Janeites!

18 Jul

Who said that if you make it to the age of 16 you have all the material you’ll ever need? Or was it if you make it to adulthood? Eudora Welty? Flannery O’Connor? I hope she was right. In today’s longish shorty I used detail from a visit to Maine’s Jane Austen Society last fall with my friend LaVerne. We had recently finished reading all Austen novels with our book group and thought it would be a lark. I LOVED it—all the wonderful ladies who talked about Austen’s characters as though they were old girlfriends, the amazing homemade cookies, the group’s mobile library spread out on a huge table so members could freely borrow biographies and studies of the novels, the passionate argument about whether Mansfield Park’s Fanny Price is milquetoast or true heroine. I have been dying to go back but haven’t been able to make any of the (infrequent) events. (It should go without saying that the “favorite sentence” below describes a fictional person being fictionally unpleasant.)


Working Title: Ready To Win
1st Sentence: “Are you ready to win?!”
Favorite Sentence: Pagewright cleared his throat and lowered his glasses to look around the room, then began a ponderous line of fluff about why he particularly appreciated Mansfield Park, one of Jane’s—he called her Jane, his buddy Jane, his good friend Jane, Jane his pal—lesser novels.
Word Length: 2,578


Photo of a watercolor of Jane Austen by sister Cassandra.

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