I'll admit it: I'm reading Jane Austen. Last week I watched the A&E production of Pride & Prejudice, and really liked it...despite my sure protests to the contrary for years (I'd seen parts of Emma, and that was tough to swallow).

Since I intellectually am a mere camp follower, I've taken a more charitable view of Austen since hearing of Dr. Leithart's passion for her. (Of course, that has the wife in a tizzy...she'd been telling me to read Austen for years. But that's our problem...we speak two different artistic languages. If you's a writer or a wannabe writer, be careful if you marry a painter. You may value the same artistic foundations, but the argot are very peculiar.) Last year Dr. Leithart gave a lecture on Mansfield Park which I thoroughly enjoyed, and have been saying I'd pick her up since then. It took seeing a good movie to really move me, though.

A camp follower is usually a 'ho. Sure, some of us are respectably married, but if you die, we'll be hunting for another husband right away.

So last Saturday night I picked me up our huge Complete Novels of Jane Austen, a cheap volume made to look like a legacy through gold-edged pages and a faux-leather cover, and got me to the Christian Study Center for some coffee and some reedin'. I hailed Billy and Heather, sat down at the bar, and lo n' behold, there on the bar lay the latest First Things, with a big article by Pastor Leithart: Jane Austen, Public Theologian. It was a great read, although a lot of it was a retread of his lecture on Mansfield Park. I'm definitely looking forward to his forthcoming book, and now, so is Heather. Billy remains recalcitrant. Wuss.