My Speech on Jane Austen’s Influence

Last week, on Thursday the 12th of March, I was invited to talk about the far-reaching impact of Jane Austen. The event was hosted by Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, Kentucky as part of a community outreach in association with Woodford Theatre, a local theater presenting Sense and Sensibility later this month. My 25-minute speech was followed by a lovely scene from the play, performed as a teaser by the actors cast as Edward Ferrars and Elinor Dashwood. Some 40 people came into the bookstore to enjoy the fun, several staying after to chat with the actors and me. A few purchased the copies of my novels readily on hand, so it was a book signing too!

Here I am at Joseph-Beth, flanked by a psychedelic horse and my novels, as I pontificate upon the genius of Jane Austen–

Sharon speaking

It was wonderful fun! My husband, Steve Lathan — Luv the Light Photos — took pictures, and attempted to record my speech. Alas, that did not work out so well. So, yesterday we reenacted the speech in a controlled environment: Our basement! With the shelves of my personal library behind me, I delivered my mini-history lesson once again. All in all it went quite well, and with the assistance of iMovie on my iMac computer, the finished product is way better. You can watch it here or click to YouTube.

Did you enjoy my wee chat? LOL! I do hope so.
I would love to hear YOUR thoughts on “Why Jane Austen?”

The Sense and Sensibility scene we were treated to was a moment during the blooming love of Edward Ferrars and Elinor Dashwood. Played by Timothy Hall and Holly Brady, community thespians from Versailles, Kentucky, the “courtship” was brilliantly and delicately acted. It definitely left all of us wanting more! Anxiously we await this weekend when the play will premiere.

If you are anywhere in the Lexington area, don’t miss this wonderful event. Woodford Theatre will premiere Sense and Sensibility on Friday, March 20, and it will be performed for three consecutive weekends. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit the website:  Woodford Theatre  and navigate to the “2014-15 Season” from the top menu. Ticket prices are $20 each.

On Saturday, March 21 at 2pm An Afternoon in Jane Austen’s World special event prior to that evening’s performance is another must-attend engagement. I will be there, in my Regency attire, along with members of the Greater Louisville JASNA region.

Visit the world of Jane Austen with us! Afternoon tea and cakes will be served as you enter the theatre to meet members of the Jane Austen Society and Vintage Dance Company. Spend the afternoon hearing about Jane’s writings, her characters, and her world. Discussion and questions are invited, as you are our guest! Vintage Dance Company will teach Regency Dance to willing participants.

Doesn’t that sound fabulous? I can hardly wait! After all, there is never enough Jane Austen!

S&S actors
Sharon with Edward Ferrars (Timothy Hall) and Elinor Dashwood (Holly Brady).



Sharon Lathan

Sharon Lathan is the best-selling author of The Darcy Saga, a ten-volume sequel series to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.

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Wow! What a delightful speech, Sharon. I truly enjoyed listening. 🙂


Absolutely wonderful Sharon!! Something new from you is always wonderful and to listen to your voice is a plus. I think you should use your voice and record one of your novels!!!

jenni james

I love this post! What an awesome experience. And no, there’s never enough Jane Austen! 🙂


Great job Sharon!
I completely fell in love with the BBC Colin Firth production and have watched every movie of P & P since then. That one was the best, in my opinion. You and Linda Berdoll also made my top reading list. I’ve always loved historicals but Austen and Diana Gabaldon pushed me into to theater of romance more fully. My debut novel, “The Accidental Wife” will be released this Wednesday and a sequel is already a WIP.


Sharon, I’ve got more butterflies today than when I won my first writing contest at age 10! I had to show the winning telegram to my class–and blew the $5 prize on candy. My destiny was set! Here is the link to get THE ACCIDENTAL WIFE from my publisher at an eBook discount for a new release. Print version is also available there and at Amazon, Kobo, Bookstrand, and Itunes for IOS users. If you ever need a new guest to interview, put me on the list! I have some great stories about this book… also some 5 star reviews and a new blog about kissing the Blarney Stone on my website at

Danielle C

These are the things I miss from back in the US, my local theater. I always make sure to catch a play when I visit in the summers.

Loved your “lessons” by the way. 🙂


Great speech Sharon. I totally agree with your closing quote that Jane will be popular for all time because the reader can put their own interpretation into her words. I am also sure that there will still be people writing variations. It was lovely to see you in person after reading your books. Thanks again.

Joana Starnes

What amazing event! Wish I could have been there!

Stephanie L

I wish they did these types of things around here! I’m at work so can’t watch your speech now, but I will definitely later. Go Sharon!!

Jerry T

Great speech! Thank you for remaking it for YouTube. 🙂

Wendy Roberts

I would have loved to have been there! (on a side note, I want that horse-thingy!)

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