Australian politics is full of well known figures that resemble characters from Jane Austen novels, notes Paul Brunton, emeritus curator of the State Library of NSW.
Be they the “pompous, the stupid, the self-serving, the snobbish, the superficial and less often the sensible and altruistic”.
It is Austen’s ability to create characters recognisable in contemporary society – to “dissect human nature with the skill of a surgeon” – that marks her genius, says Brunton, and one reason among many to observe the 200th anniversary of the author’s death this Tuesday.
While the cause of Austen’s untimely death in Winchester, July 18, 1817, is disputed, a series of public events have been planned to celebrate the life and works of the novelist who wrote three classics of English literature before the age of 25. Read on…