Since Easter is upon us, I couldn’t help but wonder if Jane Austen had referred to it somewhere in her novels. So I went ‘hunting’ and found the following. From P&P, in Mr. Collins letter in Chapter 13:
My mind, however is now made up on the subject, for having received ordination at Easter, I have been so fortunate as to be distinguished by the patronage of the Right Honourable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, widow of Sir Lewis de Bourgh, whose bounty and beneficence has preferred me to the valuable rectory of this parish, where it shall be my earnest endeavour to demean myself with grateful respect towards her Ladyship, and be ever ready to perform those rites and ceremonies which are instituted by the Church of England.
Elizabeth visits Charlotte in Chapter 30:
In this quiet way the first fortnight of her visit soon passed away. Easter was approaching, and the week preceding it was to bring an addition to the family at Rosings, which in so small a circle must be important. Colonel Fitzwilliam visits in Chapter 31: Colonel Fitzwilliam's manners were very much admired at the Parsonage, and the ladies all felt that he must add considerably to the pleasure of their engagements at Rosings. It was some days, however, before they received any invitation thither -- for while there were visitors in the house they could not be necessary; and it was not till Easter-day, almost a week after the gentlemen's arrival, that they were honoured by such an attention, and then they were merely asked on leaving church to come there in the evening.
There are two mentions of Easter in Emma, twelve in Mansfield Park, one in Sense and Sensibility, none in Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. What is so strange is that upon first readings, I never noticed “Easter” at all.
So Happy Easter to one and all from Team Jane!
Linda the Librarian