by Brenda W. Clough
Oh, you’ve heard of ‘Calamity’ Jane Austin. She was a native of Texas, a noted women’s author in the early 19th Century. She even has a web page, summarizing her corpus of novels. Surely you have heard of her Northanger Abilene, or Fence and Fencibility. And Winchester Park is undeniably a classic.
No? Well, perhaps you have never been a high school student with an English paper due tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m., desperately trawling the internet for stuff to rip off. About ten years ago several evil-minded authors decided to lay a trap for these unwary researchers, their fingers inaccurately fumbling over the keyboards and misspelling authors’ surnames. I even drew a sketch of the famous author, which is now lost to the mists of time. But Richard Harter seems to have saved the best of Miss Austin’s work! I am thrilled and amazed that the page gets numerous hits a month, and I trust and hope that English teachers everywhere look at the resulting papers, and enjoy a well-deserved laugh.