Maria Grazia at her Jane Austen Book Club blog is today celebrating Jane Austen’s birthday by posting various writers’ and bloggers’ thoughts on What would my life have been like without Jane Austen? – here is what I wrote…
What would my life have been like without Jane Austen?
Hard to imagine, really, but here goes with a list of what would been missing in my life if Jane Austen had not written her 6 novels, etc:
I wouldn’t have…
1. … befriended an amazing group of women from our first weekend sharing Jane Austen 20 years ago… we continue to have at least once a year “Wild Women Weekends” to discuss our latest reads and to just connect – and it all started with Jane Austen…
2. … had the repeat enjoyment of reading her novels over and over, always discovering something new;
3. … encountered the likes of Mr. Collins, Mrs. Elton, Mary Crawford, Mrs. Bennet, the Wicked Villians, and the Dashing Heroes [well, except for Edmund…];
[CE Brock, Pride and Prejudice. image: Mollands]
4. … appreciated the English language in quite the same way… the Wit, the Irony, that Free Indirect Discourse! – Who else does it quite like this! [well, after giving Shakespeare his just due…];
5. … read North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, and therefore would not have discovered Richard Armitage as John Thornton;
6. … had to contend with the various screen Mr. Darcy’s and the endless conversations as to who is the best:
7. … learned about the fascinating history of the time – social life and customs, British history, military history and the Royal Navy, architectural, artistic, fashion history, etc. – the list is endless, and the learning never stops…;
8. … had endless discussions on the value and virtues of Fanny Price with my very Anti-Fanny friend Sara;
9. … read The Letter [i.e Capt. Wentworth’s “pierced soul”] – can one exist without memorizing that Letter?
[a Letterpress Broadside from the Bowler Press]
10. … had the pleasure of re-watching and critiquing the many movies!
11. … ,as a teenager, figured out the kind of Hero I wanted in my own life – if Jane Austen hadn’t written P&P, I would still be hankering after a Mr. Rochester or a Heathcliff – great reads but not nearly as healthy…;
12. … met so many fabulous and inspiring people in the JASNA community [as well as all the other worldwide Jane Austen Societies];
13. … started a blog and met such amazing people in the Jane Austen online community… and may have therefore had an inordinate amount of time to do something else!
14. … collected books: the various editions of the Jane Austen novels, books about Jane Austen, books inspired by Jane Austen, books about Great Britain, books about the Regency Period and its social life and customs – whatever would I fill my bookshelves with if Jane Austen wasn’t such a part of my life?!
Happy Birthday Jane Austen! – little could you know of your legacy of enriching so many lives!
In honor of Jane Austen’s 238th birthday, I am offering a set of the Jane Austen Playing Cards, by Prospero Art. Please comment below on What would your life have been like without Jane Austen? by Sunday December 22 at 11:59 pm to be entered into the drawing [US entries only, sorry to say – our postage rates have made international shipping impossible…] – I will announce the winner on Monday December 23rd…
“Miss Eliza Bennet,” said Miss Bingley, “despises cards. She is a great reader, and has no pleasure in anything else.”
It wouldn’t have been as fun
I first of all started with Mansfiled Park when i did my degree, that and the fact that I lived close to many sites, in Southampton and Hampshire that were associated with Jane and the Austens created an awareness at the back of my mind that she had existed where I exist. So I wouldn’t have had that and my first loves Hardy, D.H. Lawrence and the Brontes would have been foremost in my mind now instead.They are still pretty much up there though.
Getting involved with Jane Austen has probably escued my life in the sense that i would have read more of other authors.
However the main thing I would miss is you and Vic, Deb. I would not have met the two of you.
Most recently it is the women that I have met in the bookclub. I love the literate discussions about JA, her books, and other authors. It makes me realize how much more I need to read!
What would my life be like without Jane Austen? Goodness, I can’t even imagine. Without Jane Austen I wouldn’t have had the bond that developed between me and my mom during my teenage years, there wouldn’t have been the kind sensible friendship with Jane and get heroines to get me past horrible breakups and help me realize my Colonel Brandon was there to save me, all too many years would just lose their flavor. Nope, couldn’t do it.
I love Jane. She opened up an entire new world to me.
BTW-Am I the only one who thinks they should do another P&P with Richard Armitage as Darcy? Seriously. *sigh* Perfection. ;)
Good question! – I for one thought Armitage would have made the perfect Knightley in the Garai / Miller version [though I love Jonny Lee Miller, I still think Armitage would have been the better choice] – I am not so sure about Darcy – how about as Edmund? – he would forever change our view of the least romantic of Austen’s heroes! – oh, I think you are right after all! – he could play any of her Heroes and please us all!
Thanks for visiting Kimberly…
Well mostly I would feel like there are memories missing from my teen years, since that’s when I had just fallen in love with Jane Austen.
Oops, I just stumbled on this post searching for things on jane austen birthday, just realized this was two years ago!