Saturday, 29 August 2009

Jane Austen Quote - Week 71

This week's quote is again from Persuasion (I promise to get another book next time...), for it just suddenly clicked with me when I opened the book. I took it from Oxford World's Classics version 2003, p. 148 (Chapter 20, or Volume II Chapter VIII). This is when Anne Elliot conversed with Capt. Wentworth about Capt. Benwick's new attachment (and engagement) to Louisa Musgrove. Wentworth was still rather surprised at their engagement and said,

'I confess that I do think there is a disparity, too great a disparity, and in a point no less essential than mind. I regard Louisa Musgrove as a very amiable, sweet-tempered girl, and not deficient in understanding, but Benwick is something more. He is a clever man, a reading man; and I confess, that I do consider his attaching himself to her with some surprise. Had it been the effect of gratitude, had he learnt to love her, because he believed her to be preferring him, it would have been another thing. But I have no reason to suppose it so. It seems, on the contrary, to have been a perfectly spontaneous, untaught feeling on his side, and this surprises me. A man like him, in his situation! with a heart pierced, wounded, almost broken! Fanny Harville was a very superior creature, and his attachment to her was indeed attachment. A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman. He ought not; he does not.'

Oh.... what can I say...? The passage brought me to Persuasion 2007 when Rupert Penry-Jones as Wentworth uttered those words as he clenched his jaws in determination... sigh... And Wentworth might actually want to say that in his own circumstances, he would not be able to forget such a woman in his life, namely Anne herself.


PS: I just realised that this quote actually resonates well with Rachel's last week. In Rachel's choice of quote, it was Anne who claimed that a woman loves the most. Now in this week's quote, Capt. Wentworth was the one who said that a man could not, should not forget the love of his life. In the end, I think both were correct.

Pic: Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones) looking lovingly at Anne Elliot (Sally Hawkins) from

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Jane Austen Quote - Week 70 by Rachel

In Week 43 I chose a quote from Chapter 23 of Persuasion in which Anne and Captain Harville are having a discussion on the differences between the male and female heart. I took it from the point where Captain Wentworth walked in the room but I realised that we haven't referenced the exchange before this moment which is equally as interesting and beautiful. Anne and Capt. Harville are actually discussing the shattered Captain Benwick who loved Captain Harville's deceased sister, Fanny, very deeply.

"True," said Anne, "very true; I did not recollect; but what shall we say now, Captain Harville? If the change be not from outward circumstances, it must be from within; it must be nature, man's nature, which has done the business for Captain Benwick."

“No, no, it is not man's nature. I will not allow it to be more man's nature than woman's to be inconstant and forget those they do love, or have loved. I believe the reverse. I believe in a true analogy between our bodily frames and our mental; and that as our bodies are the strongest, so are our feelings; capable of bearing most rough usage, and riding out the heaviest weather."

"Your feelings may be the strongest," replied Anne, "but the same spirit of analogy will authorise me to assert that ours are the most tender. Man is more robust than woman, but he is not longer lived; which exactly explains my view of the nature of their attachments. Nay, it would be too hard upon you, if it were otherwise. You have difficulties, and privations, and dangers enough to struggle with. You are always labouring and toiling, exposed to every risk and hardship. Your home, country, friends, all quitted. Neither time, nor health, nor life, to be called your own. It would be hard, indeed" (with a faltering voice), "if woman's feelings were to be added to all this."

This is just true mastery and is openly dealing with the issue of gender differences which is a common theme in many of Jane's novels. Anne is so confident in her view and so eloquent in her delivery....she really puts him in his place. I would love to know what you all think of this part of the novel."

Pic: Mollands

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Jane Austen Quote - Week 69 by Linda

In Sense and Sensibility, Chapter 17, Edward says:

“…I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness. I have frequently thought that I must have been intended by nature to be fond of low company, I am so little at my ease among strangers of gentility!”

"Marianne has not shyness to excuse any inattention of hers," said Elinor.

"She knows her own worth too well for false shame," replied Edward. "Shyness is only the effect of a sense of inferiority in some way or other. If I could persuade myself that my manners were perfectly easy and graceful, I should not be shy."

"But you would still be reserved," said Marianne, "and that is worse."

Edward stared -- "Reserved! Am I reserved, Marianne?"

"Yes, very."

"I do not understand you," replied he, colouring. "Reserved! -- how, in what manner? What am I to tell you? What can you suppose?"

Elinor looked surprised at his emotion, but trying to laugh off the subject, she said to him, "Do not you know my sister well enough to understand what she means? Do not you know that she calls every one reserved who does not talk as fast, and admire what she admires as rapturously as herself?"

Edward made no answer. His gravity and thoughtfulness returned on him in their fullest extent -- and he sat for some time silent and dull.


