Sunday, 30 January 2011

Tom Lefroy Quote - Week 5

I hope she does not mind telling our readers but Linda is celebrating a very special birthday today. Happy Birthday Linda!!
I have picked a Tom Lefroy quote, taken from his memoirs. It is from a letter written to his wife in the year of 1846 (when Tom was 70 years old).

Page 240 of the Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy

To his wife

Saturday Night.

I fly about, as you will see, with great agility. I slept in Cork on Thursday night, at Mitchelstown Castle last night, and here I am to-night nearly seventy miles on my way to Carig-glas. I hope to-morrow to spend a quiet day with Lord Rosse, and mount to the skies by the help of his wonderful telescope, but in a better sense also by a quite Sunday passed as it ought to be in thanksgiving and praise for all the mercies of the last five weeks.

We wanted to highlight Tom's great commitment to activity, both mental and physical. He was a very strong, determined man and an inspiration to many. In his positivity and grace, he never forgot to be thankful for what he had.

I hope that this year is very special for you Linda.

Pic: Thomas Langlois Lefroy, circa 1855

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 139

This week's quote is taken from Jane Austen's Letters (Le Fay 1995), p. 305.

Letter 132(D). To James Stanier Clarke

Monday 11 December 1815

Dec: 11.

Dear Sir

My Emma is now so near publication that I feel it right to assure You of my not having forgotten your kind recommendation of an early Copy for Cn H.-& that I have Mr Murray's promise of its being sent to HRH. under cover to You, three days previous to the Work being really out.-

I must make use of this opportunity to thank you dear Sir, for the very high praise you bestow on my other Novels - I am too vain to wish to convince you that you have praised them beyond their Merit.-

I am glad I found this letter, for it reminds me that every step of our success has been made with the help of others. Case in the point: I am to have my pre completion seminar for my postgraduate degree in a few days' time. While I was preparing my powerpoint slides yesterday, I realised that none of these would happen, I would have not been there to write my slides, had my respondents not allowed me to interview them. Had I not have amazing volunteers to help me, amazing supervisors to guide me, caring friends to comfort me... and my partner to catch me when I fell.

I realise now that when I stand to present my findings next Friday, I actually can only do so in the kindness of others. And for that, I sincerely thank them all. And I thank you all, dear friends, for accompanying us Team Jane this far.

Pic: My favourite Emma cover from Wordsworth edition

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Tom Lefroy Quote Week 4 by Linda

My Tom quote this week comes from a footnote explaining the Lefroy lineage in Chapter 1 of the Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy:

"Antoine Loffroy came from Flanders about the year 1569, in the time of the Duke of Alva's persecution. He brought with him a considerable sum of money and jewels; but his estate shared the same fate with that of many other refugees who left France on account of their religion, being confiscated, and all the family writings, papers &c., destroyed. His wife was a Flanderine lady of the first quality, and very rich, of the family of the Du Hoorns. He had two sons, Isaiah, born in Flanders, and David, born after his arrival in England. He, finding a number of refugees in Canterbury, and induced by the convenience of the French church, resolved to fix there."

I quote this because I am on a mission to see if there is any truth to the belief of so many biographers of Jane and Tom that Tom was poor and found it necessary to marry "money". So far I have not found this to be true, but my mission is not completed as yet. As the old saying goes, "follow the money". So, if there is anyone out there with more time on their hands than I have to do research, you may want to look into this book on line: "Notes and Documents Relating to the Family of Loffroy, by a cadet [J.H. Lefroy]"

My personal opinion is that Tom and Mary Paul had some type of "understanding" before he met Jane, since he had known her a couple of years already. Because Tom was the gentleman that he was, he would not abandon Mary. So we shall see. More later.

Linda the Librarian

Pic: James McAvoy as Tom Lefroy in 'Becoming Jane'

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Jane Austen Quote of the Week - Week 138

Happy New Year to you all.

I was reading chaper 31 of Sense and Sensibility and I have chosen a couple of quotes. In this chapter Elinor and Marianne are still in London with Mrs Jennings. Marianne is distraught by the broken situation between herself and Willoughby and she has just received a letter from her mother who still does not know the situation. Elinor has started to write a letter to their mother to explain when Colonel Brandon arrives unannounced.

