I’m a Jane Austen fan visiting from JOM and enjoy it when you post over there. You obviously know the Literature of these 2 ladies way better than I, but let me make some comments on something I recently came across that you may find interesting.
I happen to be a huge Charles Darwin fan, particularly of his younger years when as a young Cambridge Grad in 1830 he became a globe-trotting Gentleman Naturalist on a 5 year voyage around the globe on HMS Beagle. The Beagle Letters, a recent compilation of his sent and recieved letters during the voyage I found absolutely fascinating. Darwin had 3 unmarried sisters at the time, and they ran a continuing regular correspondence throughout the 5 year voyage, and frequently, when some new relationship happens in England, or some unusual character is encountered in South America, they compare them to characters from Jane Austen novels ie Wickham from P & P or The Captain from Persuasion etc. Darwin’s family was very wealthy, well connected, and wonderfully literate, and the internal relations of his various cousins and sisters are exactly like characters out of Jane’s novels. When 29 year old wealthy cousin Robert decides to marry the 50 year old 1 eyed low class Widow so-and-so, it reminds exactly of some dreadful Austen ‘faux pas’ scene, and Darwin’s Dad, Doctor Darwin, continually dreads that Darwin’s brother Erasmus will wind up as an embarrasing item in the papers for his undeniable attraction and attentions to the married Fanny Wedgewood. Anyhow, it is a wonderful window through which to view how a fascinating Victorian family shared and appreciated in their own lives the values and characters Jane Austen created in her novels. I suspect you would pick up on much more of the literary references of the letters than I would. I hope you don’t mind this suggestion.
Thank you so much forpointing me in the direction of this book. I will definitely get ‘The Beagle Letters’. It is funny, bit there were so many interesting sub stories going on around many of these fascinating famous people. I love reading about the wives, sisters, brothers who kept everything going (or not) while the brilliant one was being brilliant. I also love JOM. I have lurked for years! The commenters are of the highest quality and while often witty, everyone is also grounded and well informed. Thanks so much for the nice suggestion and for commenting.
“Which famous Authoress has the more interesting Biography?
- Jane Austen
- Charlotte Bronte
- I like them both, equally”
Why should I like one authoress more than the other or rate her higher than the other, only because I think she has the more interesting biography?
Both Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronté had an rather uneventful life; the biographies of both Austen and Bronté are (especially when compared with the bios of other famous writers) quite boring except for literary scholars or ardent admires of their fiction.
Regardless of their particular biographies, I myself esteem them both very highly, different from each other in their writings as they are.
I think I would choose “both equally.” I have read several biographies about each and while they may have lived uneventful lives by modern standards, I was fascinated. I loved reading about little details such as Jane’s careful attempt to preserve her ribbons. Thanks so very much for stopping by and commenting! All the best… Dody
Certainly, lifes that are outwardly uneventful can be nevertheless very fascinating in certain details and when led by extraordinary characters.
I myself am a fond reader of biographies, especially of writers’ lifes. Actually, I’m reading the Wilkie Collins biography by Kenneth Robinson; after that, I’ll read the newer Collins biography written by William Clarke. Wilkie Collins is one of my favourites.
Thank you for calling my attention to the novel “The Meaning of Night” by the late Michael Cox. Never heard of it (or him) before (at least, I cannot remember).
Just bought the German translation.
It’s sad that Michel Cox has gone – but as it seems, without his disease he possibly would have never written the book he wanted to write during half his lifetime but never really dared to.
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