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16 August 2010 @ 04:48 pm
ew what.  
Choosing Austen editions for my tutorial; I've decided to go with the Penguin editions, because they're ever so slightly more recently updated than the Oxford editions, and in some cases there's only about a nickel's difference in the prices. I went to the Penguin Classics website to grab the ISBN numbers for my students, and came upon a Jane Austen quiz, which featured this as a question:

9) From what was Jane Austen recovering when she wrote the original draft of 'Pride and Prejudice'?

Well, I had no idea, and got it utterly wrong, because the "answer" was:

C. A broken heart

OH GAG ME. Or, you know, something more witty and biting and appropriate to Jane Austen.
a_t_raina_t_rain on August 16th, 2010 09:01 pm (UTC)
WTF? Are they under the impression that Becoming Jane is a documentary?
tempestsarekind: austentempestsarekind on August 16th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
Hey, it's loosely based on a biography!* It must be true!

*Jon Spence's Becoming Jane Austen, which I haven't read because I'm not sure my blood pressure could take it, but from what I've heard, it flogs the whole Tom Lefroy thing well beyond what the evidence (a couple of letters from Jane to her sister Cassandra, mostly) will support.
Neaneadods on August 16th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to remember if that was the title of the biography I just read of hers or not. Now I have to go check my library records. Whatever it was I did read, it was mostly "Hey, all that stuff you hear about how she loved kids and was a womanly woman? MAYBE NOT SO MUCH. They've been burying the real woman and writer for years."
tempestsarekind: your strange behavior puzzles marthatempestsarekind on August 17th, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC)
Wow, do people still talk about how Austen loved kids and was a womanly woman? Even with the dead baby letter? Who knew!
Neaneadods on August 18th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
O.o I seem to have missed the dead baby letter.

The drive of that particular book was that her own family tended to whitewash her to downplay her writing and make her sound like everyone else - and how much that would have pissed the real Jane Austen off. And then everyone else picked it up.

A lot was made of Cassandra's sketch of her, how it's been edited to add a smile and uncross her arms.
tempestsarekind: elizabethtempestsarekind on August 18th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)
In one of her letters to Cassandra, Austen writes, "Mrs. Hall, of Sherborne, was brought to bed yesterday of a dead child, some weeks before she expected, owing to a fright. I suppose she happened unawares to look at her husband."

Re: Cassandra's sketch--the same thing happened to the daguerreotype of Emily Dickinson; when some of her poems were brought out in print (by Mabel Loomis Todd, I think), the image was softened, and a frilly collar was added. It seems to be par for the course...
cschells: dude!cschells on August 17th, 2010 05:27 am (UTC)
No, I think "gag me" pretty much sums it up!
tempestsarekind: very few dates in this historytempestsarekind on August 17th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
Heh. I wanted to be a bit more eloquent, but I suppose there's something to be said for terseness. :)