It’s really intimidating to be the one who posts on the actual birthday, after celebrating most of the week. And, as usual, I’ve taken the wimp’s way out (have I mentioned ‘conflict-averse’ is my middle name? I didn’t? Oh, I must’ve been scared to).
(With much thanks to Myretta Robens, Regency author and webmaster of Pemberley.com, an incredible site devoted to Jane Austen and the people who love her.)
“Where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right, is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong?”
“I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and ill-informed female who ever dared to be an authoress.”
“. . . But I could no more write a romance than an epic poem. I could not sit seriously down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life; and if it were indispensable for me to keep it up and never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No, I must keep to my own style and go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other.”
Ah, as in her writing, Jane’s own musings are self-deprecating, wryly funny, and deliberately obfuscatory. As poking around the Pemberley site will reveal, Jane was as shaded as her writings. I bet, if she were around today, she’d be a blast to hang out with, too, delivering her Special Snark in dulcet tones. I wish she were here, so I could buy her a beer to celebrate.