Sunday, 31 October 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 132

I chose a quote about friendship today, from Pride and Prejudice Volume I Chapter 23. It was after Lizzy and Charlotte had an argument about Charlotte’s decision to marry Mr Collins. The quotes were directly taken from Pemberley.

Between Elizabeth and Charlotte there was a restraint which kept them mutually silent on the subject; and Elizabeth felt persuaded that no real confidence could ever subsist between them again. Her disappointment in Charlotte made her turn with fonder regard to her sister, of whose rectitude and delicacy she was sure her opinion could never be shaken, and for whose happiness she grew daily more anxious, as Bingley had now been gone a week, and nothing was heard of his return.

It was a while before Lizzy’s friendship with Charlotte was restored; a few months after Charlotte’s wedding when Lizzy eventually visited her friend in Kent. There and then, the restrain was lessened and the two women became friends again.

I have a very different situation at the moment, but somehow it got me into thinking of Charlotte and Lizzy. I have a dear friend, who recently has not been in communication with me (although we live in the same town). Just today I realised that she perhaps truly started to separate her life from mine, for we hardly ever shared girl stuffs anymore, let alone friendly secrets.

I’m sad about it. I tried to think of my mistakes that forced her to distance herself from me. I'm sure there were mistakes, it takes two to tango, but I only saw them as misunderstanding. However, upon a careful consultation with another friend, I realised that people also change. Perchance, she does not see that her intimate friendship with me as nourishing her anymore. Things happen I guess; she’s busy with her own life, I’m with mine… and although I missed our girl talks, I must accept that she might have chosen a different path now. One that doesn’t necessarily include me.

I hope one day our friendship can be restored, or at least getting better. I hope I am shown my mistakes and shall never repeat it in the future, and vice versa for her. But if we have cleared the deck and we still cannot find common grounds anymore, I hope that I am receptive enough to let her go to live her new life, knowing that I shall always help her if it is within my capabilities.

Pic: Charlotte Lucas and Mr Collins talking to Lady Catherine de Bourgh, from Pemberley

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 131 by Linda

In Emma, Chapter 12, there is a mystery lurking for me. Maybe someone can shed some light on it for me. It seems that Emma is interjecting something to change the subject in the course of conversation. Here is the quote:

"I did not thoroughly understand what you were telling your brother," cried Emma, "about your friend Mr. Graham's intending to have a bailiff from Scotland, to look after his new estate. But will it answer? Will not the old prejudice be too strong?"

I am in the dark about the meaning of “the old prejudice be too strong”. The only thing I can think of is that the English harbor a prejudice of some kind against the Scottish. I get the sense that this must be the case, but is this really true? And if so, what is the nature of it?

Speaking of prejudices, I grew up with a certain prejudice which I overcame in my later years. What I discovered is that there is some good in the worst of us and some bad in the best of us. Also, wherever I travelled it seems that each group carried a prejudice against another group in the area. I learned to take each person on their own merit instead of simply lumping them all together. That’s my philosophy and I’m sticking to it!

I had to do a bit of research to discover what Emma meant by using the term ‘bailiff’. Wikepedia included this definition which I suspect comes closest to what she was speaking of. “Under the manorial system a bailiff was in charge of superintending the cultivation of the manor.”

So, if anyone can shed some light on this topic, I would be most grateful. And by the way, I am mostly English with one ancestor of Scottish origin and another one of German origin. No wonder I am always fighting with myself. ;-)

Yrs aff’ly,
Linda the Librarian

Pic: Kate Beckinsale's Emma

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Becoming Jane fanfic section in

I just found out that actually has a section for Becoming Jane the movie alone. It's here, and it has 26 stories there. Our Maria from Sweden is one the most prolific authoresses (if not THE most prolific one), I beleive, with 44 chapters (I Remember Love) and 303 reviews! Well done, Maria!

I think what I want to say is that it's been more than 3.5 years since I saw the movie in April 2007, but the movie still has followers and inspires many writers. Good job, Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy! And good job for Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy as well, in that sense.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week - Week 130

I wanted to focus on a character who always seems to be in the background of Pride of Prejudice. - Mary Bennet. I have never quite understood Jane Austen's feelings towards Mary; she portray's her as quite plain and socially inept but also a great thinker. Do you thinks he saw some of herself in Mary?
The quote is from chapter 47 after Lydia has ran away with Wickham. Mary says to Lizzy:

"This is a most unfortunate affair; and will probably be much talked of. But we must stem the tide of malice, and pour into the wounded bosoms of each other the balm of sisterly consolation."

