Jane Austen's quiet life is not very rewarding biographical material. While acknowledging that "there has been a long-observed tacit agreement that Jane Austen's work is off limits to the biographer as a source of information about her life," Spence, professor emeritus of English literature at Doshisha University, Kyoto, nevertheless scours Austen's letters and juvenilia for clues to the people, events, and impressions that helped shape the writer. He sees a connection, for example, between the family background of Tom Lefroy, whom it seemed for a time that Jane might marry, and the Bennets in Pride and Prejudice. Glamorous family friend Eliza de Feuillide is woven in various ways into the work, especially in the character of Mary Crawford in Mansfield Park. He says of Jane's letters, "She takes the most ordinary, insignificant bits of information and effortlessly enlivens them with wit and fresh turns of phrase"--an apt summary of the appeal of her fiction. Spence makes an interesting case, and his book, though academic in tone, will appeal to serious Janeites.
Becoming Jane Austen
Christmas was a time of balls, and Tom and Jane met at four balls during his stay at Ashe. Their attraction seems to have been immediate. Jane implies as much in a letter to Cassandra when she remarks that their friend Elizabeth Bigg and her swain William Heathcote 'do not know how to be particular', but that she herself had set an example for them: 'I flatter myself, however, that they will profit by the three successive lessons which I have given them.' She says in the same letter that she and Tom had met at the last three balls, so their flirtation, their being 'particular', had begun at their first meeting.
'Imagine to yourself everything most profligate and shocking in the way of dancing and sitting down together.'
Voici une biographie de Jane Austen qui est intéressante.
Pour celles et ceux qui veulent la retrouver, vous ne serez pas déçus. Mais pour ceux qui n'aiment pas les suppositions, alors passez votre chemin.
Pour ma part, je n'aime pas les 'si' et pourtant après avoir lu trois biographies de cette auteure, je suis contente de la retrouver vraiment au centre de ce livre. Parce que c'est le but d'une biographie et que les précédentes que j'ai lues ne parlaient que trop de son entourage et surtout de son époque. Intéressant bien sûr et compréhensif quand on sait qu'il ne reste vraiment rien sur Jane Austen. Mais ici l'auteur a l'audace de proposer quelque chose SUR Jane.
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