G.K.Chesterton: Jane Austen


“… I fancy that Jane Austen was stronger, sharper and shrewder than Charlotte Bronte; I am quite sure that she was stronger, sharper and shrewder than George Eliot. She could do one thing neither of them could do: she could coolly and sensibly describe a man. …” 

 

 
 
“No woman later has captured the complete common sense of Jane Austen. She could keep her head, while all the after women went looking for their brains. She could describe a man coolly; which neither George Eliot nor Charlotte Bronte could do. She knew what she knew, like a sound dogmatist: she did not know what she did not know–like a sound agnostic. But she belongs to a vanished world before the great progressive age of which I write…”
 
 

11 thoughts on “G.K.Chesterton: Jane Austen

  1. From the little I've read of Paul Johnson, he can be fairly caustic but it would be hard to beat, \”She could keep her head, while all the after women went looking for their brains.'

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  2. Thank you so much for this quote. In another quote, Chesterton said Jane Austen was not a genius, one of the few mistakes he ever made. Can you tell me if Charles Dickens said anything about Jane?

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