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.
you'd be amazed at how many crime writers have never even murdered ONE person. https://t.co/pYwW3f6qZg
— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Hello_Tailor) December 18, 2017
Last August George RR Martin confessed to me that he has never seen a dragon or an ice zombie.
— Myrrh Lafferty (@mightymur) December 18, 2017
I wrote a novel partly set in a women’s prison and was amazed by how many people asked me if I had been to prison.
— susan kelly (@susiek227) December 18, 2017
There’s a genuine Thing I’ve noticed where people have difficulty believing women can write fiction that isn’t autobiographical.
— Emma Dibdin (@emmdib) December 18, 2017
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.
— Stratton Gray (@StrattonGray) December 18, 2017
Incorrect. Jane Austen was the mistress of the seduction plot. She wrote little about the plot of marriages. https://t.co/rIgswmBiA4
— Amanda Brown (@AudioAmanda) December 18, 2017
Jane Austen, Emily Brönte, Louise May Alcott – all unmarried.
Huh. It’s almost as if women who can support themselves don’t cater to societal pressures to find a man.
— CaitlinCarrigan (@CaitlinCarrigan) December 18, 2017
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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