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 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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