Talk:Jane Austen

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Former good article nominee Jane Austen was a Language and literature good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
June 21, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed
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Subpages[edit]

Emma was 1816, not 1815...

It's Love and Freindship. The spelling is supposed to be incorrect. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.177.176.58 (talk) 14:36, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

See Talk:Jane Austen/Archive 5#Protection and spelling of Love and Freindship .5Bsic.5D - M0rphzone (talk) 07:11, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Juvenilia again[edit]

I am puzzled by the number of "fair copies": 29 of them?

  • I keep seeing 27, not 29, for instance with Alistair M. Duckworth, 2002, p. 8, in his Introduction to Emma.
  • The list showing in the article gives only 26 pieces; Which would then be the threee missing ones? --Azurfrog (talk) 07:11, 21 August 2010 (UTC)
I'll have to check Le Faye. I don't have a copy of Honan on hand, but I can check the library if Le Faye isn't clear. Awadewit (talk) 21:36, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, I have here Catharine and Other Writings (Oxford World's Classics), i.e. all the Juvenilia (plus a few other pieces), and it gives exactly the same list of 26 Juvenilia. Though I haven't been through all of Margaret Anne Doody's Introduction yet, I haven't seen so far any mention of 29 pieces. But... the book includes three other works :
  • Plan of a Novel according to Hints..., written as you know at the time Emma was published;
  • Verses (and charades, etc.), ranging from 1792 to 1817,
  • Prayers.
I don't expect these account for the three missing Juvenilia (which they are not). Yet I am at a loss to imagine what else could be missing. Moreover, it still fails to explain why Alistair M. Duckworth is mentioning 27 Juvenilia. --Azurfrog (talk) 01:13, 3 September 2010 (UTC)


Anonymity section[edit]

This material was added to the article recently: "Throughout the majority of Austen's career, she preferred anonymity. Stories say that at her home in Chawton, Jane wrote on small slips of paper that could be easily hidden if she heard someone entering through the squeaky door. She wrote under several pseudonyms including "Mrs. Ashton Dennis" (when she sold Susan originally), and "A Lady" (when Sense and Sensibility was published). Her next published novel, Pride and Prejudice was inscribed as "The Author of Sense and Sensibility," a method which was used in each consequential novel.[1]"

References
It can be sourced to much better sources, which we should do, but it should also be integrated into the article better. That Austen wrote anonymously is already covered in the article and doesn't really deserve its own section. However, the material about her practice of writing on little slips of paper could be added. What do we think? Awadewit (talk) 21:46, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
"She published anonymously" pretty well covers it, although some readers may want to know why. Interesting to see Kathryn Sutherland's findings added to the article, particularly to the Reception section (and in its own subsection, no less). Perhaps we could add a separate (and carefully written) "Writing style" or "Literary style" section to the article. This could also include Austen's little slips of paper – minus the "stories". Comments? Liveste (talkedits) 16:53, 23 October 2010 (UTC)


I agree - see my comment below about the new information about her editor. Would you care to help me summarize the article Styles and themes of Jane Austen? I was thinking of two separate sections for this article--not shockingly, "Literary style" and "Themes". Awadewit (talk) 16:10, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Getting across her lifespan in big-picture historical terms[edit]

I clearly value this more than some other editors do. I accept this, so I'm restoring the full dates of birth and death at the very opening. This information was already given in the appropriate sections, where it is entirely appropriate thematically and in terms of the detail of the text. I still do not believe that the fact she was born on 16 December and died on 18 July warrants cluttering up the all-important year range right at the opening. The lead is supposed to be a summary (i.e., a rationing of detail, to focus the readers on the big picture). See discussion at MONSUM Tony (talk) 06:30, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

I will go with whatever is decided at the discussion. I don't have strong feelings either way. Awadewit (talk) 04:57, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm also happy to wait for the MOSNUM discussion, although a consensus seems increasingly unlikely (sigh). Personally, I think in this case the simpler year range is sufficient for the lede, leaving the actual dates for the body of the article. But I really don't mind either way. Liveste (talkedits) 16:53, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Infobox[edit]

I went to add an infobox and saw an invisible note not to do so. Is there still a consensus against adding one? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 11:07, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

I was thinking of something like this. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 11:34, 24 October 2010 (UTC)


There has long been a consensus against an infobox on this talk page. See the archives if you would like to see the arguments. Awadewit (talk) 16:09, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Editorial influence section[edit]

I have removed the following addition to the article:"Kathryn Sutherland, professor of the Faculty of English Language and Literature at Oxford University, has studied the manuscript of Jane Austen's Persuasion (her only surviving unedited manuscript) and has found that much of her polished style is probably the result of editorial tidying by William Gifford (who worked for the publisher John Murray). The original manuscript is full of misspellings (many of which (e.g. "tomatas" for "tomatoes" and "arraroot" for "arrowroot") show that Jane Austen spoke with a strong Hampshire accent), erratic punctuation, erratic word order, unseparated paragraphs, and not keeping separate the speeches of the speakers in conversations.[1]".

