‘ I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman’s inconstancy. Songs and proverbs all talk of woman’s fickleness. But, perhaps, you will say, these were all written by men.’
‘Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hand. I will not allow books to prove anything.’
From: Persuasion – by Jane Austen
I have been listening to Heather’s excellent episodes on ‘Persuasion’ recently. This quote from the penultimate chapter is from a conversation between Anne and Captain Harville, they are discussing whose love is more constant, a man’s or a woman’s. What I love about this quote is how it is a gentle reminder of the differences in situation and education between men and women in those days. Back then, most writing was by men.