A Not Very Georgian Jane Austen: is there a Yorkshire connection?
By Jane Payne.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen must be in want of a re-interpretation.
So there’s the proto-feminist Jane, the anti-slavery Jane, the anti-capitalist Jane, the Freudian Jane, the Andrew Davies wet shirt Jane. There’s Jane Marple Austen: a country house or village location, characters deceiving one another, clues parading before the clever reader, all revealed in the closing pages.
My favourite has to be the Stuart sympathizer Jane. All her good characters have Stuart or Tudor Christian names, it seems. But baddy George Wickham, and baddy Caroline Bingley apparently reveal her ambivalent attitude towards Prinney. Forget Da Vinci; here is a code worth pursuing… (Dear Reader, do you know any characters not fitting the thesis?)
So I thought why not a Yorkshire Jane? Let’s steal the idea and transfer it to Yorkshire aristo surnames. There’s Wentworth Woodhouse and Fitzwilliam. This isn’t going very far…