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