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Do men forget those they love sooner than women?

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In Persuasion Jane Austen records an exchange between Anne Elliot and Captain Harville about the constancy of men -

“Poor Fanny! she would not have forgotten him so soon!”

“No,” replied Anne, in a low feeling voice. “That I can easily believe.”

“It was not in her nature. She doted on him.”

“It would not be the nature of any woman who truly loved.”

Captain Harville smiled, as much as to say, “Do you claim that for your sex?” and she answered the question, smiling also, “Yes. We certainly do not forget you so soon as you forget us. . .”

“No, no, it is not man’s nature. I will not allow it to be more man’s nature than woman’s to be inconstant and forget those they do love, or have loved. I believe the reverse. . .”

PBS, American public television, is sometimes referred to as the Predominately British Service. Its new Masterpiece season is presenting film adaptations of all six of Jane Austen's novels and a biopic of her life, Miss Austen Regrets.

Jane Austen answered her question about the constancy of men as compared with women in Persuasion, which aired last night.

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