"Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick & wicked"

- Jane Austen
"Jane Austen is weirdly capable of keeping everybody busy. The moralists, the Eros-and-Agape people, the Marxists, the Freudians, the Jungians, the semioticians, the deconstructors - all find an adventure playground in six samey novels about middle-class provincials. And for every generation of critics, and readers, her fiction effortlessly renews itself."

- Martin Amis, in The New Yorker

Monday, July 14, 2008

A List of Jane Austen’s admirers discovered so far:

January 1796
Mr Heartley
Rev. Charles Powlett (c.1765-1834)
John Lyford (1769-1799)
John Willing Warren (1771- c.1831), probably an admirer, although Jane denied it.
January 1796 – at least August 1796 (possibly as late as December 1797)
Thomas Langlois Lefroy (1776-1869)
Christmas 1797 - November 1798
Rev. Samuel Blackall (1770-1842)
January 1799
An unnamed officer of the Cheshire militia (an almost-admirer)
Summer 1801
An unnamed clergyman who suddenly died
November or December 1802
Harris Bigg-Wither (1781 –1833)
Sometime after August 1805
Rev. Edward Bridges (1779-1825)
Date unknown
Thomas Harding Newman (1779 - 1856)

More details to follow on each of these, but not a bad collection for a spinster who, they tried very hard to convince us, had a totally uneventful life and was “never in love”.

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