An Austen Tribute ~

I have just finished reading a book – one you might classify as a Regency Romance, but written today [as so many are!] – looks, feels and tastes like Pride & Prejudice all wrapped up in a Georgette Heyer plot of older woman “chaperoning” a young beauty with all the requisite beaus [the poet, the bore, the rake, etc…] and the gentleman “family friend” who always is on the scene  –

I’ll say no more as I will write more on this fun read in a later post – I just throw this out as a “teaser” – perhaps you can guess to what book I am referring – but I just had to share the following passages –

In  regards to a 3-volume book from the local circulating library:

‘I will thank you – as long as you can assure me of the absence of two things, which I cannot abide in a novel.  There must be nobody who lives in the town of Blank, or belongs to the Blankshire Regiment; and there must not be a couple who are in love with each other all the time without knowing it, and who signal it by constantly quarrelling.’

[alas! are we not talking about P&P here? – as well as the novel we are actually reading!]

and then this lovely tribute to Jane Austen:

‘… you can tell me what I should write my novel about.  It is not a thing I have ever considered, and I am sure I could not do it, but you have whetted my curiosity.  Is it to be Gothic?  We are back to castles again.  I must warn you, I have a healthy disrespect for ghosts, and my only response to a Bleeding Nun would be to offer her a piece of court-plaster.’

‘Oh, no, not that sort of novel.  That would not suit you at all. I was thinking of the way you help me to see things, not by dictating, but by reason.  Persuasion. You could make a very good sort of novel about people simply facing these questions, and about what is best to do in life.  I remember one of my governesses reproving me for indulging in sensibility.  I think she felt I needed sense instead.  But then how to reconcie the two?  That is the sort of thing I mean.’

“Sense and sensibility – well, it has a certain ring.  But I doubt, you know, that is would appeal.  And a mere woman writing about moral questions – surely, that is a man’s field -‘

‘Park,’ cried [she], ‘that was the governess – Miss Park.  Very austere: I was rather frightened of her.  But I remember finding out by chance that her first name was Emma, and thinking how pretty it was, and wondering if there was a different person inside that stern lady I knew.  But then, who can guess at the feelings of others?’  She sighed. ‘It is hard enough to know our own…’


Isn’t this just brilliant?  It certainly made me smile! Any thoughts on the title of this book?  Please share!

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