Five myths about Jane Austen

Nicholas C. Rossis

Jane Austen, the writer of Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility (among others) is widely considered ignored in her lifetime–and a bit of a prude. As Devoney Looser explains in The Washington Post, these are just two of the persistent myths surrounding Austen. Let’s see what else most people get wrong about her!

Jane Austen | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksJane Austen (Source: Wikimedia)

Jane Austen was a secluded, boring homebody

The myth of her sheltered existence originated with her brother Henry’s short biographical notice, published as a preface to the first edition of “Northanger Abbey” and “Persuasion” (1818). Henry describes his late sister as having lived “not by any means a life of event.” Today, it has become a trope.

But things happened to her! For one thing, she had seven siblings. Her father ran a small boarding school for boys out of the family’s home. How quiet a girlhood could that have…

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2 thoughts on “Five myths about Jane Austen

    • Yeah, I love the movies. I read Emma by Jane Austen not too long ago. Or I started it. I remember getting sidetracked and I’m not sure if I finished it. I read another book I thought was titled Emma too, except Emma was a governess. I can’t remember who the author was now. I love it, and I saw the movie too. In the end, Emma (or the main character) turned out to be blood-related to the family to whom she was governing.

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