Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Stalk Jane Austen

Portrait of Jane Austen, by Rocco Fazzari from The Herald (2008)Gentle Readers: Here is a guest post with some Friday fun to get the weekend rolling early. Alyssa Palazzo is a young college student with a passion/obsession for our dear Jane. I thought her essay charming and very funny. Enjoy!

My friends think I have a problem.

I follow Jane Austen on Twitter.  I watch her house on Google Earth and note her every movement in my journal.  I have friend requested her 307 times on Facebook.  Last night, I checked to see what time she was leaving for the Connecticut Repertory Theater’s rendition of Pride and Prejudice.  Then I followed her there.  I keep my cupboard stocked with her favorite cereal brand in the hopes that one day her car will break down in front of my house and she will want breakfast.

Just kidding.  Jane Austen’s dead.  BUT, if she were alive, I would have absolutely no problem hiding under her bed and tracking her every movement.  After all, I’ve read the books, seen the movies, watched the plays, and enrolled myself in the Jane Austen class offered at UConn.  In order to defend my sanity I have composed a list of the top ten reasons I should stalk Jane Austen (or at least like the books.)

  1. Mr. Darcy, Mr. Knightley, and Edmund Bertram are the sexiest male protagonists of all time.  Enough said.
  2. Happy endings.  Every young lady ends up with exactly the right gentleman despite undergoing several trials and mix-ups.
  3. The heroines aren’t weak creatures who need to be saved.  Elizabeth Bennet treks through three miles of mud to visit her sick sister.  There is no fainting, swooning, or rescuing to be found – although it might be worth it to be saved by the sexiest male protagonist of all time.
  4. The characters suffer the consequences of their actions.  For example, when Charlotte Lucas marries for convenience, she has to spend the rest of her life rotting in the back room of her house while avoiding her idiotic and obsequious husband.  Harsh, but true.
  5. The luxurious settings.  Forget London.  Who wouldn’t want to live in Longbourn or Highbury amidst the ample fields and long country roads?  Especially when you live right down the lane from the sexiest male protagonist of all time.
  6. Best opening line ever:  “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”  Haha.  Get it?
  7. Austen does a fantastic job of mocking society.  The clergymen are foolish, the “accomplished” young ladies are dimwitted, and the main characters can be spoilt and headstrong.  This makes for a great book.
  8. It’s not all about romance.  The books incorporate human shortcomings, character flaws, and moral dilemmas, forcing the readers to think about human nature.
  9. Austen was one of the few female writers of her time, and better yet, she never married.  Way to stick it to the man.
  10. Have I mentioned the sexiest male protagonists of all time?!  I’m a Darcy girl myself, but trust me, there’s a man for every female reader in Austen’s novels.

Now that I’ve defended my sanity I’m off to read Mansfield Park.  Trust me, it never gets old.

Editor’s note: Isn’t it refreshing Janeites, that young people all over the world are reading Austen and getting it? This eloquent and observant analysis just made my day!

Author Bio:

Alyssa Palazzo is a 4th semester English major and Women’s Studies minor at the University of Connecticut.  Her latest work “Leaving the E-Herd for Face-to-Face Dating” was featured in the Hartford Courant.  When she is not stalking Jane Austen, she is working and blogging at UConn’s Long River Review.  You can follow her adventures at www.longriverreview.com

2007 – 2011 Alyssa Palazzo, Austenprose

23 thoughts on “Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Stalk Jane Austen

  1. I agree I think Captain Wentworth should be added to list he is one of my favorites along with Colonel Brandon. When I read Sense and Sensibility I fell in love with Colonel Brandon and years later when I saw the movie I thought Alan Rickman did a nice job with the character. I like #8 on the list her books do incorporate human shortcomings and flaws which is why I like for no one is perfect in her books. I have been reading her books for over 25 years and her witty writing draws me to her books time and time again. Thank you for sharing this list!

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  2. Awesome post! I’m a Darcy gal so I totally pictured him when you mentioned sexiest male protagonist of all time. I loved all of your points and would love to dish with you over tea about them. I may be 30 years your senior but I think we’d have a lot of Jane oohing and ahhing to enjoy. Thanks for the post!

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  3. Ms. Palazzo,

    You’ve already become a favorite in my book, a woman of immense intelligence.

    Dear Laurel Ann, thank you for sharing this wonderful young lady’s work with us!

    What shocks me is, people need more than one reason to stalk Jane Austen!?!!? Haha, I think even ONE of those reasons could stand alone, and be good enough for me! :)

    Thank you ladies, for this wonderful post! :)

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  4. I had a smile plastered to my face while reading this… Thanks for sharing, Laurel Ann!

    You have such a deft touch, Ms. Palazzo! =)

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  5. Granted,there is always a place in my heart for a certain Captain Wentworth but anyone who has the good taste to include Edmund Bertram in the sexiest male lead category is all right in my book!

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  6. Regarding #5, I must point out that the sexiest male protagonist of all time is not down the lane. He is busy shopping for muslins and reading novels with his sister in a haunted abbey… and playing with his puppy :)

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  7. Way to go Alyssa and thank you Laurel Ann for bringing this wonderful essay to our attention. It is refreshing and does my heart good to see the newest generation carrying the Austen torch forward. It gives one hope for the future, knowing that Austen will continue to be loved, appreciated and stalked, that things will work out well in the end.

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  8. Captain Wentworth and Colonel Brandon for me please!
    For the simple reason that Wentworth writes the best letter of all time, and Brandon is a true hero in every sense of the word.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Darcy and Knightley too.

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