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Updated: 2018-01-29T02:09:20.488+08:00


Alan Rickman just died...


Alan Rickman....Breaking a hiatus shouldn't be with sad news... but here it is. I'm so sad that I feel like I'm unintelligible right now.  But what can I do when one of my favourite actors died just now? Alan Rickman is my definitive Colonel Brandon; he was my ideal man in the Jane Austen world. I used to listen to his voice reading a poem at YouTube a few years back, mesmerised by his voice. I watched him as Col Brandon watching Marianne, youthful Marianne, then reading her poems. I watched him recently as Louis XIV in A Little Chaos, again with Kate Winslet who used to portray Marianne. It hurts, you know? Separation hurts. And for that... I can only pour my pains here...Well, not just here, but this is one of the outlets I have, so do excuse my sadness... My Col Brandon just died. My Severus Snape just died. And it hurts so much... This link provides you with The Guardian's version of 10 best Alan Rickman performances. I posted some Alan Rickman YouTube videos as well below, just because I love him so. Alan, rest in peace. Thank you for providing us with that smile, that humour, that voice... that beauty that is you...My favourite Alan Rickman scenes/series are below: A Christmas Special BBC 2000 allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"> Sense and Sensibility 1995, Col Brandon first meeting Marianne (she was singing "Weep You No More Sad Fountains") allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="420"> Sense and Sensibility 1995, reading Marianne a poem allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"> "Of things unseene how canst though deeme aright,"Then answered the righteous Artegall,"Sit though misdeem'st so much of things in sight?What though the sea with waves continuallDoe eate the earth, it is no more at all;Ne is the earth the lesse, or loseth ought : For whatsoever from one place doth fall Is with the tyde unto another brought : For there is nothing lost, that may be found if sought."― Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, read by Col Brandon (Alan Rickman) for Marianne Dashwood (Kate Winslet), Sense and Sensibility 1995. Alan Rickman reading Shakespeare's Sonnet 130 allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="420"> Severus Snape ("Harry Potter"), the most amazing hero... allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">Source: Techinsider[...]

It’s been a lovely 8 years ...


Dear Readers,Since meeting online 8 years ago and starting this blog we have learnt a lot, we have certainly made many new friends and we have uncovered some fascinating things about Jane and Tom. One of our greatest achievements was putting together a timeline which gave us a foundation for reading, discovering and writing other things about Jane that are now close to our heart.8 years is a long time and we are running out of quotes but more importantly each of us has little time these days and have therefore decided that we will not be continuing with our quote of the week. This is not the end though, we are still going to be committed to posting when we have something interesting to say about Jane, Tom or indeed any JA adaptations that we want to talk about and share with you all.Icha is visiting Europe in June and we are hoping to meet up and visit Bath and Chawton together, something we have wished for since we started speaking in 2007 so we will definitely be updating the blog with our adventures then. This is not goodbye as we will all still be very much linked to this blog and will still respond to any comments that we receive but we want to thank all of you for your contributions and for making this journey really enjoyable.Until you hear from us again, enjoy the archives!Love Rachel, Icha and Linda xxxPicture 1Picture 2[...]

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 297


Cinderella (Lily James) and Prince Kit (Richard Madden) dancing in the 2015 CinderellaHappy Easter, everyone!  May you have the Universe’s blessings with you always.Since it’s Easter, I was thinking of finding an Easter-related quote.  But since I’ve been in love with Cinderella 2015 (oh what a beautiful movie...Kenneth Branagh is an amazing director!), and some of the Cinderella quotes actually resonated with Jane Austen’s quotes, I’d take a quote shared between Cinderella and Miss Austen. In this case, Miss Anne Elliot.From Persuasion, Chapter 16, Anne described what good company was to her:''My idea of good company ... is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.''To which Mr Elliot replied that she was mistaken, for “that is not good company; that is the best.”Ella meets Kit for the first timeWhile Cinderella, having been banished by her stepmother to live in the attic, actually thought that no company is better than poor company. And those few friends she had, she treated with love and kindness. I have “only” watched the movie twice (actually planning for the 3rd one... blame Lily James’ and Richard Madden’s sizzling on-screen chemistry as Cinderella and the Prince), so I don’t remember the verbatim words. But according to the Elephant Journal, it should be something like this:It’s better to be alone, than be surrounded by poor company.She had few friends, but the ones she had, “she treated with an open heart and an open hand.”Well, I hope you’ve been having good company during this Easter, the ones who love you just as you are and treat you with open heart and open hand... And if you have not found your best company, I hope you will be soon, just like the new Cinderella meets her Prince on an equal ground.[...]