"It is Colonel Brandon!" said she, with vexation. "We are never safe from him ."
"He will not come in, as Mrs. Jennings is from home."
"I will not trust to that ," retreating to her own room. "A man who has nothing to do with his own time has no conscience in his intrusion on that of others."

I have highlighted the last line as it really made laugh, I am in complete agreement, it is so true. I fully believe that we should try to 'be' slower to counter the unbelievably fast pace of the life that we find ourselves in but on the other hand I have met many people who are totally oblivious to the situation and people around them and I have to admit, this has frustrated me.

The chapter continues with Colonel Brandon arriving to tell Elinor the truth regarding Willoughby's mistreatment of the daughter of Eliza, the woman Colonel Brandon loved deeply. He ponders whether he should declare such painful news:

"My regard for her, for yourself, for your mother -- will you allow me to prove it, by relating some circumstances, which nothing but a very sincere regard -- nothing but an earnest desire of being useful -- -. I think I am justified -- though where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong?" He stopped.

Again it was the last line that struck me. Decisions are very hard to make and personally (much to my dislike) I am a very indecisive character. The act of making a 'right' decision is impossible considering we do not have the resources to see into the future. People always say things like 'what will be will be' or 'things happen for a reason' but I am still not fully convinced of this theory. I have often been inflicted with what Colonel Brandon describes above; with all the repeated justification that a decision is a right one, there is always that element of doubt that you are in fact missing something. It is indeed scary.
Also, it is always a challenge to determine, particularly when others are involved, whether there are particular situations where words should be spared for the sake of anothers feelings.

So this quote is for all the thinkers out there who flit between one decision and another without any real certainty that they are right.

Pic: Elinor and Marianne

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Jane Austen Festival Australia 2011

I've been aware of this news for at least a month now, but just kept forgetting to post it.

Anyway, yes Ladies and Gents: the Jane Austen Festival Australia 2011 is to be conducted in the fine city of Canberra on 14-17 April 2011!

The early bird tickets were already sold out (!), but there are regular tickets (AU 225) and door tickets (AU 295) remaining for Adult over 18. You can also apply as a volunteer, there is discount ticket for that!

There are various programs, including Ribbon Trims, Regency Sleeve Styles (I was not aware of various sleeves in Regency era!), Regency Riding Habit (there you go Darcy!), Austen in Performance, Gothic Novels of the 18th CE (is Miss Morland to attend?), Regency Spicing, Chemisette workshop, Regency Makeup, Hair Styling the Regency Way, and Jane Austen's Music!

Alas, my student visa expires on 28 March and towards Bali I must thusly go beforehand. Otherwise, I'd tag my partner along (his birthday is the last day of the festival) and dress from head to toe in Regency style. I even have the dress ready, look! Just came from Etsy a few days ago.

I am just unsure that my partner wishes to dress as Mr Knightley in Regency style. Hmmm... Perhaps we can save it for next year instead... that is if the Immigration lets me visit with the tourist visa.

Pic 1: Jane Austen Festival Australia 2011
Pic 2: Me in my baby blue Austen dress!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Austen wedding dress

Found this one on Etsy again; the tag says Edwardian wedding dress, but I think it's very much a Regency style. Size small, so definitely not for me (not that I have a wedding coming up soon anyway!). Lovely buttercup ivory satin with a medium train. A bit pricey at $98 (before 20% discount), but for a wedding in February or so, it might be worthwhile!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Tom Lefroy Quote Week 3

Happy New Year my dear friends! From the bottom of our hearts, Team Jane wishes you the best year ever (so far of course, and much more to come), full of love, health, happiness and prosperity.

To celebrate the New Year, I looked for some quotes from Tom (because we have not quoted him for a while) and found this one. From The Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy p 241, addressed by Tom Lefroy to his wife (Mary Paul):

March 31, 1846

Here I am again, thanks be to our gracious Lord, who has been with me at my going forth and my returning, and followed me all the way with His mercy and goodness. Oh, how we ought to desire not to be left to ourselves.

Indeed, I found myself utterly blessed and guided throughout the year 2010, I hope I shall receive the same (or more) bliss and guidance throughout 2011. And the same hope for you all, of course. Thanks for accompanying our journeys so far, and may the Eternal Light bless us all.