Monday, 26 April 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week - Week 105 By Linda

In Chapter 7 of Emma we find another tidbit of advice about marriage where Emma and Harriet are discussing the merits of Mr. Martin:

"Thank you, thank you, my own sweet little friend. We will not be parted. A woman may not marry a man merely because she is asked, or because he is attached to her, and can write a tolerable letter."

You may wish to look back at this previous quote to get the full picture: Quote of the week 97

In other words, there are several, meaning many, things to look into if you want a successful marriage. Sigh, wish I had known that!

Linda the Librarian

Saturday, 17 April 2010

A Carriage Ride in Queen's Square - Piano Music & CD

From my latest edition of Jane Austen's Regency World, I have been made aware of a wonderful gift/present for yourself if you are lucky enough to demonstrate musical talent.

It is a book of piano pieces with cd related to Bath at the time when Jane Austen lived there. There are original compositions from the great-great-grandaughter of Jane Austen's niece, Fanny Knight.

For more information and details for ordering, see the link below:

Pic: Jane Austen Centre giftshop

Friday, 16 April 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the week - Week 104 - By Linda

Beauty versus Brains from Emma, Chapter 5:

Here we continue the conversation between Mr. Knightley and Mrs. Weston concerning Emma and Harriet where Mr. Knightley says:

But Harriet Smith -- I have not half done about Harriet Smith. I think her the very worst sort of companion that Emma could possibly have. She knows nothing herself, and looks upon Emma as knowing every thing. She is a flatterer in all her ways; and so much the worse, because undesigned. Her ignorance is hourly flattery. How can Emma imagine she has any thing to learn herself, while Harriet is presenting such a delightful inferiority? And as for Harriet, I will venture to say that she cannot gain by the acquaintance. Hartfield will only put her out of conceit with all the other places she belongs to. She will grow just refined enough to be uncomfortable with those among whom birth and circumstances have placed her home. I am much mistaken if Emma's doctrines give any strength of mind, or tend at all to make a girl adapt herself rationally to the varieties of her situation in life. They only give a little polish."

"I either depend more upon Emma's good sense than you do, or am more anxious for her present comfort; for I cannot lament the acquaintance. How well she looked last night!"
"Oh! you would rather talk of her person than her mind, would you? Very well; I shall not attempt to deny Emma's being pretty."
"Pretty! say beautiful rather. Can you imagine any thing nearer perfect beauty than Emma altogether -- face and figure?"

"I do not know what I could imagine, but I confess that I have seldom seen a face or figure more pleasing to me than her's. But I am a partial old friend."

This conversation leads us to believe that Miss Austen knew the value of womankind having ‘brains’ as well as ‘beauty’. In other words women should have brains in order to make a contribution to the world and not exist only to be a ‘trophy wife’ or a piece of ‘eye candy’.

This topic brings to mind the words of Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice when she declines Mr. Collins proposal:

Do not consider me now as an elegant female, intending to plague you, but as a rational creature, speaking the truth from her heart."

Shouldn’t we all be ‘rational creatures’?

Linda the Librarian

Pic 1: Emma and Harriet- Austenprose

Friday, 9 April 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week - Week 103

As the sun has finally shown itself in the UK the last few days, I thought I would pick a quote from Chapter 9 of Mansfield Park. Edmund, Miss Crawford and Fanny are walking and Edmund comments that he believes Fanny is tired. She replies:

"I shall soon be rested," said Fanny; "to sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure, is the most perfect refreshment."

This is exactly how I feel at the moment. I think there is something very special about a bright spring or summers day. Its just so natural and uplifting. Life is blossoming and the air is fresh. It really is special.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Jane Austen Quote Week 102

Dearest freinds,

This week’s quote is taken from Mansfield Park, a very famous one I take it. Mansfield Park, Volume I Chapter 10:

Dinner was soon followed by tea and coffee, a ten miles' drive home allowed no waste of hours; and from the time of their sitting down to table, it was a quick succession of busy nothings till the carriage came to the door, and Mrs. Norris, having fidgeted about, and obtained a few pheasants' eggs and a cream cheese from the housekeeper, and made abundance of civil speeches to Mrs. Rushworth, was ready to lead the way.

Fanny Price (Frances O’Connor) also uttered the adapted version of this line in MP 1999 (my favourite so far):

Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings

Indeed, it was yesterday when I wrote my diary and realised it was April 2010 already! And of course – as many of you – I also felt like I was doing nothing. Where did the time go?

But take heart, ladies and gents. The best way to counter that wretched voice that says that you have not accomplished many (if not at all) is to list one by one your achievement this year, these three months, or whatever time frame you choose. It may only be 1-2 things, but if they are indeed of substances…that is encouraging, is it not?

For instance, the last three months since January, I’ve been doing a lot, and I mean truly and honestly aplenty dosage of contemplation and healing. I’ve uncovered many layers that I did not realise I had (have) until my inner digging. That’s one thing, but very important for me.

So go on now, take a piece of paper and make a counter-argument of your own belief that you have done nothing the last few [whatever time you choose]. It’s fun, and uplifting!

Pic: Johannes Vermeer’s famous Milkmaid