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 296


St. Patrick at the St. Benin Church, Kilbennan, IrelandSince St. Patrick's Day was just a few days ago, it has been on my mind.  Thus, I could not help but notice the references to that Day in the newspapers here in the middle of the United States.  I was amazed to see that there are so many celebrations for it way over here in the U.S.  Specifically, there was an advertisement for a St. Patrick's Day Parade in Memphis, Tennessee and another advertisement for locally sponsored tour of Ireland.  I don't get around much, so those ads took me by complete surprise.  Which brings me to my Jane Austen quote when she talked of Tom and called him "my Irish friend".  Putting all this together makes Ireland a really Big Deal! So as far as I am concerned Tom shall always be "my Irish friend" too!!  Jane and I have spoken! Yrs aff'ly, Linda the Librarian [...]

Jane Austen portrait


An interesting email came to me last week from Ed Lefroy, a descendant from Thomas Lefroy (see here for our Oct 2007 post). When going through some of the books from Carrigglas Manor (built in 1837 by Thomas Lefroy) he found one called Personal Aspects of Jane Austen by Mary Augusta Austen-Leigh (1838-1922, great niece of Jane Austen) which has a frontispiece of a painting by Zoffany entitled Jane Austen. The book was published in 1920 and interestingly the painting claiming to be of Jane Austen is the same painting known as the Rice Portrait (see our 2012 post). The Rice Portrait was originally attributed to Johann Zoffany as inscribed in this book but now is believed to have been made by Ozias Humphry (a renowned English painter) around 1788 when Jane Austen was 13 years old. Some still suggest that the painting dates to the early 19th century and thus cannot be of Austen, an interesting mystery.Do you believe the painting is of Jane? We welcome your comments.Pic 1 and 2: Sent from Ed Lefroy, taken from Personal Aspects of Jane Austen (1920)Pic 3: Mary Augusta Austen-Leigh[...]

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 46


That would be what Chief Justice would say. 'Never give up!'

So, tomorrow is Monday, and - like many of us - I have several things to resume working at the office. One of them is a paper co-authored with several colleagues to be submitted to an international peer-reviewed journal. We're not yet happy with the manuscript, there's something wanting... the core concept is not strong yet. So, I'm a bit disheartened at the moment at the prospect of sitting down in front of my laptop and rework on the manuscript, yet again... 

But then I looked around for a Tom Lefroy quote for this (passing) weekend, and I re-read the letter Tom Lefroy wrote to his daughter Jane. The extended version of the letter can be found here, taken from the Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy (p. 31-32). His advice that resonates with me is this:

Believe me, my darling girl, there is no progress to be made in anything without steady and continued application, which, besides the advantages it brings in the way of improvement, makes labour pleasant from habit instead of being irksome, as it always is to the idle and irresolute.

Thanks, Chief. I hope I can make a breakthrough tomorrow with the paper, instead of falling to the "idle and irresolute" trap of social media...

