Saturday, 31 January 2009

Jane Austen Quote – Week 41 (by Linda)

My quote this week is from Persuasion, Chapter 24:


Who can be in doubt of what followed? When any two young people take it into their heads to marry, they are pretty sure by perseverance to carry their point, be they ever so poor, or ever so imprudent, or ever so little likely to be necessary to each other's ultimate comfort. This may be bad morality to conclude with, but I believe it to be truth; and if such parties succeed, how should a Captain Wentworth and an Anne Elliot, with the advantage of maturity of mind, consciousness of right, and one independent fortune between them, fail of bearing down every opposition? They might, in fact, have borne down a great deal more than they met with, for there was little to distress them beyond the want of graciousness and warmth. Sir Walter made no objection, and Elizabeth did nothing worse than look cold and unconcerned. Captain Wentworth, with five-and-twenty thousand pounds, and as high in his profession as merit and activity could place him, was no longer nobody. He was now esteemed quite worthy to address the daughter of a foolish, spendthrift baronet, who had not had principle or sense enough to maintain himself in the situation in which Providence had placed him, and who could give his daughter at present but a small part of the share of ten thousand pounds which must be hers hereafter.


Pardon me for sounding ‘preachy’ to the younger generation, but today, Jan. 30, is my 68th birthday, and what a horrible day it was. Four sick people in the house to nurse and me just getting over a siege myself and feeling rather poorly. We decided to postpone my celebration till everyone was feeling better and the ice storms had melted so visitors could travel.

My quote was brought on by the wedding plans of my dear friend’s son. I thought what Jane had to say was true and appropriate. She gives us, in the nicest way, what we shouldn’t do, and then gives us an example of how it should be done via Anne and Wentworth. I only wish I had seen this quote some 39 years ago. She has included so many truths that we really have to pay attention to catch them. So ends today’s sermonette.

Linda the Librarian

Pic: Anne Elliot (Amanda Root) and Captain Wentworth (Ciaran Hinds) in Persuasion 1995, from The Independent UK

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Later manuscripts of Jane Austen

I just received a notification from about this very expensive but also very interesting book about the later manuscripts of Jane Austen. The hardcover book is appropriately titled Later Manuscripts (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen), edited by Janet Todd and Linda Bree, and we can see the table of contents here. It combines the three unfinished novels of Jane Austen (Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon), with opinions on Mansfield Park and Emma. We also have extra poems and charades in the 872 pages book.

Anyone interested? I might just wait 1-2 years for the decently priced second hand version, $ 126 is too much for a student...

Pic: Cover to Later Manuscripts from

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Quote of the Week – Week 40

Thank God that those other Jane ladies here are eloquent in exploring other JA books, lest I fear that dearest readers will be bored with my chosen quote, for it is, again, taken from Persuasion. I can’t help it, the book just holds my heart so gently yet persistently nowadays that all I did to find a quote was just randomly opened a page, and there you go: the quote of the week. From Volume II Chapter XI (Oxford edition, 2004, p. 194) after Anne Elliot received that letter from Captain Wentworth, and they both wandered along the streets of Bath just to rekindle their old feelings:


There they returned again into the past, more exquisitely happy, perhaps, in their re-union, than when it had been first projected; more tender, more tried, more fixed in a knowledge of each other’s character, truth, and attachment; more equal to act, more justified in acting. And there, as they slowly paced the gradual ascent, heedless of every group around them, seeing neither sauntering politicians, bustling house-keepers, flirting girls, nor nursery-maids and children, they could indulge in those retrospections and acknowledgments, and especially in those explanations of what had directly preceded the present moment, which were so poignant and so ceaseless in interest.


I find this passage very interesting, for these feelings can only be experienced by those who had loved and lost before, who completely understand the meaning of growing up alone, letting go all the pain without giving into hatred or feeling sorry for themselves. It’s like… they grow up without each other’s presence, even without any hope that their love will be returned, and yet they survived and emerged as better beings. And when they met again, they found the same souls that they were attracted to, and also much more, for their separate learning processes had taught them so much.

Jane, you’re a wonderful woman, you know that my lady? I wonder if she was thinking of Tom Lefroy when she wrote this passage... and having a 'what-if' moment. Nevertheless, a strong woman she remained!

