What is it about Jane?

Although I’m deep in the final editing for Fly with a Rogue, Jane Austen’s been on my mind this week, for various reasons.
A dear friend just gave me the cutest gift: the  Cozy Classics version of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, by Jack and Holman Wang. It’s part of a series presenting classics using “twelve child friendly words and twelve needle felted illustrations.” It’s cleverly done. Here’s an example, from the famous “She is tolerable” scene.







Now I am wondering if I scooped Amanda on this one. It almost makes up for the sad fact that no one has ever given me a Jane Austen action figure.

That same action figure is featured, along with the delightful Republic of Pemberley, in this recent piece on “10 Signs of Jane Austen Addiction.” It’s good for a few laughs. My own score was middling. I own only one copy of each book and do not have a Jane Austen action figure. Sigh…

This lighthearted piece also attracted a surprising number of comments angrily dissing Jane “Austin” and her books. I broke my usual rule of not reading comments—maybe I was procrastinating on the editing—and as always, I wondered why some people do so much online ranting. If you don’t like Jane Austen books or film adaptations, why not just read or watch something else?

Maybe it’s because Jane Austen wrote about relationships, and not just romantic ones. Maybe people who are challenged in the area of human relationships need to disparage such books the same way children who struggle with math call it “stupid.”


But it gets worse. Recently, the Bank of England announced plans to put Jane Austen on the 10 pound note. Read what happened here.

It is depressing that misogyny is alive and well in our world. But that’s all the more reason for women to keep reading and writing what we enjoy, to keep voting, to keep speaking out as we see fit, and to keep reaching for success, however we’d like to define it.

So I will continue my editing–vowing to avoid all distractions! Once the book is out there, I’m going to treat myself and my daughters to a Pride & Prejudice movie marathon.

Why do you think Jane Austen provokes such strong reactions? How do you cope with trolls?



About Elena Greene

Elena Greene grew up reading anything she could lay her hands on, including her mother's Georgette Heyer novels. She also enjoyed writing but decided to pursue a more practical career in software engineering. Fate intervened when she was sent on a three year international assignment to England, where she was inspired to start writing romances set in the Regency. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, the Desert Rose Golden Quill and the Colorado Romance Writers' Award of Excellence. Her Super Regency, LADY DEARING'S MASQUERADE, won RT Book Club's award for Best Regency Romance of 2005 and made the Kindle Top 100 list in 2011. When not writing, Elena enjoys swimming, cooking, meditation, playing the piano, volunteer work and craft projects. She lives in upstate New York with her two daughters and more yarn, wire and beads than she would like to admit.
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