Sunday, May 22, 2016

"Untoward Circumstances"

From Jane Austen's Microcosm:
Miss Bates is one of my favourite Austen characters. Mr Knightley insightfully realises she is not as silly as she is made out to be. She does go on a bit about trivial matters, but the intelligence she provides helps us get a better picture of everyday life in Highbury – what can be more delightful than her ‘harmless gossip’? The seemingly inconsequential flow of important and mundane information found in Jane Austen’s letters often reminds us of her. Yet Cassandra must have relished every detail, and fans as well as scholars joyfully strive to make sense of it all. And, unlike so many foolish people, Miss Bates knows she is not clever: ‘I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as ever I open my mouth, shan’t I?’ (Read more.)

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