In whom so united those Qualities dwell;
Where 'dear Sensibility', Sterne's darling Maid,
With Sense so attemper'd is finely portray'd
Fair Elinor's self in that Mind is exprest,
And the Feelings of Marianne live in that Breast,
The past few weeks I have been having some difficulties at work, sometimes the injustice of working very hard with little recognition just becomes too much. I saw this quote from page 195 of Tom Lefroy's memoir and it seemed to summarise my feelings quite closely:
"Although the distaste for political life which led to his at first declining the representation of the university still continued, it never prevented his entering with individual interest and zeal into the duties of his post"
I think that sometimes even with the distaste for aspects of our jobs it should not cause us to let ourselves down, we should be proud to exhibit drive and commitment even in adversity. I feel grateful for the reminder.
|Lalita Bakshi (Aishwarya Rai) and William Darcy (Martin Henderson) in Bride & Prejudice|
"NOT all that Mrs. Bennet, however, with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask on the subject was sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactory description of Mr. Bingley. They attacked him in various ways; with barefaced questions, ingenious suppositions, and distant surmises; but he eluded the skill of them all; and they were at last obliged to accept the second-hand intelligence of their neighbour Lady Lucas. Her report was highly favourable. Sir William had been delighted with him. He was quite young, wonderfully handsome, extremely agreeable, and, to crown the whole, he meant to be at the next assembly with a large party. Nothing could be more delightful! To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love; and very lively hopes of Mr. Bingley's heart were entertained."
I am sorry for the delay in posting a quote this week, I have been very busy and have not had any time for relaxing and reflecting. I have recently started a counselling course and a requirement of the course is that a journal is kept, in rushing to complete this last minute before the next session I realised that this was quite ridiculous and wondered what Jane had to say about making time for reflection.
In Pride and Prejudice Chapter 37 Elizabeth is also contemplating:
"Lady Catherine had many other questions to ask respecting their journey, and as she did not answer them all herself, attention was necessary, which Elizabeth believed to be lucky for her, or, with a mind so occupied, she might have forgotten where she was. Reflection must be reserved for solitary hours; whenever she was alone, she gave way to it as the greatest relief; and not a day went by without a solitary walk, in which she might indulge in all the delight of unpleasant recollections."
Large note to self, make more time for solitary reflection. I think that without it the world becomes too busy and confusing.
|Capt Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones) and Anne Elliot (Sally Hawkins) in Persuasion 2007|
Lady Dalrymple's carriage, for which Miss Elliot was growing very impatient, now drew up; the servant came in to announce it. It was beginning to rain again, and altogether there was a delay, and a bustle, and a talking, which must make all the little crowd in the shop understand that Lady Dalrymple was calling to convey Miss Elliot. At last Miss Elliot and her friend, unattended but by the servant, (for there was no cousin returned), were walking off; and Captain Wentworth, watching them, turned again to Anne, and by manner, rather than words, was offering his services to her.'I am much obliged to you,' was her answer, 'but I am not going with them. The carriage would not accommodate so many. I walk: I prefer walking.''But it rains.''Oh! very little, Nothing that I regard.'
|Jane Bennet (Rosamund Pike) nursed by Lizzy (Keira Knightley) in PP 2005|
We received a very interesting email a couple of weeks ago from a man who owns the former church of St. Oswalds in Fulford, York, England. His garden is the former grave yard and he emailed us to tell us that there were two mid 19th century burials in this graveyard, captain Anthony Lefroy and his wife Elizabeth.
We have touched on Anthony Lefroy, Tom Lefroy's younger brother, before in previous quotes but here are some details below. Anthony Lefroy was born on October 19 1777 and became a Captain in the 65th Regiment, the commission being purchased for him by his Langlois great-uncles. Anthony had a love match marriage in 1798 to Elizabeth Wilkin, she was considered undesirable due to her lack of fortune and the Langlois family refused to provide any further financial assistance. Tom Lefroy was eventually able to obtain for his brother the position of Barrack-Master, first in Arundel and later in York, where this branch of the family therefore remained. One of Anthony and Elizabeth's sons, Thomas Edward Preston Lefroy (1815-1887), married in 1846 his cousin Anna-Jemima Lefroy (daughter of Anna Austen and Benjamin Lefroy. Anthony Lefroy died on September 7th 1857.
This story has always been interesting to us as the marriage between Anthony and Elizabeth was in 1798, this is the year that Tom Lefroy would have still had very strong feelings for Jane Austen. Given that his younger brother had married a woman of no fortune and gone against the families wishes, it would have been very difficult for Tom to also cut himself off from the family too, he would have felt a huge responsibility to "marry well" given that his second younger brother (Benjamin) was still 16 years old.
