Classics Club March Meme: Jane Austen

For March, The Classics Club asks:

Do you love Jane Austen or want to “dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone”? (Phrase borrowed from Mark Twain)

1. Why? (for either answer)?

Aw, Mark Twain! That’s harsh! Even when I wasn’t crazy about Jane Austen’s writing, I never wanted to dig her up and beat her with her own shin-bone (although I might like to beat the people who write all those spin-offs…with their own shallow, derivative books! I’m sorry – they are not all shallow and derivative. Just most of them. Ahem!)!

I appreciate Jane Austen. I do not love her with the fierceness that I feel for Charlotte Bronte, or treasure her in the way that I do Dickens. I admire what she does with language and her sly wit. That being said, I haven’t read her widely, and have read only one one of her books recently. Northanger Abbey is on the schedule for later this year, and I look forward to seeing how it colors my opinion. I want to read them all, though, eventually.

2. Favorite and/or least favorite Austen novel? 

See above. I’ve read some others in college, but they were before Virginia Woolf helped me think differently about Austen. I look forward to discovering them again with my Woolf Glasses on 🙂

P.S. – If you have an opinion on why Jane inspires so many spin-off books, I’d love to hear it! I won’t point fingers, but Melody at Fingers and Prose did a post about a few recently, and compiled a list of nearly 200 titles! My mind . . . it boggles.

(funny cartoon from isthatcoffee. hee!)



  1. joon*ann

    Is that one of your drawings up there? I love it!
    I’ve only read Sense and Sensibilty and I loved it. I plan to read Pride and Prejudice this summer. 🙂

  2. Melody @ Fingers & Prose

    Haha! It does boggle the mind! Austen is to credit for getting me back into reading classics (& literature in general) after years of little kidlets, so she’ll always have a special place in my heart. 🙂

    I can’t wait to hear your reaction to Northanger Abbey. Also, I need you to sell me on some Dickens. He’s one of the 19th cent. Brits I haven’t been able to develop a proper appreciation for. I read half of Our Mutual Friend and it wore me out. I did enjoy Christmas Carol….thinking of trying A Tale of Two Cities. What do you suggest?

    • jackiemania

      Oh Melody, please, please. please read David Copperfield as soon as you have space in your reading schedule. It is the book that made me fall in love with Dickens in college and remains my favorite.

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