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Jane Austen Writes of "Baseball" in Northanger Abbey.

Salience Noteworthy
Tags Famous, Females, Fiction
City/State/Country: England
Game Base Ball
Age of Players Juvenile

Jane Austen mentions "baseball" in her novel Northanger Abbey, published in 1818, after her death.

"Mrs. Morland was a very good woman, and wished to see her children everything they ought to be; but her time was so much occupied in lying-in and teaching the little ones, that her elder daughters were inevitably left to shift for themselves; and it was not very wonderful that Catherine, who had nothing heroic about her, should prefer cricket, baseball, riding on horseback, and running about the country at the age of fourteen, to books . . . . But from fifteen to seventeen she was in training for a heroine; so read all such works as heroines must read. . . "





Austen, Jane, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, (London, 1818), John Murray, Vol. I, p. 7.





"Northanger Abbey was published posthumously in 1818, and while most scholars agree the first draft was written in the 1798-99 time period, there is no evidence that Austen's early draft included the baseball reference. It was submitted for publication in 1803 under the name “Susan,” but never went to press. The text was revised between 1816 and 1817, but did not get published until after Austen’s death that summer."  (from David Block, 9/16/2020).


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Submission Note David Block, email of 9/16/2020


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