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Driving Miss Austen

Posted by on February 27, 2013

You know what I realized today? Fanny Price would be a terrible driver. Imagine Fanny trying to merge: she’d be letting six, seven cars through — basically, she would just sit there until a kind driver in the other lane took pity on her and waved her in. Several times. And I’d be sitting behind her bellowing “LIKE A ZIPPER, FANNY!”

Edmund would be sitting in the passenger’s seat, urging her to take her turn, but nothing he could say would overcome her natural timidity. Edmund would be there because he’d been patiently teaching her to drive. For three years.

And of course they’d be driving Edmund’s car. (Fanny wouldn’t have one.) The license plate would say MNSFLD2 and there would a bumper sticker on the back saying “Vicars do it in the Lord’s name!” Edmund didn’t put this on there, obviously; Tom did, as a joke.

(I’m sorry, guys, I had a lot of thinking time today on that one bad stretch of 880.)

Other Austen heroines and their driving styles:

– Catherine Morland would probably text and drive, or would at least be periodically distracted by the radio.

– Elinor Dashwood would drive like an old lady and be infuriating if you were stuck behind her, and Marianne Dashwood would drive like the teen she is — way too fast, and with no consideration for other cars. She would also text.

– Emma Woodhouse would obey the rules of the road very correctly but would be subject to terrible road rage whenever anyone failed to do the same, and she would be very insistent about taking right-of-way when it was due to her.

– Elizabeth Bennet would be a fairly decent driver, making occasional mistakes due to inattention and then laughing about them.

– Anne Elliot would be sublime, one of those drivers who never makes you nervous in any way when you ride with them. But she would probably insist on listening to NPR or smooth jazz, and it would be very difficult to stay awake in her car on long trips.

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