connection through her naval brother with two Barbadian freewomen: Betsy Austin (d. 1848) and Hannah Lewis (c. 1792), two women who ran successful hotels in Bridgetown, Barbados. We describe…

The Eighteenth Century in Popular Culture

Elinor’s Song: Sense & Sensibility: A New Musical, Directed by Barbara Gaines


Location: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago, IL Event Date: April 18-June 14, 2015 (extended) If the 1990s famously initiated an Austen renaissance in popular culture thanks to the proliferation of successful cinematic adaptations of her works, then it appears that the current decade is attempting a similar phenomenon on stage. At…

Jo Malone London’s Modern Take on Eighteenth-Century Scent: A Review of Rock the Ages


Eighteenth-century London’s filthy landscape consisted of chamber pots emptied into public streets, dead animals lining doorways, and both human and non-human excrement filling gutters. Sophie Gee vividly describes the scene as “rubbish, ashes, dirt, and excrement washed regularly from the kennels into the Thames,” where the sewers acted as “crude…

A Personal Score: Jane Austen’s Place in Quiz Culture

Created via Canva

Jane Austen quizzes have invaded the internet. Countless websites and blogs now advertise Austen quizzes that can provide a score for the participants’ Austen knowledge (“So you think you know Jane Austen?”) or even match specific personality traits of participants to one of Austen’s famous heroines (“Which Jane Austen Heroine…

Review of Jane Austen’s World (

Wentworth, improved by Humphrey Repton (

In a recent quest to find out more about Jane Austen, I stumbled upon a wonderfully informative blog called Jane Austen’s World created by Vic Sanborn, a self-described lifetime member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. Sanborn’s site captivated my attention for hours through her informative posts about…

Public and Digital Pedagogy

To make maccarons of valentia Almonds: a guest post by Cooking in the Archives collaborators Marissa Nicosia and Alyssa Connell


ABOPublic is excited to welcome Marissa Nicosia and Alyssa Connell of Cooking in the Archives, who’ve prepared a special holiday joint post for our readers. You can also see the recipe here along with all of their other updated early modern recipes. Be sure to check out their site! What do ladies bake? Ladies bake macaroons,…

Orlando: An Indispensable, Born-Digital Resource

Ovis Interface in Action Step 3

The Orlando Project was born from The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present (1990) compiled by Virginia Blain, Patricia Clements and Isobel Grundy. That major reference book, covering writers in English from every national tradition, contains the fruits of a great deal of original research. But…