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Reminder: Jane Austen Twitter Will Not Suffer Your Ignorant, Sexist Twaddle

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that a writer in possession of a Bad Take must be in want of some relentless Twitter mockery.

The Washington Post recently used a combination of Jane Austen’s birthday (December 16th) and deathday (200 years ago, but in July) to publish an odd essay about her life. Specifically, about the fact that she “was the master of the marriage plot. But she never married.” The writer described a crush Austen had, and the one marriage proposal she received, ultimately referring to Austen’s “spinsterhood” as a “bitter irony.” And Jane Austen Twitter is having none of it.

Where to even start? Maybe with the headline’s implied incredulity at Austen writing so profoundly on a subject she didn’t have firsthand experience with. It’s almost like she’s really skilled at being a fiction writer.


In fact, Austen’s status as a single person isn’t exactly a liability for the specific way in which she writes about married life, which is largely about the less romantic, convoluted economic and custom-oriented side of the business that is marriage.




The driving “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” message of the article is weirdly perplexing since Austen’s version of “bridesmaid” is winding up one of the most brilliant and prolific writers of all time. But sure, let’s mourn what could have been with that dude who wanted to marry her that one time.

(via Mashable, image: Wikimedia Commons, Twitter)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.