The Modern Age

I am the proud new owner of an e-reader.  To mark this moment in the electronic age, I have been

Turns out when you type in "prudish", "timid", "shy" or "conservative" female image in the internet, that's not what you get.

Turns out when you type in “prudish”, “timid”, “shy” or “conservative” female image in the internet, that’s not what you get.

busy downloading “classics”, books whose copyright protection has long since passed and so, thanks to the modern age, are free.  In practice this means that I’ve been reading a lot of Henry James.  I’ve also picked up a Jane Austen I’d never read before, Mansfield Park.  Oh sure there was the inevitable BBC miniseries of the book but there is good reason this one never had a big Hollywood version.  The heroine of the novel, Fanny Price, is way too irritatingly timid and priggish for modern sensibilities.  So it was with great interest that I read that Jane Austen’s own mother found Fanny “insipid”.  La plus ça change…

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