What the Austen? Podcast

Episode 34: Taylor Swift x Emma by Jane Austen

March 19, 2023 Episode 34
What the Austen? Podcast
Episode 34: Taylor Swift x Emma by Jane Austen
Show Notes Transcript

In this series we are matching Taylor Swift songs to Jane Austen characters and novels! This was highly requested from you all so I’m excited to share this content with you. 

I have split the content up into shorter episodes so you can binge the lot, pick the novels you like the most or enjoy this series in stages. This was a fun series to create, and I am joined by Ann and Martha who have been on the podcast before and are good friends of mine.

Thanks again to our sponsor Haus of Bennet: https://hausofbennet.com/ Use code whatthediscount at the checkout for 15% off!

TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lbg54tnj_g 

Series order: 


Sense and Sensibility (12th March) 

Persuasion (12th March) 

Northanger Abbey  (19th March) 

Emma (19th March) 

Pride and Prejudice (26th March) 

Mansfield Park (26th March) 

We have created Spotify playlist for the series so you can listen to the songs based on the novels!

Where can you find Martha? 

Instagram: @marthabethanreads
Episode 10: Bridgerton Gossip (S1, S2 and the books)
Episode 21: The Mysteries of Udolpho and the Gothic in Northanger Abbey

Where can you find Ann? 

Instagram: @paper.hearts.library & @disneyprincesslessons
Youtube: PrincessLessons YouTube Channel
What the Austen? Episodes: The Disney Princess & Disney Villain series on the podcast 

Support the show

Where can you find your host (Izzy)?
Website: www.whattheausten.com
Podcast Instagram: @whattheausten
Personal Instagram: @izzy_meakin
Youtube: What the Austen? Podcast

Izzy Meakin  00:00

This is the What the Austen? podcast I'm your host Izzy and every episode I am joined by a friend and fellow Janeites to chat about Jane Austen's work, please follow and subscribe both here on Instagram and on YouTube. It really helps the podcast grow and all your support means so much if you fancy going a little bit further. And once you join the Jane Austen discord chat and have access to extra content such as cheat sheets and early access to episodes, consider joining the Patreon and then become a full fledged member of the jnh hive. I just want to say a big shout out to all of my current Patreon members. You guys honestly keep the podcast going and I love all of our discussions on Jane Austen and the episodes but now let's get into this week's episode


Izzy Meakin  00:59

Hi, Janeites and welcome back to the what the Austen podcast we are halfway through our Taylor Swift times Jane Austen series. So far, we've covered off sense sensibility persuasion and Northanger Abbey. And next up on the list is Emma for today. So welcome back, Martha and Anne. So glad to have you guys back with me. Because at the mid premium, you get to know do you have a favourite pick from the previous episodes? Oh, gosh. So


Martha  01:27

why is your book wise?


Izzy Meakin  01:28

Does that make a difference? I don't


Martha  01:31

know my favourite Jane Austen novel is tied between Pride and Prejudice and persuade. Oh, no, I mean,



your favourite pick your favourite. Taylor Swift.


Martha  01:42

Um, I think my favourite was Marianne and clean because I really I really felt that one.


Ann  01:47

Oh, gosh. Um, okay, I'm gonna say I'm gonna say that my favourite pic was gold rush for Eleanor from Cincin sensibility and from the evermore album just because I love that little tidbit that Taylor Swift watched Sense and Sensibility while she was creating that album.


Izzy Meakin  02:06

Yeah, I loved that when you said about that. That's so cool. I think my favourite pick from the last one was enchanted for Northanger Abbey, because all three of us thought that one. And I think it is such a great pick. So I kind of love that one. Amazing. So this episode is Emma. You guys ready for Emma? Yes. I say Are you ready? For we all? Are you ready? Ready for it? You're ready. Every time I hear that, it makes me think about the concept because when I got there, I knew it was going to be kind of a very different experience the the 1989 one but when that like kicked off, it was like boom, boom, boom. I was like, okay, things are serious. Yeah.


