I've just read a comment by Jimmy at https://www.writersandartists.co.uk/question/view/2618 and was reminded of an e-mail that I received not long ago. It said something like: "[Do you] Want to write like Jane Austen?" Or maybe "How to write like Jane Austen". I suppose that it was offering places on a writers' workshop / seminar / whatever, and came from either "The Writers' Workshop" or "Writers & Artists". I've been looking through my e-mail inbox and can't find it, so I guess that I must have binned it. Or maybe there never was such an e-mail and dementia is advancing on me. Can any of you confirm [seeing something like this] (and rescue my sanity)?
Anyway, Jimmy's comment ('According to Jane Austen, the correct form was "Do not you think" ') has spurred me to answer this question "Want to write like Jane Austen?" with a resounding "Certainly NOT!" *
Not only do I not want to write "Do not you think", I ALSO don't want to write novels where the #1 obsession is "Is she going to catch him in the end?" NOR novels where none of the main characters seem to work for a living (OK, OK: an exaggeration, but there ARE a lot of idle rich swanning about with nothing better to do than going for outings in carriages) while the working class hardly puts in an appearance. (And a low income disqualifies them from love.)
Or have I been reading the wrong Jane Austen books?
* Not even the fact that Pride and Prejudice is by far the most down-loaded book of the Gutenberg Project's list sways me. (16,690 down-loads compared with the much-more-deserving #2, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, at 10,183) [See http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?sort_order=downloads] (Sherlock Holmes comes in 3rd, and a piece of erotica victoriana 4th. That's the only one I downloaded. [I've already got Alice in printed form.]) Of course, you have to remember that all the books on their list are copyright-free.
Actually, P&P is one of Austen's that I haven't read. (Perhaps the only one?) But I promised myself that if I was a good girl and behaved myself, I wouldn't have to. Even if it's free.