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My all time favorite author is Jane Austen. I laugh at myself now, because there was a time when I only listened to music made by men and I only read books written by men. The former because most of my music faves (Bob Dylan, The Beatles…) are guys. The latter, because schools don’t teach women authors as often as they teach about the classics written by men. The Brontës and Jane Austen tend to fall through the cracks of the English degree requirements, making only brief appearances here and there.
During my final year at UC Santa Barbara, I took a Jane Austen class taught by Professor Kay Young. Both women changed my life and the trajectory of my taste in art. Or rather, they gave me courage to speak out about my love of female artists and the beauty they create.
I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for…Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen’s characters are relatable. They are thoroughly human and most are flawed in their understanding of themselves and others. And, they all eventually admit to being so, even if it takes a little while for them to get there. Just as Mr. Darcy came to realize that he had a mistaken understanding of his own flaw and how it affected his happiness in love, every Jane Austen character tends to end their own story with a similar epiphany.
(My own epiphany regarding the perfect man surrounds Colin Firth and his white shirt. Obviously.)
Jane Austen’s insight into characters, their personalities, what makes them flawed and what makes them thoroughly lovable, is unparalleled. I have spent countless hours trying to come up with a character half as perfect as Elizabeth Bennet or Elinor Dashwood, but to no avail. Thank goodness for Jane Austen.
I’ve collected a few gorgeous antique editions of Jane Austen novels for your perusing pleasure, including the famous Peacock Edition published first in 1894. Some day I will own a copy of that book, because sometimes the cover of a book does matter if it is as pretty as this one!
I’ve also gathered some other pretty Jane Austen things, if you are so inclined:
Do you have a favorite Jane Austen book or character? Please let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
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