‘It was certainly a very remarkable coincidence!’

“It was certainly a very remarkable coincidence!”—Northanger Abbey. Writing from roughly 1795 on, Jane Austen is usually seen as the last major writer of the 18th century. In many novels of that century, plot coincidences were not only accepted, they were expected. It was a big coincidence if there were…
Read More

Did Austen Speak Posh?

In our last blog, we heard how Shakespeare’s English much more resembled the accents of the provinces than the “proper” English favored today by actors and newscasters, the latter being an accent called “Received Pronunciation” or “RP.” Jane Austen had knowledge of and appreciation for Shakespeare. There are parallels between her social…
Read More

‘Slow Love’ for Darcy

John Tierney’s recent article on “mate value” confirms a long-held notion that people tend to marry others like themselves in terms of looks, wealth, and education. He holds out hope for mismatched couples, however, through a process called “slow love.” Studies show that the longer someone spends with a potential…
Read More