as do 21st century literary critics.
Her opening sentence is: "Spend any amount of time searching for the villainous mastermind behind the marriage plot in Anglophone literature and inevitably Jane Austen’s name comes up."
Even if the intent is to be tongue-in-cheek, Chamberlain is assuming that a) romantic novels are pernicious and b) her readers will agree with her on this point.
Admittedly, some avid readers of romance novels make jokes along the same lines: "Mr Darcy," reads the sweatshirt, "giving women unrealistic expectations since 1813."
Austen, Chamberlain goes on to say, "leaves herself open to several justifiable criticisms... [she focuses] too much on younger women at the expense of making older ones either irrelevant or ridiculous." Also, Austen doesn't illustrate what happens after the wedding.
These two criticisms remind me of Caroline Bingley’s remark that balls would be more rational if they featured “conversation instead of dancing." "Much more rational,” her brother agrees, “but it would not be near so much like a ball."...