The Divine Jane is a short documentary film specially commissioned for the exhibition A Woman's Wit: Jane Austen's Life and Legacy. It examines the influence of Austen's fiction—and her enduring fame— through interviews with leading writers, scholars, and actors.
Each of the six interviewees was invited to look closely at the Morgan's outstanding collection of Austen letters and manuscripts and ask themselves the question curators always consider: what can be learned about an author's life and work from these unique documents?
Other questions put to the interviewees touched on several subjects: When did they first read Austen and what were their initial impressions? What is the relation between Austen's life and work? Why does she remain so popular? And, if you could invite Austen to dinner, whom else would you invite, and why? By asking the same questions of each participant in isolation, we were able to create a conversation between them on screen. The film also records the emotional responses of those first encountering a letter or manuscript penned by Austen.
The Divine Jane: Reflections on Austen provides unique and engaging insights into the life and work of Jane Austen and shows her letters and manuscripts, of which the Morgan is a major repository, in a new and illuminating light.
The Divine Jane was directed by Francesco Carrozzini, an accomplished photographer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and The Wall Street Journal. Francesco originated the New York Times online magazine's Screen Test interviews, and his short film titled 1937 premiered at last year's Venice Film Festival.
The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.