for an example...
Posted by P. Bingham on March 29, 1998 at 15:48:55:
In response to Dying to respond, but determined to keep my mouth shut! , written by Cyndie on March 29, 1998 at 11:50:01
I see you disagree and that's alright, of course. But I should tell you that many biographers have in the past mistaken, or rather, come to many different conclusions based on Jane's letters. That there should tell you that her letters are open to interpretation. You yourself have said that Tomalin must not have read her letters (when I'm sure what you really meant to say was perhaps "How could she come to that conclusion based on Jane's letters?) Many of Jane's critics have taken her words quite literaly and have made her out to be an unfeeling, judgemental and superficial woman. Persuation alone should have aleviated that matter. Letters are not private diaries. Much of her letters have clearly been misunderstood. People lie in their letters. People play down the truth in letters. People often pretend to be something else in their letters. I am not saying that Jane's words are lies, please! What I am saying is that it would not be proper to take everyword she writes seriously. If an admirer of Jane's novels went off to read her letters without any prior knowledge of Jane, they might very well come to the same conclusion as many of her critics. It would be an easy mistake. I know I was a little surprised by some of her remarks myself. But I had already read many of her biographies and had immediately recognized those places that could be so easily misunderstood. Which was the reason I've suggested that fans read as much about her as they can before reading her letters.
And I believe that your earlier words were not taken unkindly because of your opinion on Jane's letters, only your reference to Tomalin. So I should think you would be free to present your opinion on Jane's letters since you have such strong feelings about them. But if you're feeling a little bashed, I apologize. I did not intend that at all. If that is the case I shall drop the matter. If what I have brought up is inappropriate, that is, if other posters feel it is inappropriate, then I apologize once again and I drop the matter.
And I do not profess to be an expert on Jane Austen, either. But this matter of letters would be the same for anyone of her time, or even ours.
- This is really interesting... Valerie Mc. 22:02:55 3/30/98 (5)
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