Sunday, 21 December 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 287

Monday, 1 December 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 286

I want to start this week by offering condolences to one of the members of our team who has suffered a loss this week. A huge hug to you from us.

I have chosen a quote from chapter 16 of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and Wickham are talking about Mr Darcy:

“I wonder that the very pride of this Mr. Darcy has not made him just to you! — If from no better motive, that he should not have been too proud to be dishonest, — for dishonesty I must call it.”
“It is wonderful,” — replied Wickham, — “for almost all his actions may be traced to pride; — and pride has often been his best friend. It has connected him nearer with virtue than any other feeling. But we are none of us consistent; and in his behaviour to me, there were stronger impulses even than pride.”
“Can such abominable pride as his, have ever done him good?”
“Yes. It has often led him to be liberal and generous, — to give his money freely, to display hospitality, to assist his tenants, and relieve the poor. Family pride, and filial pride, for he is very proud of what his father was, have done this. Not to appear to disgrace his family, to degenerate from the popular qualities, or lose the influence of the Pemberley House, is a powerful motive.”

Pride can make us display such a range of emotions and traits; happiness, stubbornness, confidence. But what is life worth if there is no pride?

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 285

James Austen
I wish to draw your attention to a section of my site "The Loiterer" where we discussed "The Passionate, Evocative Passages in Jane Austen's novels".  We did a collection for each of her novels.  And to (sorta) prove that she was "passionate" Ashton quoted her brother, James Austen thusly:

On such subjects no wonder that she shou'd write well,
In whom so united those Qualities dwell;
Where 'dear Sensibility', Sterne's darling Maid,
With Sense so attemper'd is finely portray'd
Fair Elinor's self in that Mind is exprest,
And the Feelings of Marianne live in that Breast,

At the bottom of that page is a link to each of the other novels.  Here is the first page for the passages from Emma:  Passionate Passages

We certainly enjoyed collecting the passages, so do read as much as you wish and time permits.

Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 44

The past few weeks I have been having some difficulties at work, sometimes the injustice of working very hard with little recognition just becomes too much. I saw this quote from page 195 of Tom Lefroy's memoir and it seemed to summarise my feelings quite closely:

"Although the distaste for political life which led to his at first declining the representation of the university still continued, it never prevented his entering with individual interest and zeal into the duties of his post"

I think that sometimes even with the distaste for aspects of our jobs it should not cause us to let ourselves down, we should be proud to exhibit drive and commitment even in adversity. I feel grateful for the reminder.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 284

Since today as I type is October 31 and Halloween, I thought it appropriate to quote something scary from Jane.  I found this in Northanger Abbey, Chapter 21.  Catherine has found "An immense heavy chest!" And she goes on thusly:

Her fearful curiosity was every moment growing greater; and seizing, with trembling hands, the hasp of the lock, she resolved at all hazards to satisfy herself at least as to its contents. With difficulty, for something seemed to resist her efforts, she raised the lid a few inches; but at that moment a sudden knocking at the door of the room made her, starting, quit her hold, and the lid closed with alarming violence. This ill–timed intruder was Miss Tilney’s maid, sent by her mistress to be of use to Miss Morland; and though Catherine immediately dismissed her, it recalled her to the sense of what she ought to be doing, and forced her, in spite of her anxious desire to penetrate this mystery, to proceed in her dressing without further delay.

We shall be passing out candy to 'trick or treaters' tonight, so everyone have a Happy Halloween!

Yrs aff'ly,

Linda the Librarian

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 283

Lalita Bakshi (Aishwarya Rai) and William Darcy (Martin Henderson) in Bride & Prejudice

I've been watching Hindustani movies these days for some reasons. Today was Aishwarya Rai's Bride and Prejudice, which was inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. While Ms Rai's performance was a treat on its own (not to mention her beauty), it was the dancing sequences that made me attracted to the movie the most. Bollywood dancing is certainly not Regency dancing, but for some reasons, the director (Gurinder Chadha) believed that there are many similarities between the two types of dancing. And I think it's true, for in India, dancing is also used as a way to better understand another person. Not to mention that dancing and party are used as an excuse to dress up, though I suppose, many cultures do have those traits too. 

