Jane and the Prince Regent

Prince Regent, Future George IV / Prince régen...

Prince Regent, Future George IV / Prince régent, futur George IV (Photo credit: BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives)

An interesting story about Jane, highlighting her modern credentials, is her diplomatic wrangling of dedicating Emma to the Prince Regent. Apparently he had enjoyed the previous Austen books, had copies in his homes and was happy for Jane to dedicate her next novel to him. Jane could not politely refuse to dedicate her book to the Prince Regent when it was suggested. But she was unequivocal in her letters about his mistreatment of his wife and his double standards: “Poor Woman, I shall support her as long as I can, because she is a Woman & because I hate her Husband.” she writes to Cassandra. Jane Austen was pragmatic: she made the dedication but in her letters we get a clear picture of where her loyalties lie. She had no illusions about the price that women often had to pay.


Filed under Feminism

3 responses to “Jane and the Prince Regent

  1. Sounds like an feminist before her time. Good on her.

  2. Like many women: practical and realistic as well.

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