Jane Austen Has a Hangover?

Posted on April 29, 2008

Jane Austen fans are shocked at the portrayal of the author in a new television program on the BBC.

Jane Austen fans who think the novelist was a country mouse may be shocked by a new British TV drama that depicts her flirting, suffering from hangovers and reneging on the acceptance of a marriage proposal. But the screenwriter behind "Miss Austen Regrets" believes anybody who has read her books will recognize Austen as a woman of brilliant wit who knew her way around society.

"I am not dishing the dirt," Gwyneth Hughes said. "Some people might not like to see Austen with a hangover, but I am not out to shock." Helen Lefroy, a distant relative of Tom Lefroy, a friend of Austen's, said the novelist may have been a live wire "but she wasn't wild." "We know so little of her, but I do not think she was looking for marriage. She was looking to understand the relationship between men and women, which she used in her novels so well," Lefroy said.

Fans do not want to see Jane Austen with a hangover. And what is this obsession with Jane Austen's personal life anyway? Is it because she created the fictional Mr. Darcy, yet never found true love? Or is it because she did find true love, but was kept from him by society's strictures as seen in the film, Becoming Jane (which we quite enjoyed, by the way)?

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