I’ve been a fan of Jane Austen’s books for decades, and though she obviously hasn’t written anything new lately, I still enjoy the thrill of picking up a new copy of one of her novels. What is it about her books that makes them so timeless, so enjoyable today, centuries after her death? Here’s my list of 7 reasons I love Jane Austen’s novels…
1. The Characters Are Still Relevant
There is something enduring about Jane Austen’s characters, especially the young women, that makes them special and readable. They’re intelligent, talented, and a little saucy without being risqué. Isn’t that the demeanor we’re all going for, even now?
2. They’re Full of Intrigue and Plot Twists
Long before “The DaVinci Code” and other modern books known for their plot twists, Jane Austen was writing novels full of intrigue and little unexpected schemes. While the plots seem a little formulaic in the end, it’s the little twists and turns throughout the books that make them so special.
3. They’re so Well Written
Jane Austen was no hack — she was clearly an educated, intelligent woman with a lot of literary talent. That shows through in her books, in her style of writing. Her grammar and word choices were stellar, and they both make her books vivid and fun to read.
4. It’s a Peek into the Era
I love reading Jane Austen’s novels because they give me a peek into the lifestyles of women back then. What they wore, what they ate, how they amused themselves. It’s all so interesting!
5. Everyone’s Got Such Lovely Manners!
While each novel has its own version of a cad, none of Jane Austen’s books contain one word of swearing, or any real fight scenes. Even when the extremely displeased Lady Catherine visits Elizabeth Bennett in “Pride and Prejudice” to set her straight, their cat-fight is all about propriety and words, not scratching and clawing each other’s eyes out.
6. There’s No Sex, Drugs, or Swearing
Again, there’s no cursing in Jane Austen’s novels, very little sex, and absolutely no drug use (though there is a little drinking). This was long before the days of teen girls wearing sweatpants that say “sexy bitch” across the butt… long before Snookie…
7. The Smart, Patient, Witty Girl Always Wins
In almost all of Jane Austen’s novels, there’s one valuable lesson I think still applies today — the patient, smart girl with morals and humor always wins in the end. While it may seem naïve to think that’s true, in my experience, it is. It’s karma, something we all still believe in…
Those are some of the reasons I adore Jane Austen’s books, but I’ sure other fans can add more… what about you? Do you love reading Jane Austen’s books? Which is your favorite book or character, and why? Please let me know!