My obsession with Jane Austen began about ten years ago when I was struggling with the demands of a pretty normal life. I live in Melbourne, Australia, in a great inner city location where we know our neighbours, have a vegie garden and believe in community. I am a mother of three, wife, teacher, friend and neighbour. I started to wonder how to become better at managing the demands of daily life and just by chance I started re-reading Sense and Sensibility and it dawned on me that Austen wrote about just this. Sure it was 200 years ago but some of the issues were the same: how to bring up children, how to juggle family life, how to keep love fresh, how to sustain friends that nurture, how to be resilient when faced with disappointment, how to be true to beliefs in equality, how to juggle desire and needs and how to live the simple local life. (Yeah Yeah I know there was romance but there was also so much more.)
Without even drawing breath I started making notes and being a bookish sort of person I thought I would write a book. Some very special friends came on board. I had my own Cassandra who edited much and held my hand, my own Mrs Smith, Anne Elliot, Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Bennet and Elinor Dashwood who all sustained me as we read together parts of my book and discussed the issues. Without this coterie of friends I might not have got this far. Ten years later, the book is finished and you can download the first installment, on this site. I would have preferred a print copy but I have to keep reminding myself of Austen’s lessons with a modern twist : the way is often not smooth and failure can at times seem like poetry! (Remember that great line in The Commitments?) Anyway here is the blog. I hope you enjoy it. Feel free to share.
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