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Jane Austen News – Issue 80

The Jane Austen News needs female friends

What’s the Jane Austen News this week?  

Where Are All The Fictional Female Friends?

The Jane Austen News needs female friendsGrazia have been asking this week where all of the female friends in film have gone.

“Epic bromances have always been familiar turf when it comes to our favourite films and TV shows. ‘Boy and his beloved male sidekick’ is a formula that plays out in everything from Starsky & Hutch to Top Gun, Batman, The Hangover and Wedding Crashers.”

This is true, we can think of lots of recent ‘bromance’ films, but not too many that are all about similarly strong, uncomplicated female friendships.

“The mantle of female friendship is all too often sacrificed for entertainment in cinema. Think the competitive spite of Mean Girls, Bride Wars, The Devil Wears Prada and even – at its most extreme – Single White Female.

But why? asks Grazia. After all:

The same chemistry is very much alive and kicking between women in real life. We rely on one another; we laugh, cry and argue together, and spend more time than is healthy propping up each other’s floundering self-esteem.

Yet, for some reason, this delicious and effervescent dynamic is hard to come by in the realm of fiction.

Maybe this is one of the reasons why we love Austen so much; so many of her female characters have a strong, loving and healthy relationship with other female characters (we admit there are exceptions like Caroline Bingley). 

The full article can be found here.


Lone Female Authors Also Seek Friends…

Further to the news piece above, an article by Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney asks what’s happened to all of the friends of the female fiction writers, as opposed to the female friends written in fiction.

They argue that friendships between great literary men have become the stuff of legend: William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge tramping the Lakeland fells for example. However the most famous female authors are remembered as solitary eccentrics; Jane Austen being a prime example.

This didn’t feel right to them, so they did some research and discovered that there are actually many examples of famous female writers having writing friends, but not ones that are widely known about.

Jane Austen, they found while looking through old documents, letters, and two hitherto unknown Austen family papers had a close literary friend, a woman named Anne Sharp.

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