Did Austen follow the stereotype that all women want to be mothers?

Reading The Age this morning there is another article, Not all women want to be mothers and society is finally accepting it.  It makes me appreciate the works of Jane Austen and remember some of my favourite characters who, although considered minor, are great role models. One of my all-time favourites would have to be Mrs Crofts. It is in Austen’s last completed novel Persuasion that she paints the Admiral and Mrs Crofts in such glowing terms. Mrs Crofts lived a wonderfully romantic and adventurous life. She has shared the Admiral’s life on “5 altogether” ships. She rejects the notion, very prevalent at the time, that women “would be too soft to be on a ship”… “We none of us expect to be in smooth waters all our days”. Theirs appears to be a very modern marriage based on equality and respect and this appears to have brought happiness. They do not have children and Austen makes no negative innuendo about such a circumstance. 

6 Comments

Filed under Feminism

6 responses to “Did Austen follow the stereotype that all women want to be mothers?

  1. Sue

    Well written and so true

  2. So good to see your posts again. I missed your reflections on life through Jane’s window.

  3. It’s so nice to see another post from you. I have missed your perceptions on life through Jane’s window.

  4. Frances Snow

    Great to see you back and reminding me how wonderful Jane Austen’s writing is and honestly drawn her characters!!

  5. Fiona Wilson

    Yes welcome back. Lovely to be reminded of Jane’s insight from a modern day perspective

  6. wilson1961

    Yes welcome back. A lovely reminder of Jane’s wisdom from a modern perspective.

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