Jane Austen’s Letter To Her Niece Reveals A Lot About Her Guilty Pleasure Reads
- IWB Post
- July 15, 2017
“I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.“
Fascinating quote, isn’t it? A lot of us would probably not agree, but we will find ourselves discreetly nodding along reading this quote by Jane Austen.
A fine woman, she was, and her incredible classic novels are proof. Her novels have always focused on realist social satires. Surprisingly, one of her books Northanger Abbey was slightly different. The book is a parody on Gothic Romances that were quite popular during her age.
And, if you think Austen didn’t read them, think again. Yes, she remembered the stuff she parodied by heart. The Guardian just revealed that there is a letter up for auction! The letter clearly shows her interest in melodramatic fiction existed even after 10 years of writing Northanger Abbey.
The letter dated in October 1812 had been sent to her niece, where she talked about Rachel Hunter, the author of Lady Maclairn, the Victim of Villany.
The two had only recently finished reading the novel back then, and Lefroy herself stated, “there was no harm in it whatsoever only in a most unaccountable way the same story about the same people [was] represented at least three times over.” Austen’s letter playfully mocks the book’s florid prose and floods of unrestrained sentiment. At one point, she beseeches Hunter to continue producing volumes about the couple’s courtship, which was “handled too briefly.”
Well, Jane, we now know how you had a thing for the Goth Fiction. *wink*