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Jane Austen, baseball writer

book cover image Jane's Fame

It's hard to imagine Jane Austen lugging a 30 lb. Olivetti up the steps of Yankee Stadium. Still, the first pages of Northanger Abbey do refer to baseball. Page four of our large print edition has: "[It] was not very wonderful that Catherine ... should prefer cricket, baseball, riding on horseback, and running about the country at the age of fourteen, to books ...". Baseball? Jane Austen died in 1817. So the story Abner Doubleday invented America's pastime in 1839 is suspect, to say the least.

As for other sports, did Jane mention the NFL in Sense and Sensibility? Or Coach's Corner in Persuasion? If she did, Austen studies - and sports history - could be a whole new ballgame.

For more on Jane Austen.
For more on baseball history.
For Wikipedia on baseball.