It still amuses me how in the Bollywood Bride and Prejudice, the many dancing scenes were used as opportunities to foster the interactions between the main characters. 

Which reminds me of Jane Austen's famous quote of dancing from PP, Vol I Chapter 3:

"NOT all that Mrs. Bennet, however, with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask on the subject was sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactory description of Mr. Bingley. They attacked him in various ways; with barefaced questions, ingenious suppositions, and distant surmises; but he eluded the skill of them all; and they were at last obliged to accept the second-hand intelligence of their neighbour Lady Lucas. Her report was highly favourable. Sir William had been delighted with him. He was quite young, wonderfully handsome, extremely agreeable, and, to crown the whole, he meant to be at the next assembly with a large party. Nothing could be more delightful! To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love; and very lively hopes of Mr. Bingley's heart were entertained."

Well, if not falling in love, dancing is certainly healthy for oneself! (note to self: enroll in one of those dancing classes in the city soon...)

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 282

I am sorry for the delay in posting a quote this week, I have been very busy and have not had any time for relaxing and reflecting. I have recently started a counselling course and a requirement of the course is that a journal is kept, in rushing to complete this last minute before the next session I realised that this was quite ridiculous and wondered what Jane had to say about making time for reflection.

In Pride and Prejudice Chapter 37 Elizabeth is also contemplating:

"Lady Catherine had many other questions to ask respecting their journey, and as she did not answer them all herself, attention was necessary, which Elizabeth believed to be lucky for her, or, with a mind so occupied, she might have forgotten where she was. Reflection must be reserved for solitary hours; whenever she was alone, she gave way to it as the greatest relief; and not a day went by without a solitary walk, in which she might indulge in all the delight of unpleasant recollections."

Large note to self, make more time for solitary reflection. I think that without it the world becomes too busy and confusing.

Pic: Mansfield park quote

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 281

I just saw the movie "Belle" recently (in the last week) and noticed a slight similarity to Jane's "Mansfield Park". See what you think.

Fanny Price was a lesser {meaning poor} relative of the of the Bertrams who "took her in". Then Sir Thomas Bertram had business in the islands off the USA (I forget the exact location} which brings in the slavery issue.

Next, there is the real Lord Mansfield who as Lord Chief Justice tries to end slavery in England. He died in 1788, so I will take a wild guess that there is a possibility that Jane may have heard of him and his family.

And finally, there is the co-incidence that Jane named the Bertram's estate "Mansfield".

What say you?

Yrs aff'ly,

Linda the Librarian - with a wild imagination

Pic 1: Scene from Belle (2014)

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 280

Capt Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones) and Anne Elliot (Sally Hawkins) in Persuasion 2007

I was pondering on how Jane Austen loved having her heroines walking about the village/town. Some of them, like Emma Woodhouse, could certainly afford a carriage of her own. However, Miss Austen seemed to like depicting her heroines exploring the surroundings on foot. We all know Elizabeth Bennet's famous walk from Longbourn to Netherfield and Marianne Dashwood's walk to Combe Magna, to name a few. Anne Elliot, the oldest of Jane's heroines, also loved walking, as proven from the passage below (Persuasion, Chapter 19):

Lady Dalrymple's carriage, for which Miss Elliot was growing very impatient, now drew up; the servant came in to announce it. It was beginning to rain again, and altogether there was a delay, and a bustle, and a talking, which must make all the little crowd in the shop understand that Lady Dalrymple was calling to convey Miss Elliot. At last Miss Elliot and her friend, unattended but by the servant, (for there was no cousin returned), were walking off; and Captain Wentworth, watching them, turned again to Anne, and by manner, rather than words, was offering his services to her.

'I am much obliged to you,' was her answer, 'but I am not going with them. The carriage would not accommodate so many. I walk: I prefer walking.'

'But it rains.'

'Oh! very little, Nothing that I regard.'

