Jane Austen fans have reacted furiously to this headline

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Grace Allen
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Rex Features

Twitter users have reacted angrily (and wittily) to an inflammatory headline about one of the world’s most beloved authors.

Jane Austen is annually honoured by fans all over the world who strive to commemorate her birthday. This December (the 16th, to be exact) saw the 242nd anniversary of her birth. The Washington Post’s own somewhat stingy tribute - an article titled Jane Austen was the master of the marriage plot. But she remained single – wasn’t well received, to say the least.

While certainly not the first time Austen’s ‘spinsterhood’ has been touched upon, it’s extraordinary that a prolific writer’s marital status should continue to be rehashed in this way. It was only earlier this year that the Jane Austen banknote was unveiled; the Telegraph reported that she is now the only woman to be represented (aside from the Queen). The note swiftly received criticism because Austen’s image appeared ‘airbrushed’ and prettier than suggested by the only contemporary existing portrait of her. And, somehow, the fixation on Austen’s private life (and apparent distress at her lack of husband) - is still generating headlines.

Austen fans can follow @JaneAustenLIVES for event updates and news.

Image: Rex Features