Sunday, 26 June 2011

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 156 by Linda

I recently ran across a web site that prompted me to find out what our Jane Austen had to say on the subject of "defining a gentleman". Remembering that she used the word "gentlemanlike" quite a few times, I found this in Chapter 3 of Pride and Prejudice:

Mr. Bingley was good-looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners. His sisters were fine women, with an air of decided fashion. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely looked the gentleman; but his friend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien, and the report, which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year. The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud, to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend.

The name of the site I found is titled "The Art of Manliness" and it appears to be quite civil and covers a whole lot of information, more than I am able to absorb at the moment. You may read about the site here: The Art of Manliness.

What is so extra nice is that there is a Jane Austen group there also called: Jane Austen Forum where I found 2 friends from the Male Voices site that I keep on the web.

I invite you all to explore the site 'to see what you can see'. Have fun.

Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian

Pic: the 2005 Mr Bingley (Simon Woods) and Jane Bennet (Rosamund Pike) from fanpop

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 155

Still related to Father's Day, although not in the best of light compared to Rachel's thoughtful Tom Lefroy quote last week, I took a quote from a not-so-successful father figure in the Austen universe. From the first paragraph of Pride & Prejudice Vol III Chapter 8 (Chapter 30):

Mr. Bennet had very often wished, before this period of his life, that, instead of spending his whole income, he had laid by an annual sum, for the better provision of his children, and of his wife, if she survived him. He now wished it more than ever. Had he done his duty in that respect, Lydia need not have been indebted to her uncle, for whatever of honour or credit could now be purchased for her. The satisfaction of prevailing on one of the most worthless young men in Great Britain to be her husband, might then have rested in its proper place.

The bolded sentences are the focus here, while the rest of the paragraph are putting them in context. The main issue is Mr. Bennet's unpreparedness for secured funds, and that is I think something I need to work on now. I mean, I'm going to be 40 in three years, and I think it's time for me to lay an annual sum of money for - at least - my retirement fund, in addition to resume saving for my dream house that I've done so far. I have no child (yet), so I think at least I have to cover myself pretty well in the future. Perhaps some people see it silly that I start to think of retirement fund when I'm not even 40 yet, but my economist partner disagree. Retirement fund (we call it 'super-annuation' here in Australia) is very important and one must start as early as possible.

I will get a new job this July after (hopefully) submitting my PhD. As I get my first salary, I hope that I'm wise enough to save the greater proportion of it, instead of spending it for 'pretty but definitely can wait' items like (cough) dresses and shoes...

What about you Ladies and Gents? Any tips for retirement fund savings?

Pic: Benjamin Whitrow as Mr Bennet in the 1995 Pride & Prejudice

Friday, 17 June 2011

Bridget Jones’s Diary: A Classic Homage to Austen - by Laurie Viera Rigler

I don't know about you but I love the Bridget Jones's Diary books (by Helen Fielding) and films. Laurie Viera Rigler (author of Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict) has written a great short article for International Chick Lit Month about the parallels between Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones's Diary.

You can read it here.

Pic 1: Pride and Prejudice Mr Darcy and Lizzy Bennet
Pic 2: Bridget Jones's Diary Mark Darcy and Bridget Jones

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Tom Lefroy Quote Week 9

Next sunday (19th June) in the UK it is Fathers Day so I thought I would chose a quote from a letter Tom wrote to his son taken from Tom Lefroy's memoir, page 33:

"I hope you are attentive to your business, and get your lessons, not merely so as to pass, but so as to understand them as perfectly as you can, and above all things, that you don’t loiter and waste time. When you play, - play, - but when you read, read and don’t play.
God bless you, my darling boy.
Your ever affectionate father,

I thought that this was a lovely quote to demonstrate Tom's true affection for his son, and indeed all his children. I love the line "when you play, - play, - but when you read, read and don’t play." It is simple and direct but said with the authority of a father.

Pic: Father and son holding hands

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

James McAvoy as Prof Charles Xavier

For you fine ladies and gents who do not dabble in science fiction literature, this post may not be for you. But I'd like to put it here for it talks about our dearest James McAvoy who had excellently portrayed Tom Lefroy (albeit a different version of the real one) in Becoming Jane 2007.

James McAvoy recently played the lead actor of X-Men: First Class and I saw his performance last night. And I remembered once again why I fell in love with his Tom Lefroy. Suffice to say that JMA is really a smart actor, able of expressing various emotional ranges in immediate successions, and very charming as well. Needless to say that his Scottish-turned-British accent was very soothing for my ears.

I recommend X-Men: First Class for you who misses JMA and wants to see him in a big screen again. I avoided him in Wanted because it was too action-packed for me. But X-Men: First Class was different, for it explores a wide variety of human emotions, the notion of being different and how one finds one's place on Earth despite (or because of) his/her uniqueness.

For those who have seen X-Men trilogy and wonder how JMA portrayed the young telepathic professor, you can read this interview. His explanations remind me of the role

Pic: Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender), best friends who later became enemies

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Jane Austen Quote Week 154

Here is the story that led me to this week's quote.

I have most recently looked into 'other cultures/lands' than my native America, because I stumbled across the movies "A Town Like Alice" (which I saw), "The Flame Trees of Thika" (at my library) both of which so intrigued me that I remembered a book recommended by a friend "Reading Lolita in Tehran" and then stumbling again across a book "Last Journey: a Father and Son in Wartime" (Iraq). Then I realized how little I knew of other places in this big, wide world of ours.

All that made me wonder what Jane might have written about other lands. Then I remembered this book I had: "Jane Austen's Brother Abroad - The Grand Tour Journals of Edward Austen" edited by our own Jon Spence of "Becoming Jane" fame. (My copy is autographed by Mr. Spence - you may turn green with envy now!). Here follows an excerpt from the first chapter dated August 5th, 1786 [Neuchatel to Berne]:


I walked out in the evening with my new English companions and amused myself in feeding with bread a couple of enormous bears which are kept in a ditch at the entrance of the town for no other reason than through custom and a bear being the arms of the canton. From thence we continued our walk about a mile out of town to be spectators at a ball consisting of the nobility and gentry of the place which was had in the open air under a silken canopy suspended to four pine trees. The fineness of the evening, the dress and the seeming gayety of the dancers, the trees crowded with lamps of different colors, a number of sky rockets which continued to enlighten the air above us, and in short the whole sight pleased me exceedingly and gave me a good opinion of the manners in which the Bernois amuse themselves.


The dress of the women of the lower rank in the Canton of Berne is very singular in the eyes of Englishmen. It consists of a short blue petticoat tied high up their waists and just reaching down to their knees. Their stockings are in general red. Their shift (for they wear not neck handkerchiefs) comes under their chin and buttons down their neck. Instead of stays they have a red cloth stomacher which comes up to the breast and is fasten'd round their waist with brass hooks and eyes. Their hair is combed back over their forehead and meets behind in two black ribbons, one of which is platted in to each plat, generally train on the ground. On the top of their heads they wear a plain cap of black velvet with broad lace of the same color. When they marry they no longer wear these long flowing plats of hair, but either cut them off or, what is more common, wear them in a kind of tress round the crown of their head, where they fasten them with a silver clasp. The men wear an odd sort of large puckered breeches, or rather trousers, which reach down to their feet, a short thick waistcoat, and frequently a small cloth hat, as do sometimes the women, when they go out.


All I can say to that is "My! how times have changed!" You know what would be really fun to do - have ladies from many different lands get together and talk about their lives to discover how each of us really live and our beliefs, etc. Well, I can still dream.

Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian

Pic: Cover to 'Jane Austen's Brother Abroad' from JASA