Monday, December 23, 2013

no wonder she and Charlotte couldn't get along

I could no more write a romance than an epic poem. I could not sit seriously down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life; and if it were indispensable for me to keep it up and never relax into laughing at myself or other people, I am sure I should be hung before I had finished the first chapter. No, I must keep to my own style and go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other.

- Jane Austen, 1816 letter

(But -- "Why, it would startle him to see me in my natural home character....I could not sit all day long making a grave face before my husband. I would laugh and satirise, and say whatever came into my head first; and if he were a clever man, and loved me, the whole world weighed in the balance against his lightest wish would be light as air." -- Charlotte in an 1839 letter. -- Maybe they could talk, after all?)