To paraphrase Janet: She dearly loved a laugh. Her flabber was gasted. Her flum was moxed.

She is deeply missed.

JantR's AHA avatar
Janet Rutter

Janet Rutter, better known as JanetR to us, passed away June 4, 2018. Janet was one of AHA’s bright lights for her delightfully wry observations and vast knowledge of Jane Austen’s words and world. Janet joined AHA in 2009, and quickly established her bona fides in all things Jane Austen—most especially the written canon and how Jane meant it to be read and interpreted.

  • Her comments on stories were among those most treasured by authors.
  • She was always generous in sharing her insights on Jane Austen’s life and writing.
  • No one could better remember a story—Janet graciously retired from the Name That Fanfic game when it became clear she was the smartest one playing.
  • No one could better appreciate a play on canon dialogue or a twist on JAFF tropes.
  • And no one ever wrote a better story hilariously mocking (and celebrating) those fanon tropes.

Janet's Stories

She wrote 19 wonderful stories, all posted here at AHA

Saving Oakham Mount

The Story of The Hertfordshire Trust for the Preservation and Protection of Local Landmarks and Young Ladies' Virtue

With a tip of the bonnet to Miss Austen and her wonderful way with words, this offering is also inspired by the body of JAFF available on the internet and my inability to resist parodying some of the conventions.


Horny owl
The Hertfordshire Horny Owl (not really)

A Trope of Fallen Logs


There was once a discussion thread about the tropes found in JAFF. The following paragraphs are what I posted in a comment there after it had been mentioned that whenever an important character required a convenient boulder or fallen log, there was invariably one at hand.


How convenient
How convenient!


The story of Pride and Prejudice has been retold thousands of times, in as many ways. Need I subject you to another? Need you wait and wonder? The epilogue is the most satisfying part, so let us immediately go to it.

Once Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet had been discovered in compromising positions at Vauxhall, and in Hyde Park, and in the British Museum, and in the library at Netherfield, and in a mail coach en route from Surrey to Norfolk, there was little recourse but to force them to marry to retain their reputations. This was done, in spite of their protestations of innocence and mutual indifference. No one believed them.

Six months later Elizabeth gave birth to the Darcy triplets, weighing in at a combined eighteen pounds, after an easy labor of only three hours, during most of which she spent in planning a month of menus with Mrs. Reynolds and in arbitrating four disputes between household servants while her devoted husband bathed her brow with soothing lavender water….


And they almost all lived happily ever after.

Her Other Stories

In addition to these sixteen other stories, Janet had notes and an outline for a long Regency.

Our Members Speak

JanetR was also known and loved by AHA members for her brilliantly droll, lively and intelligent comments throughout the forums.

  • Aw nutz. I will miss her. You never wanted to go against JanetR in a canon detail throw-down. She was wonderful.

    ~Linda Beutler (oregonclematis)
  • So very, very sad. It is a comfort to know she is now probably having a wonderful chat with Jane Herself—and they are each cracking the other one up!

    ~archilaugh (Cathy)
  • Once, when it was her turn to give clues to find the name of a fanfic, she picked "Janet & Elisabeth" and cleverly mentioned that "Elizabeth does not have a sister named Jane; her older sister has a prettier name."

    It took a moment to realize that she was alluding to a variation of Jane!!

    She not only showed her sense of humor but also her generosity to beginners (like me) to easily identify the name of the fic.

  • I am deeply saddened at Janet's passing. I hope it was peaceful and she is sitting with our Miss Jane getting the scoop on certain questions that have plagued the Janeites for so many years.

    Janet was always delightful in her comments and her writing was something I always looked forward to reading. I go way back to the early days of JAFF and Janet has always been a cornerstone of the Austen communities. She will be missed by each of us who find friendship in this strange social media world brought together by our love of Jane Austen.

  • Sometimes I skim through comments if I am way behind but I always stopped to see Janet's take on things. To say she will be missed is an understatement. Her vast knowledge and expertise on all things JAFF was extraordinary. As I continue to read stories I will wonder what her take on things would have been. There will be a huge void without her voice.

  • Some comments reference her encyclopedic knowledge of Austen and the period. Very true, but I was even more impressed with her humanistic and rational approach. JanetR always made a lot of sense, and more often than not, you had to agree with her compelling points of view on—well, just about everything.

    ~Maria Hope
  • We are diminished by her loss. She will be missed.

    ~Ladytrapper (NancyT)
  • This is such sad news. Janet's comments always jumped off the page.

  • She was such a wonderful resource for authors and a warm and fun person to us all. Our little world has lost a giant and it's a very sad day.

  • JanetR was such an asset to the JA community with her knowledge, wit and writing talents. She truly is going to be missed. Rest in peace lovely lady.

  • So very sad. Whenever there was a question and I saw that she had posted, I knew the question had been answered. Isn't it strange how you can love someone you never met but whom you feel you know well and respect deeply through her words?

  • Janet's stories and comments will be very much missed here in the community but her spirit lives on. There will be many occasions where we will be thinking....'or as JanetR would have said'....

  • Janet had such a sharp sense of humor and was brilliant in all things Austen. I always looked forward to reading her comments on my stories, and the way she always tried to puzzle out the characters and their personalities, and what would happen next. She was always one step ahead, and kept me on my toes. I'll truly miss her presence here. Hope she and Jane are somewhere in the cosmos, having a laugh over a cup of tea. Rest peacefully, Janet.

  • I am saddened by this news...But there has been (and will always be) a wonderful serenity to be able to log into this community of friends and fans, and know that somewhere else in the world, someone else is seeking comfort / fellowship / laughter/ titillation / intellectual discourse / silly distractions / collegial support & advice. JanetR was someone who I didn't have a lot of personal interaction, but I certainly enjoyed all that she shared on these pages. It brings a smile to my face to think of her getting to discuss JAFF with the head writer herself.

  • I will greatly miss JanetR's pithy, witty, and downright funny commentary, critiques, and stories. She was a true gem.

  • The world is a lesser place. My condolences to Janet's other family. She will be missed.


This is just a selection of members' thoughts on JanetR. Read more...

Tribute from Jennifer Ehle

It's no secret that JanetR had a favorite Pride and Prejudice adaptation, and a favorite actress to portray Elizabeth Bennet. Through social media over the years, Janet interacted with Jennifer Ehle, who remembers her below...

In memory of Janet Rutter, a dear, smart, funny, loyal, generous lady some of us knew. In early twitter days I’d sometimes post pictures of the contents of my pockets, inevitably including a toddler sock. This is contents of my winter coat, emptied today. Time has passed, the babies and my eyes have changed. I think janet would have enjoyed the juxtaposition.

A post shared by Jennifer Ehle (@ehle_jennifer) on Jun 7, 2018 at 10:46am PDT