I found this article awhile ago but kept forgetting about it until earlier this week when I stumbled upon the bookmark.
In creative writing and journalism classes a wannabe Steinbeck, Updike or Grantland Rice, was taught to grab his readers early, skip clichés, keep sentences short and avoid sending a reader to the dictionary just to show how smart you are.
He then goes on to talk about exceptions to the rules…included our Dear Jane. who has a 180-word sentence in “Emma”
The charming Augusta Hawkins, in addition to all the usual advantages of perfect beauty and merit, was in possession of an independent fortune, of so many thousands as would always be called ten; a point of some dignity, as well as some convenience: the story told well; he had not thrown himself away — he had gained a woman of ten thousand pounds, or thereabouts; and he had gained her with such delightful rapidity — the first hour of introduction had been so very soon followed by distinguishing notice; the history which he had to give Mrs. Cole of the rise and progress of the affair was so glorious — the steps so quick, from the accidental rencontre, to the dinner at Mr. Green’s, and the party at Mrs. Brown’s — smiles and blushes rising in importance — with consciousness and agitation richly scattered — the lady had been so easily impressed — so sweetly disposed — had in short, to use a most intelligible phrase, been so very ready to have him, that vanity and prudence were equally contented.
This sentence is from Chapter 22.