Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rediscovering Jane

Yesterday evening I was reading "Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austen, and this morning I happened to stumble upon the information that her birthday was just a few days ago, December 16, 1775. A few years ago I read "Pride and Prejudice" (I think I read it all the way through) , and I love watching the movies based on her books and her life, but now I am rediscovering her.

She was only 41 years old when she died. I am 41. Wow. To think that she wrote all of those lovely books before she reached the age I am now! What an accomplishment! And the language! The beautiful, complicated way she expressed herself on paper, while here I am, writing in incomplete sentences (and not even on paper)! Did people really speak like that in her time? Or did she just have an amazing way with words? I like to imagine it was a little bit of both. Reading her work brings to memory the reason why I love reading books written in a time other than my own. It's like being transported to a more elegant, romantic time. Yes, I understand that I am reading fiction, but it is like a looking through a little window into the way people thought, spoke, and conducted themselves during that time. Reading Jane Austen always inspires me to attempt to speak, dress, and act a bit more eloquently. I think we all could use a little dose of Jane once in awhile.

Here is a video of the home in Chawton where she spent the final years of her life. It is now a museum preserved in her memory.

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