Skip to main content

Radio Four Juvenile Jane

Blogger is being naughty this morning and won't let me post any pictures or hidden links!
I wanted to draw your attention to this wonderful programme about Jane Austen's early writing which can be listened to on BBC iplayer.
From the BBC with the link: Juvenile Jane -

Listen now (30 minutes)
6 days left to listen
Last broadcast yesterday, 11:30 on BBC Radio 4.
Jane Austen's surprisingly neglected but delightfully precocious and revealing early works celebrated by Austen expert Janet Todd with the help of the writer and illustrator Posy Simmonds and the actor Anna Maxwell Martin.

Considering how frequently Jane Austen's six great novels are adapted for film, radio and television, it is perhaps surprising that the three small exercise books containing twenty two little stories and plays written during her teen years have not received more notice. Some of these stories - with titles such as "The Adventures of Mr Harley", "The Generous Curate" and "The Beautiful Cassandra" - are only a few lines long but others run to many pages and provide both entertainment and surprising insights into the development of the mature writer.

Austen expert Janet Todd leafs through two of the precious volumes which are held at the British Library in London and discusses their wonderfully uninhibited style and content with the writer and illustrator Posy Simmonds who has long been a fan of Austen and fascinated by juvenilia in general. It is well documented that, during her lifetime, the adult Jane Austen used to read from these books to her close family. For this programme, the actor Anna Maxwell Martin reads extensive extracts from three stories - "Frederick and Elfrida", "Henry and Eliza" and "love and Freindship" (sic) to reanimate them for a contemporary radio audience.

Producer Beaty Rubens.


Alexa Adams said…
I hate it when blogger rebels! I have heard so many speak of this program recently and have been meaning to go take a listen. Thanks for including the time frame for availability - I best get on it now!
Jane Odiwe said…
It's a fascinating programme, Alexa!