The Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness


Professor Mags is set to lecture, but sometimes words are not enough. Sometimes we need to bring forth the Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness.

It’s a thick, shiny Louisville Slugger. The handle is a bit worn, adapted to our grip. We’ve swung the Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness before on this weblog, but the victims continue to present themselves for our disposition. Tonight we’re swinging for the fences.

First up, John Tierney of the New York Times (via the Dallas Morning News, because one may read it for free there) wonders why us delicate flowers want to clutter up our pretty little heads with all that fancy book-learnin’ when it’s not going to get us a man–and has the unmitigated gall to invoke Jane Austen to prove his point.

The women surveyed were less willing to marry down – marry someone with much lower earnings or less education – than the men were to marry up. And, in line with Jane Austen, the women were also more determined to marry up than the men were.

Mr. Tierney, may we present Colonel Fitzwilliam?

“These are home questions — and perhaps I cannot say that I have experienced many hardships of that nature. But in matters of greater weight, I may suffer from the want of money. Younger sons cannot marry where they like.”

“Unless where they like women of fortune, which I think they very often do.”

“Our habits of expence make us too dependant, and there are not many in my rank of life who can afford to marry without some attention to money.”

“Is this,” thought Elizabeth, “meant for me?” and she coloured at the idea; but, recovering herself, said in a lively tone, “And pray, what is the usual price of an Earl’s younger son? Unless the elder brother is very sickly, I suppose you would not ask above fifty thousand pounds.”

We tee up the Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness and *WHACK!*

You could think of this as a victory for women’s rights, but many of the victors will end up celebrating alone.

You mean like Jane Austen? Who most likely would not have written her wonderful books had she married?

Keeping our eye on the ball eejit, we swing from the knees and… *WHACK!*

However, reading the next article, we wonder if perhaps Mr. Tierney had a point–fancy book-learnin’ doesn’t seem to have done [NAME REDACTED at her request] of the DePaulia much good.

Jane Austin.

*hands twitch on bat…and the count is 1 and 0*

This name may strike fear in many or pluck a heartstring, depending on your opinion of thick novels about Victorian-era love tales set in England.

Which would have WHAT to do with Jane AustEn, who died two years before Queen Victoria was born and twenty before she took the throne? *WHACK!*

Let me first say that I have never read this classic, partly because it was never assigned in any classes and I honestly have had absolutely no desire.

Because heaven forfend you read a book that wasn’t assigned for a class. *WHACK!*

When presented with the opportunity to review a screening of the film, I was not too excited, to say the least. I get annoyed very easily and tend to zone out when bombarded with hours of Olde English speaking actors.

Olde English? *WHACK!*

However, the sisters Elizabeth, or Lizzie (Keira Knightley), Jane (Rosamund Pike), Lydia (Jena Malone), Mary (Talulah Riley), and Kitty (Carey Mulligan) are well aware that if they do not have a quick wedding, their father’s dilapidated English country estate (with awesome scenic views) would fall into the grimy hands of a disliked male cousin.

Actually, the estate, dilapidated or not, will fall into Mr. Collins’ grimy hands whether the girls get married or not. This is Jane Austen, not the Brothers Grimm. *WHACK!*

“Pride and Prejudice” mainly focuses on the delicate waif-like daughter Elizabeth.

Delicate? WAIF-LIKE? *WHACK!*

Knightley portrays the average looking sprite young girl convincingly

We do not believe the word “sprite” is an adjective. *WHACK!*

this Hollywood vixen looks about five years younger

Younger than what? *WHACK!*

Opportunity politely knocks when a rich, upstanding bachelor named Mr. Bingley (Simon Woods) rents a nearby manor, who is infatuated with the oldest sister Jane.

Netherfield Hall is infatuated with Jane? *WHACK!*

“Pride and Prejudice” is definitely not a movie for everyone. With the ancient English that employs 40 words and way too many syllables when only a fraction would do

Ancient English? *WHACK!*

if you get past the annoying subplot about the younger sisters

That “annoying subplot” is integral to the story, you twit. Darcy’s assistance in bringing Wickham up to scratch gives Elizabeth the confidence to know that Darcy loves her.

They owed the restoration of Lydia, her character, every thing, to him. Oh! how heartily did she grieve over every ungracious sensation she had ever encouraged, every saucy speech she had ever directed towards him. For herself she was humbled; but she was proud of him. Proud that in a cause of compassion and honour, he had been able to get the better of himself. She read over her aunt’s commendation of him again and again. It was hardly enough; but it pleased her.

*Professor Mags beats writer into bloody pulp with Cluebat of Janeite Righteousness*

The staff would like to remind our readers that violence is not the answer, tho’ we find that it is most satisfying when used upon the terminally clueless.