Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who Would Jane Be?

I've been watching "Sex and The City" and am wondering if Jane Austen were alive today would I be our Carrie Bradshaw? Now Carrie dresses in a way I would not see me dressing. She also has had a few more gentlemen friends than I would have. But she does have a column talking about mating rituals of today and let's face it a lot of my books focus on those very rituals.

Carry is quite as witty as I am and a little more neurotic, but who knows maybe I would be more neurotic if I lived today instead of during Regency times. Would I go out clubbing? The librarian persona that writes this doesn't and probably wouldn't. I also can't see myself punctuating every book or column with a catch line that ends in a question mark?

Are Big and Carrie sort of like Anne and Wentworth? Taking forever to actually get together. I think not. Wentworth and Anne never really moved on. They did have a wife or an Aiden. They were constant. Could we have that in today's society? I know that it's acceptable to be a woman and single now, but don't people still look at us as "on the shelf"? All the women on Sex and the City find love and get married, except for Samantha and she's really more like a courtesan.

Could I still write about love and be as popular today as I am? I mean wouldn't people wonder how I could write about love and marriage without having experienced it? Besides today's books need a little more skin.

So who would I be if I were alive today?


  1. I've never seen Sex and the City, but I'm sure Jane Austen would have liked to be a woman nowadays.
    Maria Grazia

  2. I think she would be a celebrated wit today or perhaps even a stand-up comic. She certainly knew people. But I do wonder at times whether it is the time period that makes the woman or the woman who makes the time period. Think of other celebrated women from the Regency era. Would Lady Caroline Lamb grace the pages of US Weekly? Is she our Angelina Jolie and Byron our Brad Pitt? Would Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire be Nancy Pelosi or perhaps Condi Rice? Would I still have seen the foibles of people and have been able to point them out in my clever way? Or was it because of when I was born that made me me? I often ponder this.

    On the Risky Regencies blog women have been saying they are happy that they were not born in Regency times because they enjoy a freedom now that they would not have. I often ponder this. Obviously it would be easier to be rich in Regency times, but there would still be a lack of freedom unless one finds a Darcy. This question touches me greatly because I recently graduated from graduate school and received a masters in library science. I was told, by another librarian, that I had wasted my life. When she was younger her only profession choices were librarian or teacher. She chose librarian and she cannot understand why I would choose to be a librarian when so many options were open to me.

    I do think I would love to be Jane Austen in today's world, but I fear I do not know what place in society I would take.

  3. Well, just like you, I could have chosen among many other jobs, and I was offered many other positions having studied foreign languages. I started teaching and it was ... love at first sight! I wouldn't change and I'm really satisfied with what I do. Well, this is why I'm not at all interested in money.
    By the way, I was one of the women who commented about being happy of being a woman today and not at Jane's time. Though I love dreaming about that time!

  4. Oh, Jane. In all honesty, I do not see you as Carrie Bradshaw. Carrie writes about fashion and male-female relationships.

    You, too, wrote about male-female relationships. But in your day, these dynamics had a social and economic importance different than they do today.

    I think that, given your grand intelligence and biting wit, you might branch out a bit in today's writing market. Perhaps you'd be like Sarah Vowell?

  5. Kate,

    I must concur. I do believe at one point I said Carrie Bradshaw was too neurotic. I am not neurotic. Sarah Vowell could be good. Although perhaps I am an original and there really isn't anyone in today's society who can really be the new Jane Austen. :)