The Alt-Right Have Decided That Jane Austen Is Their Spirit Author, Because Of Course

Apparently she supports their views on racial purity and subservient wives

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If you're still waiting for your daily dose of rage from the World Wide Web (I mean, unlikely, but just in case…) then we've got news that will incense the bibliophile, the patriot and the feminist in you all in one fell sweep.

America's alt-right (that's the extreme internet sub-culture of ultra-conservative voices that have been criticised for their white nationalist views and, incidentally, the substantial role they played in propelling Donald Trump to election victory) has found an unlikely heroine in our very own British author Jane Austen.

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Yes, England's literary sweetheart, who most of us can agree made her mark precisely because of smashing the patriarchal restrictions of the time, is currently being held up as a poster girl for 'racial purity and subservient wives' by alt-right websites and blogs, the Telegraph reports.

Notionally, it is Austen's vision of 'a better, bygone Britain' that has drawn adulation from the alt-right.

In her essay 'Alt-Right Jane Austen', author Nicole Wright points out that several aspects of Georgian-era custom would be appealing to ultra-conservative 21st century Americans. According to Nicole, Austen is:

"1) symbol of sexual purity; 2) standard-bearer of a vanished white traditional culture; and 3) exception that proves the rule of female inferiority."

Excuse us whilst we throw up a little bit in our mouths. Is nothing sacred any more?

Clearly the alt-right is forgetting the fact that Austen shirked traditional parameters for gendered vocations, by becoming a popular author in the first place.

Much like arguably her most famous and revered character Lizzie Bennet, Austen also shunned the idea of marrying a man she didn't love, even if security and social standing demanded it. She didn't marry at all in fact, defiantly turning her nose up at the institution.

Jane Austen's books, true, bore very few allusions to out-and-out sex. Of course, this was a sign of the times, rather than her nod to the virtues of sexual purity, but also might it be fairer to note that she gave her column inches over to women with brains, rather than woman as sex objects.

Emma Woodhouse was extremely shrewd, Lizzie Bennet was almost too smart for her own good, or certainly her own happiness.

It actually wouldn't be a stretch to call Jane Austen a torch-bearer for Georgian era feminism - doubt the alt-right would be on board with that now, would they...?

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