Today Anvita Budhraja discusses Jane Austen, Lydia Bennet and books. Anvita is a student of English Literature and Women’s & Gender Studies at Columbia University.
When thinking about Lydia’s story, it was important to me to establish that she existed in a world wholly separate from the one to which she actually belonged. Developing a vivid imagination for Lydia was key to understanding what she thought and how, despite the social and familial forces around her, she could live and do as she pleased. This led me to explore what children’s literature looked like in England during Austen’s time as stories she heard would have sparked Lydia’s imagination.