The Who2 Blog

Who Hated Jane Austen So Much?

Was it Rudyard Kipling? Or Mark Twain? Which popular author hated Jane Austen so much?

Jane Austen’s 200th deathday is July 18th, and The New York Times is celebrating with a Jane Austen quiz. The very first question takes on the haters:

You’ll find the answer at the bottom of this post. It may surprise you (or maybe not).

Other questions on the quiz docket: Whether one of Jane Austen’s relatives was beheaded, what sort of booze she liked to make at home, who did (and didn’t) propose marriage to her, and whether Pride and Platypus is an actual modern-day book title.

Jane Austen was only 41 when she died in 1817. Nobody is quite sure what killed her, but it might have been Hodgkin’s disease. Which is too bad, because for quite a while the leading contender was Addison’s Disease, which would have put her in the same boat with President John F. Kennedy.

Now for the spoiler: who hated Jane Austen so much?

The answer is: Mark Twain!  “‘Jane is entirely impossible,’ he wrote in 1909. ‘It seems a great pity that they allowed her to die a natural death.'”

For more on Jane Austen, see our full biography »

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