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 295


Last night I was fortunate enough to go to see James McAvoy (yes our Becoming Jane Tom Lefroy) in a production on stage of The Ruling Class by Peter Barnes. He was absolutely phenomenal as the paranoid schizophrenic born into a wealthy, aristocratic British family. This play, focussed on social classes has stayed in my mind and today it made me wonder about Jane Austen and how the classes interacted in her time. Jane Austen wrote often about her world and this included her social class, the gentry. The manners and customs of the gentry are always present in Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. I have chosen a quote from chapter 19 of Sense and Sensibility where Edward Ferrars is speaking:"We never could agree in our choice of profession. I always preferred the church, as I still do. But that was not smart enough for my family. They recommended the army. That was a great deal too smart for me. The law was allowed to be genteel enough; many young men, who had chambers in the Temple, made a very good appearance in the first circles, and drove about town in very knowing gigs. But I had no inclination for the law, even in this less abstruse study of it, which my family approved. As for the navy, it had fashion on its side, but I was too old when the subject was first started to enter it- (…) I was therefore entered at Oxford and have been properly idle ever since"This fascinates me as in some ways our perceptions, customs and social interactions have changed so much from these times until today but in other ways we are still facing the same issues. For example young people today, in the culture I have familiarity with, typically have autonomy and freedom of choice in terms of their career paths (I do appreciate that this does not apply to all cultures), this suggests that traditions and connections with older times are fading. However at a time where our government in the UK are discussing university tuition fees and affordable housing for average paid workers, it is apparent that the questions and deliberations of class divide that also existed in Jane Austen's time are still very real and at the forefront of many peoples lives.  Pic: Mr Edward Ferrars[...]

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 294


It seems as though a multitude of "sickness" is going around where we are, so I wondered what Jane had to say about it.  I found in Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 8 the following about Jane Bennett who had gotten ill at the Bingleys:Elizabeth joined them again only to say that her sister was worse, and that she could not leave her. Bingley urged Mr. Jones's being sent for immediately; while his sisters, convinced that no country advice could be of any service, recommended an express to town for one of the most eminent physicians. This she would not hear of; but she was not so unwilling to comply with their brother's proposal; and it was settled that Mr. Jones should be sent for early in the morning, if Miss Bennet were not decidedly better. Bingley was quite uncomfortable; his sisters declared that they were miserable. 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 even in those days, illness (sickness) was quite a problem.  Enough said, and I hope everyone gets better very quickly.Yrs aff'ly,Linda the Librarian[...]

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 293


Dear friends,Last Saturday was Valentine's Day, so it's apt that I post something about love, which is Jane Austen's most popular topic. However, I'd like to post something about self-love and self-appreciation this time, because without a good relationship with ourselves, any relationships with others are bound to fail. Lizzy Bennet (Jennifer Ehle) mimicking Darcy's insult to Jane Bennet From Pride and Prejudice Chapter III Vol I; Darcy was about to deliver his famous insult on Lizzy's character."...turning round, he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said, ``She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.''  Mr. Bingley followed his advice. Mr. Darcy walked off; and Elizabeth remained with no very cordial feelings towards him. She told the story however with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in any thing ridiculous."Let's forget for a moment that Lizzy and Darcy would later find deep connexion between them etc. etc. At this moment, Lizzy did not let Darcy's comments define her. She knew her self worth, and she appreciates herself for who she is. I think had she not maintained her composure and fought Darcy back, the latter would not find himself helplessly attracted to her.I do think, though, romance is important. But prior to that, we need to love ourselves first and nurture a loving relationship with ourselves. That, I'd say, includes accepting our worst sides/characters and grow from it. Belated Happy Valentine's Day, dear friends! May Love be with us always.[...]

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 292


We were supposed to post this quote last weekend but I got caught up in a deadline hence I forgot to do that. My apologies to Linda, and belated happy birthday too! (I did congratulate her in FB on time, but not here...) And yes, Linda, you have every right to brag that you live this long! Love you!Our lovely Jane (Anne Hathaway) and Tom (James McAvoy) in BJ 2007I recently ran across this item about the Jane and Tom "affair" and I hope I haven't posted it before.  So here goes.On the Pemberley website there is a page about Tom and Jane.  It covers the letters written by Jane and her family, books written about Jane, and the memoir by her brother.  It covers a lot and presents a very good case for what "may have been" or not.You may visit that page and judge for yourself:  CLICK HERE.I will whet your imagination by quoting Jane thusly:You scold me so much in the nice long letter which I have this moment received from you, that I am almost afraid to tell you how my Irish friend and I behaved. So, as Jane says, "I leave it for you to determine."Yrs aff'ly,Linda the LibrarianPS:  Just a note to let you know that today, as I type, January 30,2015 is my 74th birthday -- and at that great age, I don't mind telling it - just bragging that I lived so long.  hee hee.[...]

