Posted by Caroline on March 12, 1998 at 09:40:55:
In response to Did JA know about the birds and the bees?, written by Carolyn B on March 11, 1998 at 23:38:36
] Reading about the "uncensored access" that Jane had to her father's library (which I'm doubt had anything too graphic for a parson's perusal),
It probably contained Tristram Shandy. Since the first two chapters of this book are about conception, and fully the first third of the book happens before Tris's birth, I cannot but conclude that if Jane read this, she'd have inquired further! Many other books would have given strong hints by their comic situations- Henry Fielding I find particularly thought-provoking!
My first introduction to the birds and the bees and growing up was actually a result of struggling over the Authorised version of the Bible, and demanding an explanatin of my mother!
Also,can you imagine her giggling over Les Liasons Dangeureuses with cousin Eliza and not wheedling a bit more of the graphic details out of her?
My point is that JA wouldn't have come up against all that Victorian Prissyness, and between her brothers, her married cousin, her parents who never had separate beds, attending childbirth, all the village children she must have known quite well, all the schoolboy humour she partook of,she would have had quite a good idea about 'how to go on' at an early age!Not to mention the 'rears and vices' joke in Mansfield Park, and the claim by some that Emma is just one long sexual joke from beginning to end!
] What does this matter? I think it adds to the idea that JA was not some prissy spinster, but a smart, witty woman who knew about life. (Plus I rather enjoy the irony that JA at the turn of the 19th C. perhaps knew more than Forster at the turn of the 20th : )
Exactly. I couldn't agree more!It also explains why I have always though Forster a bit of a twit...;-)
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