Mar 12, 2007

In praise of Jane

Austen, that is.
One version of the Austen scenario holds that it is all about stalking and bringing down your man, but Jane Austen is not the editor of Cosmopolitan. The point is not to achieve the man at any cost. He is not the prey or the prize but the symbol of merit. The possibility that there may be no such man is always present. Part of our gratified surprise at the Austen happy ending is that there was a man around with the good sense to see that a woman without rich and powerful connections might be a pearl beyond price, a woman whose company was reward in itself. We know that she is good company because we have been seeing the world through her disabused eyes. We go on reading and watching Jane Austen because she is good for us.

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