Friday, 10 February 2012

Jane Austen Quote of the Week - Week 183

This weeks quote is in honour of Valentines Day which is fast approaching us, next Tuesday 14th February.

You know that we, here at the Becoming Jane blog, are always trying to find evidence of the true love between Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy. We are romantic souls who believe...know... its true!

I have chosen a slightly different choice for this weeks quote as it is actually a quote within a quote. From chapter 9 of Emma when Mr Elton has just left 'the' letter with Harriet and Emma. Emma is convinced that the letter was intended for Harriet and she is speaking to encourage Harriet of his true affection for her:

"You and Mr Elton are by situation called together; you belong to one another by every equal match to the match at Randalls. There does seem to be a something in the air of Hartfield which gives love exactly the right direction, and it sends it into the very channel where it ought to flow.
The course of true love never did run smooth ---
A Hartfield edition of Shakespeare would have a long note on that passage."

The bolded line of the quote is actually from Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' but I feel it is poignant. It is interesting to me that when Jane was reading Shakespeare's play this line obviously came out from the page and stuck in her mind. Why I wonder?

Jane and Tom first met 18 years before Emma was written. Is it possible that she comforted herself with the thought that their love was indeed true but that true love is never as smoothly played out as we are led to believe from fairytales?

True love certainly does exist but sometimes life can get in the way and so although it is felt for a lifetime and never forgotten, only the lucky ones get to spend their whole life with their other half.

Have a wonderful Valentines Day everyone!


Amanda Sandoval said...

I agree, just because someone experiences true love, doesn't mean they get to enjoy it with that person forever...poor Jane!

Mariana said...

I'm delighted with this quote, dear Rachel, it's a wonderful choice for the month of Love.

"Ay me! for aught that I could ever read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth;
But, either it was different in blood"

"O cross! too high to be enthrall'd to low"

"Or else it stood upon the choice of friends"

Jane pointed to these verses from the first act of the play - a perfect match for themes of love and social status in her Emma, which also reminded me of Mrs. Lefroy and her attempt at matchmaking for Jane and Rev. Samuel Blackall, in 1797.

Infinity of Love
& Hugs