Five myths about Jane Austen

Five myths about Jane Austen by Carol J. Adams

It’s been 200 years since readers first met the serious-minded Elinor Dashwood, heroine of Jane Austen’s first published novel, “Sense and Sensibility.” Austen-mania got off to a slow start, as the four books published during her lifetime were anonymous. But it has made up for time lost. Now, Austen is a superstar. Films, sequels, prequels and updated versions of her books bring her plots (and her life) to readers and moviegoers. And then there is the work of the academics: She was heartbroken by an Irishman — no, she was gay; she was conservative — no, she was a feminist. We love her; we hate her; we can’t agree about her; we know we should read her. Myths about her abound, but there are some truths we should universally acknowledge.

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