1798.1

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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
Text

Jane Austen mentions "baseball" in her novel Northanger Abbey, written in about 1798 but 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. . . "

 

Sources

Austen, Jane, Northanger Abbey (London, 1851), page.3.

Comment

Note: The 2008 "Masterpiece" TV version of this novel included a brief scene in which Catherine, at the age of about 17, plays a baseball-like game [rounders-based, arguably] involving posts with flags as bases.

Query

It would be interesting to know how the Masterpiece drama's screenwriter arrived at this depiction.



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