Today I have the honor and privilege of having a guest post published for the Austen in August event being hosted at Lost Generation Reader.
One aspect of Jane Austen’s work that I absolutely love is that each novel differs from the others. In Northanger Abbey, Austen’s rebuts the Gothic Romance novel. Sense and Sensibility contains Austen’s response to the Romanticism of her age. Pride and Prejudice depicts love triumphant overcoming pride, prejudice, the social cast system, and embarrassing family members. In, Mansfield Park — Austen’s most theological work — she contrasts many things, one being the mere learning of Maria and Julia versus Fanny’s learning to develop true character. In Persuasion, we enjoy an ode to the Navy, the portrayal of Meritocracy, and a second chance at a love thought dead. Emma, the subject of this post, has been called Austen’s agrarian novel. And certainly an agrarian theme is present. However, a stronger theme is found within Emma: speculation and conjecture of neighbors’ motives. In spite of all the speculation and conjecture throughout, Austen shows that guessing correctly at another’s motives is a near-impossible task.
It is my great privilege to host Skylar Hamilton Burris today. I featured her last week in my post: Life’s Shiny Facets and Dark Pain. Along with the books mentioned in her post, Ms. Burris is also the author of Conviction.
When it comes to the writing process, there are two primary types of writers: the plotter and the pantster. The plotter meticulously plans her novel from the beginning, outlining the skeleton of the story and then weaving the flesh around it as she writes. The pantster, as the odd name implies, tends to fly by the seat of her pants. She simply begins writing without an outline and sees where the story will take her.
Thanks to B. A. Wilson for inviting me to be part of the Writing Process Blog Tour.
What am I working on? Last November, using NaNoWriMo as a much needed kick in the pants, I began writing Hartfield, a sequel to Jane Austen’s Emma. I did achieve my 50,000+ word count goal in November and then promptly shelved it in the face of other life events.
Hartfield focuses on Mr. John Knightley, younger brother of the male lead in Emma — he’s a minor character with a few key interactions. When introduced to John Knightley in Emma, we are told that “The extreme sweetness of [his wife’s] temper must hurt his.” In other words, Isabella — his wife — is blind to John’s occasional crotchedyness and does not call him to account.
After some heavy reading today, I decided we all needed a little levity care of Jane Austen. Again we visit Northanger Abbey in which we find the … well, “villain” isn’t quite the right word for John Thorpe. What’s a word for loud-mouthed braggart? For that is John Thorpe.
“How very ill Eliza Bennet looks this morning, Mr. Darcy,” [Miss Bingley] cried; “I never in my life saw any one so much altered as she is since the winter. She is grown so brown and coarse! Louisa and I were agreeing that we should not have known her again.”
When Jane Austen wrote Northanger Abbey–her first full-length book–novels were, well, novel. Jane Austen was at the forefront of writing in a brand new literary medium. The following is her take on novels and novel writing:
“…and if a rainy morning deprived them of other enjoyments, they were still resolute in meeting in defiance of wet and dirt, and shut themselves up, to read novels together. Yes, novels; for I will not adopt that ungenerous and impolitic custom so common with novel–writers, Continue reading Jane Austen on novels→