Ann  02:53

A really long time to warm up to that album. Honestly, I became kind of a not so much Taylor Swift Fan like reputation shocked me so much. That I was like, Who is she? I don't even know like I don't. And then it took me a while to get like, Oh, she's being clever. Like she's this is her reputation. And then, like I kind of got into the songs. And then I really started listening to it last winter for some reason. And now I really like it. So


Izzy Meakin  03:15

yeah, it definitely took me a while as well. I was so shocked when it first came out listening to it embed funny, like, a first dropped. And I was like, I don't know how I feel about any of this. Like, why is Taylor changed so much? But yeah, actually, I got it. And I was like, I got kind of all of the points she was trying to make that she's had to deal with so much like rubbish on people in the media and everything. I'm just like, Yeah, I'd probably write an audible album like that. If I'd had to deal with everything she has.


Ann  03:39

Yeah, she has been so nice. And I think when you like lose like if you're a nice person and you like once reach your limit then it just like you snap.


Martha  03:50

Yeah, I think it was really brave of her to release the album as well. Yeah, because I know that like so with 1989 which I really liked that album but she's kind of said that her heart wasn't really in it. Because people moaned about like critics not fans, the fans loved it. But critics moaned about Britain for not fitting into a genre. They were like, Oh, what is it what are you trying to do? So she tried to go full pop with 1989 and she was like in a really bad place that time and you can kind of feel it like the songs they don't got the same depth I don't think in terms of the storytelling some of them have for the overall album is a bit more kind of clinical. And because I know she was sad when she wrote it, that makes me sad. But I like the reputation she was like Do you know what my fans love me whatever I can produce what I like and I think this insane nothing she will do will shock me. Yeah, I love it. Like Bring it on. I'm ready for anything. It


Ann  04:39

was midnight. I was so unsure like especially if the evermore in folklore and her like 70s vibe with some of the teaser videos and stuff. I was like, Okay, this is gonna be very like Stevie Nicks like very like 70s feel to it, but the music didn't sound like anything like I thought it was going to sound like but I really loved it but it was just like, I was just like, it was midnight and I was like I have no idea. Do what I'm about to hear. This is so cool.


Izzy Meakin  05:01

I feel like midnight for me has been like coming full circle. Like I feel like I've come back to all the reasons why I love Taylor's music initially, but I understand why she went through this period of all the other stuff at the same time. But yeah, Midnight's just feels like yeah, coming back. And I can't help


Ann  05:18

but I love the relationship drama and I feel bad because I know she probably hates that we speculate about it. But I was like, totally into what was going on with Harry Styles. What's going on with Taylor Lautner? Like from like, the early times, like the Jake Gyllenhaal, like I just I don't know, I just I'm too curious. I guess so like I I liked that Midnight's kind of gave us like a sampling of like, you can't really tell exactly which guy it's about. But you can make your little theories and you can kind of play that guess where I like the puzzles or the games to Taylor Swift albums. And I felt like midnight has a lot of puzzles and games for the fans. Yeah, I


Izzy Meakin  05:51

love all the easter eggs. And I mean, I've never I've never been one to really dive into it. And I don't really know like I've never dived into like the relationship stuff either. That much like I knew kind of what was going on, but I didn't look into it in too much detail. But I love that she leaves easter eggs everywhere. And in little hints about things like especially in like the music videos and stuff. I'm always like,


Ann  06:10

I was a major, One Direction fan and Taylor Swift Fan. So when the whole Taylor and Harry thing happened, like I was on Tumblr every day, like one is like looking at the theory. Like it was so bad. I totally shifted them together to


Izzy Meakin  06:26

oh my god, I never got into one direction, you know, but I always thought it was cool because Harry Styles grew up literally down the road from where I grew up like that. He like the bakery that he worked on was literally like a 10 minute drive from where I lived. But that didn't mean that much to me. Like I was just like, oh, that's where he works. So it's kind of cool. But um, yeah, I was never a massive One Direction fan, but I can imagine if you were that was such a cool relationship when they got together. I was


Ann  06:49

like, I was a big fan of Niall. Like, I just loved that. He was like the sweet Irish boy, but like, I just I don't know, it was so fun. Like, you have been both, like both fandoms collided and it was fun.


Izzy Meakin  07:03

It's like when Taylor Swift said he was rewatching senses sensibility. And we're all just like,


Ann  07:07

yeah, exactly. Yeah, okay,


Izzy Meakin  07:11

then. So, Emma. Martha, do you want to kick things off?