One may take this as a definition from JA for ‘reserved’ and ‘shy’. Yes? No? At another site, there is quite a war about the shy controversy. Personally, I like the above definitions even though we may call it speculation.

Linda the Librarian

Pic: Edward Ferrars, from this site

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Jane Austen Quote Week 68

I have a new-found obsession – ehm – hobby, about shoes recently. Well, I mean, I’m always so fond of boots, gladiator sandals, espadrilles, or sling-backs with cords, but I never thought until last week (very belatedly) how lovely a pair of graceful pump or court shoes can be, provided that their heels are of sensible height! So I did some reading, and found out that Jane Austen also loved shoes. Well, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Being very fond of dancing herself, she must have loved shoes as well! And apparently, having the correct pair of shoes was essential to keep one healthy, as it is today. Wonder if the Regency ladies thought of high heels as deterrent to healthy spines, though…

So the followings are several quotes about shoes in Jane Austen’s novels, and also some pictures of cute period shoes. Nothing heavy this time, just pretty things.

Pride & Prejudice, chapter 28

From his garden, Mr. Collins would have led them round his two meadows, but the ladies, not having shoes to encounter the remains of a white frost, turned back;

Sense & Sensibility, chapter 36

The impertinence of these kind of scrutinies, moreover, was generally concluded with a compliment, which, though meant as its douceur, was considered by Marianne as the greatest impertinence of all; for after undergoing an examination into the value and make of her gown, the colour of her shoes, and the arrangement of her hair, she was almost sure of being told, that "upon her word she looked vastly smart, and she dared to say she would make a great many conquests."

Sense & Sensibility, chapter 42

Two delighted twilight walks on the third and fourth evenings of her being there, not merely on the dry gravel of the shrubbery, but all over the grounds, and especially in the most distant parts of them, where there was something more of wildness than in the rest, where the trees were the oldest, and the grass was the longest and wettest, had- assisted by the still greater imprudence of sitting in her wet shoes and stockings- given Marianne a cold so violent as, though for a day or two trifled with or denied, would force itself by increasing ailments on the concern of every body, and the notice of herself.

Mansfield Park, chapter 36, speaks Mary Crawford:

Poor Margaret Fraser will be at me for ever about your eyes and your teeth, and how you do your hair, and who makes your shoes

Emma, chapter 15, speaks Isabella Woodhouse:

"You had better order the carriage directly, my love," said she; "I dare say we shall be able to get along, if we set off directly; and if we do come to any thing very bad, I can get out and walk. I am not at all afraid. I should not mind walking half the way. I could change my shoes, you know, the moment I got home; and it is not the sort of thing that gives me cold."

Emma, chapter 19

Mrs. and Miss Bates occupied the drawing-room floor; and there, in the very moderate-sized apartment, which was every thing to them, the visitors were most cordially and even gratefully welcomed; the quiet neat old lady, who with her knitting was seated in the warmest corner, wanting even to give up her place to Miss Woodhouse, and her more active, talking daughter, almost ready to overpower them with care and kindness, thanks for their visit, solicitude for their shoes, anxious inquiries after Mr. Woodhouse's health, cheerful communications about her mother's, and sweet-cake from the beaufet –

Emma, chapter 32

She could not enter the house again, could not be in the same room to which she had with such vain artifice retreated three months ago, to lace up her boot, without recollecting. A thousand vexatious thoughts would recur.

Northanger Abbey, chapter 3, speaks Mr. Tilney:

"Yes, I know exactly what you will say: Friday, went to the Lower Rooms; wore my sprigged muslin robe with blue trimmings--plain black shoes—appeared to much advantage; but was strangely harassed by a queer, half-witted man, who would make me dance with him, and distressed me by his nonsense."

Persuasion, chapter 19

The rain was a mere trifle, and Anne was most sincere in preferring a walk with Mr Elliot. But the rain was also a mere trifle to Mrs Clay; she would hardly allow it even to drop at all, and her boots were so thick! much thicker than Miss Anne's; and, in short, her civility rendered her quite as anxious to be left to walk with Mr Elliot as Anne could be, and it was discussed between them with a generosity so polite and so determined, that the others were obliged to settle it for them; Miss Elliot maintaining that Mrs Clay had a little cold already, and Mr Elliot deciding on appeal, that his cousin Anne's boots were rather the thickest.

PS: Quotes were easily grabbed from Online Literature.

Pic 1: beautiful green Venetian court shoes from The Bata Museum
Pic 2: lovely purple Regency pump shoes from Jane Austen Centre UK
Pic 3: elegant yellow pumps from the Jane Austen World

Friday, 7 August 2009

Another beautiful wallpaper from Maria!

Maria strikes again! This time, the wallpaper is lavishly adorned with dusky pink colours (my favourite at the moment, actually!) and it has such a beautiful romantic tone. What do you think, Ladies and Gents? Charming, is it not?

Thank you so much, Maria!