Posted by Marie Bernadette on March 12, 1998 at 14:50:29:
In response to Uncensored access, written by Caroline on March 12, 1998 at 09:40:55
] 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),
Caroline: (much snipped)
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...
One thing that I try to get across to people is that in the 18th and early 19th (first thirty years or so) centuries people were not prudes like the Victorians. The Pre-Victorians had a more natural attitude to sex, although this varied from culture to culture. The Victorians were an exception to the rule and we would do well to keep in mind that their predecessors were not like them in this regard.
] 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 : )
The idea of the 'prissy spinster' is definately Victorian. I've noticed that since we are closer in time to the Victorian age we tend to view things from that perpective and lump other periods in with it. Big mistake. The more I study the two periods, the more I see how different they were. Your comparing JA to Forster is an exellent example. I think there were plenty of opportunities for a Late 18th/Regency era woman (even an umarried one) to learn about 'the birds and the bees'.
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