Warning: this post is Austentatious and highly nerdy. Unless you’re down for some rhapsodizing of Jane Austen, you might just die of confusion…or just be weirded out.
I’m so obsessed with Jane Austen here on The Bibliologist I decided this post was very much due by now. So I’m just going to throw out the idea of a proper intro and get gushy about how grateful I am for her. (Like she cares.)
Or you can just read this as a case of why books are fabulous. We learn things. (I promise, we do.)
In Pride & Prejudice, she showed us the importance of passion and intelligence and the cautions that come with those attributes as well. We learned about the blindness pride can (and will) give and the dangerous injudiciousness of prejudice. She taught us that fire and spirit are a good thing, and how important it is to stop judging others, because fast conclusions are usually inaccurate ones.
“Angry people are not always wise.”
In Emma, she taught us the danger of vanity and the importance of honor and delicacy and the respectful treatment of others—even your inferiors. She taught us how people can grow, and that charm isn’t everything. She taught us that change can’t come too late for anybody (dear Miss Woodhouse *ahem ahem*) and that sometimes it’s better to teach someone how to help themselves instead of doing everything for them.
“There are people, who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves.”
In Sense & Sensibility and Mansfield Park, she taught us the necessity of both good sense and a good heart, how important it is to balance them, and to sympathize with others and think the best of them. We learned about the beauty of gratitude and gentleness and the necessity of constant character and the dangers of self-deception.
In Northanger Abbey, we learned about the importance of optimism, humor, good nature, and a smiling spirit: how to be someone people deservedly want to talk to and be around. She showed us how to distinguish between the Mr. Tilneys and the Mr. Thorpes of the world, and, of course, the most important thing: how to know one wicked muslin.
Plus, she ranted about how awesome novels are, and I think that’s pretty cool.
“It is only a novel . . . or, in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.”
I’m so proud to have read and enjoyed so many of her works and characters and are sincerely sorry both are so unappreciated today.
To you, fellow Janites!