AUSTEN-L List Members

AUSTEN-L, open since January of 1994, welcomes all who are particularly interested in discussing the works of Jane Austen and her female contemporaries. The contributors to the list, who reside in a variety of English speaking countries around the globe, come mostly from non-academic institutions. The discussions, however, are almost always informative with carefully constructed posts from all the members.

Although a list concerned with such a popular author (notice the recent deluge of films based on her novels) has many members who are lurkers, a good number and variety of members post comments. The list is fairly active with an average of 25 posts a day. Individual topic threads do not usually continue for a long time, but may generate more than a few interesting responses.

Scholarly credentials are not necessary, but list members are expected to have read all of Jane Austen's novels. They should be warned that seeing a few movies based on her works is not enough preparation to fully contribute to the list. As a result, questions about plot summaries are not tolerated, although general questions about Austen's minor works and letters are welcomed.

List members are expected to maintain a courteous and respectful tone in their posts. No flaming of any sort is allowed. Very little argument takes place within the list; Henry Churchyard suggests that the list's heavy ratio of women over men has created a general community resistant to conflict.

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