Then, perceiving in Elizabeth no inclination of replying, she added, "Unhappy as the event must be for Lydia, we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable—that one false step involves her in endless ruin—that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful,—and that she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour towards the undeserving of the other sex."

The definition of virtue is 'conformity of one's life and conduct to moral and ethical principles' and she is correct that Lydia's behaviour has indeed put her virtue into question if she does not marry Wickham. I think that the use of the word brittle suggests that no woman's virtue or reputation is ever secure, it is fragile.

My question is, have things changed so much in the past 200 years? In society today, all things are more accepted and some standards have been shattered. I do believe, however, that internally in most women there is still a code of conduct which when breached or jeopardised produces a great sense of disease for the woman.
On the other hand, this quote can still be considered current in the fashion of double standards with women being heavily criticised for actions that a man would be praised for.
Mary opens up an interesting debate on the way women are perceived in society today compared to Jane Austen's time.

I also really like the term 'the balm of sisterly consolation' - I think that this is something which has not changed over the past two centuries and is unlikely to change over two more.

Pic: First Novels Club

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 129

This week, I chose a quote from Emma Vol 2 Chapter 16 as spoken by John Knightley to Jane Fairfax:

"Business, you know, may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does."

While I do not say that this quote does not capture the truth, I have to say that the reverse can be truthful, too. I have to say that I've seen people who scored their business deals because they had known their business partner(s) from a friend who attested to their merits. I am not trying to promote nepotism here. However, I do believe that a sincere friendship can invite a good business deal as well, so long as it is conducted in a fair and professional manner. Colonel Brandon offering Edward Ferrar a parish in Sense & Sensibility is a good example of my argument.


Pic: Audiobook of Emma, read by Prunella Scales

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 128

This weekend I chose a passage from Persuasion again, Chapter 9, when Anne Elliot was taking care of Little Walter (her nephew, Charles’ brother) and Captain Wentworth came into the room. Direct quote was taken from Pemberley.

There being nothing to be eat, he could only have some play; and as his aunt would not let him tease his sick brother, he began to fasten himself upon her, as she knelt, in such a way that, busy as she was about Charles, she could not shake him off. She spoke to him, ordered, entreated, and insisted in vain. Once she did contrive to push him away, but the boy had the greater pleasure in getting upon her back again directly.

"Walter," said she, "get down this moment. You are extremely troublesome. I am very angry with you."

"Walter," cried Charles Hayter, "why do you not do as you are bid? Do not you hear your aunt speak? Come to me, Walter; come to cousin Charles."

But not a bit did Walter stir.

In another moment, however, she found herself in the state of being released from him; some one was taking him from her, though he had bent down her head so much, that his little sturdy hands were unfastened from around her neck, and he was resolutely borne away, before she knew that Captain Wentworth had done it.

Her sensations on the discovery made her perfectly speechless. She could not even thank him. She could only hang over little Charles, with most disordered feelings. His kindness in stepping forward to her relief, the manner, the silence in which it had passed, the little particulars of the circumstance, with the conviction soon forced on her by the noise he was studiously making with the child, that he meant to avoid hearing her thanks, and rather sought to testify that her conversation was the last of his wants, produced such a confusion of varying, but very painful agitation, as she could not recover from, till enabled by the entrance of Mary and the Miss Musgroves, to make over her little patient to their cares, and leave the room.

There’s no particular quote I’d like to emphasize here, but the whole passage is amazing because it shows how the presence of a child can reconnect Anne and Wentworth, two lovers who became strangers because of the past. I can understand why people choose to have children then, although it should not be the only reason for an established relationship, of course.

Pic: Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot (P2007) from Penny for Your Dreams

Friday, 1 October 2010

Becoming Jane persona from Maria

Thanks to Maria, we now have a very beautiful Becoming Jane persona!

Click here to access the file, and there may be more to come from our amazing artist in Sweden!