Apropos the recent furor about the new novel that suggests Jane Austen was poisoned, we'll never know the whole story about why Jane Austen died at the height of her artistic powers at age 41, but what is for sure is that her brothers, before she was even cold in the grave, started the Big Lie about what sort of writer and person she was, sanitizing her radical feminist message, a Big Lie that has only started to crumble after 2 centuries:
Cheers, ARNIE PERLSTEIN
P.S. added Wed. 4:45 pm EST 11/15/11:
It just occurred to me that the strongest argument AGAINST the claim that Jane Austen was intentionally poisoned is that, in the shadow story of not one but TWO of her novels, there are instances of unpunished country house murder perpetrated by close family members:
Dr. Grant murdered by Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park:
Mrs. Churchill murdered by Frank Churchill (he who bought gloves at Fords---the better to strangle his aunt with?) in Emma:
So, if Jane Austen had the imagination to conjure up such dark doings in novels published in 1814 and 1816, respectively, I would find it a remarkably large stretch to imagine that she would calmly and unsuspiciously go to her death in 1817, without taking any actions to protect herself, in terms of what she took into her body via her mouth!
It would be like Agatha Christie being poisoned by a close family member---unthinkable!
A Jane Austen Christmas by Rachel Dodge
4 hours ago