The video from the September 26 JASNA Southwest meeting featuring author Karen Joy Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club and numerous other titles) is now live on the JASNA SW YouTube page. Her enlightening talk covered Emma and Austen’s Hidden Gothics—the untold, highly dramatic stories within Austen’s novels. Examples include Jane Fairfax’s backstory, Wickham’s attempted elopement with Georgiana Darcy, and William Walter Elliot’s past relationship with Mrs. Smith and her late husband.

Fowler discussed Austen’s strategy of using these stories that we’re not told and how Austen carefully constructed them as counterparts to the main plot and characters. “Jane Fairfax’s story has much more drama, with its irresponsible, hidden love affair. Any other writer would have written that story instead,” she added, noting that those exceptional choices are one of the things she loves most about Austen.

You can also read the chat text from the event, which included much discussion about the latest screen version of Emma as well as Clueless.