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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dear Jane, from Amanda

Dear Jane-
You have become the standard for romance. You wrote brilliantly of strong, intelligent women who love fiercely, but they all know that truly loving another person doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice yourself.
In a time when women were thought better to be seen and not heard, you dared to speak your mind – and create heroines that did that same. You understood the delicate balance between society and being a lady, and holding fast to the things that matter to them – be it family, friends, or simply their moral ground.

I’ve fallen in love with your characters over and over again, each time I read a book or watch a movie. Even though I know that Mr. Knightly is in love with Emma, I get butterflies every time they kiss.

But I think the most beautiful thing the stories, even more so than the romance itself, is that heroines are never compromised. They grow and falter over the course of the story, yes, but they never have to sacrifice themselves or bow down to society.

And perhaps that is the lesson unto itself. It’s true that you never married, and many consider that a sad end, but maybe it’s not. I believe that you understood that loving yourself and leading a life you could be proud of matter more than anything else.

That is the legacy you’ve left behind for all of us, and I hope that you’d be proud of it.

Thank you for that.


  1. I think she would be proud of it! Great letter, thanks for sharing it!

  2. I love all the different things people take from Jane.

  3. I totally agree - that's what is so amazing about Austen. Her heroines were strong and confident (or they got that way by the end of the story). Austen definitely believed in her sex, and I love her for it. Great post!

  4. Great letter! It reminds me of a bit in A Northern Light when Mattie is thinking over marriage and what it would mean for a career. I guess Jane went through all of that herself, didn't she?


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