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Happy birthday, Jane


Image: Each Little World

Readers like Jane Austen for something else beside the Cinderella aspect of her stories. Though never married herself, Jane understood why happy marriages worked. Before the usual conclusion of her novels - a wedding - Jane has shown us enough married couples along the way - the Bennets, the Collinses, Admiral and Mrs Croft, the elder Musgroves, the Gardiners - to give us a fair idea of the characters who create enduring happiness, and those who don't. That is interesting to anybody interested in human relationships, even people with no intention of marrying.

Kindness, broad-mindedness, self-control based on core values, stability and adventurousness, fortitude and humour - those seem to be some of the keys to happiness for Jane. . .

Happily for her readers, she received support and encouragement from her brothers, who helped her get published.

More Jane links are here and here. Who knew Jane was a tomboy?

Comments (1)


In a welter of English novelists, some of whom I loved for their particular form of genius (Fielding, Sterne, Defoe), Jane Austen stood out for me as the one who just seemed to talk to me about the way things were between men and women and women and women. I did not admire her pyrotechnics. I regarded her as a sensible voice I would have welcomed as an older sister, if I had had one. It was just no effort at all to read her.

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