The email received recently stated:
"He was indeed the master of nearby Fulford cavalry barracks, but I have no more information regarding his tenure. The grave consists of a huge thick slab of stone
surrounded by railings. There is a full inscription of who he was and more
importantly, who his father was. It is said he married without the support of
his family, especially his rich uncle Benjamin and subsequently lost the
support of his family. Perhaps this explains why he remained in obscurity as a
lowly captain when his brother achieved greatness. What is sure he remained true
to his wife and they stayed together until his death - she died only a few
We have asked whether a photograph can be sent with the inscription and we will be sure to post it if we do receive.
I think that this story demonstrates that true love and following your heart always wins in the end.
|Hayley Atwell as Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park 2007|
"...you see but half. You see the evil, but you do not see the consolation. There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere."
|Keira Knightley as Lizzy Bennet (PP 2005) having a walk|
|For MH17 with love|
To the last he retained a cheerful and patient endurance under suffering which often elicited the astonishment and admiration of those who attended upon his sickness. I remember in his last illness (only two days before he was taken from us), after he had spent a very wearisome night from want of sleep, and great oppression of breathing, we closed the window-shutters in the morning, in the hope of his getting some sleep; just then the physician for whom an express had been sent, arrived from Dublin. After feeling his pulse, the doctor asked whether it would annoy him if the window-shutters were opened for a moment, when he replied with a cheerful smile, “not at all, doctor, I always like to have light thrown upon a subject.”
We are rolling a petition to reprint Nadia Radovici’s 1995 book titled ‘A Youthful Love: Jane Austen & Tom Lefroy?’ that is currently out of print. Please sign for the Radovici's Jane Austen & Tom Lefroy Petition and spread the words! Thanks a lot!
Jane Austen was born on
Anne Hathaway - Jane Austen
James McAvoy - Tom Lefroy
Julie Walters - Mrs. Austen
James Cromwell - Revd. George Austen (Jane's father)
Maggie Smith - Lady Gresham
Anna Maxwell Martin - Cassandra Austen
Joe Anderson - Henry Austen
Lucy Cohu - Eliza de Feullide
Laurence Fox - Mr. Wisley
Philip Culhane - George Austen (Jane's brother)
Ian Richardson – Judge Langlois
Leo Bill – John Warren
Jessica Ashworth – Lucy Lefroy
Eleanor Methven – Mrs. Lefroy
Michael James Ford – Mr. Lefroy
Sophie Vavasseur – Jane Lefroy
Helen McCrory – Ann Radcliffe
Julian Jarrold - Director
Graham Broadbent, Robert Bernstein, & Douglas Rae - Producer
Adrian Johnston - Soundtrack
Kevin Hood & Sarah Williams - Screenplay writers
Eigil Bryld - Cinematography
Jane Gibson - Choreography
Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhnaigh - Costume
Gail Stevens & Gillian Reynolds - Casting
McAvoy knew his portrait of Tom could only come alive with the right Jane, and he found Anne Hathaway almost supernaturally suited for the part. “I don’t think we could have chosen anyone better to play Jane Austen," he says.
Jane Austen’s greatest love story was her own
It was at the end of 1795 when the young Jane Austen met the dashing Irish rogue Thomas Langlois Lefroy. Jane would not realise that from prejudice and innuendos between her and Tom, a fresh bud of passion would grow into love that would last for years to come, literally changing her way of looking into life and giving her new insights into her already blooming creative writing. Yet, Tom Lefroy was not a man of wealth, and thus his family needed him to find a more suitable partner than the last daughter of the Austens. Will reality defeat love, or will love triumph in Jane Austen’s life?
Anything is to be preferred or endured rather than marrying without affection – JA,
Nothing can be compared to the misery of being bound without Love, bound to one, & preferring another – JA,
‘Persuasion’, chapter 8, Jane Austen
To be so bent on marriage, to pursue a man merely for the sake of situation – is a sort of thing that shocks me.
The film Becoming Jane has given us an image of Jane Austen that liberates our imagination. I envy readers of my book who come to it with Anne Hathaway’s image of Jane in their mind’s eye. You will not have to struggle against the image Cassandra created to see the Jane Austen who was young and pretty, lively and in love. Anne Hathaway’s skilful portrayal of Jane Austen in Becoming Jane shows that art can have as much power to bring us closer to the truth as facts themselves can.