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|On the third point
Written by Tarn
(4/11/2008 6:52 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, JA Direct, penned by Line
The Miss Mitford here, is the novelist Mary Russel Mitford, whose mother remembers Jane Austen at sixteen as "the prettiest, silliest, most affected, husband-hunting butterfly ever."
Mrs Mitford's daughter, and Miss Austen's nephews both agree that this rather nasty report of Jane is contrary to all others of the time. Mrs Mitford married a gambling man, which lead to money troubles for her and her daughter, and while I can't say for sure, I doubt Jane Austen would envy the kind of married life she enjoyed.
In any case, Miss Mitford's friend, and the Austen family, do agree that Miss Austen was a bit of a wallflower in society - diffident and quiet outside her family circle. I suppose that some people might fear she was satirical when they found she was an author. "celibacy contemptible to a generous public" sounds satirical to me.
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