Saturday, 26 November 2011

Tom Lefroy Quote Week 13

This week’s quote is taken from The Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy (pp. 216-217) when he related the extent of a devastating hurricane of 6 January 1839 to his wife, Mary Paul. The excerpt showed how Tom always tried to see the brighter side of an event, for the hurricane indeed destroyed at least 4,600 trees in the park and the surrounding woods.

April 3rd, 1839

You will be glad to hear that I have recovered somewhat from my first anguish, and am suffering myself to be by degrees led into the dream that though Carrig-glas has decidedly lost all its peculiar beauty (at least what constituted its beauty in my eyes) new charms will be unfolded when the wreck and ruin which now strews the pleasure grounds shall be removed, for we shall get views of the distant woods that we had not before, and of the only mountain we can boast of in the county. You can form no idea of the desolation which the storm has made; I could not cross the pleasure-ground from the heaps of trees, but am obliged to walk round to survey the stupendous pile of ruin. A few solitary trees have been preserved by the shelter of the heaps which had fallen around them, but, strange to say, comparatively few of the single trees standing out in the more exposed parts of the demesne have been blown down, and almost all the destruction has been either in the woods or close to the house. I am glad dear A—is not to come here for some time. The new house will be all that a house need be, and I trust will be covered in this autumn, so as to make some compensation for the loss of other beauties before he sees Carrig-glas again.

As someone who had gone through a Category 3 Cyclone earlier this year, I can somewhat relate to what Tom experienced with the hurricane. Seeing the trees fell down like that was a sad sight indeed, my town lost almost 6,000 trees altogether. But Tom lost 4,600 trees just in one park, so Carrig-glas must have stored a huge amount of tree collection before the hurricane hit.

Pic: trees as the victim of the 1938 Hurricane that hit Long Island, USA (obviously I cannot find pictures of the 1839 hurricane that hit Ireland...)

Monday, 21 November 2011

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 174

I have chosen a quote from Mansfield Park simply for the beautiful imagery and great construction of sentences by Jane Austen.

"Miss Crawford's attractions did not lessen. The harp arrived, and rather added to her beauty, wit, and good-humour; for she played with the greatest obligingness, with an expression and taste which were peculiarly becoming, and there was something clever to be said at the close of every air. Edmund was at the Parsonage every day, to be indulged with his favourite instrument: one morning secured an invitation for the next; for the lady could not be unwilling to have a listener, and every thing was soon in a fair train.

A young woman, pretty, lively, with a harp as elegant as herself, and both placed near a window, cut down to the ground, and opening on a little lawn, surrounded by shrubs in the rich foliage of summer, was enough to catch any man's heart. The season, the scene, the air, were all favourable to tenderness and sentiment."

This is taken from chapter 7 and the carefully chosen wording describes Edmund's lust for Miss Crawford- in my opinion there is almost an erotic tone to the description.

Pic: Austen prose

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 173

I am always amazed at what one can find when looking into all things "Jane Austen". I picked a number at random and turned to that number in Deidre LeFay's book on Jane's Letters and then found it in Brabourne's edition here:

It turned out to be No. XI in the Brabourne Edition written from Steventon: on Sunday (November 25). Here is the section that struck my fancy:

We have got "
Fitz-Albini"; my father has bought it against my private wishes, for it does not quite satisfy my feelings that we should purchase the only one of Egerton's works of which his family are ashamed. That these scruples, however, do not at all interfere with my reading it, you will easily believe. We have neither of us yet finished the first volume. My father is disappointed -- I am not, for I expected nothing better. Never did any book carry more internal evidence of its author. Every sentiment is completely Egerton's. There is very little story, and what there is is told in a strange, unconnected way. There are many characters introduced, apparently merely to be delineated. We have not been able to recognise any of them hitherto, except Dr. and Mrs. Hey and Mr. Oxenden, who is not very tenderly treated.
We have got Boswell's "Tour to the Hebrides," and are to have his "Life of Johnson"; and, as some money will yet remain in Burdon's hands, it is to be laid out in the purchase of Cowper's works. This would please Mr. Clarke, could he know it.

I like to know as much as I can about an author so that I can understand what their influences were and what they are trying to tell me. So this mention of "Egerton" led me to Egerton Brydges who happens to be a brother to her friend and neighbor, Mrs. Lefroy of Deane. That is why she was probably so interested in reading his book. It is still available today and if I had nothing else to do, I would read it just for fun to see what I could see. What is interesting also is the fact that she recognizes some of the characters as people she knew which leads one to think that it was a common practice to use 'real' people as inspirations. I know that I have seen people in my life that are right out of Jane's novels. In other words, as I say, people have not changed in 200 years.

