Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jane Austen

This morning I was doing some online Christmas shopping, trying to be as creative and budget-friendly as possible. Not an easy thing to do. Somehow I stumbled upon websites dedicated to Jane Austen.

Let me be very clear about this. I love Jane. She makes me very happy. Her writing gives me hope that I will fall in love and marry a man with at least 8 thousand pounds a year. Her dialogue makes me laugh. Her books fit into my purse. And I appreciate those who adapt her books into movies (except for the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice, what were they thinking?!?).

My current favorite of Jane's is Persuasion. The book is amazing. Who can forget Capt. Wentworth's letter to Anne:

Dearest Anne,
I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never unconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in. I must go uncertain of my fate but I shall return to follow your party as soon as possible. A word, a look will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening or never.

I can assure you that life can be made better with a letter like that. The BBC came out with a new version of the movie and I absolutely love it.

And yet, I feel that Jane has ruined me. Does Mr. Darcy really exist? Will Capt. Wentworth wait for me? And will Mr. Tilney be patient with me? Only time can tell...