The Jane Austen Manifesto

I recently read this old article: The Jane Austen Manifesto: How we can save the world by writing like Austen

It’s very beautiful, interesting, and amusing. I encourage everyone to read it!

Basically, the author’s point is this: that the Internet, and the world in general, will become a better, much nicer, place if everyone strove to write and speak like Jane Austen or one of her heroes and heroines.

Very true. I’ve long shared that view. But it would be better to take it a step further: The Internet, and the world in general, will become a better, much nicer, place if everyone strove to be the person Jane Austen was or the persons her protagonists were. Elegance, wit, and intelligence in one’s manner of writing and speaking are only secondarily important. Of primary importance is character, intellect, and manners.

I love this manifesto, but it doesn’t go deep enough. We should not only strive to write and speak well, we should also strive to think and live well. Jane Austen and her characters were very well-read; loved to think and engage in well-thought out, and oftentimes long, conversations; delighted in genuine friendships and relationships; lived their lives according to a high moral standard or set of ethical principles; knew how to appreciate beauty in music, the arts, and nature; attracted by men and women of character; strove to live like real gentlemen and ladies; and abhorred or were repulsed by scoundrels.

So this manifesto needs to be revised.

By the way, I have a new favorite word: Austenesque.


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