Posted by P. Bingham on March 17, 1998 at 20:23:50:
In response to Austen's characters, written by P. Bingham on March 17, 1998 at 12:57:07
There is much on this subject in David Nokes' book and I've summed them up, I think. I still cannot find the reference to her brother's newspaper article though. That was amusing.
Richardson's Sir Charles Grandison - echoes of the book prevade her writing, from her earliest juvenilia to her final novels. Austen enjoyed making fun of his book, turning its sententious moral episodes into brisk comic sketches.
From the Stevenson Parish Registry - elevated the primiscuous illiterate peasant girl Mary Bennet into the Prim and bookish daughter of a respectable country family. Reserected the dead infant William Collins into a pompous clergyman devoted to an aristocratic Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
The name of Lady Augusta De Burgh made quite a splash in the gossip collumns in the summer of 1787.
In her story The Three Sisters, Jane porodied the marital rivalries Edward Austen's fiance's family (Elizabeth Bridges was one of thirteen children and among the girls there was something of a competition to see which of them might firsty attract an eligible suitor).
For the plot of Lady Susan - Austen borrowed hints from the career of the Lloyds' tyrannical grandmother, Mrs. Craven, a woman of such unfeeling selfishness in her dealings with her children that three of her daughters had fled from home to escape her despotic rule. The seductive language of wordly intrigue suggests the influence of the Countess de Feuillide. It was from Eliza that Jane heard of the dangerous excitement of sexual deceit. The language of Lady Susan is the language of Eliza. Recently widowed, Lady Susan cannot easily resolve on anything so serious as marriage. Lady Susan recommends adultery as the best policy to the wife of an elderly, gouty husband. Even after her second marriage, Eliza still liked to hint at her fascination with the amorous "trade".
Her sources are literary, rather than personal, and her ironic tone is notable for the manner in which it contrives to conceal all traces of private emotion in its detached and urbane style. Yet the Watsons, which she began barely a year after the events of Manydown, may be more revealing in this respect than most of her other writings. Something about the hard cynical tone of it deterred her from completing it. The fragment that is finished focuses clearly and painfully on some unenviable choices in the marital prospects of the Watson sisters. Its lack of conclusion suggests some diffidence in achieving a satisfying narrative resolution to the delemmas which it represents.
That is all I could find. I think it portrays her as like most writers... a little from here and a little from there...
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.