Martha  07:16

Yeah, so actually, what we're talking about midnight, I think weeknights will be Emma's favourite album. Yeah. Personally, I just totally see her like being fully into that. And I've got actually got to minimise songs for Emma. So my first one is mastermind. Because Emma is, is literally and one of the lyrics that really like stood out for me is in the song when Taylor says, oh, like, you have a smart you knew the whole time I was a master. I'd like Knightley knows her so well. But he loves her anyway. Yeah. That sums up their relationship really, really, really well. And that leads really nicely into my other song forever, which I which is antihero, and like Emma kind of she is the antihero of her own novel. Like Jane Austen wrote Did you that Emma's a heroine that only she would like which is not true? I adore Emma. But I love Emma because she's so floored and I think she goes on such a journey of growth not that I don't think she's great to start with but she's not very self aware. And like it's me hi I'm the problem is me is her own problem. Like everything that goes wrong is caused by herself. But even though she is the antihero, and like obviously in some senses, it must be really hard always rooting for the antihero like Natalie is always rooting for her. Like even when he knows she's done wrong. He always comes back to her and he's always on her side. So those two like really stood out for me for Emma. Yeah. As like yeah, my first two


Izzy Meakin  08:49

Yeah, yeah, I have both of those in my extra section for me because I think both definitely do speak to Emma's I think she isn't on here as well but I will say live up or I think it is because Yeah, she does go on that kind of journey and she is flawed and has to learn how to be a bit more reflective and yeah recognise what she does has has consequences at times. And did you have any of those on your list


Ann  09:13

I did antihero was my was my number one because even when I heard the song for the first time, I kind of thought like Emma those vibes it's me. I'm the problem. It's great.


Izzy Meakin  09:24

Did you guys see the reels that we're carrying around with that as well if people did like clips from like, Emma, and it was like Emma's face, but it was like antihero in the background?


Ann  09:33

No, I didn't even know it was like


Izzy Meakin  09:36

I'm just like, Oh, that is actually such a vibe. You know.


Martha  09:40

She definitely isn't as a hero, isn't she? And I don't think she realises it initially, but I think she's really self aware of it by the end of the novel. Yeah,


Izzy Meakin  09:49

yeah. And I put I put a note next to mastermind that I was like, I feel like this is it's a song that Emma would think that she was very much she was like, Oh, this song is just about me. I'm just like This because I feel like mastermind is that person actually thinks that they're really good at like scheming and sorting all this stuff out. And I think Emma really thinks that she is but actually in reality, she's not that great at it. So I feel like it's a song that she would like and think it was about her.


Ann  10:18

Yeah, definitely.


Martha  10:20

And then I had one more, which is king of my heart because it literally opens with, I'm perfectly fine. I live on my own, and she doesn't live on her own, but she's completely independent. And she has no reason to marry, but she makes a choice to do so. She chooses Mr. Knightley and she chooses to change her lifestyle. Which is quite a big thing for her to like, overhaul everything. But one thing that's really special, which I think it comes across thinking of my heart, which is when I favourite songs from reputation, is that he's worth changing her lifestyle for Bowser. He doesn't make her sacrifice anything. He doesn't make her sacrifice her independence. He doesn't make an impact on her relationship with her dad. Obviously he's happy to move to my god Hartfield had a complete rain mark that down in which actually he he's the one that actually ends up giving up more than her because he sacrifices his independence purely to make her happy. So king of my heart I thought worked really well for their relationship. And I love that one anyway. Yeah,


Izzy Meakin  11:18

I like that. That and that's looking at it also from this perspective of kind of like, Mr. Knightley is kind of this this package deal that they come together like, I'll be I think ever would it be as half as enjoyable to read about if it wasn't for nightly? Yeah, I feel like he does a lot of favours. Yeah,


Ann  11:36

I love Mr. Knightley.


Izzy Meakin  11:38

I love it. I think there's some great pics. And do you want to run for yours?


Ann  11:42

Yeah, sure. So I did have mastermind and anti-hero So I am actually going to but I had three from midnight. So I'm gonna go with my third one that hadn't been mentioned as like my top one. So I'll just move that up to my top one. So dear reader, because I thought of this as kind of Emma to Harry it really because it's, it's talking about how you shouldn't take advice from me. And you shouldn't take advice from someone who really doesn't have it figured out she's always kind of pretending like she's figured everything out and she knows everything she realises at the end that she that she doesn't so that's my that's gonna be my Midnight's pick is dear reader.


