Joyous news in the Telegraph. The piece is by Robert Mendick, the paper’s Chief Reporter, and it was published online less than 90 minutes ago. He starts:
For two centuries, she has ruled the nation’s bookshelves. [Hmm, only slightly hyperbolic…] Now she is set to dominate the public’s purses and wallets as well.
Jane Austen, long revered as the greatest of female novelists, [What does that say about female novelists? No wonder women have their own literary awards.] is about to break new ground 200 years after her death – by appearing simultaneously on a coin and a bank note. [Female multi-tasking at its finest, posthumous.]
No man has managed such an honour in a generation. Only the Queen, who as head of state must be depicted on British currency, will be more prevalent.
Needless to say, Mendick had to refer in his article to Caroline Criado-Bloody-Perez OBE, winner of a number of our awards – Lying Feminist of the Month (three times), Toxic Feminist of the Month, Gormless Feminist of the Month, and Whiny Feminist of the Month (twice). She was an inaugural member of The Whine Club in 2013.
Extracts from two of Jane Austen’s letters, cited in the Oxford Book of Quotations:
I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress. (Letter, 11 December 1815)
How horrible it is to have so many people killed! And what a blessing that one cares for none of them! (Letter to Cassandra Austen, 31 May 1811, after the Battle of Albuera, 16 May 1811.)
For the unvarnished truth about Jane Austen, we turn to Frances Wilson, Literary Critic of the Daily Mail. In August 2013 she wrote a splendid article for the paper, titled, ‘So dull. So over-rated. Jane Austen doesn’t deserve to be on the £10 note.’ An extract:
Austen, who died in 1817 at the age of 41, was the daughter of a Hampshire rector. She wrote six novels about well-to-do families in, for the most part, rural England.
The books are regularly lauded as among the finest in the English language. Fans find them bright and breezy, charming and romantic. In fact, they are boring, nasty and superficial. [My emphasis.]
The virgin from the vicarage is perfectly placed on a tenner — there could be no better home for her than the comfort of the cash-register.
A link to our blog piece and Frances Wilson’s article is here.
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