As Jane climbed over a hedge and landed in a pool of mud, some of which flew upwards and came to rest on her boots, gown and face, she paused for a moment, pondering whether behaviour like this might be the reason she struggled to find a husband.
The fact that she wandered through some farmer’s turnip paddock at eight o’clock in the morning did not alone make Jane consider ineligibility for marriage to be her greatest talent. As she leapt over a stone fence and into another field – less of a field, in fairness, and more of a quagmire (Why did she always end up in the dirtiest fields in England? Did mud seduce her?) – she compiled a list of all the ways in which her character could be considered unmarriageable.