I find it refreshing to see that, even 200 years ago, some ladies seemed to love engaging in healthy exercise regimes such as walking. Since we are now back in the age of fitness, I often remind myself that I need a healthy dose of exercise per day to stay fit.

During the weekends, I usually walked up the hill behind our apartment, but today I skipped it to join the Global Mala this morning doing 108 sun salutations (and now I am nurturing a pair of jelly legs as a result... though I am certain I will be fine again in the morning).

So, my dear friends, what exercise have you been doing this weekend?

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 43

Sorry for the delay in posting this week, here is Linda's quote of the week.

I am amazed every time I go to the Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy and find such information that is still relevant today.  Since I am recovering from a bout of illness, I looked up the word "sick" and found the following letter to his Wife on page 198:

Library, House of Commons

16th March, 1836

Not only every session but every day and hour increases my distaste for the course I am thrown into here, and makes me long to flee away and be at rest.  It has, however, one good effect in guarding me from the snare of falling in love with politics and making me seek for comfort in looking away from all things around and about me, and forward to the things before and above.  There, and there only, is a true resting-place for the sick and weary heart.   I join you all in the morning around the Throne of Grace, and often feel delight at the thought that though separate in the body we are joined together in the spirit.  These are the thoughts upon which my spirit rallies and my heart revives again, and is enabled to make a fresh fight against the onset of discontent.  I must hasten away to the House of Commons.

 T. L.

What really amazed me was his "distaste for the course I am thrown into here" - meaning the House of Commons.  This leads me to the "distaste" for what I find in our own Congressional House over here nowadays.  I really need to find time to read the complete Memoir.

Yrs aff'ly,

Linda the Librarian

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 279

I think that we are all plagued with the feeling that life just goes far too quickly and we are always chasing our tails, rarely able to just stop and appreciate the moment we are experiencing and it might be a moment that changes everything. When we try to reflect on an exact moment that triggered change it is often impossible.

I am picking a fantastic quote that is taken from a conversation between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, taken from chapter 60 of Pride and Prejudice:

Elizabeth's spirits soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. ``How could you begin?'' said she. ``I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?''

``I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.''

``My beauty you had early withstood, and as for my manners -- my behaviour to you was at least always bordering on the uncivil, and I never spoke to you without rather wishing to give you pain than not. Now be sincere; did you admire me for my impertinence?''
``For the liveliness of your mind, I did.''

I love this quote for it's romance but it also is a good reminder for us to slow down and appreciate everything for it could be gone forever and we may not have truly experienced the beauty of it in the moment.

Pic 1: Moment of love
Pic 2: Moments

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 278

Jane Bennet (Rosamund Pike) nursed by Lizzy (Keira Knightley) in PP 2005


Dearest Folks, Your Librarian has been "under the weather" some 2 week now, so of course, my thoughts turned to what Jane might call "sickness".   What is amazing is that she used the word "sick" just as we do, namely, meaning to "be sick of something" as in disgust, weariness etc.  She also uses it to mean "ill health".  Here are a couple of quotes from P&P to illustrate both uses.

In Chapter 20 Lizzie accuses Darcy thusly:

The fact is, that you were sick of civility, of deference, of officious attention. You were disgusted with the women who were always speaking and looking and thinking for your approbation alone.

In Chapter 8 where Jane Bennett is ill at the Bingley's, Jane is described thusly:

They solaced their wretchedness, however, by duets after supper, while he could find no better relief to his feelings than by giving his housekeeper directions that every possible attention might be paid to the sick lady and her sister.

So, I leave you with those thoughts and hoping to be completely "well" in just a few days.  Sigh.

Yrs aff'ly,
Linda the Librarian

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 42

We received a very interesting email a couple of weeks ago from a man who owns the former church of St. Oswalds in Fulford, York, England. His garden is the former grave yard and he emailed us to tell us that there were two mid 19th century burials in this graveyard, captain Anthony Lefroy and his wife Elizabeth.

