From Our Readers

Jane Austen, We Love You! An Ode To a Great Woman

I am a big Jane Austen fan. I was born with the last name Darcey, which pretty much demands that I at least read Pride and Prejudice. But even if I didn’t have a last name nearly identical to the famous Darcy (with a blasted “e” that no one likes to include when writing my name!), I would still love Miss Austen. And even though my B.A. in English Literature practically requires that I read all those famous dead people, including Austen, I would still (and do) gladly read her for some good old weekend fun.

And I’m not alone in this. Women all over the world with all different interests love Jane Austen. High schoolers, feminists, doctors, sales associates at Anthropologie and elderly alike swoon over the Mr. Darcys and Captain Wentworths. We cheer on the Dashwood sisters and Fanny Price and get frustrated with Jane Fairfax and Isabella Thorpe. We can’t help but get sucked into the daringly modern feminist stances, delicious gossip, blind assumptions and lusty glances from afar.

It’s also refreshingly old fashioned, yet modern at the same time. That stuff doesn’t happen anymore, only it does! Some ho tried to steal your man and blind him with fancy jewels and cleavage. We’ve all been there. Your sister did something totally embarrassing and now everyone’s looking at you weird, too. You couldn’t help but listen in on half of someone’s conversation in the next room and share it with everyone else. You really want to marry your hunky cousin! We’ve all been there (well, except that last one).

Jane Austen has been dead for a long time but she is responsible for the income of dozens of today’s authors! Think of all those “Dr. Darcy goes to Vegas” and “Elizabeth Darcy’s secret daughter” inventions and additions of zombies and sea monsters. It’s insane. Jane Austen practically controls half of Barnes & Noble’s fiction and romance sections.

And then there are the movies and mini-series. Some fabulous and Netflixed over and over again, others used for comedy night material. Either way, they’re still somehow all wonderful. There’s nothing like escaping the work day or that crappy dentist appointment with a couple hours of “come hither”s, corsets and mysterious carriage rides. I dare you to try it and not enjoy it!

This is around the time where you ask, “What’s the point of all this?”

Well, there isn’t. This is a “take five minutes out of your day to reflect on someone wonderful.” And maybe a recommendation to read Northanger Abbey and watch Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow pre-Glee.

Read more from Melissa Darcey on her blog.

Featured image via Kate Beaton at

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