Quotation for the week: Austen

At a critical point in Jane Austen’s Emma, the match-making heroine is delighted to discover that two of her victims have been thrown together unexpectedly — and, being a good romantic soul, she expresses her delight by drawing a contrast with the least imaginative professions she can think of:

Could a linguist, could a grammarian, could even a mathematician have seen what she did, have witnessed their appearance together, and heard their history of it, without feeling that circumstances had been at work to make them peculiarly interesting to each other?

So there you have it: “Britain’s favourite romantic novelist” certifies that mathematicians are the most unromantic people out there. Don’t tell your partner this.


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