Jane Austen discussion

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General questions & discussions > What has reading her books meant to you?

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message 1: by valee (new)

valee Let us know how reading her book changed you and in what ways; what it means to you and what makes you feel.


message 2: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (buttondoll) Tough question...

I think her books make me feel optimistic. It is hard to be in a bad mood after a few chapters, or a Jane movie! The romance and integrity of the stories make me want to share them with others, but at the same time, hold them close to myself! Does that even make sense? Also, (get ready for the wicked part) having read JA also makes me feel the tiniest bit superior to people who have not read her! It's like, "what do you mean you can't answer that Jeopardy question?" However, I guess mostly the books make me feel happy, satisfied, and longing for a more decent, civilized culture. Long live the memory of Jane Austen! Huzzah!


message 3: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
I agree about the wicked part Andrea - they just don't know what they are missing and we are the ones who seem intellectual as we have read her works.

For me she makes me feel happy but sad at the same time. I am a true romance so naturally JA is perfect for me and love all the intriguing stories etc but it her novels also make me wish to be back in that time with the manners and dancing etc etc. I hope to one day find an austenesque man who will treat me properly, like in her Novels :)

JA has brought me through some hard times and I am always glad to read a few chapters or watch an adaptation.
Just hearing 'It is a truth universally acknowledged ...' and I feel better already! :D


message 4: by Devina (last edited Apr 12, 2012 09:02AM) (new)

Devina Dutta | 4 comments I actually started reading the books when i was going through a very difficult phase and i was very very negative about life. Jane austen became somewhat like a companion....i mean meeting hilarious but realistic characters like mrs bennet, collins and even miss bingley(ueah she is just too dumb to be counted as a villain :p) was so refreshing and it actually made me feel positive in a strange way....some how some people really influence your personality when you are growing up and i am really proud to say 8 gals influenced me...
Lizzy,Emma,Elinor, Marriane, Anne, Catherine( I love her! She sounds really cute ryt??), Fanny and last but definitely not the least Jane! Ok this really sounds like i am giving a speech at some awards ceremomy!:P thanx Austen!! :-)


message 5: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
that is amazing!! similar story for me i suppose. She helped me through a really tough patch at school as it is a truth universally acknowledged that reading the line 'it is a truth universally acknowledged' and you feel better immediatley! (sorry - couldn't resist!!)
;)


message 6: by Devina (new)

Devina Dutta | 4 comments Haha!! I noe!!i mean wenever i hear or read that line anywere i literally start jumping! Jane austen..jane austen!!
I have got an older sis and even she loves that boo k! ( mainly coz of darcy :p)


message 7: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
i love Jane Austen to! :)


message 8: by Liza (new)

Liza Lawless (EliseLawless) | 2 comments The female characters inspire me) And I'm pretty sure the most influential thing I EVER read EVER was Miss Bingley's explanation of what an accomplished woman is. The characters are something like the characters of fairytales ... they represent certain virtues and vices, but then they are absolutely real, old friends to cuddle up with on a winter's night)


message 9: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
Couldn't have put it better myself!!


message 10: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (stephanie-jo) | 111 comments They make me remember what life could have been like if I was born in a different time & place. Sometimes I wish that I could go back in time and live like that. I love the clothes, the characters, and especially the settings.


message 11: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
I always wish I could go back to those times. I just sounds better. The manners the clothes and everything are just better!!! And real men wear cravats!! *sigh* I think about it too much...


message 12: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
Wonderfully put Steph!! I love the manners!!! And the respect!! *sigh*...


message 13: by Irene (new)

Irene | 271 comments I started reading Jane Austen when I was 14th and, in that period, I was only interested in the plot: will Mr Darcy and Elizabeth be together?
Then I read her novel again and again and every time I did I found out something new, some details I've missed the previous time, some new meanings in her perfect words.

I don't think I would like to live in Jane Austen time. It wasn't only a matter of balls and dresses and courtship. Life was quite simple for wealthy women, but just think about Elizabeth. She found Mr. Darcy (because it's a novel), but probably in real life she would have to marry Mr Collins, just to be sure to have an income in the future.
Now we are far more indipendent and we can really choose.

Nevertheless Jane Austen is and will be my favourite writer because she interprets human beings as anyone else. The period is different, but I believe that everyone knows someone arrogant and assuming just like Mr Collins and Caroline Bingley, someone self-pitying like Mrs Bennet or imputent like Henry Crawford.


message 14: by Devina (new)

Devina Dutta | 4 comments Agree with you, Irene..! :)


message 15: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
Unfortunately the first bit you wrote is true.... But I try not to think about it.

And I agree with the last paragraph!!


message 16: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca May | 561 comments I guess for me, the books of Jane Austen I've read have been able to give me a sense of hope, whenever I'm feeling down and in despair of romance - it helps me to believe in the beauty of life. And the movies of the books - the music in them always makes me feel so happy. Watching the 1995 Sense and Sensibility has helped me through a tough time before, and if I wasn't for Austen I would never have these books or movies.

