Guest Post by Vic Sanborn
Dear Miss Austen,
We have not been properly introduced, but I feel that I know you as well as any dear friend. I have so enjoyed your novels and wanted to thank you for the hours of enjoyment you have given me. If I had one wish it is that you know up in heaven how many peoples’ lives you have touched over the course of 200 years. Your stories and the characters in them are timeless and I have no doubt that millions more readers will be entertained by your wonderful stories in the coming years.
What I like most about your books and letters is how your humor and sense of drollery shine through. You aren’t anything at all like the sweet shy spinster that your relatives tried to fob off on us, are you? Oh, I think you can be kind to those you respect and love, but it seems to me that you do not suffer fools gladly. Your novels are populated with characters that make me LOL and ROFL: Mr. Collins. Mr. Elton. Mrs. Bennet. Mary Musgrove. The list goes on and on. These characters remind me of many people I know, like my crazy Uncle Harry, who would have tickled your funny bone.
The thing about your books is that the characters are so realistically drawn from life. None is perfect. None is wholly evil. You mix in the good and bad in different degrees (although I can think of very few good things to say about Lady Susan). Even my favorite heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, is not perfect, which is what makes her so attractive in my eyes.
Your themes of change and redemption are what draws me to reread your books multiple times. The fantasy for me is not in the romantic elements of your plots (although these are certainly attractive), but of the possibility that all of us will have a second chance like Anne Elliot, Elizabeth and Jane Bennet, Elinor Dashwood and Fanny Price (who thought that Edward and Edmund respectively belonged to another). Catherine Morland was convinced that her actions had caused her to lose Henry Tilney, but he was astute enough to see that, while Catherine was young and unschooled, she had brains and insight.
If we ever meet, I will ask you these questions: Did you consciously choose to write over settling down with a husband and children? Or did you experience a great love with a man you could not, through circumstances, marry? (Not that any of this is any of my business, mind you, but I am curious.)
In every one of your novels, Jane, you never fail to delight and surprise. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your gifts and talent. The world is richer for it.
A gushing fan
|A picture of Vic’s Jane Austen doll and some books from her personal library
Thank you so much dear Vic for the guest post. Your letter is truly wonderful. Have a nice week.
Vic Sanborn is the author of a well-know blog named Jane Austen’s world about Jane Austen works and history. Visit her beautiful blog here link.