Friday Feminist – Jane Austen

It’s stretching several points to call the divine Jane a feminist, but it’s Christmas Day, so indulge me.

“…. Well, Miss Elliot,” (lowering his voice) “as I was saying, we shall never agree I suppose upon this point. No man and woman, would, probably. But let me observe that all histories are against you–all stories, prose and verse. If I had such a memory as Benwick, I could bring you fifty quotations in a moment on my side the argument, and I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman’s inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman’s fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men.”

“Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”

Jane Austen, Persuasion, 1818

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4 responses to “Friday Feminist – Jane Austen

  1. An astute observation. A stretch, perhaps, but I think she felt the tight constrictions of all single women of her era; and, though dutiful, she was too intelligent to turn a blind eye to the most obvious facts.

  2. Jane Austen was not only a feminist, she was a radical feminist, every day of the year and not just on Christmas. ;)

  3. Sorry to comment this here, tried to email you, but if you’re still in Adelaide and want to see a Jane Austen Improvised Musical check out our show! Austen Found: The Undiscovered Musicals of Jane Austen. It’s from NZ too :)

  4. Penny’s site is Hot Pink. If you click through to the gigs page, you will find details for her 2010 Adelaide Fringe Festival show.