Guest blog with Karin Quint, The Jane Austen Travel Guide

Hello Hello dear readers!

Today I am hosting Karin Quint, the author of “The Jane Austen Travel Guide” and she will tell how she fell in love with Austen and got the idea to write a travel guide to all the places where Jane lived, visited and we associate with her books and the many movie locations. Karin will also need your help dear readers, since her travel guide need to be translated to English from Dutch. I, for one think it is an awfully good idea!

I will go straight to my questions, Karin, so…

How did you fall in love with Jane Austen and her world?

When I was about 20 years old I bought a couple of secondhand books on a flea market for just a few quid. I was a student at the time and had just moved to a different student accommodation that had an enormous bookcase that needed to be filled. One of the books I bought was an Old Dutch translation from Pride and Prejudice. I started reading and couldn’t put it down. After I finished it, I immediately watched the BBC series, and then I was hooked.

Is the Jane Austen movement very active in Holland?

Yes it is! In 2009 I started the website and community JaneAusten.nl and around the same time the Dutch Jane Austen Society was founded. They organise offline events like workshops and talks, while I bring Jane Austen news and organise online events. The two initiatives have brought together lots of Dutch Jane Austen fans who up until then didn’t know of each others existence.

What made you write a travel guide to Jane Austen’s England?

I always like to visit places related to Jane Austen whenever I’m in England. I know many others do as well. But when you’ve visited the usual places like Bath and Chawton, where do you go next? As webmaster of JaneAusten.nl I frequently got asked for advice about making a Jane Austen tour. And I was a very surprised to find out there wasn’t a comprehensive Jane Austen travel guide. So I decided to write one myself. I pitched the idea at Gottmer Publishing Group, one of the leading travel guide publishers in The Netherlands, and they offered me a contract right away. The book was published in 2014, and the second edition came out last July.

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What is your favorite Austen related place to visit?

That’s a difficult question! Chawton is of course at the top of my list. It’s such a special place and you automatically feel very close to Jane Austen when you’re there. But I also like small villages like Adlestrop and Hamstell Ridware, where Jane visited family. Those places haven’t changed very much since her time, and you can really imagine her walking through the streets and going to church there.

How is the kick starter for the English version of the Travel Guide going?

It’s going very well! We have until December 7 to reach our funding goal of €14,000, and we are almost halfway there now. With this money we can have the book translated into English (it’s only available in Dutch now), print a limited edition and ship the books around the world to our backers.

Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. This means that if we do not reach our funding goal, we do not get the money (and no payment will be taken from the credit cards of our backers) and the book will not be published in English. I think that would be a real pity. So I am very grateful to the people who have backed so far, and I hope we can find a lot more backers!

How can people best help?

There are different ways to help:

* Back the project on Kickstarter (link: http://kck.st/2fuhfJJ) by ordering a copy of the book in advance. Or make a small donation (you can do that starting from €1). I’m grateful for every pledge, however great or small!

* Spread the word, by sharing the Kickstarter project on social media, email it to friends who might be interested and talk about it. We must try to reach as many Jane Austen lovers as we can before December 7th.

Is there a big audience for your Travel Guide?

I hope so. The book is still doing very well in The Netherlands and Belgium, and I know there are lots more Janeites in the rest of the world who would love to travel to the England and visit locations connected to Jane Austen’s life, work and film adaptations. Our biggest challenge is to reach them in a short period of time.

Which movie version of Pride and Prejudice do you prefer?

The BBC series from 1995 was the first adaptation I saw, and it will be no surprise to you that I have preferred that one ever since. I always watch the 2005 film when I need a quick Austen fix, but whenever I have more time, I like to watch the series.

Which Mr. Darcy is your favorite?

Colin Firth, without a doubt. Though I must say I very much enjoyed Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. It would be great to see him in a ‘normal’ adaptation!

Which variation is your favorite?

My absolute favorite is the trilogy ‘Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman’ by Pamela Aidan. She tells the story of Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s perspective and does that extremely well! Because it’s a trilogy she really takes the time to show the reader what life would be like for a gentleman of Mr Darcy’s stature. It’s interesting, funny and very romantic!pamela-aiden-books

Do you have a favorite variation author who you would recommend to other Austen lovers/readers?

She’s not a variation author, but an author I would absolutely recommend to any Austen fan is Georgette Heyer. She wrote about fifty novels and many of them are situated in the regency period. She had an amazing sense of humor and reading her novels always makes me happy.

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Thank you, Karin for answering my questions and good luck with your kick starter for your Travel Guide! I look forward to seeing it printed in English!

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