I opened up randomly at Jane Austen's Letter (1997, Deidre le Faye) and found a very interesting letter, at least for myself. A very simple one here (p 142); Jane was in Castle Square, and the letter was for Cassandra.
Saturday 1 - Sunday 2 October 1808
Everybody who comes to Southampton finds it either their duty or pleasure to call upon us; Yesterday we were visited by the eldest Miss Cotterel, just arrived from Waltham.
Lessons for myself this week: If you're calling or visiting someone, make sure it's for pleasure (friendship) than mere duty... It feels much better.
Now I have to go off. A friend is visiting out of pleasure/friendship, and she might need some lunch ^_^
Pic: Anne Hathaway as darling Jane Austen, Becoming Jane 2007 (was it 3 years ago already...)
Sunday, 31 January 2010
Sunday, 24 January 2010
Thanks to our dearest Linda the Librarian, we have in announcement the hard copy version of The Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy, available since 31 Dec 2009, or just before the New Year. What an interesting New Year present! Get it in Amazon, dearest...
Also found on Google Book (Linda's been very active!) is the Notes and documents relating to the family of Loffroy, by a cadet [J.H. Lefroy]. You can download the PDF from the link. By the way, Sir John Henry Lefroy was the son of Tom Lefroy's first cousin; or the grandson of Madam Lefroy.
Pic: Thomas Langlois Lefroy by George Engleheart, private collection of Edward Lefroy
PS: I posted this one on 31 Jan, but since I made the draft last week, Blogger just registered it as posted on 24 Jan. Weird...
We find in Chapter 3 of “Emma” the description of Mrs. Bates and Miss Bates. This passage is about Miss Bates:
"Her youth had passed without distinction, and her middle of life was devoted to the care of a failing mother, and the endeavour to make a small income go as far as possible. And yet she was a happy woman, and a woman whom no one named without good-will. It was her own universal good-will and contented temper which worked such wonders. She loved every body, was interested in every body's happiness, quick-sighted to every body's merits; thought herself a most fortunate creature, and surrounded with blessings in such an excellent mother and so many good neighbours and friends, and a home that wanted for nothing. The simplicity and cheerfulness of her nature, her contented and grateful spirit, were a recommendation to every body and a mine of felicity to herself."
In this description we shall overlook the next sentence about her being a great talker. She is recommended to us mainly by her ‘love for every body’. Fortunately even in this day’s world we might even find a few of those types of persons. We should all be so. That’s my sermon for today.
Linda the Librarian
Pic: The 1996 Mrs. Bates and Miss Bates from lacegrl130
Saturday, 16 January 2010
This week I am still in Chapter 2 of “Emma” where we read about poor Mr. Woodhouse’s afflictions after losing Miss Taylor:
"His own stomach could bear nothing rich, and he could never believe other people to be different from himself."
Miss Austen is said to have only had a small circle of people to draw upon to construct her characters, but I do believe that she must have had quite a lot because she has described so many people of my own acquaintance. There really are people who ‘could never believe other people to be different from themselves.’
They carry it one step further and think that everyone should agree with every thing they say and do, and more specifically they know what is best for everyone. I have known one and it can be quite embarrassing. May our gentle readers fare better.
Linda the Librarian
Pic: Jane Austen's Emma (1997) from: http://www.btvision.bt.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/janeaunsten_emma_450.jpg
Friday, 8 January 2010
I was (am) still in the New Year mode, so I was looking for a quote decent enough for a beginning when I opened Pride & Prejudice Volume III Chapter 19 (Penguin Classics 2003, p. 364). It was after Jane and Lizzy got married to Bingley and Darcy respectively. I found this one:
“Mr. Bingley and Jane remained at Netherfield only a twelve-month. So near a vicinity to her mother and Meryton relations was not desirable even to his easy temper, or her affectionate heart. The darling wish of his sisters was then gratified; he bought an estate in a neighbouring county to Derbyshire, and Jane and Elizabeth, in addition to every other source of happiness, were within thirty miles of each other.”
After a moment’s contemplation (actually while riding my motorbike amidst the mild traffic of Bali) I then realised that this was the quote I was looking for. For the quote tells me that if we want to start anew and afresh, we must disconnect ourselves from our past lives. Disconnection does not mean dislike, hatred or even judgement. Merely an understanding that to start anew, the old ones have to 'die' first. To be a new you, your old self must die first. Before your new life starts, your old life must fade into oblivion first.
For Jane and Bingley, it was the constant irritation of the dearly beloved Mrs. Bennet (and the cacophony of Meryton) that they must avoid to truly start a new family. Something that Lizzy and Darcy already acquired by living in Pemberley, miles away from Longbourn.
For me, I choose to leave my past behind. Embracing all the mistakes and sadness, thanking them for all the lessons they taught me, and letting them go. As the clock hit twelve, bringing 2010 to us, I chose to be a new Icha, gratefully free from her past. Not an easy journey, dare I tell you, but still a worthwhile one.
What about you? Have you thought of things, circumstances, or even people (including your old self) you must leave behind to start anew? Blessings for your journey.