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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Yaffe

Underwater Austen

Last week, the U.S. Navy and its tech partner announced plans to outfit submarines with a brand-new secure e-book reader called the NeRD (Navy eReader Device).

This military news became Janeite news only this week, however, when we learned that Pride and Prejudice will be one of the three hundred books preloaded on each NeRD.

(For the life of me, I can’t find a full list of NeRD-ready titles anywhere on the web, but various sources have reported that NeRDS will also include works by Joyce, Whitman, Coleridge, Sun Tzu, James Patterson, and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo guy, as well as plenty of non-fiction.)

Of course, I’m thrilled to hear that our brave men and women in naval uniform will be able to distract themselves from the tedium of underwater life by escaping to the ballrooms of Meryton.

But really: if you were picking a Jane Austen novel for the Navy, wouldn’t you pick Persuasion? Dashing naval officer wins battle, prize money, and girl. Seems like a natural to me.


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