Posted by Myretta on March 19, 1998 at 08:03:24:
Tomalin makes the brief flirtation with Tom Lefroy come to life. What I like about the way she writes here is that she endeavors to divine the significance of this in Jane's life. And it does appear to have been significant. Perhaps her first love, the first indication of what sexual attraction was like. Tomalin writes,
From now on she carried in her own flesh and blood, and not just gleaned from books and plays, the knowledge of sexual vulnerability; of what it is to be entranced by the dangerous stranger; to hope, and to feel the blood warm; to wince, to withdraw, to long for what you are not going to have and had better not mention. Her writing becomes informed by this knowledte, running like a dark undercurrent beneath the comedy.
It is, I think, one of the things that makes her writing so compelling. Jane's misfortune in love has become our good fortune in her art.
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