Social Contretemps and Unsuccessful Picnics
Posted by Kay on February 17, 1998 at 10:43:09:
Does anyone see an Austen connection in Forster's description of the ill-fated outing to Fiesole? We have the the very mis-matched group of people including the unpleasant Mr. Eager, misunderstandings galore, and the sense that the outing was a failure.
Forster's Bloomsbury friend, Virginia Woolf, who began her first novel at this time included a similar outing. I have read the correspondence between Woolf and her brother-in-law and know that the Box Hill picnic in "Emma" was the influence. It is plausible that the Box Hill picnic was much discussed in Bloomsbury circles and was an influence for Forster, too. Although Forster's outing wasn't the complete nightmare of Austen's picnic, he was successful in gathering quite a group of ill-matched people which doomed the outing.
It was surprising to me how much of Lucy Honeychurch was used as the point of departure for Woolf's character, Rachel Vinrace, in "The Voyage Out." They even have the same taste in Beethoven sonatas.
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