northanger*

Literally the only three things you need to know about Jane Austen

1. Her first major novel (Northanger Abbey) was written solely because she was so salty about how dramatic and cliche and formula Gothic novels were. You know what I mean. Every castle is foreboding. Every villain is awful but can’t bring himself to kill the heroine because she’s Too Pure. Every middle-aged female companion wants to do the heroine in. The heroine is Pure and Perfect and Is Good At Everything Young Women Should Be and recites quotes and/or the Bible whenever she’s in danger and that makes everything better. All butlers are evil. Jane Austen wrote a book specifically to go “THIS is how NORMAL people react to things!!!”

2. “She never changed her opinion about books or men”

3. “As a girl she wrote stories, including burlesques of popular romances” and you know what that means. Jane Austen started off writing smut fanfiction. If that’s not writing reassurement that you can be great no matter what you choose to write, I don’t know what is.

(Both quotes from the Penguin Classics version of Northanger Abbey)

Boys in my high school literature class: “Jane Austen books are just love stories.” No.  Jane Austen books are about powerless women, in utterly sexist, hideous times, trying to negotiate their way around class politics and hopefully ending up married to a man they, actually, you know, LOVE.

When feeling sad: Read Jane Austen

When feeling happy: Read Jane Austen

When feeling annoyed: Read Jane Austen

When feeling romantic: Read Jane Austen

When feeling weird: Read Jane Austen

When feeling: Read Jane Austen

Read Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey is so underrated like no offense but the heroine of that book is into sports and shenanigans growing up and doesn’t learn anything in school or have any accomplishments or interests until she has a growth spurt, gets hot, and reads so many gothic novels that she almost ruins her relationship w her love interest bc she convinces herself his house is haunted and does an inappropriate ghost hunt.