Because Reader X just can't get enough Jane Austen, this story at STLToday marks the 200th Anniversary of the publication of one of the greatest novels in history, and discusses Austen's impact:
Jane Austen: literature's 'Eve'?
By Jane Henderson
Today [SLC Note: Monday, Jan. 28] marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." It's considered by many the first romantic comedy, and many modern novels from "Bridget Jones' Diary" to "Twilight" still blatantly grab at its coattails (or petticoats).
But Austen's influence may be even more important than the 1990s' chick lit explosion. A researcher says Austen and Sir Walter Scott had the greatest effect on 19th-century English language writers. Their influence in terms of writing style and themes was greater than that of Charles Dickens, Nathaniel Hawthorne or Mark Twain, according to Matthew L. Jockers.
A story in the New York Times over the weekend quoted Jockers as calling Austen and Scott “the literary equivalent of Homo erectus, or, if you prefer, Adam and Eve.”