Meet The Menopausal Side of Jane Austen?

We came across an article by journalist Frances Wilson this week which surprised us somewhat. Her article focused on the lack of literature which explores the menopausal women - women "caught in the midst of their own reckless years, burning-up, drying-out, death-obsessed and wondering whether they will ever desire, or be desired again". Wilson argues that there are plenty of novels and discussions in everyday life about men's midlife crises, but the female equivalent in the last taboo. All is not lost though. Jane Austen is one author who, Wilson said, does write about menopausal women.
Look at Mrs Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, locked inside her high anxiety and lack of purpose, Lady Bertram in Mansfield Park, passed out on the sofa for reasons unexplained... ...Jane Austen, who died aged 42, may have been through the menopause herself – it often comes earlier to childless women – and Mansfield Park, darker, angrier and less forgiving than her other works, reads like that fictional unicorn, a menopausal novel.
That got us at the Jane Austen News to thinking - was Mansfield Park really a menopausal novel as this article makes out? After some consideration, we were left unconvinced, but we do like Wilson's argument that it would be nice to see more menopausal seize-the-day female characters in novels and that, currently, there's a bit of a lack.