It is with empathy that I wish Jane Austen a happy 239th birthday. After all, it’s not easy to grow older. I was younger than Elizabeth Bennet when I discovered Jane’s novels. But these days I sometimes resemble Mrs Bennet, Elizabeth’s fretful, flighty mother. Oh, sigh.
And yet I wouldn’t change a thing about Jane or her books. She was a woman of her time, as I am of mine, and it’s wonderful that she was born in 1775. Instead of, say, twenty years ago.
Because if she were twenty-something, Jane might be, well, like a hipster. I know, right? A shudder-worthy thought.
Oh, her novels would be as sparkling and insightful as ever–for wittiness is prized by hipsters–but they could also have a very different look. I have taken the liberty of finding images that are less “mainstream” for Jane’s beloved but hopelessly “longhair” (square) characters. No longer are they “fin” (uncool) or “midtown” (unhip), but “straight from the fridge” (cool) and “deck” (cutting edge).
What do you think? Photos will enlarge if you click on them.