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|Jane the entertainer
Written by helena6
(2/21/2003 1:23 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, "High life at Steventon", penned by Leif G-n
Her style likely married two forms of entertainment. People watching and reading.
Her family were all keen readers. I imagine the household was always filled with lively discussion over something or other.
I have this image of a young Jane reading a new story to her family by an evening fire and everyone laughing and thinking "Oh what a Jane!" How preciously intelligent she must have seemed. The young girl keeping pace with her older brothers who have been away and likely better educated.
But I imagine Jane had the better mind. I think she was (sadly) probably the smartest person she ever met. Perhaps there were others than knew more or had seen more, but she likely had the better mind.
IMHO it is impossible not to see that she was special when you read her Juvenalia and think some of it was written at an age when many kids cannot string together a decent paragraph.
] The amateur theatricals at Steventon may have been another inspiration for her to start writing.
Most definitely I think she was a bit of the family clown. She likely wrote at first to entertain her family. To have something to do and a way to express her feelings about books and people.
Instead of putting it away she seemed to delve more deeply into it.
Carol Shields suggested something interesting... That P&P was written at a time when Austen's world was shrinking. Her brothers were more grown and more perminantly away and her life less animated by visitors. Her brothers were starting their own lives, but hers was stalled living with her parents. The girlish dreams of getting married must have been diminished by a harsh light of reality. And yet she created such a sunny and delightful novel.
How? - I cannot fathom. Perhaps she needed to have a wider audience or at least dream of having one.
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