Posted by P. Bingham on March 17, 1998 at 12:57:07:
In response to *Spoiler*, written by Caroline on March 16, 1998 at 21:50:21
Much has been written about Austen's characterizations. Generally they all agree that her characters were, as you said, not based directly on any one acquaintance or otherwise known or heard of person. They are based on her experiences, her imagination, sometimes from other author's works (but by influence only, I think I heard something about Lady Susan being influenced by another work of the period but I may be completely daft on this!), but generally, like most writers, pieces of her work come from so many different places, that is what made her such a "modern" novelist, I think. There was an instance in one of her books, though I can't think of it right now, where she actually got the entire idea from her brother's newspaper article (I don't mean the entire book but one incident in the book or perhaps a character or something like that. I can check that).
And as far as basing works on real characters, the only author I can think of is Sir Walter Scott who wrote that novel I can't think of right now! I think Byron did it too, and there might very well be others, but these do not seem to be reflections of the times, when you look at the massive volumes of work created in this period that were pure fantasy.
- Austen's influences P. Bingham 20:23:50 3/17/98 (0)
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