Pic: Captain Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones) and Anne Elliot (Sally Hawkins) from Clerkenwellfilms

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Quote of the Week- Week 39

This week I have chosen a quote from Chapter 1 of the beautiful Northanger Abbey.

Catherine has just been introduced to us and it takes us through her transformation into an intrigued and excited 17 year old.

Catherine is one character within Jane's work which I have always taken a particular fondness. I feel that sometimes she is forever in the shadow of characters such as; Elizabeth Bennet, Emma Woodhouse, Anne Elliot.

Mr. Allen, who owned the chief of the propertyabout Fullerton, the village in Wiltshire where theMorlands lived, was ordered to Bath for the benefit of agouty constitution--and his lady, a good-humoured woman,fond of Miss Morland, and probably aware that if adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village,she must seek them abroad, invited her to go with them. Mr. and Mrs. Morland were all compliance, and Catherineall happiness.

This line is particularly poignant to me as in three weeks I am going away for nearly 6 weeks to do some volunteer work abroad again. It is my calling at this time in my life. I adore Jane's insight into the world and other people, considering she rarely travelled.

Pic 1: Masterpiece Images- Catherine Morland - Played by Felicity Jones

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Quote of the Week by Linda - Week 38

While viewing my VHS of Pride and Prejudice with Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul recently, Lizzie said something so interesting that I had to look it up to make sure it was really in the book. Sure enough, it was there. The meaning of that one sentence is puzzling and I am hoping someone can shed some light on it.

In Chapter 54 Lizzie and Jane are having a sisterly chat – about men, what else? The men in question are Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, of course, and their recent get together at the Bennet home. Here is the quote:


"It has been a very agreeable day," said Miss Bennet to Elizabeth. "The party seemed so well selected, so suitable one with the other. I hope we may often meet again."

Elizabeth smiled.

"Lizzy, you must not do so. You must not suspect me. It mortifies me. I assure you that I have now learnt to enjoy his conversation as an agreeable and sensible young man, without having a wish beyond it. I am perfectly satisfied, from what his manners now are, that he never had any design of engaging my affection. It is only that he is blessed with greater sweetness of address, and a stronger desire of generally pleasing, than any other man.

"You are very cruel," said her sister; "you will not let me smile, and are provoking me to it every moment."

"How hard it is in some cases to be believed!"

"And how impossible in others!"

"But why should you wish to persuade me that I feel more than I acknowledge?"

"That is a question which I hardly know how to answer. We all love to instruct, though we can teach only what is not worth knowing. Forgive me; and if you persist in indifference, do not make me your confidante."


My problem is with the sentence in bold. I can understand the first part “We all love to instruct”, but what is Jane’s meaning in the second part of the sentence, “though we can teach only what is not worth knowing.” Just what is she trying to tell us? Is she saying we teach nonsense? Surely she doesn’t mean it, or does she? There must be an easy answer, but it eludes me. Thoughts anyone?

Linda the Librarian

Pic 1: Elizabeth Garvie in Pride & Prejudice from: kayedacus
Pic 2: Jennifer Ehle in Pride & Prejudice from: Jennifer Ehle Blogspot
Pic 3: Keira Knightley in Pride & Prejudice from: photobucket

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Jane Austen Quote of the Week - Week 37

Dear friends - Happy New Year!!

I am excited to post the first quote of the new year and it's taken from one of Jane's letters, dated 24 December 1798, to Cassandra.

"You deserve a longer letter than this; but it is my unhappy fate seldom to treat people so well as they deserve."

And I must be a little tongue in cheek but far more in earnest and admit that I see myself in Jane's words - I do treat the friends closest to me (and usually only the people closest to me - isn't life weird) not half as well as they deserve ... So when I found this quote, it pulled me up short - for I have just 'bombed out' on my Team Jane friends shockingly for the past month or so - and I have a very guilty conscience right now! But her words have stirred up a new resolution for 2009 ...

I know now that I'm waffling, but she did it again. Jane caught me out with so much applicable truth. I love her. And I love you all! I hope the new year is very kind to you all, and that you enjoy the rest of the holiday season. I shall go and work on some NY resolutions which are less foolhardy than jumping off bridges and riding motorbikes ... the latter being the last to complete for this year. Yes!

Pic: Jane Austen by Jane Odiwe from: Jane Odiwe Blogspot