Getting this out of my system first
I will not attempt to rate the novels of Jane Austen as if I could say one is better than another. Obviously, I may like one more than another, but it would be over-reaching, as far as I’m concerned, to say my opinion actually means one is better than the rest. I have read Pride and Prejudice more than all the others; I read it once a year, in fact, and am therefore more familiar with it. I have read Persuasion several times, followed by Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park.
What I want to do in this post is mention some things that have always struck me as odd about the British and, of course, these are just my own views. One that is often portrayed in Austen’s books is that they marry their cousins or are arranged to be married to their cousins. I don’t know if that is something that was done by the upper class only, or if all people did that. Is it even still a practice today?
Another thing, the man is usually much older than the girl he marries, and she is usually quite young herself. I have often wondered, is that why they do not show affection openly? That’s another one of those things I don’t understand about the British, it's as if they feel it is wrong to show affection to their families. Yet they resort to having extra-marital affairs ... at least, that's the way it is in movies. Jane Austen doesn't have much of that sort of thing in her novels.
One more thing, though, is how strongly they are shown to observe class distinctions: the way a person of rank, as they say, is not even to be addressed by someone lower in their eyes. I would think that’s in the past now, but perhaps not. I do wonder what Miss Austen thought of all that.
Anyway, criticising those things is not my purpose here, but I am attempting to get all the strangeness I see out of the way before considering other aspects of Jane Austen's books, as they are some of my favorites to read.