Proof That Jane Austen and Amy Schumer Would Have Been Friends

Jane Austen would have appreciated Amy Schumer’s blockbuster summer rom-com Trainwreck. With its flawed protagonist, who alternately feels superior to those around her and unworthy of love, the film draws on themes that could have come straight out of Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility. Like Austen, Schumer knows how to give the people what they want: girl meets boy, conflict and misunderstandings arise, but ultimately romance wins out. Less obviously, both Austen and Schumer share a penchant for feminist comedy that calls into question the traditional premises of the heterosexual love story.

Happy 200th Birthday, Elizabeth Bennet!

Elizabeth Bennet looks pretty good for a 200-year-old heroine. The protagonist of Jane Austen’s famous novel Pride and Prejudice first found her way into print on January 28, 1813, and she’s been entertaining and inspiring readers across the ages. Even though many worship the book as a love story that serves up the traditional happy ending–heterosexual marriage–feminists can applaud Elizabeth’s feisty disposition and sharp wit. 

"Pride & Prejudice" Forever

IN THE FINAL WEEK of January, 200 years ago, the not-yet-famous 37-year-old author Jane Austen was at Chawton Cottage, awaiting the publication of Pride and Prejudice, her second novel to appear in print. “I have got my own darling Child from London,” she announced with obvious joy in a letter she wrote to her sister Cassandra at week’s end. The novel was anonymously published on January 28, 1813, and Austen received her copy on the 27th.

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen! Five Feminist Footnotes

Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, and in her 41-year life produced literary works that have enjoyed mass popularity and acclaim that only increases over time. Two hundred years ago, as she enjoyed her 37th birthday, Austen would have been anticipating the publication of her second novel, Pride and Prejudice, arguably the most famous of her works, with Elizabeth Bennet ranking as one of the best-loved heroines in all of English literature.

Just Like a Woman

WHEN V.S. NAIPAUL picked a fight with women writers in an interview earlier this year, citing a "narrow view of the world" as the source of female inferiority, he scorned Jane Austen for "her sentimental ambitions, her sentimental sense of the world," declaring that no woman, not even Austen, was his literary equal. "A woman," he said, ""is not a complete master of a house, so that comes over in her writing." Women at best produce "feminine tosh."