Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Blog Recycled ~ Jane Austen

I know it's been ages since I last posted a blog. I've been busy, with family things, writing, and other stuff. To top it all off, I'm recycling blogs. Why? Because in my usual fashion, I get so caught up in the moment, that I don't stop to think about the work load I'm putting on myself. Yes, I'm talking about all those extra blogs I had going there for a while. You will see they are no longer on my navigating bar. That's right I've put them to bed.

So back to my recycling. Even if I do say so myself, I did have some good ideas for posts. Because I'm having trouble posting here at the moment with all that is still going on in my life, I'm recycling the posts from my now defunct blogs. First up is my look into famous or influential women in history. Who better for me to start with than Jane Austen?

Jane Austen, born December 16th, 1775 at Stevenson, Hampshire England, the seventh of eight children, and the second daughter. Jane’s life was not unlike that of many of her heroines, raised in a family on medium income, where the daughters would need to marry into money, as there was little to be bestowed upon them when their father’s died.

Jane’s father Rev. George Austen the local rector at Stevenson and his wife Cassandra (nee Leigh) by all accounts had a loving marriage. Jane enjoyed reading, learnt to draw and play the piano (although rather poorly. Sound like anyone?) 

From many of Jane’s letters to her beloved sister Cassandra, Jane came across as a girl/woman who enjoyed the company and affection of many who attended the social gathering of the time.

In one letter she writes about a mutual flirtation with Thomas Lefroy. Thomas is believed to have been Jane’s great love interest, but because he had no money of his own and the fact Jane, herself had no money coming her way, they did not pursue this relationship.

Jane write to Cassandra saying:

"Tell Mary that I make over Mr. Heartley and all his estate to her for her sole use and benefit in future, and not only him, but all my other admirers into the bargain wherever she can find them, even the kiss which C. Powlett wanted to give me, as I mean to confine myself in future to Mr. Tom Lefroy, for whom I do not care sixpence. Assure her also, as a last and indisputable proof of Warren's indifference to me, that he actually drew that gentleman's picture for me, and delivered it to me without a sigh.

Friday. -- At length the day is come on which I am to flirt my last with Tom Lefroy, and when you receive this it will be over. My tears flow at the melancholy idea."

Now that is just too sad.

Was this were Jane draw her inspiration for her novels? Did she cast the spiteful Mrs. Mitford as one of her characters? Mrs. Mitford’s description of Jane as "the prettiest, silliest, most affected, husband-hunting butterfly she ever remembers" sounds somewhat like Lady Catherine De Bourgh.

When Jane died 18th July 1817 at the age of 41, she life behind a legacy of wonderful novels written by a woman of great imagination and humour.

The inscription on Jane’s grave at Winchester Cathedral:

                                  In memory of

                               JANE AUSTEN,

                     youngest daughter of the late

                       Revd. GEORGE AUSTEN,

             formerly Rector of Steventon in this County.

            She departed this Life on the 18th July 1817,

              aged 41, after a long illness supported with

               the patience and the hopes of a Christian.

                    The benevolence of her heart,

              the sweetness of her temper, and

            he extraordinary endowments of her mind

          obtained the regard of all who knew her, and

          the warmest love of her intimate connections.

          Their grief is in proportion to their affection

           they know their loss to be irreparable,

        but in the deepest affliction they are consoled

       by a firm though humble hope that her charity,

          devotion, faith and purity have rendered

          her soul acceptable in the sight of her


Jane’s novels continue to fascinate readers the world over and with many either made into mini-series for television or movies, the interest in Jane’s work is sure to continue to grow.



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