Sunday, 13 March 2011

Jane Austen Quote - Week 144

In light of Icha's quote last week and the fact that it was International Women's Day last tuesday (8th March 2011), I would like to use a related quote from Northanger Abbey. This quote has been mentioned before on the blog when we wrote a review of Anne Newgarden's book The wit and wisdom of Jane Austen but not in the context of quote of the week.

This is taken from a conversation between Henry Tilney and Catherine Morland:

Henry: “As far as I have had the opportunity of judging, it appears to me that the usual style of letter-writing among women is faultless, except in three particulars.”

Catherine: “And what are they?”

Henry: “A general deficiency of subject, a total inattention to stops, and a very frequent ignorance of grammar.”

I shudder at the thought of the gender discrimination Jane Austen must have faced when she revealed herself as a 'female' authoress.
Icha commented in last weeks quote about how the wonderful gift of education is now offered to many more women in the world with each passing year. Things have come so so far in the 200 years since Jane Austen's time but lets hope that they can go further, and a time will come when men and women are truly viewed equally by all.

Happy International Women's Day!

Pic: Felicity Jones as Catherine Morland from The Lit Connection

1 comment:

Icha said...

Ouch, Henry, that was harsh!

But I guess you're right, Rachel. Jane Austen captured the common perception of female writers in her time, and surely it wasn't down-toned. She must be a very strong character to just go ahead and reach for her dreams!

But I have to agree on Henry's second critique: Jane's sentences can be too long and often in need of stopping instead of just ; or -.

But that's her style, and that makes her unique.

Good quote Rach, thanks a lot!