Misinterpreting Jane: Austen, Romance and the Media

To all loyal and interested readers — you must be tired of my writing already! As a treat for your eyes, here’s a reblogging of “Misinterpreting Jane: Austen, Romance, and the Media” by Serena Dyer (@Serena_Dyer). Have a read and I guarantee that you’ll find yourself in agreement – or I’ll eat my hat! (It’s a fedora; please don’t make me do that.)

Serena Dyer

With the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice earlier this year, the media and museums alike have been clamouring to make the most of the bicentenary, and rightly so. Jane Austen was a wonderful writer and an influential author, and should be celebrated. However, the creation of the ‘Jane Austen brand’ has contributed to the perpetuation of the idea that the Austen novel is synonymous with idealistic romantic literature. While making her immensely sellable, it has also prevented many people taking her seriously.

Writing on whether or not Jane Austen is a ‘romantic novelist’ has taken off recently with blogs like Robert Rodi’s Bitch in a Bonnet. Rodi’s work is typical of the counter-culture that has developed in response to the rising public popularity of Austen. Eager to save her, and reclaim her, writers like Rodi have denounced the ‘Jane Austen brand’ as “a great writer reduced to a marketing…

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