Martha  12:19

I love that.


Ann  12:21

I love that one.


Izzy Meakin  12:22

That sounds to me a little while to get into but then when I did, I was


Ann  12:24

like actually this. Yeah, I really liked that one for that. And then from a lover, even though I don't think God I can't even think of his name the guy the guy singer for me, even though I don't think that the lyrics fit nicely. I feel like Taylor's lyrics for me, fit Emma because like, I know I'm a handful baby. I know I never think before I jump like I just feel like she's just always doing what she wants, but she just has that kind of sassy attitude. Like at the end of the day, you'll never find another like me. So I think that's a really good pick for her. And I only have two more that I'm gonna I'm just gonna say the two more because one's for Emma and one is for I'll just say it really quickly because one is for Jane Fairfax. So the other one is from lover also paper rings. I like the line that says I hate accidents except when we went from friends to this. And so that's definitely like Emma likes. She likes shiny things, not necessarily like a material sense, but she definitely is kind of a snooty kind of person. But you know, it's kind of like I think that she has this earthy down to earth love for Knightley by the end and so she would marry him with paper rings and it wouldn't it wouldn't have to be some sort of thing like with appearances like when she's thinking that oh maybe I would like Frank Churchill or maybe I want him to like me or anything like that. It's just like all the BS is gone. And so I liked that paper Rings was kind of just about a you know, a simple kind of earthy kind of love like I would marry you under any circumstances to friends to this and then just my little bonus is I knew you were trouble is total Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill. And I just, you know, it's like he flew me to places I've never been like I feel like she hasn't gotten to do a lot and so he was really exciting. And you know, I guess you didn't care and I guess I like that because he just doesn't really care if he's making a mess out of everything but she still likes him anyway so those are my picks for that


Izzy Meakin  14:23

yes great ones that I love it and also thinking about like chain Firefox and in Frank Church oh my gosh, do you can go on like a whole we could probably get a whole new set for secondary current Taylor Swift songs. You know? Love is so good. Okay, so my picks I actually picked different ones to you guys just like my main three, which is which is cool. So the first one that I picked was brief from the fellas sell them so I kind of thought if this one is you know when Mr. Knightley goes away because he's kind of upset about like what Emma's done to miss beats and everything they can On a full out, like temporarily, I kind of feel like this is Emma, like reflecting on that where it says, I don't know what to view without you around. You know, I know you like the back of my hand and stuff and I feel like that's like a kind of pondering on it. And she's really sad that he's gone away and she doesn't really know how to exist without him. So I thought breed this a really good kind of really shows that and then another one that I had was the outside. Or you know if you guys remember those being on the outside that was and I thought that is like when Emma's upset Miss Bates and then everybody kind of shuns her and kind of shuts her out for a time in I do think that Emma even just throughout the novel is quite lonely. And I think that contributes to how she is with Harriet. And so I think like the thing is, is like I feel lovely in new places, but I've never been on the outside. And I think when she's mean to Miss Bates, everybody shuts her off. So she ends up on the outside. And I think, obviously that's a really hurtful time for us. So I put that one in there.


Martha  16:01

I really liked what you said there about her being quite lonely. Yeah, that's partly why I picked mastermind when she's like, No one wanted to play with me when I was a little kid. So I started seeing a criminal. And I think that's good because her sister is quite a bit older than her. And obviously, she had Miss Taylor, but Miss Taylor wasn't a friend. She was a governess, and she grows into a friend. But she wouldn't have had that role initially. So I think loneliness is actually a big part of Emma's life. I agree.


