This is a strange and almost dark place to go, thinking of life without Austen. For me, she was the first woman author anthropologist who was sodeft at showcasing her findings amusingly that at first you may miss the lessons! I have also found some comfort by reading that people are stillvery much the same as they always were. And if that is true, it is easier to mentally sort out things in today’s world.
Life without Austen would have likely meant my staying in the Victorian section for novels and Elizabethan section for biographies. Oh dear, but it’s true! You can find yourself in a rut.
There are so many wonderful people I have had the blessing to meetbecause of Austen! Such funny, inspiring, sweet and talented people whootherwise, we might never have crossed paths. Were it not for Miss
Austen and the AGMs and Festivals, these cross country friendships wouldbe merely virtual in blogspace. They have become friends I cherish andlook forward to seeing. I might never have realized that librarians areextremely funny people. That the English teachers are hiding such wildsides from the general public! That supporters of women’s literature can befound in the least likely of places. And that there are men willing to donRegency wear and don it well!
With every year that passes, and with each reading, do you recognize moreof Jane’s characters in this present life? I certainly do! Occasionally, they are given Jane’s character names. Maybe you have always been an Elinor or a Marianne. Maybe, if you started reading Jane Austen when you werein college you connected with one character more than you do now as youlive through life’s Wickhams and Catherine De Bourghs. Eventually, becoming an Elinor or a Charlotte Lucas perhaps or keeping an Anne Elliotcandle alive for your Captain? Who will admit they are a Lady Susan or the General? How richly she has painted these characters for us to connectwith and how are we to contemplate life without them?!
Julia Matson / Tea Temptress is the owner and creator of Bingley's Teas, Ltd. and The Jane Austen Tea Series. She resides in snowy Mpls, MN (when not hunting tea) with her pup, Charlie Austen Bing and his little fur brother Floki, The Explorer.
Julia is giving away The Christmas at Chawton tea in our great giveaway. It is an earthy pu-erh base tea with cherries, cloves and cinnamon and red wine extract. Absolutely reminiscent of mulled wine at Christmastide. Check it in the rafflecopter form below!