Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Saturday, June 26, 2010


At that time the opinion existed that it was beneath a gentleman to write legibly.
-George Eliot, Middlemarch

Mrs. Eliot, I am sorry to say people are of a similar opinion nowadays as well. How many times have I heard someone speak of their illegible handwriting with a note of pride in their voice? I must say, it vexes me. What good does it do anyone if your writing can't be read? What is there to be proud of, when that--reading--is the whole point? I, too, used to write illegibly, but enough teachers threw my papers away that I realized I would have to put some effort in.


  1. Hear, hear!

    Also, I don't know if you can refer to her as "Mrs." since the name is invented. Though, to be fair, she did live with a married man for two decades. (He was married to someone else, of course.) And then she went off and actually married a man twenty years her junior. The man she did eventually marry was, "a rather unstable character, and apparently jumped or fell from their hotel balcony into the Grand Canal in Venice during their honeymoon." (Thank you wikipedia.) It all sounds deliciously scandalous, doesn't it?

  2. I considered using her real name, but figured some people might not know who I was talking about.