Tag Archives: Pride and Prejudice

Are We Resposible for our Children’s Happiness?

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRDx-8vaTe_17jykRpEFD1ko0ZWTEScXUzbr-SYcMnJCcYhLcPWWhat a great question and thanks to Sarah Macdonald for her opinion piece on this issue. (See below for a link to the original article.)

But the question I want to ask is, are we confusing happiness with ambition? And has Austen got something to say here? (Sorry dear reader but you knew I would find something!)

Nightmare-Wife-Mrs Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice is unashamedly ambitious for her girls. If she can only have her girls married, she will have nothing to wish for. Here our sympathy is understandable. Women had few choices and as daughters were

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What about religion?

English: "Protested that he never read no...

English: “Protested that he never read novels” – Mr. Collins claims that he never reads novels. Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. London: George Allen, 1894, page 87. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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In celebration of happiness day!

This week we celebrate International Happiness Day. More learned commentators will be able to guide us on how to achieve happiness but does Austen have something to contribute? Not only does reading her six novels delight but within the subtext there are some lessons on happiness. Pride and Prejudice’s Mr Bennet is a case in point; he knows how to live contently despite a plethora of problems and a nightmare wife! Continue reading

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Jane’s Birth

English: Snowy Steventon Taken from a passing ...

English: Snowy Steventon Taken from a passing train, the snow that covered much of south-east of England overnight reached Steventon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On this day, Jane Austen‘s birthday, it is interesting to reflect upon Jane’s birth. She was born in the December cold of 1775, sixteenth of December  in the little village of Steventon, in Hampshire in England. She was her mother’s seventh child and she was born at home, without a doctor but with the help of a sister-in-law. Perhaps surprisingly for us, and our assumptions of the past, and to the delight of today’s breast feeding adherents, she was Continue reading

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The seams of Nasty-Aunt Norris and Optimistic-Jane Bennet

English: Henry Austen (1771-1850), brother of ...

English: Henry Austen (1771-1850), brother of Jane Austen ? However, see David Cecil : A Portrait of Jane Austen, where it shows as James, not Henry Austen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What  is remarkable about the Austen family is that they could maintain such good relationships throughout their life despite the disparity in income and lifestyle, achievements and abilities. The naval officers, Charles and Frank were often away for years at a time. Keeping in touch must have been a priority. There is also Henry’s bankruptcy which must have caused friction as various brothers lost money. And if this wasn’t enough, James and Henry were rivals for their cousin, the sophisticated Eliza! It might just be that Jane Austen changed the genders with her love trysts in Mansfield Park and Persuasion. She must have seen first hand the emotionally charged atmosphere Continue reading

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Is it important to make the first move?

sally hawkins and rupert penry-jones filming p...

sally hawkins and rupert penry-jones filming persuasion (Photo credit: Owen Benson Visuals)

Why is it that when we really like someone we can hardly speak, let alone tell the target of our fantasies of our feelings? Yet this can be crucial. It is humbling to put yourself out there and it is one big risk. But courage is necessary and the results can be revolutionary. Continue reading

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Beware the seemingly perfect person

English: Persuasion, ch 21: Anne Elliot read a...

English: Persuasion, ch 21: Anne Elliot read a letter from Mr Elliot.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jane Austen warns us to suspect the perfect person. Mr Elliot,  from Persuasion, the heir to Kellynch estate is such a perfect person. He says and does all that is expected of him. He doesn’t let himself behave like an embarrassing git. In society, he conducts himself in an exemplary manner, tuned in to all the wishes of all around him and he plays court to those he wishes to infiltrate very successfully. Continue reading

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