Jane Austen, Jane Eyre. Whatever.
By Deborah Yaffe, Oct 17 2013 01:00PM
I love it when things like this* turn up in my daily Google alert for "Jane Austen": "Apparently every generation needs its own version of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Jane Austen’s Jane Eyre and now Steven King’s Carrie."
A couple of weeks ago, I was talking about Jane Austen on a call-in radio show when the host invited listeners to tweet their favorite Jane Austen quote. The first one that arrived was this: “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
Which is also from Jane Eyre. Which is not by Jane Austen.
Poor Charlotte Bronte. Up in that heaven where great authors go, she’s probably ranting, “Geez! I could never stand that Austen woman while I was alive, and I still can’t shake her off!”
* Unsurprisingy, it seems I wasn't the only one to notice this howler; it's now been corrected.
When I showed the salesgirl in a large Hong Kong bookstore the card on which was written -- in Chinese -- my request for anything by Jane Austen translated into Chinese, she nodded enthusiastically, and sent another girl off -- shortly to come back and present me with a Chinese paperback...of Jane Eyre.
Ha! Not just an English-speaking problem, I guess. . .