Deborah Yaffe

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Signing for Jane

By Deborah Yaffe, Apr 13 2017 01:00PM

Heaven knows there is plenty of weird Jane Austen merchandise out there. (Though I’m not sure anyone has yet topped the Austen book cover hollowed out to conceal a compartment for a secret alcohol stash.) My latest discovery: a self-inking stamp of Jane Austen’s signature.


Self-inking stamps are useful devices. They can spare users the tedium of, say, writing a return address on a thousand envelopes, or marking a tall stack of student papers with a “sign and return” message to parents.


I’m having trouble, however, imagining the context in which you might need to write Jane Austen’s signature many, many times. Autographing a bunch of souvenir Austen head shots? Signing copies of a new edition of Northanger Abbey? Endorsing the royalty checks to which poor, dead Jane is so richly entitled?


Truth be told, I’m having trouble imagining the context in which you might need to write Jane Austen’s signature even once, unless you actually were Jane Austen. And presumably she wouldn’t need the self-inking stamp.


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