I think [Austen] is anything but gentle. I think there is something really savage about her, and that is what I like. One of my favorite scenes is when Lydia comes back married with this big ring on her finger and she is waving it out of the coach so people will see her. Lydia does not come to an awful end. Lydia gets what she wants: She gets a ring; she gets married; she gets to come back and flaunt herself. Lydia returns untamed and unashamed. She is not subdued and ashamed of herself. Austen refuses to condemn her. Sanctimonious readers of Austen would no doubt want Lydia to come back ashamed. I like Lydia. The more I read Lydia, the more I think she is hysterical. She is a complete narcissist. Like the bull in the china shop, she just goes in and everything is changed in her wake, like a volcano or a tornado. She is an act of nature.
Regina Barreca interviewed in The Friendly Jane Austen (via dollsome-does-tumblr) —