I must first admit that this is the first time I have ever guest posted! So, when Miss Laurie asked me to do so, I was quite thrilled. Though, I am afraid, along with my inane ability to ramble, this very quote by our celebrated birthday girl quite sums up how this post may turn out:
"You deserve a longer letter than this; but it is my unhappy fate seldom to treat people so well as they deserve."
And speaking of quotes, I thought I would share a few others from her that I quite enjoy:
"I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal."
"We are to have a tiny party here tonight. I hate tiny parties, they force one into constant exertion."
"I am sorry to tell you that I am getting very extravagant, and spending all my money, and, what is worse for you, I have been spending yours too."
"I will not say that your mulberry-trees are dead, but I am afraid they are not alive."
"There are such beings in the world - perhaps one in a thousand - as the creature you and I should think perfection; where grace and spirit are united to worth, where the manners are equal to the heart and understanding; but such a person may not come in your way, or, if he does, he may not be the eldest son of a man of fortune, the near relation of your particular friend, and belonging to your own county."
"A classical education, or at any rate a very extensive acquaintance with English literature, ancient and modern, appears to me quite indispensable for the person who would do any justice to your clergyman; and I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress."
"I could no more write a romance than an epic poem. I could not sit seriously down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life; and if it were indispensable for me to keep it up and never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No, I must keep to my own style and go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other."
"He and I should not in the least agree, of course, in our ideas of novels and heroines. Pictures of perfection, as you know, make me sick and wicked; but there is some very good sense in what he says, and I particularly respect him for wishing to think well of all young ladies; it shows an amiable and delicate mind. And he deserves better treatment than to be obliged to read any more of my works."
I discovered Jane Austen long before I was ever even remotely interested in reading her works. My sister had written a research paper on her for her English class one year, and had started reading some of her books and watching the movies of them. I specifically remember seeing her read a copy of Sense and Sensibility that had a cover with pictures of the 1995 version. I thought the cover pretty, as well as the title, but the thought of a more grown up author, at the time, was very off-putting. And when my sister got the 1995 BBC/A&E Pride and Prejudice on video (yes, I mean the six VHS box set), and I saw the size of that thing- it scared me off from even watching any movie versions for quite some time!
I was only around twelve or thirteen, so perhaps you will not blame me, but I still cannot help but see my foolishness in such childish prejudice. But that unfortunate opinion carried on for the rest of my teenage years and into adulthood, as well. In fact, I only became a Jane Austen fan within the last six years or so. In fact, it took my curiosity in what my sister saw in the BBC P&P that long ago to finally hook me. First I watch the 2005 version online, and I liked it! Then I got the BBC DVDs out of the library, and I was a gonner.
I now knew what everyone was talking about. How wonderful the stories Miss Austen wrote were, and I proceeded to find every possible version of her main six novels I could on DVD. Soon I had seen them all, though there were some versions of P&P I didn't care that much for within a short time of the start of the movies, and ended up turning them off.
And that spurred me on to finally read the books! I read Emma first, then moved on to Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and lastly Northanger Abbey- which has become my favorite. I gained the ownership of all the books, which helped greatly, as Barnes and Noble had just come out with their first e-reader program, which was only for the computer at the time. I had gotten all of her novels in B&N Classics versions for free through a special promotion going on then. It made me very happy to have ownership of them. And then I bought the whole set of paperback B&N Classics (real copies) as a set with a gift card I had gotten as Team Member of the Month at work! It was then that I knew I was finally, officially, a real Janeite! Baby one, though I may have been. Now, I'm still not a Jane Austen expert, but I owe, I think, my newly found interest in classic literature partly to her.
So, Happy Birthday, Miss Austen! You have changed my life. :-)
Now, how about a few more of my favorite quotes. This time, from her works.
"Sophia shrieked and fainted on the ground-- I screamed and instantly ran mad! We remained thus mutually deprived of our senses some minutes, and on regaining them were deprived of them again. For an hour and a quarter did we continue in this unfortunate situation." ~Love and Freindship
"One cannot be always laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty." ~Pride and Prejudice
"We do not look in great cities for our best morality." ~Mansfield Park
"It will, I believe, be everywhere found, that as the clergy are, or are not what they ought to be, so are the rest of the nation." ~Mansfield Park
"There are people who the more you do for them, the less they will do for themselves." ~Emma
"Ah! there is nothing like staying at home for real comfort!" ~Emma
"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel must be intolerably stupid." ~Northanger Abbey
"I cannot speak well enough to be unintelligible." ~Northanger Abbey
"Life, if you live it right, keeps surprising you, and the thing that keeps surprising you the most…is yourself." ~Northanger Abbey
"Miss Morland, no one can think more highly of the understanding of women than I do. In my opinion, nature has given them so much that they never find it necessary to use more than half." ~Northanger Abbey
"The mere habit of learning to love is the thing; and a teachableness of disposition in a young lady is a great blessing." ~Northanger Abbey
Visit me! :-)
Rhoswen Faerie Wrose's real name is Rebekah. She is a born again Spirit filled Christian, who is almost 30 and a graduate of Christ For The Nations Institute. She loves reading, writing, photography, singing, dancing, flagging, and other forms of art, Celtic things, Period Dramas, historical costumes and is a fellow Whovian. She is the proprietress of The World of Rhoswen Faerie Wrose where she's been blogging since January 2011 and is a staff member at the Narnia fansite TheLionsCall.com.
Thanks for agreeing to guest post Rebekah!