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Posted at 9:28 AM ET, 12/16/2010

Jane Austen Google Doodle skips the U.S.

By Melissa Bell
Jane Austen
We know who this lady is, Google!

Seeing as how the Google Doodle has become a highly fraught device that is either insulting Muslims, celebrating Muslims, forgetting veterans, honoring veterans, acknowledging black rights, but not gay rights, or vice versa, I've decided to create my own controversy:

Google doesn't think Americans are literate.

Seriously! What other possible reason could explain Google Australia and Google England getting a Jane Austen Doodle and Americans geting just the regular old logo? Look at the exquisite nod to the 235th anniversary of Jane Austen's birth:


It's so refined, so sweet. A shiver of flirtation runs through it. The bonnet bow so perfectly fills in for the missing 'g.' If you stumbled onto the Australian site yesterday, you would have caught it. If you head over to the English site you'll see it. But the U.S.?! Nothing.

Sure, Google Doodles do country-specific nods all the time, but Austen has surpassed a country-specific state. It is universally acknowledged that she is universally loved. And yet, nothing!

There is no excuse for this except for the fact that Google doesn't think Americans know how to read. Well, pish posh, Google! I'll have you know Americans love Austen. We dream of Mr. Darcy. We long for fancy balls and propriety and Chopin sonnets. We have long-standing crushes on Colin Firth.

Did Google miss the recent front-page Wall Street Journal article that goes into detail all the many events in the good ol' U.S. that celebrate dear Miss Austen? The booth at the Brooklyn Book Festival; the "Juvenilia" chapter of the Austen Society that hosts regular viewings of Austen-inspired movies; the boost her books remade in new zombie-guise have given to the publishing industry?

It's an insult to every American Austenite.

To make up for Google's breach of propriety, here's some Austen goodness:

The Facebook CliffsNotes of "Pride and Prejudice."

The best scene ever:

And a modern take:


There's even a hashtag on Twitter started by the very American Rosanne Cash, in which the language on the social networking site has become by turns a bit more elegant:

By Melissa Bell  | December 16, 2010; 9:28 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: ♪♫ Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros take on 'Conan'
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"Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" was a brilliant tour de force making trenchant commentaries on our own troubled times and proving without a doubt just how far ahead of her own time was Jane. Can't wait for the next remake!

Posted by: SageThrasher | December 16, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

First Rule of Jane Austen Fight Club: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that no shall ever publicly acknowledge the existence of Jane Austen Fight Club.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 16, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"We long for fancy balls". Snicker.

Posted by: rcupps | December 16, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Everyone in Chicago knows her work: Pride and Prejudice was the book chosen for "Chicago Reads" not too long ago.

Posted by: sigh | December 16, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

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