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Posts Tagged ‘Jane Austen’

Today, over at What Jane Austen Didn’t Tell Us, Meg Levin discusses what Austen meant by an “accomplished woman.”

One of the most interesting scenes in Pride and Prejudice is the three-way conversation among Elizabeth Bennet, Caroline Bingley and Mr. Darcy on the subject of accomplished women. Along with skill at needlework and various crafts, Miss Bingley declares that “a woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved.” Darcy adds, “…and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”

accomplishedMiss Bingley‘s views were commonly held by upper class women who wanted to catch an eligible bachelor. But many of Jane Austen’s readers would have known that the proper education of women was a controversial subject at the turn of the nineteenth century.

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Today is Jane Austen’s birthday! A fine day to spend with friends — and fellow Janeites — and a perfect day to announce the release of What Jane Austen Didn’t Tell Us!

For lovers of Pride and Prejudice, the characters are like old friends.  Everyone knows the who and the what of the cherished tale, but What Jane Austen Didn’t Tell Us! fills in the how, why – and especially the when.

Seventeen dramatic portraits take us into the lives of the story’s beloved figures before they enter the pages of the novel. Triumphs and follies, victories and social disasters, the characters’ pasts reveal hidden secrets, unexpected intersections, and new motivations for all the goings-on from Longbourn to Pemberley – and all places in between.

Contributing writers include:  Linda Dennery, Gene Gill, Bill McCay, Linda Pedro, Rosemarie Santini, Anvita Budhraja, Meg Levin, Clarice Neudorfer, Mary C. M. Phillips, A. Marie Sprayberry and Paul Wray.

Happy Birthday Jane!

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