Saturday, 6 August 2011

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 162

Jon Hunter Spence born July 30, 1945, died June 20, 2011.

In tribute to Jon Spence, who wrote the biography "Becoming Jane Austen" we wish to dedicate our August quotes to him and his Jane Austen works. His book was the inspiration for the movie and this web site. We are saddened to learn of his passing and extend our condolences to his family and friends. He will be missed in the world of all things 'Jane Austen'.
You may read about him in the following two newspaper articles:

The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) and The Telegraph (London)

I was surprised and touched to learn that he and I are of almost the same age and are (US) Southerners which renders a feeling of 'kinship'. Also, he received an MA from Tulane University in New Orleans and I spent 4 years working in New Orleans many years ago. It's an awesome feeling to find that you have something in common with someone so accomplished.

May he rest in peace.

In honor of him, this week's quote is from "Becoming Jane Austen" in Chapter 4 where he is discussing Jane's story in her Juvenilia named "Evelyn":

'Evelyn' is dedicated to Mary Lloyd, who with her widowed mother and elder sister Martha had been living at Deane parsonage since 1789. The hyperbolic graciousness of the Webb family in the story seems to be Jane's unsentimental, satirical way of thanking the Lloyds for their kindness to her at Deane.

This passage is especially interesting to me for Jane's use of the surname 'Webb' because that happens to be my maiden name. Jane also uses that name in Pride and Prejudice when she write of the "Miss Webbs". Because Jon mentions the Webb family, I went in search of the story 'Evelyn' since it was not in the paperback I have of the juvenilia. I did find it on line here:

This nugget of information illustrates to me that we can never be sure of what treasure awaits us in some book or other.

Linda the Librarian

No comments: