To Stolzi: Regarding JA's religious views (long)
Posted by Lea on December 11, 1997 at 13:13:42:
This is in response to your post much farther down the board under our discussions regarding Fanny Price and her
I think C.S. Lewis was right when he said that Jane Austen
had the same religious views as her heroines (Fanny Price and Anne Elliot included).
These three prayers she wrote are proof of that to me. I
don't believe they were written by "Mary Crawford". They
are all very serious on "serious subjects" as Anne Elliot
would say. See link below (I hope).
P.S. Now my very long postscript: As is obvious from JA's letters, she certainly did not always live up to her strong religious convictions as stated in these prayers. She said some pretty unkind words about others -- things she would probably tell you she shouldn't have said.
Most of these unkind remarks are in letters written to Cassandra or the two favorite nieces. I think we all know that we are often too careless in the things we say to our
closest family. I believe this is a major reason that JA's
letters could not be published until Cassandra and Fanny Knight were dead. They didn't want Jane's unkind words or other personal thoughts (good or bad) revealed for the world to read and interpret (i.e. "put under a microscope").
I like reading the letters, but I think they may present a "distorted" view of Jane. Who among us would want all our private comments/private correspondence to be put under such intense scrutiny.
I don't doubt Jane Austen's seriousness on religious matters. Her letters merely reveal to me a young lady/woman
who did have high moral standards, but who still struggled to keep those high standards herself.
Personally, I try to "guard my tongue" because I know I am accountable to God for my thoughtless or unkind words.
Unfortunately, I often fail, too (as Jane did), but that
doesn't mean I don't believe in the "high standard". It just means I need to try even harder to correct this character defect.
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