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 291


The aftermath of a massive storm in Somerville, Massachusetts, in 2005 (the have two weather-related quotes for last weekend, which I should have posted earlier had I not forgotten that it had been my turn instead, and thus I was busy having other fun (head down in shame...).First, about snow storm. Massachusetts is having a snow blizzard at the moment, such that Governor Charlie Baker imposed on state-wide travel ban. Not sure if Mississippi is hit as well, but dear Linda, I hope you are safe and sound! The related quote would be from Emma, Chapter 15:Mr. John Knightley now came into the room from examining the weather, and opened on them all with the information of the ground being covered with snow, and of its still snowing fast, with a strong drifting wind; concluding with these words to Mr. Woodhouse: "This will prove a spirited beginning of your winter engagements, sir. Something new for your coachman and horses to be making their way through a storm of snow." Poor Mr. Woodhouse was silent from consternation; but every body else had something to say; every body was either surprized or not surprized, and had some question to ask, or some comfort to offer. Mrs. Weston and Emma tried earnestly to cheer him and turn his attention from his son-in-law, who was pursuing his triumph rather unfeelingly. "I admired your resolution very much, sir," said he, "in venturing out in such weather, for of course you saw there would be snow very soon. Every body must have seen the snow coming on. I admired your spirit; and I dare say we shall get home very well. Another hour or two's snow can hardly make the road impassable; and we are two carriages; if one is blown over in the bleak part of the common field there will be the other at hand. I dare say we shall be all safe at Hartfield before midnight." Emphasizes of my own. But of course the Knightleys and the Dashwoods still ventured out back to Hartfield, and it was good that they made it. Don't try to do that tonight in Boston tho, not advisable!This stormy snowy condition, my dear friend, is of such contrast with where I live now in North Queensland Australia. We won't get snow, but we are hoping so much for the rain. Alas, we have been trapped in a hot weather pocket for a week now without some respite (okay, a huge rain on last Thursday, but that was it). What I'd give for a downpour rain now...The related quote would be from Jane Austen's letter dated 18 September 1796:“What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance.”Indeed. My poor hair...We have air-conditioner (or heater for Massachussetts until they have power outage), which Jane Austen would have loved to have. On that note, I shall return to my quarter for some cool air-con...[...]

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 290


Over the past two weeks I have been fortunate enough to be asked twice to be a bridesmaid at two dear friends weddings over the next year. I thought that it was therefore appropriate to consider wedding quotes this week. There are a number I love from Pride and Prejudice but I do not believe we have not chosen this one yet to post on the blog, it is perhaps a little cynical but brilliant.

In a conversation between Elizabeth and Charlotte Lucas in Chapter 6 of Pride and Prejudice:

Well," said Charlotte, "I wish Jane success with all my heart; and if she were married to him to-morrow, I should think she had as good a chance of happiness as if she were to be studying his character for a twelvemonth. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life."

I have pondered over the last statement, I have tendency to want to plan and overthink everything but often that is only to my detriment, perhaps this overthinking is a waste of energy and time, perhaps happiness is indeed entirely a matter of chance.

I hope you are all having a super weekend.

