Over on facebook I have issued a swift rebuttal to the rumourmongers at the BBC who have published allegations that a seriously perverted hack is at work in the vicinity of the proud county of Hampshire, sending unpleasant missives around the country, including one to our dear leader, curvaceous Gordon Brown.
Over there, I suggested that the author must be Jane Austen, as no one else in Hampshire is capable of such filth, here I can be more candid, and while much of the blame lies at the feet (or the hands, or the mouth) of the Chawton harpy, the truth is more complex.
Hampshire schools are the only ones in the UK privy to the unedited transcripts of Ms Austen’s work. Consequently, whereas the rest of the country sees her work as finely crafted ironic social commentary, albeit limited to descriptions of the interactions of a narrow social class, the children of this otherwise proud county are subjected to the language of a two centuries old sewer, and their literary style forever warped by the arcane workings of Jezebel Jane’s diseased psyche.
Near where I live, as one enters the proud county, there is a sign displaying the information “Jane Austen Country”. This is not an advertising message, it is actually a dire warning to cover the ears of young children lest they be subjected to a local quoting from the hussy in question.
No wonder that the children of Waltham Chase find Dickens so tame. At Itchen Stoke the children scratch their heads, not because they are itchin’ (geddit?) but rather because of the lack of vulgarity in Jane Eyre. Those sprung from the loins of the fine burghers of Lower Swanwick find Thackeray unenthralling.
The children are taught, however, not to use this language in front of outsiders, but obviously someone has not heeded this instruction and taken to lambasting the rest of the country with the style of Dirty Jane.
Here is a selection of some of the phrases from her works with which you may be familiar (just in case there is one of you who has not memorised her complete works) together with the original version.
“Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does” (Emma)
“Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does, so get your tits out and I’ll give you a groat.”
“I have heard that something very shocking indeed will soon come out in London” (Northanger Abbey)
“I have heard that something very shocking indeed will soon come out in London, so get your knickers off, and it will soon go in again, know what I’m saying?”
“She was a woman of mean understanding, little information and uncertain temper” (Pride and Prejudice)
“She was a woman of mean understanding, little information and uncertain temper, and banged like a shithouse door in a force nine gale”
“Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed in love a little now and then” (Pride and Prejudice)
“Next to being married, a girl likes to be given a bloody good seeing to, from behind.”
I have of course, in recognition of your sobriety and delicate sensibilities, omitted more lurid examples. It does none of us any good to dwell upon this sort of writing, and I struggle to maintain the highest standards of information and wisdom on this page while being a martyr to good taste.