Grace is currently in college working towards getting an English degree. An English degree means that she is doing a lot of reading, writing, and analyzing books and authors. She has decided to occasionally share a few of her thoughts, writings, and analysis here with you. Today is her first post. She is sharing a few of her thoughts about Jane Austen, which she knows is not a very popular opinion. I hope that it is something you enjoy. ~ Lynn
I have realized that I do not love Jane Austen.
Yes, I know that I may get a lot of heat from this because so many people just love her. But I don’t, and I am sure there are some other people out there who also don’t love her, which is why I decided to share my thoughts.
In 2018, I decided to do the challenge of reading every Jane Austen book. Well, let me tell you that fizzled out rather quickly after I started reading her books again.
I read two of her books when I was in school for book reports. I didn’t enjoy her, but I blamed it on having to do it for school. I mean I normally didn’t like it when I was assigned to read a book. So I thought, I’ll like Jane Austen once I start reading it on my own time.
It wasn’t that I hated Jane Austen. Actually, the writing wasn’t bad at all. It was good, and I found the style interesting. There was a sense of humor, and the characters were rather interesting. But I didn’t love it. I found it decent like other fiction books that one picks up today, but I didn’t find it to be one of the best books that I have ever read.
I do have to warn you that this is coming from someone who is not a huge fan of romance novels. Okay, I do love The Princess Bride, but that is one of the few exceptions.
I enjoy stories that have a love story as a subplot, but I never have enjoyed it as a main theme. It is often just cheesy and very obvious who was in love with who. I liked to be surprised when I read a book, and Jane Austen just never surprised me. But maybe then again, it is because everyone knows the story.
Instead I was amused. Then again from some reading I’ve done on Jane Austen, her books are supposed to be funny, most people just do not realize that.
I felt like I could have been laughing more at the characters and weird situations found with in the book. But I wasn’t. Maybe that is because it is just not my style of humor.
Other books have made me laugh a lot more. When reading Jane Austen I was reading a comedy love story, which is not what most people sell it as. Most people sell Jane Austen as romance, not romantic comedy.
And so maybe I wasn’t laughing because I felt guilty reading it when I found it funny. A part of me understands that society does not find her funny and thus I feel like I shouldn’t. Which is wrong, but it threw me off from reading the rest of her books.
I feel like Jane Austen is over sold. I enjoy Elizabeth Gaskell more than Jane Austen because Gaskell is able to make me laugh more, and there is not the pressure to find her love stories realistic. I think it is all personal preference though.
I may pick up Jane Austen in a few years once I get over people trying to say it is a romance novel when it is really supposed to be a mockery of love stories and the 1800’s society. and I might appreciate Jane Austen more when I am older, but I doubt it.
What are your thoughts about Jane Austen? Do you agree or disagree with me?