Seeking Austen, from Abroad: Lori Smith’s Memoir 'A Walk with Jane Austen' (2007)
One outcome of Jane Austen’s popularity with present-day readers is their creation of books derived from and inspired by her own. This article examines a recent contribution to this increasingly crowded field: Lori Smith’s 2007 'A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love & Faith', which depicts a thirtysomething American woman’s travel to England in the hopes of better understanding both Austen and herself. I consider this memoir in relation to other works created by Austen fans, including those who, like Smith, aim primarily at a Christian readership; I address as well this book’s significance as an account of literary pilgrimage and of personally transformative reading.
Jane Austen, Popularity, Life Writing, Lori Smith, 'A Walk with Jane Austen', Christianity, Literary pilgrimages