Writing Without Ego = Jane?

Writing Without Ego = Jane?

writing-a-letterWriting for the Financial Times, Jan Dalley spoke this week about the artist and their ego. She laid out the idea that in order to create and put our work out into the public domain we have to have some ego - at least enough to believe that what we are creating is good, and in most cases, enough ego to support the need to have others recognise our artistic achievement.

However, given that Jane Austen and other female 18th century authors did not sign their work (Jane famously remained largely anonymous until after her death), it follows that perhaps Jane and others like her were less egotistical than other artists of their and our time? They were writing simply for the love of writing. Having said that, they did fight to publish their work. So was it a case of ego - a need to share for their own sakes, or was it a wish to share with those around them stories that women could relate to that drove their want of publishing? It's certainly an interesting question to consider.
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