Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Friday, 25 September 2009
Looking for something a bit ‘different’, I happened to pick up my Penguin Classics edition of “The Juvenilia of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte” where I found in Jane’s “Volume the First” her novel “The Beautiful Cassandra”. The subtitle is “A Novel in Twelve chapters, dedicated by permission to Miss Austen.” The Dedication reads as follows:
You are a Phoenix. Your taste is refined, your sentiments are noble, and your virtues innumerable. Your person is lovely, your figure, elegant, & your form, majestic. Your manners are polished, your conversation is rational, and your appearance singular. If, therefore, the following tale will afford one moment's amusement to you, every wish will be gratified of
If ever the ‘ideal’ woman is defined, this is it. Sadly, elsewhere we are told though, that ‘no one is perfect’, so we shall have to use her description as a goal to shoot for.
Of course, you must realize that the twelve chapters are extremely short being only one or two sentences in length. The ‘story’ is quite a humorous tale to be sure as only dear Jane could tell it.
Well, now we know what we should be. Thanks, dear Jane.
Linda the Librarian
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Linda has kindly drawn our attention to a great quiz which has been posted on The Jane Austen Centre website
Posted by Rachel at 18:59
Saturday, 19 September 2009
This time, as promised to find a quote from a book other than Persuasion, I picked Sense & Sensibility. Funny enough, it’s about keeping a promise as well.
Sense & Sensibility Chapter 37 (Penguin 2003, p. 246), after Marianne found out that Elinor had known about Edward Ferrars’ engagement with Lucy Steele for solid four months and told no soul about it because Elinor had promised Lucy to keep it as a secret.
“Four months!” – cried Marianne again. – “So calm! – so cheerful! – how have you been supported?” –
“By feeling that I was doing my duty. – My promise to Lucy, obliged me to be secret. I owed it to her, therefore, to avoid giving any hint of the truth; and I owed it to my family and friends, not to create in them a solicitude about me, which it could not be in my power to satisfy.”
Marianne seemed much struck. –
“I have very often wished to undeceive yourself and my mother,” added Elinor; “and once or twice I have attempted it; - but without betraying my trust, I never could have convinced you.”
Now, was Elinor not an amazing woman? Time and time again, it has been proved to me that keeping a promise is so hard! I often kept my promise well enough, but some others (particularly about deadlines) were barely kept, making me ashamed of myself.
Not to mention a certain incident that involved Rachel and I and another girl that failed to keep her promise and even lied about it… (the girl is outside this blog, of course). Poor girl, we knew she lied and she still kept fabricating the facts so that we thought she told the truth.
Oh well. Note to self: always try to be honest and keep the promise.
Pic: Elinor Dashwood and Lucy Steele, SS 1995
Monday, 14 September 2009
My sister, knowing my Austen-mania, sent me the link to the Pride and Prejudice Location Tours, and I couldn't resist sharing it. If I was ever in the UK, I know what I'd be signing up for ... pop over and have a look!
Meryton village, Bell at ‘Bromley’ & Meryton Assembly rooms, Longbourn and the church, Netherfield and Darcy’s London, Hunsford Parsonage, Rosings, Pemberley Interior, Lambton and Lizzie’s Derbyshire, Pemberley Exterior. Upgrade to stay in the actual filming locations used in the BBC production, (including Lizzie’s bedroom with the decor unchanged, and the shelves in the closet fitted by Lady Catherine herself!) A happy thought indeed.
Sorry for the belated news about the BBC's Emma 2009, but the word is that the series will begin screening in the UK on the 4th of October!
Edit: Google's just informed me that the DVD is available for pre-order on the BBC shop, with the release date of 30th November: pre-order Emma.
And finally ... I haven't seen any new pictures (where are they all?!) but here is the trailer :)
Saturday, 12 September 2009
Posted by Rachel at 18:56
Friday, 11 September 2009
This week I have chosen a quote from Chapter 9 of Mansfield Park. Mrs Rushworth is showing Fanny, Edmund and Miss Crawford around the house and upon arriving at the chapel, there is some witty exchange between them. Edmund states:
"At any rate, it is safer to leave people to their own devices on such subjects. Everybody likes to go their own way—to chuse their own time and manner of devotion. The obligation of attendance, the formality, the restraint, the length of time—altogether it is a formidable thing, and what nobody likes; and if the good people who used to kneel and gape in that gallery could have foreseen that the time would ever come when men and women might lie another ten minutes in bed, when they woke with a headache, without danger of reprobation, because chapel was missed, they would have jumped with joy and envy."
Fanny is angered by Edmunds open and clever display of disagreement. I love this example of the chemistry between them.
I also simply love the line bolded above. Even in our modern day, I think it is still all too easy to try to please everyone all of the time and to strive to consistently meet rules and conventions. Sometimes it is nice to just be how we want to be and do what we want to do without this pressure. Choice is such a powerful thing and I think that we should sometimes not be so afraid to be free.
Pic 1: Austen Prose
Saturday, 5 September 2009
In Sense and Sensibility, tucked away in Chapter 44, Jane Austen has given us a character lesson to be heeded when rearing children. These are Elinor’s thoughts after Willoughby’s confession when he heard that Marianne was dying:
Elinor made no answer. Her thoughts were silently fixed on the irreparable injury which too early an independence and its consequent habits of idleness, dissipation, and luxury, had made in the mind, the character, the happiness, of a man who, to every advantage of person and talents, united a disposition naturally open and honest, and a feeling, affectionate temper. The world had made him extravagant and vain; extravagance and vanity had made him cold-hearted and selfish. Vanity, while seeking its own guilty triumph at the expense of another, had involved him in a real attachment, which extravagance, or at least its offspring necessity, had required to be sacrificed. Each faulty propensity, in leading him to evil, had led him likewise to punishment. The attachment, from which against honour, against feeling, against every better interest he had outwardly torn himself, now, when no longer allowable, governed every thought; and the connection, for the sake of which he had, with little scruple, left her sister to misery, was likely to prove a source of unhappiness to himself of a far more incurable nature. From a reverie of this kind she was recalled at the end of some minutes by Willoughby, who, rousing himself from a reverie at least equally painful, started up in preparation for going, and said:
"There is no use in staying here; I must be off."
END OF QUOTE
There are so many ‘treasures’ Jane scattered throughout her novels that one has to carefully read each page. As the teacher/caretaker for my grandchildren, it behooves me to take her admonitions to heart. I can see that her Father, the clergyman at Steventon, probably had much to say on these subjects, especially as he was a tutor to young boys.
Linda the Librarian
Pic: Dominic Cooper as Willoughby in Sense & Sensibility 2008, from Jane Austen's World
Tuesday, 1 September 2009
3. Caroline from Dregston: http://jarelated.blogspot.com/
4. Friend from Dregston, JaneGS: http://janegs.blogspot.com/
Comments are most welcome. Thanks again Clare for the nomination!