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Letters

Get in touch – share your opinions on history and our magazine

READERS’ LETTERS

FEMINIST ICON?

I have just read the delightful piece on Jane Austen ( The History Makers, July 2017. I adore Austen to almost no end. I’m currently studying her for a project entitled: “To what extent did Jane Austen challenge the social conventions of her time?”

My focus has mainly been on feminist criticism. Austen was a genius, no doubt. I do feel she (in her own subtle and brilliant way) challenged many conventions and set out a path for women, especially women hoping to establish themselves as writers.

“Austen was one of the first women to have her works in the literary canon”

The evidence of her subtle personal rebellions against strict regency society can be seen in her nom de plume. Austen originally published as simply “a Lady”. She is, therefore, perhaps more progressive than the likes of the Brontë sisters and George Eliot, who all had male pen-names. Austen, for her time, was progressive in that she knew she was disparaged for being a woman, but continued to write novels regardless. One may also point out the fact that Austen is one of the first women to have her works in the literary canon, a typical field of male dominance.

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

Inside, Tudor historian Alison Weir uncovers one of the most "grievous miscarriages of justice" in English history, we find out why the Vietnam War was doomed from the start, and explore the secret life of Albert Einstein, from his rebellious childhood to his scandalous affair.