We have touched on Anthony Lefroy, Tom Lefroy's younger brother, before in previous quotes but here are some details below. Anthony Lefroy was born on October 19 1777 –and became a Captain in the 65th Regiment, the commission being purchased for him by his Langlois great-uncles. Anthony had a love match marriage in 1798 to Elizabeth Wilkin, she was considered undesirable due to her lack of fortune and the Langlois family refused to provide any further financial assistance. Tom Lefroy was eventually able to obtain for his brother the position of Barrack-Master, first in Arundel and later in York, where this branch of the family therefore remained. One of Anthony and Elizabeth's sons, Thomas Edward Preston Lefroy (1815-1887), married in 1846 his cousin Anna-Jemima Lefroy (daughter of Anna Austen and Benjamin Lefroy. Anthony Lefroy died on September 7th 1857. 

This story has always been interesting to us as the marriage between Anthony and Elizabeth was in 1798, this is the year that Tom Lefroy would have still had very strong feelings for Jane Austen. Given that his younger brother had married a woman of no fortune and gone against the families wishes, it would have been very difficult for Tom to also cut himself off from the family too, he would have felt a huge responsibility to "marry well" given that his second younger brother (Benjamin) was still 16 years old.

The email received recently stated:

"He was indeed the master of nearby Fulford cavalry barracks, but I have no more information regarding his tenure. The grave consists of a huge thick slab of stone
surrounded by railings. There is a full inscription of who he was and more
importantly, who his father was. It is said he married without the support of
his family, especially his rich uncle Benjamin and  subsequently lost the
support of his family. Perhaps this explains why he remained in obscurity as a
lowly captain when his brother achieved greatness. What is sure he remained true
to his wife and they stayed together until his death - she died only a few
months later."

We have asked whether a photograph can be sent with the inscription and we will be sure to post it if we do receive.

I think that this story demonstrates that true love and following your heart always wins in the end.

Pic: True Love

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 277

Hayley Atwell as Mary Crawford, Mansfield Park 2007

I received an email a few days ago that brought me disappointment. It was announcing the result of a long-awaited funding proposal result, which turned out to be negative. It was the second time I tried for this donor, and I still failed. I do see that their arguments in rejecting my proposal were valid, and I am determined to improve it for the next time. However, I am still disappointed.

Then I looked for Jane Austen's advice for disappointment, and I found this below, from Mansfield Park chapter 5. I think Rachel has posted this quote a while ago (spoken by Mary Crawford), but since it resonates with my heart at the moment, I choose to repost it here.

" see but half. You see the evil, but you do not see the consolation. There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere."

I hope if you do encounter disappointments, you will find the silver lining and move on. Try again, or try another thing, and move on.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 276

My partner and I just returned from a walk up the hill sort of behind our house, about 35 minutes up and 25 minutes down, with extra time to arrive there which took us in total two hours of a healthy walking regime.  My legs and ankles are very sore at the moment, but I enjoyed the walk (okay, I panted and struggled to breathe, but I still thought it was a good exercise). Then I thought about Austen heroines and characters who loved walking or doing any physical exercises, and my mind naturally wondered to Elizabeth Bennet and her walking three miles to Netherfield to visit her sister.

Keira Knightley as Lizzy Bennet (PP 2005) having a walk

Hence, here’s the excerpt from Pride and Prejudice Chapter 7. Elizabeth, upon learning that Jane was ill, set to Netherfield, accompanied by Catherine and Lydia until Meryton (the other two also loved walking, especially due to the prospect of meeting young, handsome officers in scarlet coats at the said destination). But of course, not before dear Mrs Bennet’s objection.

``How can you be so silly,'' cried her mother, ``as to think of such a thing, in all this dirt! You will not be fit to be seen when you get there.''

``I shall be very fit to see Jane -- which is all I want.''

``Is this a hint to me, Lizzy,'' said her father, ``to send for the horses?''

``No, indeed. I do not wish to avoid the walk. The distance is nothing, when one has a motive; only three miles. I shall be back by dinner.''

``I admire the activity of your benevolence,'' observed Mary, ``but every impulse of feeling should be guided by reason; and, in my opinion, exertion should always be in proportion to what is required.''

