Deborah Yaffe


Miss Manners, Janeite

By Deborah Yaffe, Jun 26 2014 01:00PM

I suppose it is not exactly surprising that Miss Manners, the doyenne of How To Behave Correctly, is a Jane Austen reader.

Still, as a fan of MM since my adolescence – whatever you may think of her advice, she is a graceful and amusing writer – I was delighted to come across this recent reply, to a letter-writer wondering about the historical accuracy of the hasty progression from courtship to marriage that (s)he had encountered in books and movies “from previous times, such as Jane Austen’s stories.”

“Not so fast, please,” MM answers to the question about speedy romances (clever, yes?) And then she gives a reply demonstrating wit, good sense, and a non-trivial acquaintance with five Austen novels and an incident in Austen’s biography.

I knew I liked that woman.

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