Izzy Meakin  16:24

Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I think that was the big point that me and Bunkai was trying to make in the Harriet Smith episode is I don't think she would try and carve Harry out is this person that she's not if it wasn't for the fact that Emma hasn't had an equal in life, and she feels lonely like literally the only person that's kind of her equal as Mr. Knightley and her father but both of them are like a lot older. So growing up it must be really lonely because obviously Frank Churchill is taken away and Jane Fairfax is taken away. So she's, you know, very much left on her own. So yeah, I think that kind of contributes to why she's a questionable friend at times, because I just don't think she's learned how to be a good friend. Yeah. And then the last one that I had on the list was foreign Mr. Knightley relationship and that was the story of us. Oh, I remember when this song I love this song so much. And the music video the music video is so good. But I think it really speaks to the fact that because they fall out quite a lot because they've got like, you know, when they have like miscommunication or they have different views on things. And I feel like the story of Moses very much about that where there's like two people just like onshore he was gonna make the first move because they knew that they fallen out and they're annoyed with each other. And I think that's like, Mr. Knightley over the Harriet Smith situation and the Robert Martin thing where, you know, they have very different opinions. Yeah.


Martha  17:45

Yeah, yeah, I love that song is what I was. And the music video like what you did you said I could just pick Yeah.


Izzy Meakin  17:52

That was such a good one. Honestly, tell us we've made some fantastic music videos,


Ann  17:56

I swear. Oh, her music videos are the best pitch really? She's


Izzy Meakin  17:59

like such a creative person. I think we said this in the previous episode. But if she was to make a film, I feel like that would actually be so good. Oh, I know. I'd be like front row house would be hilarious because she's dated so many actors as well. If they all ended up in


Ann  18:14

it'd be hysterical. I feel like she had Harry Styles are okay with each other and now he's gotten into acting I think would be hysterical. If he was just like, playing a character. Yeah, I


Izzy Meakin  18:24

feel like he's he's so up for anything as well. I feel like he'd be really happy to be like, Yeah, we know.


Martha  18:31

I'd love if she pulled in like Sophie Turner as well, because obviously like Joe Jonas was one of the exes. But like, they've kind of made peace. Yeah. That would be that would be like another funny person. Yeah, she


Ann  18:42

actually had. Yeah, that's it. She actually had that tweet. Sophie Turner has a tweet. Like it's not not a bob or something like that. The one that was about Jehovah. I thought that was hysterical.


Izzy Meakin  18:52

Like you have to find like the funny side in it and just be like, you know, this was Taylor's outlet. This is how she talks about her life. Is that do you guys have anything else you want to add for Emma? Any bonus tracks,


Martha  19:04

I had one that is only for like one very small part. And I had lavender haze. And I was thinking about when her unlikely, like decide that they're going to get married and they get engaged and stuff and they declare their love and then like she knows she's gonna have to see her again. She's like, I really don't want to deal with that. I'm really, really scared. Like, what's going to happen? And obviously, it's all good because Harriet's reconnected with Robert Martin, but she doesn't know that she just wants to stay in her little bubble with nightly. So lavender haze was like


Ann  19:33

that. That's great.


Izzy Meakin  19:35

I love that. Honestly, I feel like so many people forget how awkward it is at the end of the novel issue, like, sends Harriet off to stay with Isabella in London. And she's like, I don't really know how to deal with this situation right now. So I'm just gonna send How are you away? I'm like, oh, you can't avoid your problems. Emma.


Ann  19:52

She just wants to stay in that lavender haze. I love that. I didn't think about that connection. But that is such a good song for that. I like great pick market Maya


Izzy Meakin  20:00

Yeah, that's a great one. Okay, fabulous on. Did you have any other ones? I've burnished?


Ann  20:06

Yeah. Just one other quick, Jane and Frank when I liked I knew you were trouble. But I also like ours because again, everyone says it's a John Mayer song and I kind of really connect so well because I just think Jane Fairfax has feelings for Frank are kind of like tailors for John Mayer. And it's just ours is from its peak now. And it's, it's like, don't you worry your pretty little mine people throw rocks at things that shine this love is ours. And so I can picture Jane kind of being like, it's fine even though like everyone knows that you're horrible. Like, I still love you, and we're gonna be fun. Yeah. It's just about it's about John Mayer.


Izzy Meakin  20:49

Amazing then, if we don't have anything else to add, that's everything for me today and for this episode, but obviously we'll be back next weekend. To finish off this series. We have Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park left, so I'm really excited to cover those ones off. If you want to find Matheran outside of the podcast, I will link all of that information in the bio so that's easy to find for you. Feel free to follow me on Instagram at what the osteon I share a lot of Jane Austen content over there. bits about the podcast but also just like general discussions as well. So it'd be good to see you over there. But that's everything from us today and we will see you in the next episode.