07 September 2010

Jane vs the World

Sometimes I fancy my life is not so different from Jane Austen's.

She had her flirtations (Tom Lefroy, though there are likely others) and so have I (Matt and Matt).
She settled on a younger man, then changed her mind (Harris Bigg-Wither) and so did I (Darren).
She made her own clothes, and so do I.
The Mysterious Suitor-by-the-Sea, well, nothing can quite match that story.

Cassandra only mentions in her later years that Jane met (and maybe loved?) a charming man in Devonshire who "made it plain he should seek them out again." But he died before he could. Cassandra also burnt half of Jane's letters when her sister died. Any mention of him from Jane's hand is most certainly gone.

You know, I fancy this similarity also because life is just life. She published anonymously and amounted to not very much in the public eye, because they only knew her as "A Lady." She dedicated herself to her family and to the poor, and I find that admirable. She and her sister spent a great deal of time teaching Chawton Village's children how to read and write.

And yet she was sharper and crueler than anyone I know. Puns involving "Rears and Vices." Or perhaps this little piece of work from Persuasion:
The real circumstances of this pathetic piece of family history were, that the Musgroves had had the ill fortune of a very troublesome, hopeless son; and the good fortune to lose him before he reached his twentieth year; that he had been sent to sea because he was stupid and unmanageable on shore; that he had been very little cared for at any time by his family, though quite as much as he deserved; seldom heard of, and scarcely at all regretted, when the intelligence of his death abroad had worked its way to Uppercross, two years before.
He had, in fact, though his sisters were now doing all they could for him, by calling him "poor Richard," been nothing better than a thick-headed, unfeeling, unprofitable Dick Musgrove, who had never done anything to entitle himself to more than the abbreviation of his name, living or dead.
That's about as close as you can get to calling someone an outright Dickhead in Regency England.

Or how about this:
Mrs Hall of Sherborne was brought to bed yesterday of a dead child, some weeks before she expected, ow[e]ing to a fright. I suppose she happened unawares to look at her husband.
Ouch. Cruel indeed.

Even though I feel as though I identify with this woman of two centuries ago, I have a feeling she wouldn't like me. I think she is too shrewd, too sharp, too particular, that I would not be welcomed into her graces easily. Perhaps if I did something kind for her brother.

Hmm. I must remember this once I perfect my time machine. Or steal the TARDIS.

My mind has wandered to another random pondering. Do we fancy ourselves writers for writing on a blog? Everyone has a blog these days. I have more than one. I am not alone in this. Do we really think that we write well enough to spread our thoughts among the masses?

Perhaps that's why I don't openly share this blog on facebook. Hah.

That's all for tonight, before my sickly head explodes. There is no cumulative point expressively laid out in fine poetical American English nor in a proper narrative fashion. Just me, and my strange train of thought.

Good night, fair world.