I'm not entirely sure what to make of this, to be honest:
On the one hand, it's always good to see an interest in classical literature. But then, I wonder - is it really an interest in classical literature that's driving this? Perhaps not - but then I say to myself: "So what? As long as they're having fun!" My conversation with myself continues:
- But it's all a bit silly, isn't it?
- And your problem is? Isn't doing tours of sites where they did location shoooting for Hammer horror films also a bit silly?
- Yeah ... but we didn't dress up and pretend to be Dracula and Van Helsing now, did we?
- Makes no bloody difference! These people are having fun, and your looking down at them makes you a bleedin' snob, mate!
- It's not a question of looking down on them ... it's asking the legitimate question whether this is really an expression of appreciation of a major novelist, and whether the image projected of Austen by this sort of thing does justice to her writing...
... and so on.
I am happy with people having fun in whatever way they fancy, but I do confess that for a long time I have been, rightly or wrongly, put off Austen by this sort of thing.
Anyway, I started Sense and Sensibility this morning: my Austen-thaw proceeds apace.