  1. This article is based on peer reviewed scholarship, so let's cite Sutherland's scholarship rather than a news source on it.
  2. The news source actually misrepresents Sutherland's position, so we are doing Sutherland and her position a disservice.
  3. I agree with the editor above that this material should be integrated into a "Style" section. I've already written a Styles and themes of Jane Austen article. That needs to be summarized here. Would anyone like to help me try? Awadewit (talk) 16:08, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
The framing of this study galls me. In the flush of composition, the task at hand is to capture the main ideas on the page. If Austen had managed to engage a highly competent editor, what's the literary or economic upside of dithering over grade school niceties, when perhaps she has fresh ideas brewing? This result could as easily be reframed as prudent delegation, with creative attribution entirely dependent upon the nature of the (heretofore unrecognized) delegative process. Oh, darn, "delegative" does appear to be an accepted English word. My point is mired in personal error. — MaxEnt 14:20, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the above sentiment..the study deserves a mention, but nothing more.LisaSandford (talk) 11:35 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from 8.225.199.10, 16 December 2010[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}} Can someone please remove the "PLEASE THIS Klick" vandalism all over the page. Thanks!

8.225.199.10 (talk) 15:26, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done - the vandalism was in Template:Cref2.   — Jeff G.  ツ 15:46, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Edit request[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}} External links: media coverage

Edit request from , 8 October 2011[edit]

Jane Austen was a social satirist. NOT a mere romance novelist. The "genre" section should be corrected, and Austen should be included in satire specific pages (eg. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_satirists_and_satires).

124.191.124.42 (talk) 05:26, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Do you have a source calling her a social satirist? --Jnorton7558 (talk) 12:26, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Jane Austen's death on Yahoo[edit]

This appeared on yahoo.... a conjecture that she died of Arsenic poisoning ... anyone else hear about this? Not sure how plausible it is. http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/crime-novelist-claims-jane-austen-died-arsenic-poisoning-173146375.html Ll1324 (talk) 20:20, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

There seems to be a new medical or pseudo-medical speculation every few years, and we shouldn't give any of them much prominence unless they've been commonly accepted by scholars. The idea of murder sounds rather implausible -- what did Jane Austen have that someone else would want, or what had she done that someone would want to take vengeance for? She wasn't a "celebrity" until after the 1870 Memoir was published, long after her death. Churchh (talk) 03:17, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
Arsenic poisoning does NOT have to be murder. It's entirely possible to intake arsenic from household paint and other sources, esepcially during that period, when arsenic was even a component of certain cosmetics. --Michael K SmithTalk 22:55, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
In the 19th century, death by poisoning was quite common. The poisons included lead, mercury, and arsenic, found not only in common household products, but in patent medicines as well. If someone died of arsenic poisoning in the 19th century, it was almost always accidental. Zyxwv99 (talk) 15:40, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Notable works in info-box[edit]

Notable work(s) Pride and Prejudice - Sense and Sensibility. While it's true these are arguably her most famous literal works, it may also imply they are her only notable works which is simply not the case. If it stated "Example of" or "Most" notable, then that might be better. Thought I would just bring it up. --Nutthida (talk) 00:43, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

I think it's fine to remove them; her works are well-covered in the lead. This is the problem with infoboxes imo. Truthkeeper (talk) 01:04, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah. The fact she didn't live all too long, and the fact she didn't write masses of literal works means there easily covered in the lead. And yeah, info-boxes do have this problem. --Nutthida (talk) 16:55, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Portrait[edit]

It is common knowledge that Jane Austen's appearence is something of a mystery due to the lack of likenesses (other than that drawn by Cassandra Austen). However, there is another portrait that has surfaced recently that appears to be of a female writer from the Regency period. The owner of the portrait gathered a great deal of research in support of the possibility that the portrait is of Jane Austen herself, which was detailed in a documentary recently aired by the BBC. I see no mention of this in this article, yet consider it to be one of the most important Austen-related discoveries of recent years. Should there be mention of it here? Here is a link to the BBC new item on the subject: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16027710 Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 95.150.53.64 (talk) 21:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

