Catherine Curzon, aka Madame Gilflurt, authoress and proprietor of the excellent Georgian-themed blog “A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life,” graciously hosted me to ruminate about servants. You can read it here.
Thank you so much for having me, Madame G!
Virginia Woolf photograph by Gisèle Freund, 1939 Photograph: National Portrait Gallery
I’ve read this before, what Virginia Woolf wrote in 1924, but I just came across it accidentally in search of something else. It still makes me cry, because she was right, as Woolf generally is; or if not right, at the very least, wonderfully persuasive.
“She would have stayed in London, dined out, lunched out, met famous people, made new friends, read, travelled, and carried back to the quiet country cottage a hoard of observations to feast upon at leisure. And what effect would all this have had upon the six novels that Jane Austen did not write? She would not have written of crime, of passion, or of adventure. She would not have been rushed by the importunity of publishers or the Battery of friends into slovenliness or insincerity. But she would have known more. Her sense of security would have been shaken. Her comedy would have suffered. She would have trusted less (this is already perceptible in Persuasion) to dialogue and more to reflection to give us a knowledge of her characters. Those marvelous little speeches which sum up in a few minutes’ chatter all that we need in order to know an Admiral Croft or a Mrs. Musgrove forever, that shorthand, hit-or-miss method which contains chapters of analysis and psychology, would have become too crude to hold all that she now perceived of the complexity of human nature. She would have devised a method, clear and composed as ever, but deeper and more suggestive, for conveying not only what people say, but what they leave unsaid; not only what they are, but (if we may be pardoned the vagueness of the expression) what life is.”
I’m excited to report that Meredith Esparza of Austenesque Reviews, a force to be reckoned with in the world of Austen bloggers, has kindly reviewed my book! You can read what she thought here. Thank you so much, Meredith!
Like many people, I am a huge fan of Lucy Worsley and could watch clips of her on YouTube for hours. She has a genius for bringing history to life with her stunts, her costumes, and her general way of being in the world, which one writer has memorably compared to “a possessed Christopher Robin.” So I was a little surprised to wake up and learn from my Jane Austen Google news alerts that she has been accused of plagiarism.
An article in Private Eye cites numerous examples of similarity in phrasing and content between Ms. Worsley’s new book, “Jane Austen at Home” and Paula Byrne’s 2014 work, “The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things.”
One does not know what to think about this. Continue reading
Sarah Emsley, whose blog I admire, kindly let me visit it to ruminate about Jane Austen’s unfinished novel “The Watsons” for a couple hundred words. She even more kindly introduced me, and you can read it all here. Thanks so much, Sarah! And good luck with your own project!
Maria Grazia has also done the honor of interviewing me at her blog, “My Jane Austen Book Club.” It’s here, along with a giveaway opportunity. Thanks so much for inviting me, Maria!
Thanks so much to Anna at Diary of an Eccentric for humoring me today with a guest blog post and a giveaway! The post is here.