Here it is:
My late, beloved cousin, friend, and mentor J. David Grey (Austen expert and co-founder of the Jane Austen Society) is doing a victory lap in heaven.
I’m so pleased I’m not even going to take a poke at Richard Dawkins, except to say the world needs more Jane Austens than Charles Darwins.
UPDATE: One of my cousins suggested America should do the same.
I’d nominate Washington Irving (America’s first truly great man of letters, and a fine and entertaining writer) to replace borderline psychopath Andrew Jackson on the $20.
Irving wasn’t crazy (coughPoecough) or drunk (I’m looking at you, every great writer of the 20th century). The only other possibilities I can think of are Hawthorne, Melville, or Louisa May Alcott.
Who’s with me? We have nothing to lose except … actually, we will completely and inevitably lose, but maybe someone will read the Sketch-Book, and that’s a good thing.