Saturday, 4 December 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 134

This week's quote was provided by Linda. It is a Jane quote, but it is heavily related to Tom Lefroy. Enjoy!

JA Letter to Cassandra, Saturday 9 - Sunday 10 January 1796:

" . . . I am almost afraid to tell you how my Irish friend and I behaved. Imagine to yourself everything most profligate and shocking in the way of dancing and sitting down together."

Using the Memoir as a reference, I hope to point to some information contained therein, but not as a quoted passage as we have been doing here. This information answers a question that has been on my mind for quite a while.

Jane Austen has been quoted as calling Tom "her Irish friend". I accepted that without question until one day it hit me that his uncle and aunt Lefroy were in England thereby making them "English". That led me to do some digging for their 'roots' to find out just who they were.

In chapter 1 of the Memoir we find this place named: Cambray, Netherlands and Flanders. So I tried looking that up on a map, as a matter of fact several maps, only to find that the area changed nationality several times. Then Tom's father ended up in Ireland in the army where he chose to remain until his death. Now Tom's mother was from Ireland which makes our Tom at least half Irish. So deducting from all that information, since Tom was born in Ireland, lived in Ireland, and his mother was an Irish native of Doonass in the County of Clare, we might get away with calling him "Irish" also.

I guess my problem is that I was looking for a truly Irish persona and now I discover that he is only half 'Irish'. This is of interest to me since I became interested in discovering my own roots. Needless to say I was surprised to find out that this "American" is "English" with one "German" thrown in for good measure. So what does that make me? Your guess is as good as mine.

One other item that the Memoir is sure to shed some light on is the financial situation of Tom's family. I shall be taking notes on that subject also as I read, mainly because all those bios of Jane want to claim that he was too 'poor' to marry Jane. I believe there is more to the story than that. So this group of posts is 'to be continued' as we look into 'Tom'.

Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian
Pic: Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy) and Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway), 'Becoming Jane'

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