Jane Austen (1775-1817) is one of the the greatest novelists to have written in English. Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Persuasion, to name four of her novels, are still widely read and have been adapted into movies and television series.

Jane Austen began writing as a child, and now, finally, some of these childhood writings have been adapted into movies. Whit Stillman’s new movie Love and Friendship borrows its title from the work of the same name, written when Jane Austen was eleven, but is actually based on Lady Susan, which Austen wrote when she was nineteen.

Writing activity: Both works are written in the form of correspondence. Today, with the resurgence in correspondence through texting and email, the epistolary story is a format that once again makes sense for young writers. Why not consult our pages on juvenilia for links to some of the great authors’ juvenilia, watch some clips of this movie, and inspire your young writers to produce some creative work in the form of contemporary letters–texts and emails?

The full movie can be rented from Amazon.com and from Curzon Cinemas.

About the Author

In 1973, I was twenty years old, teaching children's art classes at my college, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and came up with the idea that the best way to encourage children to write was to introduce them to the best writing by their peers. Stone Soup grew out of that idea, and I have continued to publish Stone Soup for all these years.
I am also a culinary historian. I write about traditional foodways. My book, "The Magic of Fire," is about hearth cooking. My book, "Bread, a global history," speaks for itself. I am currently writing a bread history for a University Press. I publish articles on gardening and traditional foodways at Mother Earth News. I also publish on wild mushrooms and other food-related subjects.

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