While investigating Egerton, I found that he had written a commentary about a poet, namely, William Collins! Now where have I heard that name before? Ha! My amazement never ends!
In the next part of my quote she mentions Boswell and Cowper, who also bear some looking into, just for comparisons. This may not appeal to everyone, but this is an avenue I like to travel when I read books.

Happy reading,
Linda the Librarian

Pic: Samuel Egerton Brydges from Wikipedia

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 172

To me, Jane Austen is many things altogether. One of them: she is one of the very few authors whose writings still attracts me, despite her long, long (and I mean LONG) sentences. So, when I found this letter today, I cannot help but laughing, because the short sentences were so unlike her long style!

But rest assure, dear friends. This letter was written by our dearest Jane, dated Wednesday 15 – Thursday 16 September 1813, to Cassandra Austen (LeFaye 1997 edition). The bolded parts are my own.

I am going to write nothing but short sentences. There shall be two full stops in every line. Layton and Shear's is Bedford House. We mean to get there before breakfast if it's possible; for we feel more and more how much we have to do and how little time. This house looks very nice. It seems like Sloane Street moved here. I believe Henry is just rid of Sloane Street. – Fanny does not come, but I have Edward seated by me beginning a letter, which looks natural.

Henry has been suffering from the pain in the face which he has been subject to before. He caught cold at Matlock, and since his return has been paying a little for past pleasure. – It is nearly removed now – but he looks thin in the face – either from the pain or the fatigues of his tour, which must have been great.

Lady Robert is delighted with P. & P – and really was so, as I understand, before she knew who wrote it – for, of course, she knows now. – He told her with as much satisfaction as if it were my wish. He did not tell me this, but he told Fanny. And Mr. Hastings – I am quite delighted with what such a man writes about it. – Henry sent him the books after his return from Daylesford – but you will hear the letter too.

Let me be rational, and return to my two full stops.

I talked to Henry at the play last night. We were in a private box -- Mr. Spencer's -- which made it much more pleasant. The box is directly on the stage. One is infinitely less fatigued than in the common way….

You know, I also attended several other forums, some of them are fan-fiction forums. In one of them, we sometimes made ‘round-robin’ fanfictions where every fan-fiction writer must write just a single sentence before another writer resume the sentence, in the style and direction entirely theirs! So what I did was copying Jane Austen’s paragraph-length sentence and got pretty much what I wanted to say in a sentence! A paragraph-length sentence, that is.

She’s such a delight, Jane Austen!

Pic: Cassandra (Anna Maxwell Martin) reading a (heavily edited) letter from Jane (Anne Hathaway) in Becoming Jane 2007

Thursday, 3 November 2011

"Death Comes to Pemberley"

This information was taken from Jane Austen Centre monthly newsletter.

Today a book is being published which was written by the English crime writer PD James called Death Comes to Pemberley

Sarah Crown from the guardian has written an article from which the following excerpt has been taken:

"The year," runs the press release, "is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the Pemberley nursery, Elizabeth's beloved sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live within seventeen miles, the ordered and secure life of Pemberley seems unassailable, and Elizabeth's happiness in her marriage is complete. But their peace is threatened and old sins and misunderstandings are rekindled on the eve of the annual autumn ball. The Darcys and their guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley's wild woodland, and as it pulls up, Lydia Wickham, an uninvited guest, tumbles out, screaming that her husband has been murdered."

Sounds interesting!!

Here is the link for the full article:
The latest Austen mashup: Pride and Prejudice and murder

Pic: Jane Austen centre, Bath

Gone Reading

I would like to thank Brad for posting a comment and making us aware of a wonderful organisation called GoneReading. They provide products for book lovers which I am sure includes every one of our readers on this blog.

It was founded in 2011 and donates 100% of company profits to fund reading libraries and other literacy projects in the developing world.

They work with non-profit organisations such as READ global and Ethiopia Reads who partner local villages and communities in the most underdeveloped parts of the world to effect real change.

BETTER STILL they have a set of Jane Austen themed gifts, see here.

These gifts include t-shirts, mugs, bags.

So shop now to support such a wonderful cause. Founder Brad Wirz says "We believe that when people have open access to great reading materials, life always changes for the better," I couldnt agree more.

Pic : Taken from the GoneReading website

New wallpaper from Maria!

My dearest Maria, please forgive us for missing your email notifying the new Becoming Jane Wallpaper! Totally unintentional!

So here's the beautiful wallpaper from Maria once more, dearest friends. Hope you like them as we do! Thank you so much, Maria. We hope you and your family are well.

1024 x 768

1680 x 1050