Why We Need Jane Austen More Than Ever

“When reading and discussing Pride & Prejudice with my students, I explained they would all meet Charlotte Lucas someday. ‘When you’re in your early thirties, you will someday be invited into the home of a young married couple, perhaps some friends, whose children are wildly disobedient, profoundly unhappy, and yet the couple will dispense advice on childrearing all evening. If you have any common sense, you and your spouse will resolve on the car ride home to do the opposite of whatever that couple said to do, and perhaps also resolve to not dispense any childrearing advice at all to your friends in the future, lest they think you as lacking in self-awareness as the couple whose home you have just departed.’ By the end of Pride & Prejudice, Charlotte has entered into an unhappy marriage precisely because she has followed her own advice, and Jane has entered into a happy one because she has done the exact opposite. “

-from Why We Need Jane Austen More Than Ever, my latest for CiRCE 

Published by Joshua Gibbs

Sophist. De-activist. Hack. Avid indoorsman.

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