Jane Austen discussion

What We've Learned From Jane Austen

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message 1: by Gemma (new)

Gemma | 25 comments We've read and loved her work for two hundred years. Jane has kept us entertained, and her characters have kept us company when we needed them the most. The question is, what has Jane taught us?

What I've learned....
from Sense and Sensibility: passion is fleeting, but nothing beats a constant, steadfast love that endures all obstacles
from Pride and Prejudice: it's best to keep your first impressions to yourself, or you'll make a fool of yourself; whatever you do, try not to form an opinion of someone too soon
from Emma: stay humble, because you're not as clever as you think you are
from Mansfield Park: stick to your morals, and you'll be rewarded; live solely by your impulses, and you'll fall into disgrace
from Persuasion: there's no better guide than your heart, even when other people tell you differently
from Northanger Abbey: there's nothing wrong with a little flight of fancy, just don't let it get the best of you

message 2: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (alicia-bing) My favorite aspect of Mansfield Park is that although Fanny was seen as weak for being so willing to please and timid, she actually had the strongest moral character. She was the one who wasn't high born either.Fanny, as well as Anne Elliott, were excellent examples of remaining patient no matter what.

message 3: by Gemma (new)

Gemma | 25 comments Alicia wrote: "My favorite aspect of Mansfield Park is that although Fanny was seen as weak for being so willing to please and timid, she actually had the strongest moral character. She was the one who wasn't hig..."

I agree, Alicia. I think the message Jane was sending us with Fanny was that it's how we behave under pressure that matters; indeed, that the meek shall inherit the earth. When things came to a head, Fanny was reliably moral (I keep using that word!), and that ultimately is what drew Edmund's attention at last. Way to go, Fanny!

message 4: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) And also do not judge a book or a person by their cover.

message 5: by Lani (last edited Sep 04, 2010 08:42AM) (new)

Lani (lani14) | 57 comments I learned that Grand Passion is awesome but not the only thing required of a great relationship. Money, of course is important. How will we live, eat, pay the bills etc. Who we marry is also important. Are we comfortable, are we compatible? Darcy and Lizzy were good for each other because she could bring him out of himself and he could broaden her horizons. Wenthworth's edges will be softened by Anne's kindness and he will protect her from her disfunctional family.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I think one of Austen's most important messages is to "find out who you truly are and then to act in a way that honors that." All of Austen's heroines exhibit this quality, knowing themselves and remaining steadfast, against all types of external pressures and influences.

message 7: by Megan, Moderator & Ardent Janeite (new)

Megan | 724 comments Mod
Jeannette wrote: "I think one of Austen's most important messages is to "find out who you truly are and then to act in a way that honors that." All of Austen's heroines exhibit this quality, knowing themselves and ..."

Isn't that still very true today for any of us?

Different types of external pressures and influences in 2010 but still there nonetheless.

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Definitely true for today, Megan! Another thing that makes Austen's works so timeless and appealing.

message 9: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) And women in her portrayals were honest, forthright, no wall-flowers in any of the books that I have read. As far as Lani's comments that is true, you must need money, and that was one of the requirements on getting the daughters married off according to Mrs Bennett was how much money did this certain gentleman make, and was it enough to sustain them throughout their married life.

message 10: by Gemma (new)

Gemma | 25 comments I love the insights everyone is sharing. I'd never considered some of the things you've all brought up. I wonder sometimes, though, if Jane knew the impact her "little bit of ivory" would have on the world, even long after her death.

message 11: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Becton (jenniferbecton) | 8 comments Jane Austen taught me that you don't have to kill off all your characters and write about "damning secrets" to be a well-loved, highly respected literary figure. Thank God for Jane Austen!

message 12: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Jennifer, your comment is the best I have read in so long. And as a reader, how great to see an author write that! We wade through so many of those books out there that are like that!

message 13: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) She always had an air of civility about her, and she had many great friendships as well, ditto about killing off your characters. They always met their desired fate one way or the other.

