A fascinating look into the myths that continue to shape our understanding and appreciation of Jane Austen.
Was Jane Austen the best-selling novelist of her time? Are all her novels romances? Did they depict the traditional world of the aristocracy? Is Austen’s writing easy to understand? Well into the 21st century, Jane Austen continues to be one of the most compelling novelists in all English literature. Many of her ideas about class, family, history, intimacy, manners, love, desire, and society, have inspired “myths” that are often contradictory — she was a Tory who was also a liberal feminist, or, her novels are at once sharply satirical and unapologetically romantic. Myths, like Austen’s works, are dynamic, changing over time and impacting how we read and interpret literature.