Brontë on AustenNot everyone is a Jane Austen fan. This was apparently the case for Charlotte Brontë who, although another author who fans of Jane Austen also tend to be fond of, was not so keen on Austen herself it seems. As celebrations for 200 years since the publication of Emma continue, a letter written by Charlotte to her editor, William Smith Williams, has gone on display which says that, while Charlotte thought that Jane "does her business of delineating the surface of the lives of genteel English people curiously well", she thought that Jane lacked passion.
Her business is not half so much with the human heart as with the human eyes, mouth, hands, and feet. What sees keenly, speaks aptly, moves flexibly, it suits her to study; but what throbs fast and full, though hidden, what the blood rushes through, what is the unseen seat of life and the sentient target of death—this Miss Austen ignores.As much as we love Charlotte on this occasion we simply cannot agree with her.
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