Amazing new podcast (Full Disclosure: Sarah’s my daughter).
‘Jane Austen at Home’ by Lucy Worsley follows trail of nearly homeless author
August 02, 2017 4:00 AM
“Jane Austen at Home: A Biography” by Lucy Worsley; St. Martin’s Press (386 pages, $29.99)
Here in the 21st century, where Jane Austen inspires films, spinoff books and even a zombie adaptation, it’s hard to register that she saw little success in her time…
After encouraging Charlotte’s talents, Constantin Heger, who has been teaching her French literature, has grown more formal, signaling that he “will never see her in a romantic light.” Ultimately, Harman writes, he will “cost her two years of intense heartache, humiliation and futile hope.”
As she recounts in a letter to her sister Emily and, later, in the novel “Villette,” Charlotte wanders forlornly into a cathedral, an unfamiliar haunt for the daughter of a Church of England minister with Methodist inclinations. There she confesses, in French, to a priest. The experience “solaced” her and “gave her an idea not just of how to survive or override her most powerful feelings, but of how to transmute them into art,” Harman writes.
It might be thought that when Thomas Hardy stepped aside from his narrative in Jude The Obscure to describe Shaston, or Shaftesbury, “on the summit of a steep and imposing scarp, rising … out of the deep alluvial vale of Blackmoor” as “one of the queerest and quaintest spots in England”, he was being unduly fanciful.
But if, today, you turn aside from St John’s Hill, close to that summit, in to a small enclosed space beside the road and take in the sight of the ancient yew before you, its limbs spreading out wide and close to the ground above scattered headstones, then look ahead towards the sheer drop into the expanse of the vale, you do catch a sense of the local magic and feel you are indeed in a special place.
Via The Guardian: http://gu.com/p/4fe4d/stw