Edwardian is the new Victorian

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Cross-posted to This Delightful Habit of Journaling.

Perusing an article on a new YA rewrite of S&S, we were a bit startled to read this sentence:

[book title*] is a contemporary retelling of another, equally amazing classic tale by the Edwardian authoress

Huh? What Edwardian authoress would that be?

Jane Austen. She meant Jane Austen.

You know, we’re hardened now to hearing Jane Austen referred to as Victorian. We still roll our eyes, but it no longer makes us twitch, because we’ve heard and read and seen it so many times. After all, Queen Victoria had a really long reign. We’ve even heard Jane referred to as Old English, which just makes us laugh. But really? Edwardian? Is this what the overwhelming popularity of Downton Abbey has brought us to? We hope we don’t have to remind our Gentle Readers that there’s about 100 years between Austen’s novels and the adventures of the Crawleys et al. We hope this article isn’t a test balloon of sorts for a whole new flight of historical ignorance: “Edwardian” replacing “Victorian” as a catchall term for “old-timey.” It’s like they learned a new word from reading articles about the costumes in DA or something and started throwing it around like they know what it means.

inigo-montoya

:: dresses up in Edwardian cricket whites, takes up Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness, smashes dopey story over the fence. What do you mean they don’t do that in cricket? ::

*book title redacted because the book and its author are not responsible for these shenanigans, and we respectfully request that our Gentle Readers keep that in mind.

8 thoughts on “Edwardian is the new Victorian

  1. Gill

    In my experience I’ve found most people are at least a hundred years out with when they think Jane Austen lived. When they are told
    it often makes then reassess her writing and persona …. In a positive way…..

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    • Meredith, I don’t think I got past “Edwardian authoress,” to be honest. It was like *sound effect of record skipping* and I just sat there thinking, “Edwardian? Edwardian? EDWARDIAN???” And then did the only thing one can do in these degenerate times: mocked it on Twitter. ;-)

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  2. Not the first time nor the last, I’m afraid. For example, just look at the banner designed by Guadalajara’s International Book Fair for the Pride and Prejudice readathon that will take place next Tuesday (April 23) to celebrate World Book Day:

    And they did not listened eventhough I pointed out the attirement is from the wrong era. I could almost cry.

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  3. Oh my word. I am positively appalled. *I* still rather freak out when I see the “Victorian” thing… but then perhaps 4 years in the World of Janeites is not quite enough to desensitize me to that yet. ;) (I get really annoyed at “Georgian”, too, although that seems to happen more often with movie descriptions, I think. Oh, and then “18th century”. But I suppose that’s better than 20th century… good grief!)

    Edwardian, indeed. “Is this to be endured? It shall NOT be!”

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