Tom Lefroy Quote of the Week 45


Source: this siteThe world seems to be witnessing a lot of deaths these days. Of course, people die everyday. But the last two months have been significant for me. Personally, my dear father passed away at the end of November last year. I had to fly back home to cremate him, but thank God everything went unexpectedly well. He is in peace now with The Light. I can feel it...and for that, I thank the Universe.Then we have some siege, hostage and murder situations in Sydney (Dec) and Paris (just a few days earlier). That brought sadness to me, particularly because innocent people died during the siege. In between, Air Asia #QZ8501 went down off Sumatra, killing all 162 people onboard. That was also personal to me because that I'm a frequent flyer to that airline.Then, last Saturday, a renowned scientist in my own field passed away. She was from Thailand, and I never had the honour of meeting her before she died. I only knew of her achievements by words of mouth. She died after battling cancer for several years. Her departure is a loss for us, personally and professionally. However, I hope that she is in peace now, free of pain. Now it seems my prayers for the final moment, any final moment, is this: let it be in peace. Let there be Light, let there be Unconditional Love and Courage. Let there be unconditional letting go, returning to the Source. Let it be pain-free...And for those who departed recently, here is a passage from the Memoir of Chief Justice Lefroy p. 386. We have posted it in 2010, but there's nothing wrong in recycling it here for its beautiful value. Written by Tom Lefroy Jr, son of the original Thomas Langlois Lefroy (our Tom Lefroy), about the final moments of his 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.”May every one of us welcomes our final moments with such courage, serenity, love and peace. God speed. [...]

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 289


The late Mollie Sugden (1922-2009) who played Mrs Goddard in Emma 1972This quote is taken from Emma, Chapter 3:Mrs. Goddard was the mistress of a School -- not of a seminary, or an establishment, or any thing which professed, in long sentences of refined nonsense, to combine liberal acquirements with elegant morality upon new principles and new systems -- and where young ladies for enormous pay might be screwed out of health and into vanity -- but a real, honest, old-fashioned Boarding-school, where a reasonable quantity of accomplishments were sold at a reasonable price, and where girls might be sent to be out of the way and scramble themselves into a little education, without any danger of coming back prodigies. Mrs. Goddard's school was in high repute -- and very deservedly; for Highbury was reckoned a particularly healthy spot: she had an ample house and garden, gave the children plenty of wholesome food, let them run about a great deal in the summer, and in winter dressed their chilblains with her own hands. It was no wonder that a train of twenty young couple now walked after her to church. She was a plain, motherly kind of woman, who had worked hard in her youth, and now thought herself entitled to the occasional holiday of a tea-visit; and having formerly owed much to Mr. Woodhouse's kindness, felt his particular claim on her to leave her neat parlour hung round with fancy-work whenever she could, and win or lose a few sixpences by his fireside.Pardon the long quote, but I could not help but love the description of Mrs. Goddard and even she must have a "holiday" even if it is only for a tea visit.  The way I found this "holiday" mention was because I wanted to see Jane use the word in some context.  So, I am happy now that Jane did have "Holidays".  Hope everyone had a lovely Holiday Season.Yrs aff'ly,Linda the Librarian[...]

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 288 (New Year)


I was supposed to post something last Sunday; I meant to post something about the end of a chapter (Year End) and then let Linda post something about the new beginning (New Year). However, I've been traveling and I couldn't get a decent internet to post anything. Hence this post, which I hope does not duplicate Linda's intended quote later.Anyway. About New Year: I found a very nice quote about Persuasion from I'm not sure who summarised this particular contemporary article on Persuasion, could be editor Adam Burgess; but I really like it because it captured the essence of Persuasion. The original article itself was written by authoress Laurie Viera Rigler and can be found here. The quote I'm referring to is this:"Bringing in a New Year is all about second chances. This year, we vow, we will do it right. We have a second chance to take better care of ourselves. We have a second chance to be kinder, wiser, and better human beings."And the most related paragraph of Persuasion, according to Laurie, would be this one from Capt Wentworth himself to Anne Elliot:"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W."Ms Rigler was right. This is the quote that caught my attention the most.  "Tell me not that I am too late."Well, I agree that New Year is New Beginning, and about second chances. I have my new beginnings to plan ahead. What are your new beginnings, my dear friends?[...]

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 287


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?

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 285


James AustenI 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'dFair 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 PassagesWe certainly enjoyed collecting the passages, so do read as much as you wish and time permits.Yrs aff'ly,Linda the Librarian[...]

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.

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

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 283


Lalita Bakshi (Aishwarya Rai) and William Darcy (Martin Henderson) in Bride & PrejudiceI'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...) [...]

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

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)

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 280


Capt Wentworth (Rupert Penry-Jones) and Anne Elliot (Sally Hawkins) in Persuasion 2007I 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? [...]

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 Commons16th March, 1836Not 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[...]