Ok, a silly story – but Jane Austen is the reason, so must pass on.
Setting: Starbucks in Simsbury, Connecticut
Time: late Sunday morning
Reason: meeting a friend as I pass through town for a quick cup of tea with a pastry
Order: 2 medium cups of tea, 2 blueberry muffins
Posted Question of the Day: “In What Country was the Battle of Waterloo fought?”
Prize: 20 cents off each cup of tea
So, I know this answer, say that I do to the young man behind the counter, who eyes me with a quizzical “yea, like pigs fly” look;
“Yea, where then?” he says;
“Belgium” I say – he is dumbstruck – says “Not one person has gotten it right all day. ”
I proudly comment to my friend “I know this of course because of Jane Austen” –
She gives me the usual, “Oh here comes the Jane Austen stuff roll-of-the-eyes-look” – the young man looks at me as though I am from another planet – but I can tell he is impressed – “everyone says France” he says…
So I get my 20 cents off, then proceed to bore my friend with the whole tale, that if you read Jane Austen, you then must learn about the Napoleonic Wars even though she frustrates all her readers of a historical bent for not even giving a mention to the fact that England and France were largely at war during her entire lifetime [not to mention those pesky colonies] …
[‘The Line Will Advance’ – Image: BritishBattles.com]
And one of course must confess that if you have come to discover Georgette Heyer just in order to stay connected to Austen’s Regency times, then you will have read An Infamous Army, which teaches more about the ‘Battle of Waterloo’ than most textbooks on the subject…
So you see how Jane Austen widens your world?! and can save you 20 cents in the bargain?