What is it about Jane Austen that would attract different kinds of people? The author herself might be dumbfounded if she was around, as she doesn't have a clue that her novels would attract a cult following after her death. The genteel fields in England inspired succeeding generations of writers, as the mash-up genre saw zombies, vampires, and sea monsters acquainting with young ladies who wanted nothing more than settling down with a gentleman with a fortune. Universal Pictures, which would be planning a shared universe of cinema's most terrifying creatures, may consider it for a spin-off in the near future. But the alt-right?
Douglas McGrath, actor and screenwriter, wanted to bring Austen's "Emma" to American theaters. He chose Gwyneth Paltrow, a tall woman with blond hair, to play the titular character. Paltrow's Emma Woodhouse would be a spoiled girl with nothing much between her ears. McGrath's "Emma" didn't disappoint the critics, even did a respectable showing at the box-office. If Austen were alive, she might have reservations about Paltrow's casting. The author never paid too much attention to the physical features of her characters. In the case of Miss Woodhouse, readers would recall her hazel eyes. They couldn't forget her wit as well, which seemed lacking in McGrath's depiction of the titular character. There would lie the difference. Could McGrath harbor alt-right feelings?
The alternative right, or alt-right for short, never supported a multicultural society. Many people thought they were white supremacists, even suspecting them of Nazi sympathizers who strongly believed in the Aryan race. Don't be surprised if they looked at Edward Bulwer-Lytton's "Vril" as a Bible of a sort. (The novel narrated how the narrator, a mining engineer, stumbled into a subterranean world inhabited by angel-like beings. They have extraordinary powers, and they could annihilate the human civilization if there won't be any space left for them underneath the Earth's surface.) The alt-right may buck the mainstream conservatism, but they don't have a place in this politically-correct era. This may be the reason why some members turned to Austen.
Austen, a native of Hampshire, was far from being a political figure (like George Orwell). Then again, it wasn't hard to picture Mr. Darcy as an alt-right supporter. It would be safe to say that the novelist didn't picture a blond-haired Englishman, as the actors who portrayed the misinterpreted, if not maligned, character have dark hair (or waves of brown). Darcy's appearance could give strangers (and even acquaintances) a misleading impression that his kind should inhabit Netherfield. It doesn't seem remote from what the alt-right supporters have in mind.
Austen would be comforted with the thought, as this could lead to renewed interest in her works. This must be the greatest compliment, if not reward, for any writer. On the other hand, alt-right supporters may choose to ignore Ang Lee's adaptation of Austen's "Sense and Sensibility". He's a Taiwanese filmmaker, who would have success in Hollywood. Emma Thompson, who hails from Paddington, penned the script. She also played Elinor Dashwood, so there. It would be fine with the author (if she were around).