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|What struck me about the first two letters
Written by Line
(8/28/2005 1:10 p.m.)
The first thing that struck me about JA's letters was how unlike her much-admired namesake, Jane Bennet, she was, and how much like Elizabeth Bennet, only more so! Of course, she was writing confidentially to her closest friend and sister, but I wonder what she was like in person? Was she one of those writers who have almost a split personality in print vs. in person, so that people who met her would exclaim "*She* wrote that witty novel?" or were her letters an expression of what she showed to the rest of the world? (LOL about James cutting up the turkey "with great perserverance"!)
What also struck me in the second letter was that she actually wrote "I rather expect to receive an offer from my friend in the course of the evening", which sounds pretty serious, but then she started joking again in the next sentence, so it's hard to tell just how serious she was. Later on, she wrote "I mean to confine myself in future to Mr. Tom Lefroy / for whom I donot care sixpence".
I'm glad Deirdre Le Faye added footnotes to help us tell all the different Toms, Jameses and Marys, etc. apart. It brings home to me how confined the selection of names was in JA's day ;-), and that there was probably no deep significance in the fact that she named the eldest Bennet daughter after herself! The only one who had a slighly unusual name was Alethea Biggs.
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