The work of Jane Austen in a few tables

Photo: Albin Michel
The sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood

Lover of life, driven by a desire to depict characters and feelings, the joys and the sorrows of the heart, all in a realistic style and irony, Jane Austen was able to mark the anglo-saxon literature of the Nineteenth century. Two hundred years after the death of the author of Reason and feelings, the painter and illustrator Nathalie Novi, and the author Fabrice Colin combine their passion for the work austenienne in a album atypical entitled ” The imaginary museum of Jane Austen.


Situated at Pemberley, domain imagined by Austen in ‘Pride and prejudice’ — may have been inspired by Chatsworth House, English castle of the Sixteenth —, a museum grand opens its doors and invites people from all over, from all eras, to (re)discover the author who is offered to them in both words and pictures.

Photo: Albin Michel
Two young Kyotoïtes visiting the museum of the imagination

The album opens as one enters a museum. The crowd collapses in the hall, seems to whisper his excitement at the idea of passing the first door and enter the world of Austen. Throughout the journey, visitors are guided by Elizabeth, the heroine of the novel ‘Pride and prejudice’, which would be, “of all the characters of Jane Austen, the one who most resembles him,” says Fabrice Colin.


The museum contains six rooms, each designed to highlight the novels of the writer for Pride and prejudice up to Persuasion, each evoking the main purpose of the work and depictions of the characters-carrying. It is a constant interplay of fiction and reality, a porosity of the boundaries between the life of the writer and that of his characters, which makes this album a work so singular.


Paint the universe of Austen


Ardent reader of the English novelist, the painter, Nathalie Novi (Good news of the world) dreamed of to produce this album as a tribute to Austen. She has wanted to do for a long time, ” draw waiting, arms crossed, hands outstretched. Color the silences. Touch and caresses of the feather and the ink, the vibration of hearts in panic. Invite each to take the water from the mirrors, as one turns the page of a novel loved it… “, she says at the end of the book. Thanks to a stroke of romantic, offering arrays of light, creating atmospheres charged with emotion, Novi transports us in the universe of the writer with refinement, delicacy and respect.


For Fabrice Colin, author versatile, primarily known for his works of science fiction, Austen embodies, he writes, ” one of the expressions of the purest of the intelligence literary.” Thus, it is of phrases and poetic, imbued with a sweet languor, that it details each of the characters and outlines the major themes dear to the writer.


But the author of Emma has not always been unanimous. As we think of Mark Twain who hated her ” positively “, says a page in the appendix of the book is devoted to some facts unknown surrounding the work. He will say, moreover, that” a library does not contain any of his works is a good library “. The beauty, the richness and authenticity of this album, however, and without doubt, tend to make a lie.

The imaginary museum of Jane Austen

Fabrice Colin and Nathalie Novi, Albin Michel jeunesse,Paris, 2017, 144 pages.

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