This week I am directing and emceeing a comedy show with ten American teenagers. It’s 2017 and this is Trump’s America so of course there will be political commentary – but the kids will be satirizing the world around them in other ways. Some of them are extremely funny.
At the same time I’ve been asked to write a blog about the just-released audiobook of Northanger Abbey and The History of England by Jane Austen which had me laughing out loud in the studio during the narration.
Northanger Abbey was Jane Austen’s first novel and it is, amongst many other things, a mischievous parody of The Mysteries of Udolpho, (a hugely popular Gothic novel of the time – think 18th Century Twilight).
A few years earlier, in 1791, when she was just 16, Jane Austen wrote “The History of England – by a partial, prejudiced and ignorant Historian.” Then she added N.B. There will be very few Dates in this History.”
The History of England is a parody of a text book all school children had to study at the time in which the young Jane Austen pokes fun at the historians of the day who pretended to be objective when they clearly were not, and wrote about the kings and queens of England with less respect (and more wit) than a British newspaper.
Friday Night LIVE! satirizes politics, school and a host of other things through a combination of sketch, improv and stand-up comedy.
Is there a link between a British novelist and ten American teenagers performing comedy in a small American town over 200 years later? You tell me.
To download the audiobook of Northanger Abbey and The History of England narrated by Alison Larkin, click here. For every audiobook bought through THIS link, $5.00 will be donated to the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation.
“Raised in England by adoptive parents, Alison Larkin was actually born in America. She herself is a comic writer and performer—and she approaches Austen as a satirist—she has genuine theatrical skill—sustained comic creations. The voice reveals all.”
—The New Yorker