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Jane Austen Re-Read

The other day I was all set to read Nicholas and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie when I got the overwhelming urge to re-visit the Dashwoods in Sense and Sensibility.

Turns out, today is the anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. Which is sad, because she died young but cool because of the coincidence. Reading Sense and Sensibility on the anniversary of her death? It’s like she’s sending me a message that she approves.

Which of course she would because Sense and Sensibility is funny and great and timeless.

I saw this on twitter about Jane Austen and roses (which is how I realized it was the anniversary of Austen’s death – thanks Twitter!), click here if you’re into it. It will make you want to visit Jane Austen’s house if you don’t already.

Now let’s get back to Sense and Sensibility and how great it is.

I’ve read this book a few times – there’s something special about re-reading books that you love. It’s less about the story (you know how it will end) and more about the people that tell the story. I am loving visiting with Elinor and Marianne right now. It’s a different experience from the last time I read it – no idea when that was but I don’t remember laughing at it so much!

There is this whole passage where Austen basically rags on women who indulge their children to a point of obsession and come on, we all know those women. There’s a whole blog about those women (STFU Parents). And the girl-on-girl hate that Lucy Steele exhibits – why have I never noticed that before? I mean I knew she was being cruel on purpose with the whole “Edward Ferrars and I have been secretly engaged for 4 years but please don’t tell anyone” thing but this time it seems so much harsher.

Can I say ‘harsher’ when talking about a Jane Austen work? She’d probably hate it.

You know what else I noticed? Good guys totally finish first in Austen books. Edward Ferrars? Colonel Brandon? Nice guys. Same can be said for Mr. Bingley or Mr. Knightley. Mr. Darcy is essentially a good guy, he’s just misunderstood for most of the book. You know who doesn’t finish first? The bad boys. Mr. Wickham ends up married to Lydia and totally pissed about it. Willoughby gets the fortune but his reputation is destroyed. Mr. Elton in Emma? Please. With that wife? You know he’s miserable.

I know that we read Austen like it’s our job and hold her heroes up as the ideal of manhood and yet? We still labour under the misapprehension (stole that from Austen) that nice guys finish last.

They so don’t!

Anyway, I love re-reading old favourites. Jane Austen books will always be my go-to when I want to read something I love. Her books are well worn on my shelves.

Oh and if you love Jane Austen but you’re looking for a new take, have you ever read these?

Book love.

What books do you like to re-read?