``We will go as far as Meryton with you,'' said Catherine and Lydia. -- Elizabeth accepted their company, and the three young ladies set off together.

``If we make haste,'' said Lydia, as they walked along, ``perhaps we may see something of Captain Carter before he goes.''

In Meryton they parted; the two youngest repaired to the lodgings of one of the officers' wives, and Elizabeth continued her walk alone, crossing field after field at a quick pace, jumping over stiles and springing over puddles with impatient activity, and finding herself at last within view of the house, with weary ancles, dirty stockings, and a face glowing with the warmth of exercise.

I wondered how long did it take for Elizabeth to reach Netherfield. A little over an hour?
So, how is your Sunday so far? Any exciting exercise? Or reading your favourite book? Or watching a long-awaited movie at the local theatre? Whatever it has been, I hope you enjoy this weekend.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 275

I have developed a keen interest in the term "Lady" - with a capital "L".   My present path began with a post at the Republic of Pemberley by a friend of mine, namely "Line".  We met some 11 years ago in Cape Cod at a RoP conference.  You may read her post and the replies here:  What distinguishes a Lady? 
Her post led me to another blog post by fellow Pemberlian, TimLee, and you can read that post here:  Ladies vs. Women.  The replies he received are very interesting also.
During all that reading I found a Wikipedia article of interest here:  Cult of Domesticity which explains a lot of the history of the word "Lady".
To top all of that off, I proceeded to look into our Jane's writings to see if she used the term "lady/ladies".  She surely did!  And I will quote only one instance from "Persuasion", chapter 26.  The surrounding story is involved so I won't give all the details, and just quote the main section with the use of 'ladies':
The party separated. The gentlemen had their own pursuits, the ladies proceeded on their own business, and they met no more while Anne belonged to them.
You may notice that she uses the term 'gentlemen' and 'ladies' in the same sentence.  Now here is the hard part.  I have a lot of the above information to digest and sort out and it will take a while.  So I will make this post a "Part One" on the term "Lady".
And please feel free to join in with your thoughts on this subject.

Yrs aff'ly,  Linda the Librarian

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 41

For MH17 with love

I once posted this quote below in September 2010 as a sign of respect to a friend of a friend. Now, it seems - sadly - I need to post it again here. It's not even the turn for a Tom Lefroy quote (FYI, Rachel and Linda), but I cannot help it. I need to post this quote here again...

From The Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy page 386, the young Tom Lefroy (son of Thomas Langlois Lefroy) recalled the last moments of his late father’s life.

To the last he retained a cheerful and patient endurance under suffering which often elicited the astonishment and admiration of those who attended upon his sickness. I remember in his last illness (only two days before he was taken from us), after he had spent a very wearisome night from want of sleep, and great oppression of breathing, we closed the window-shutters in the morning, in the hope of his getting some sleep; just then the physician for whom an express had been sent, arrived from Dublin. After feeling his pulse, the doctor asked whether it would annoy him if the window-shutters were opened for a moment, when he replied with a cheerful smile, “not at all, doctor, I always like to have light thrown upon a subject.”

Thomas Langlois Lefroy welcomed the last moments of his life with great courage and - dare I say, peace. I wish, I hope, it was also the case for the 298 people onboard Malaysian Airlines MH17 that was shut down over eastern Ukraine last Thursday (17 July 2014). Those lives that ended too short, too cruelly...

I certainly have my opinions about that matter, including who the responsible party is. But here, I just want to extend my prayers, that in their last moments, those innocent lives on board the plane were in peace. That they were courageous, and even if they were afraid, calm and peace immediately took over, and they left this world swiftly, in bliss.

And for their loved ones who remain on Earth, may they find warmth, love and support within them and all around them to continue living, as those who left them would have wanted them to. That the bodies of their loved ones be returned home a.s.a.p. for the final respectful rest they deserve.

And for us all who remain here, may we find the love, forgiveness and courage to work together for peace. True peace and harmony based on understanding and respect, not just so that we have no conflict.