Plus, it does make me feel a little bit smarter and sophisticated. :D Like I've legitimately read classic books that some silly people can't get through for some reason, I can't imagine why...


message 17: by Marren (new)

Marren | 764 comments Reading Jane Austen gave me English voices in my head. Honestly, I hear the character chitty chatty in my head and the adaptions make it worst :D. Additionally, she gave me confidence that if I care to pursue my dream to be a writer, I can be great like all the gents in the business.I absolutely love books never picked a favourite reader but the last few weeks had me thinking. Once again, I had that insatiable appetite for anything Austen related and I utter good gracious, she is my favourite.


message 18: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
Becca!
They have helped me through tough times as well! :)
And we should be proud really... We have read some proper classics and understood them! My friends can't understand them. Some adults have trouble as well. It does feel good to say you have read them! ;)


message 19: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
Marren:
I am English but I have the voices in my head and the adaptations don't help! ;)
She is also my favourite author! Her books will always please!


message 20: by Marren (new)

Marren | 764 comments Always please indeed. She is on the list of one of the best in classics


message 21: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca May | 561 comments Soph wrote: "Becca!
They have helped me through tough times as well! :)
And we should be proud really... We have read some proper classics and understood them! My friends can't understand them. Some adults ha..."


Haha, yes, it does make me feel quietly proud. I remember when I first started reading Pride and Prejudice for a reading assignment I was avoiding it and couldn't get through it, but when I finally decided to start it again and read it properly, I absolutely loved it! Obviously her writing style is very different to most authors because of the time she was writing in, but it just makes sense to me. And it's so lovely, like returning to an old friend, when you have been reading other books and then you come back to Jane Austen books - the style and the romance and feel of them just makes people like us feel at home.


message 22: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
I totally agree!!

The regency era is such a great era! I love it! The manners and social rules and clothing and everything! Jane Austen was truly talented. It was an english assessment in which I had to read P&P and that was what set me off onto the world of Jane Austen!!


message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Louise Smith (sarahlouisesmith) This is such a lovely thread, seeing what Jane means to people, such a long time after her death.

For me, I have never read any book that I enjoyed as much as Pride & Prejudice. Jane wrote the first romantic comedy, for me. And whenever I'm feeling ill or low, reading or watching Jane Austen books/adaptations always cheers me up!

I am an author too so she's provided a lot of inspiration for me!


message 24: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
She cheers me up at any time!!! Such good writing and a romantic comedy ahead of its time!


message 25: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
What do you write?


message 26: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Louise Smith (sarahlouisesmith) Chick lit - my first novel will be published in January :)


message 27: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
Exciting! What's is called?


message 28: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Louise Smith (sarahlouisesmith) Thank you! It's called: Amy and Zach.


message 29: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
nice!


message 30: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
That's great! I'm glad you can relate to it so much!


message 31: by Aileen (new)

Aileen Harkwood (aileen_harkwood) | 3 comments From a personal standpoint, I've found comfort in knowing a woman living 200 years in the past envisioned very much the same troubling relationship themes that have run through my own family. The moment I read their stories, I identified immediately with Lizzie and Elinor.

From a writer's standpoint, I've learned a lot about building tension between characters while fleshing out the scene and setting - not that anything I write is remotely like her wonderful work. :)


message 32: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
That is such a good point and so true. A lot of what she wrote is still relevant today and still applies, especially about relationships.


message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Louise Smith (sarahlouisesmith) Very true - society and the way we go about life has changed but people, feelings, relationships are very much as they always were!


message 34: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
And I wish (most of the time) society and manners in particular were much as they ever were!


message 35: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Louise Smith (sarahlouisesmith) Me too. I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era. I'd like to have live back then, but only if I came from a rich family!


message 36: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca May | 561 comments Me too! :D


message 37: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 262 comments Yes, me too :)


message 38: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
Me too! But the rich family is important to have a life like a heroine from the novels!


message 39: by Aileen (new)

Aileen Harkwood (aileen_harkwood) | 3 comments Sarah Louise wrote: "Me too. I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era. I'd like to have live back then, but only if I came from a rich family!"

LOL! Rich would definitely be good in that era, vs. not so rich.


message 40: by Marren (new)

Marren | 764 comments Reading Austen books exposed me to new words...I feel so smart, heehe ;)


message 41: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
Same! After reading the moves my vocabulary increased dramatically! My friends noticed and keep saying that I now speak (to use their words) very 'Jane Austeny' ;)


message 42: by Marren (last edited Jan 03, 2013 01:20PM) (new)

Marren | 764 comments hehe, Jane Austeny, I like it! :D


I am not sure about remembering all of them but at times, my brain beserk but then I go "I know what means" and I think and then I go "oh yeahhhh, I saw this word in NA, or in P etc."


message 43: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 262 comments Whenever I'm reading Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer I start adopting their sentence structures and the odd word or two, I don't mean to but it happens ;P


message 44: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca May | 561 comments Heehe, you guys are funny. I too have found that reading Austen has bettered my vocab, but it's more after watching JA adaptions that my speech becomes, um, more refined. :D


message 45: by Marren (new)

Marren | 764 comments same thing happen to me for Austen, indeed, heehe


message 46: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
Yes! The sentence structure definitely!

One of the words that has creeped in a LOT would be.... Acquaintance!


message 47: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca May | 561 comments Hehee : D


message 48: by Marren (new)

Marren | 764 comments LOL, Soph mine is 'indeed.' I abused the poor word.


message 49: by Sophie, Your Lovely Moderator (new)

Sophie | 2624 comments Mod
I use that anyway ;) before Austen!


message 50: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Louise Smith (sarahlouisesmith) I use amiable and agreeable more often. And just speak better English in general, esp. Soon after watching a lot of adaptations in a row :)


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