Friday, December 18, 2009

Emma, Surely Not

Recently while roaming the blogashpere I stumbled upon a site which asked what would I be like and what question would you ask me if you met me. I was saddened to learn that many of my fans hoped I was just like Emma. Now I love Emma, truly I do, I created her after all, but I do not think I would want to be like Emma. I do not think I would enjoy meddling in everyone's lives so much that some important things had completely passed me by...such as being in love with a man who has been my neighbor for my entire life. Only to realize that I loved him when I thought he loved someone else. Also I am not sure I would be so conscious of class considering that I am not rich. I am a parson's daughter which means Robert Martin would make a wonderful husband for my friend. It is true that it was hard to not be aware of class during the Regency time, but I would not be in the upper echelons like Emma who had a rich father. I am quite sure though that I could be as thoughtless as Emma is at times. That I could and do say things that hurt my friends whether I do it consciously or unconsciously. I will admit that I have let a man or woman who I would like to be in good favour with mold bits of me and make me act in ways that I normally wouldn't. Although I would like to meet the person who has not done that, but perhaps not everyone is as weak as I am occasionally. I could completely see myself not liking Jane Fairfax and referring to her as "elegant" when I am pressed. I will willingly admit that I know many a Jane Fairfax or many a elegant Jane Fairfaxes if you press me. I would and have hidden behind a parasol from people although I believe today we call them umbrellas. I have meddled in people's lives much to their chagrin I am sure. But to not know that I am in love with what some would consider my best friend? That fault, which I feel is Emma's biggest is not one I possess. Yes, Emma is fun. She is spirited and good hearted and many a people would not mind to be like her, but I am not.

So who am I then? Well I would have to say I am most like Anne. I think I hold things together and perhaps I don't really, but I feel like I do. And I feel like I am the middle child who has yet to accomplish much in her life. That does not mean that I never will; it means that for now I am not where I wish to be even though I have done some very worthwhile things. And because of that I often think of Wentworth and his "Tell me not that I am too late." Words I live by. Tell me not that I am too late. Tell me not that this is it. Tell me not that I have lived. Tell me not that there is not more to be had. Tell me not that I have left my mark. Tell me not....tell me not....tell me not. For I will not believe you. I will hunt and I will fight and I will claw my way to what I want because I rarely take the easy path.

Tell me not.....Tell me not....Tell me not.....Tell me not.....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In Love With A Story

Can you actually be in love with a story? Can you love the story of how you and someone met so much that you forget all the horrible stuff because you want the story to be your story? Is it possible to love a story so much, like Pride & Prejudice, that if you met a Darcy in the same way Lizzy met her Darcy and things progressed like the novel would you want that to be your story even if in the end your Darcy wasn't really as great as Lizzy's Darcy? Does any of this make sense or have I truly lost my touch with reality? Do I want a Wentworth so badly that I would take any Wentworth no matter how badly he treats me?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Two Hundred Thirty-Four

I was born. Two hundred thirty-four years ago I entered this world and although I have physically left it I have never really left it. I didn't become popular until my nephew penned a memoir of me and I wasn't a scholarly pursuit until the 1940s and now I am an international superstar. Even though many a college men have not heard of me. So instead of blogging today I am simply going to say: Happy birthday to me.

Friday, December 11, 2009

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

Recently I saw a book entitled "Willoughby's Return", which is obviously about Willoughby returning to Marianne's life three years after she marries Colonel Brandon. While I think there are a few mistakes in the plot line (I'm not positive because I have not read the book just the back cover) I think it has some interesting points. What happened to Willoughby? He loses Marianne...does that make him broken hearted? The Emma Thompson version of the movie would have us think that.

What about the others in Austen books that have loved and lost? Does Elizabeth Elliot ever recover from losing Mr. Elliot to her sister Anne and then to Mrs. Clay? Does Henry Crawford recover from losing Fanny? What about his sister, Mary, does she recover from losing Edmund?

There are a great many books that continue the happily ever after that I created, but rarely do we see the other side. There are books that show how Lydia Bennet and Charlotte Lucas fair after their choices, but rarely is the one left behind spoken about.

One could argue that Mary, Henry, Willoughby, and Elizabeth are perhaps not good characters. Perhaps they don't deserve a happy ending, but then we must ask ourselves what about the one who does? I have always loved Colonel Fitzwilliam and while she was at Rosings I thought that he and Elizabeth could make a good match. He is jovial and kind although he might have spoken out of turn. I like him. It is Fitzwilliam that I am interested in. I have read some sequels where he and Georgiana make a match of it, which I like. I have read a sequel where he marries Ann de Bourgh, which I wasn't crazy about. What ending would you give Fitzwilliam? What ending would you give any of the broken hearted in my novels? Who deserves to find love and who doesn't?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Second Chances

It seems that second chances are a main theme of my novels or at least most of my novels offer a second chance to their heroes and heroines. Darcy and Elizabeth are given a second chance once they realize that their first impressions were wrong. Knightly gives Emma a second chance after she was so rude to Miss Bates. Although really I'm sure Knightly gave Emma many chances. Henry Tilney gives Catherine a second chance after she says his father murdered his mother and Catherine is sent home in the middle of the night. Edward and Elinor are given a second chance once Lucy Steele changes her alliance.Colonel Brandon gets a second chance after Marianne realizes that Willoughby is lost and perhaps not the best man to have faith in. Fanny gets a second chance with Edmund even though I think he's a lame hero. More importantly Anne and Wentworth are given a second chance at happiness after seven years apart.

I was trying to figure out if I deliberately gave my characters second chances or if second chances are just part of life. Surely we've all been given second chances and perhaps not all those second chances worked out. Perhaps instead of winning the hero we lost him, but we may be given a second chance at love, just not with the same hero.

Maybe the important part here is to learn about forgiveness. Because forgiveness is needed in all second chances. We need to forgive the biting comment that we are tolerable. We need to forgive a foolish mistake made seven years ago. We need to forgive a falsehood that hurt us greatly. We need to forgive an overactive imagination. We need to forgive to find happiness and perhaps during this season this means more to us than we realize.

What about you? Have you been given a second chance? Do you desire a second chance with someone or something?

Friday, December 4, 2009


In a few weeks David Bowie will be turning 62. Yes, yes, I know, why is Jane Austen listening to David Bowie? It seems quite odd, does it not? But I'm struck by Bowie's lyrics:
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time

Do you think this is how Darcy felt after Elizabeth turned him down the first time? Did he feel like he needed to be a different man?
Or on the flipside (haha a little LP humour)can people really change? What causes us to change? Did Lizzie and Darcy really change by the end of the story or had they simply realized their first impressions were wrong? Or is the simple fact that we can admit we are wrong actually be the thing that changes us?
There's this really dopey radio station near where I live and it has these incredibly sexist fun facts like "A woman marries a man hoping he'll change and he never does. A man marries a woman hoping she'll stay the same and she changes." I have since stopped listening to this station because really I'm not one for sexist radio. What does it take to change? Does it take time? Does it take a matter of the heart? Does it take a tragedy? Or do we simply evolve as people and every moment we are actually changing?
I feel like I have gone through many changes throughout the years. The person I am now is not the person I was seven years ago and maybe not even the person I was yesterday. But I'm not sure if my day to day changes are an evolution or do I think that I've changed, but in reality come back and see me in six months and I'm basically the same?
I do know this:
Pretty soon I'm gonna get a little older
Time may change me
But I can't trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can't trace time