From the information (and small blurry image) that appears on that link, we can really afford to wait for a while until the dust settles and a scholarly consensus emerges. Churchh (talk) 17:31, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
The Guardian just did a big story on this. I think it's now at least worth a mention. LHM 14:58, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
The Guardian article is mainly about the old "Rice portrait", which has been kicking around for at least 10 years, and rejected by many. It's not a new discovery. The new one is mentioned briefly near the end. Churchh (talk) 23:18, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Merging Jane Austen pages[edit]

I assume that by "subpage", Theophilec means the "Reception" section of this article (link: Jane Austen#Reception). I think this can safely be closed per WP:SNOW, as a merger of a long, well-crafted featured article (Reception history of Jane Austen) with another long article (this one) just isn't going to happen. The current look of things seems to be in agreement with WP:Summary style. --Hegvald (talk) 12:47, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I move towards merging Reception history of Jane Austen with the Reception (sorry, I don't know how to link a subpage) subpage of Jane Austen. Theophilec (talk) 02:10, 28 January 2013 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.


Modifying Introduction[edit]

The introduction contains this misleading sentence: Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but… It's accurate, but it incorrectly implies that her works weren't much noticed in her own time. I"m changing it to this: Her works, though usually popular, were first published anonymously and brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but…MiguelMunoz (talk) 03:47, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

All the books that were published during her lifetime were published anonymously (though by the time "Emma" came out, gossip about her authorship was spreading in certain circles). Her books mostly sold reasonably well, and were appreciated by some cognoscenti (such as Sir Walter Scott) but they were not best sellers. All evidence is that she had no real desire to meet literary celebrities or to become a literary celebrity. Churchh (talk) 14:32, 25 February 2014 (UTC)

A dead link to a non-source[edit]

What's currently reference 17 has a (bare) link to www.westminster.gov.uk/services/leisureandculture/greenplaques/. This brings "Sorry, we can't find this page." But the Wayback Machine has it archived.

More worrisomely, it's merely a very humdrum page about green plaques in general. Unsurprisingly, it provides no evidence whatever for the set of assertions that follow the preceding citation of a reference, namely:

Of her brothers, Austen felt closest to Henry, who became a banker and, after his bank failed, an Anglican clergyman. Henry was also his sister's literary agent. A memorial plaque on her brother’s former home at 10 Henrietta Street, was unveiled on 29 April 1999 by actress Amanda Root, accompanied by Jane Austen’s donkey cart from Chawton. It was while staying here that Jane Austen wrote most of her best letters.

It's not unlikely that the content of the page changed over time. It seems to me extremely unlikely that any version of the page would have said anything about Austen.

I'm no Austenist, but the fourth and fifth of these five sentences strike me as very disposable, and the first to third seem the kind of material that (if widely believed true) could be found in the entry for her brother in some reputable publisher's "companion" to Jane Austen. (Unfortunately I don't have such a book, or anything like it, to hand.) Espressi (talk) 07:48, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

When I wrote the above, I was new and not "autoconfirmed". Now I'm "autoconfirmed", so I went ahead and made the edits that I recommended above. Espressi (talk) 05:28, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

In the news[edit]

In the news, a new "researched" image of Austen, from the Jane Austen Centre. [1]

Also, why nothing about the forthcoming £10 note with Austen's picture? [2] Choor monster (talk) 19:57, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

For portraits, there's the infamous Cassandra sketch (which those who were alive in 1869/1870 with memories of Jane Austen generally considered unsatisfactory), various artworks which some have sought to connect with Austen without any particularly firm evidence (the "Rice portrait", the James Stanier Clarke drawing, etc.), and pure personal guesswork. Not sure whether anything in the latter two categories should be included on this article. The currency note might go on Reception history of Jane Austen (though many have pointed out that it strangely includes a Caroline Bingley quote which is false in context). Churchh (talk) 16:48, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

see this paper[edit]

for an appreciation of Austen's subversiveness in commenting on a social ill. http://scholarship.rollins.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1028&context=mls 71.163.117.143 (talk) 19:41, 27 October 2014 (UTC)

That seems to give great prominence to something which Austen herself gave very little prominence. In her novels, Austen was always very hesitant about writing about things which she didn't know personally, and most of this falls into that category... Churchh (talk) 16:27, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

Ancestry[edit]

This was removed last April. Not sure why. All the best: Rich Farmbrough20:13, 5 March 2015 (UTC).

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Singh was invoked but never defined (see the help page).