men's novels and women's novels.
It is a curious fact that Paris
, to which the works of Jane Austen
were lately as unknown as if she were an English painter, has just discovered her existence.
Moreover, it has announced that she, and she only, is the founder of that realistic school which is construed to include authors so remote from each other as the French Zola
and the American Howells
The most decorous of maiden ladies is thus made to originate the extreme of indecorum; and the good loyal English-woman, devoted to Church and King
, is made sponsor for the most democratic recognition of persons whom she would have loathed as vulgar.
There is something extremely grotesque in the situation; and yet there is much truth in the theory.
It certainly looked at one tine as if Miss Austen
had thoroughly established the claim of her sex to the minute delineation of character and manners, leaving to men the bolder school of narrative romance.
She herself spoke of her exquisitely wrought novels as her “little bit of ivory, two inches wide, on which,” she said, “I work with a brush so fine ”