Jane Austen is an anomaly. No other author aside from Shakespeare has sustained such modern acclaim and interest. The evidence is abundant: Austen's success on the big screen includes classic versions, such as the 1996 Gwyneth Paltrow vehicle, Emma, as well as modern takes on Austen's stories, such as 1995's Clueless; a novel and film, The Jane Austen Book Club, gave a fictional take as to why Austen's work endures; and on January 13, Masterpiece Theatre will begin its winter telecast of The Complete Jane Austen, broadcasting adaptations of all six of the writer's novels.
So it makes sense that the Denver Public Library's Fresh City Life will offer a new four-part film and lecture series about this not-so-plain Jane: Jane Austen, Literature's Posthumous It Girl. The series starts Sunday, January 13, at 2 p.m. in the B2 conference center at the Denver Central Library, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway, with a free two-hour screening of Masterpiece Theatre's Persuasion. The plot is pure Austen, containing all the necessary elements: unmarried women approaching spinsterhood, manipulative relatives, social networking, misunderstandings, men who are not what they seem and, of course, love. For information, call 720-865-1206 or visit http://denverlibrary.org/programs/fresh/index.html.