Saturday, 23 June 2012

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 196

"I have bought your locket, but was obliged to give 18s. for it, which must be rather more than you intended. It is neat and plain, set in gold."

The quote was part of Jane Austen's letter to Cassandra on Monday, 24 May 1813, written from Sloane St. It was brought to my attention by way of this Daily Mail article about an unknown ring that once belonged to Jane Austen herself (no, I don't think the above quote was about the ring. It was about a locket. But still...).

The gold ring is thought to mount a blue odontolite (bone turquoise) stone. Apparently, Cassandra Austen passed the ring to their sister-in-law Eleanor (who married to Henry Austen), presumably after Jane passed away. Eleanor then passed it to Caroline Austen, who then passed the ring to Mary (the daughter of James Edward Austen-Leigh. Etc etc etc. The ring has been in the family ever since, for over 200 years. This is the direct quote from the article:

A note that accompanies the sale of the ring explains how Austen’s sister-in-law Eleanor Austen had been given it when she became engaged to the writer’s brother Henry.

She wrote: ‘My dear Caroline. The enclosed Ring once belonged to your Aunt Jane. It was given to me by your Aunt Cassandra as soon as she knew that I was engaged to your Uncle. I bequeath it to you. God bless you!’

This was the same year that Caroline’s brother, James-Edward Austen-Leigh, wrote ‘A Memoir of Jane Austen’ with the help of his sister.

Caroline never married and the ring passed to James-Edward’s daughter Mary and it has continued to be passed down the family until now.

The ring will be auctioned by Sotherby's on 10 July 2012. Anyone interested?

Picture: The simple yet beautiful blue and gold ring of Jane Austen's

Monday, 18 June 2012

Jane Austen Quote Week 195

We should have posted a quote last Saturday/Sunday, but because of a miscommunication on my part, it was delayed. My apologies, dear friends. Here's something from Emma (at the end of Chapter 19) to remind us to stay healthy (because I'm writing this with - excuse me - runny nose and annoying headache). Miss Bates was reading a letter from her niece Jane Fairfax (while Emma was stiffling her yawn):

"Jane caught a bad cold, poor thing! so long ago as the 7th of November, (as I am going to read to you,) and has never been well since. A long time, is not it, for a cold to hang upon her? She never mentioned it before, because she would not alarm us. Just like her! so considerate!—But however, she is so far from well, that her kind friends the Campbells think she had better come home, and try an air that always agrees with her; and they have no doubt that three or four months at Highbury will entirely cure her—and it is certainly a great deal better that she should come here, than go to Ireland, if she is unwell. Nobody could nurse her, as we should do."

Had I not been living abroad, away from the tropics, I would be wondering why a cold can be such a fuss. But apparently, it is so in temperate countries. I had my first Australian cold in 2003, and I was bed-ridden for almost two weeks. Afterwards, reading Jane Austen's fussing about cold makes more sense. It seems that it's more difficult to recover from cold when you're living in a temperate climate.

So what do you do, dear friends, when you have the unfortunate illness? Do you stay in bed with hot chocolate and Jane Austen to read? Or taking camomile tea and as much vitamins as you can get?

I think I will curl down with hot coco cereal and watch Emma tonight (after I finish a short assignment I actually had to hand over yesterday)...I suddenly long to see Jonny Lee Miller's Mr Knightley leaning against the door as he watched Emma talking.

Pic: Tamsin Greig as Miss Bates, from Emma 2009

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Tom Lefroy Quote Week 21

Continuation of my post on the Memoir,  Chapter XI
 My objective is not to discuss his religious views, but to make a Jane Austen connection due to his religious views.  As I was perusing my papers/books I realized that such a study would take many months (which I do not have at present) of dedicated research.  So for this post I will only list the areas to be looked into for the 'connection'.  As for the 'connection' I am sure to be accused of speculation on my part.  But that is okay by me.  This 'connection' is simply a side issue brought about because I am so in awe of the scripture interpretation done by Chief Lefroy that I can hardly believe it.

To quote from the "Memoir", Tom made "short notes on passages of Scripture and points of early as 1816 and were carried on to 1860."

The date 1816 is of interest to us because it indicates that some of Jane's novels had been published and he might have read them.  Especially for us, is that "Persuasion" was published shortly thereafter wherein we find Anne's conversation with Captain Benwick in the last 4 paragraphs of Chapter 11 which you can read here

In that place we find these words of particular interest: ... she ventured to recommend a larger allowance of prose in his daily study; and on being requested to particularize, mentioned such works of our best moralists, such collections of the finest letters, such memoirs of characters of worth and suffering, as occurred to her at the moment as calculated to rouse and fortify the mind by the highest precepts, and the strongest examples of moral and religious endurances.

Following that train of thought, we find in the Memoir Tom refers to these:  Archbishop Leighton's works, Robert Daly, the Bishop of Cashel, and Lord Mandeville.  All these need to be researched. 
  Also, in Jane's first letter to Cassandra she mentions that Tom "is a very great admirer of Tom Jones" - so we must read that one for sure 'to see what we can see'.  Those balls took place in December 1795 to January 1796 when Jane was 20 years old.  Please keep in mind that (I believe) she wrote the "Sophia Sentiment" letter in The Loiterer when she was only 13 years old.  That should give you some indication of her mental powers.

Next item, Jane died in 1817 and due to their family connections, Tom may have heard of Jane's illness and passing which led to some reflection about their discussions and/or her books.

Which leads us next to those family connections.  Off the top of my head, there was an Austen who married into the Lefroy line, so I will assume that the family 'news' traveled back and forth.  Another item to be included in the research.

Now, will someone please step forward and volunteer to use all this material to make a Jane/Tom connection?  That should keep you busy for awhile.

Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian
Pic: Capt Benwick talking with Anne Elliot in Persuasion 2007

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Tom Lefroy Quote - Week 20

What I have discovered is of such major importance that I shall take this week and next week to post quotes for our Tom file.

It all started with Rachel's Tom quote for April 14th 2012. So, this week I will simply be setting up my thoughts to be concluded next week.

First, Rachel used the words "context of the Christian religion" which made me want to read the "context" - meaning the entire Part 8 - which I did. And WOW - I was completely blown away! I was astounded with the understanding that Tom had achieved. Then I began to notice some bits and pieces, that when put together, make quite a Jane/Tom story. But first, let me make a request that if you can find a few minutes/hours, please read the entire Part 8. This is necessary to understand the story. To get you all started, please allow me to quote the first sentence of Part 8:

The feature of his character in private life, which was most generally observed by those who enjoyed an intimate acquaintance with him, was his love for the study of Scripture, and the tendency of his mind to lead conversation to the discussion or consideration of Scriptural subjects: and, perhaps, in no way was the closeness of his walk with God so fully manifest, as in the happiness with which he looked forward to the Sunday, and the refreshment he always felt in the religious observances of the Lord's Day.

You can find the entire Memoir on line HERE

You may find it best to choose the PDF file on the left side to download to read it. The part for this discussion begins on page 340 and is called Chapter XI. You may wish to Google 'Books' for other sites. As a matter of fact, I am so impressed that I am considering adding that chapter to my own web site for convenience sake. To be continued.

Yrs aff'ly,

Linda the Librarian
Pic: holy book