I just started to listen to the audiobook of Piper Kerman's story about the 15 months she served in federal prison. On her first night in prison Piper finds a copy of a Jane Austen novel and it brings her a sense of comfort in her strange new surroundings.
This got me thinking about part of our conversation at our last meeting, about the life of Jane's works. Why is she still popular? I don't know if I could have answered this a week ago as clearly as I can now.
Jane is still popular, because she's a comfort to those of us who love her work. We pick up one of her novels and it feels as if we are meeting up with old friends we hadn't seen in awhile. I take comfort in the friendship of Jane and Elizabeth, Catherine's curious nature, Mr. Woodhouse's panics about everything, the enduring love Wentworth and Anne, the protective nature of Edmund, and the ridiculousness of Marianne.
What is it about Jane that comforts you?