message 14: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 20 comments Her books showed me that you dont have to have a dramatic story to have a story worth telling. All of her characters have pretty ordinary lives for their time, they do ordinary things and yet they still experience love and loss that can impact a reader. There are no gruesome murders or sex scenes...just awesome wit and the human condition.

message 15: by Megan, Moderator & Ardent Janeite (new)

Megan | 724 comments Mod
I agree Kathleen. She makes her telling of real, ordinary life so compelling. You WANT to know what happens, who said what, who was where. Her books are incredible real and vivid. I have seen most of the movies but I still have "my" version in my head from her wonderful prose.

message 16: by Jennifer (last edited Nov 16, 2010 04:32PM) (new)

Jennifer Becton (jenniferbecton) | 8 comments Sarah C, I'm so glad someone agrees with me on this matter! I spent many years lamenting the fact that "all great literature" was so unbearably depressing. When I first found Austen, I was thrilled. How had I missed reading her in high school? She has become my literary inspiration, and I try to write by her quote: "Let other pens dwell on misery."

message 17: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Jane Austen is like a breath of fresh air as far as I am concerned. Once you start reading Austen she takes you to a place of culture, and where you are transported in time. I like to go there at times, especially when I am feeling stressed out. And it is like taking a mini-vacation away for just awhile.

message 18: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Sarah C, I'm so glad someone agrees with me on this matter! I spent many years lamenting the fact that "all great literature" was so unbearably depressing. When I first found Austen, I was thrilled..."

Jennifer, you inspire me to start a bookshelf of Non-misery Classics. We were talking something similar in another group, but looking at it from the angle that, even though tragedy does occur in the classics, there is a more redeeming tone or they at least aren't all set up in the way current books tend to be. I believe the modern novel has turned so formulaic. That is my impression when many "women's novels" I pick up start out with the description on the cover "single woman returns to her hometown, broken in some way or dumped. Tries to reconcile with her past or her cold mother or addicted father or something.

I don't say this to be catty or mean. It just leaves me to wonder if modern literature isn't doing us women harm and sterotyping us into this kind of role. I criticize "Southern novels" for the same kinds of storylines. Woman returns to charming-yet-eccentric or downright crazy small town, where redemption and misadventures happen. I am a Southern woman, and is this all we want to read about?

And as I often say, please someone prove my above statements wrong by handing me a really smart, modern story that does tell a different story, especially about women and what is supposed to be our everyday experiences.

Jennifer, I know you were talking about classics, but it really just led me to these thoughts because I think they are relevant, especially among Austen-lovers.

message 19: by Robin (last edited Nov 17, 2010 08:54AM) (new)

Robin (robin1129) | 306 comments Sarah, I understand your point, believe me.

But you rather cut me to the quick. I'm currently writing one of those 'women's novels' -- my heroine is both broken and dumped, returning to her hometown, which is neither eccentric nor crazy, ;) where she buries her mother, loses her sister and reunites with her old boyfriend.

I'm writing this because this is what I see in society today, and most especially in small towns (I live in Mid-Illinois, not the South). Girls (and boys) leave a town to succeed. If they don't, they usually return to pick up the threads here. But/And if they don't leave, one of two things will happen -- they'll turn into (forgive me) boring people with only jobs and families to concern them; or they'll take drugs and begin a downhill slide into a morass I don't want to know about, let alone write about.

Without the return to the homestead, I see nothing to write about, because nobody in these towns does anything. We go to work, we visit with our friends and families - but not our neighbors. We're active in our church, or we despise church. And life is so blandly boring - like white gravy. Every item is smoothed over and dismissed.

Nothing ever happens -- no conflict. Ergo, no plot and no story.

And, what's more to the point for a story-writer, nothing and nobody comes in from the outside to vary these happenings. No Darcy with the Bingleys, no Mr. Frank Churchill.

Vacations aren't the same either. We don't meet Mr. Tilney at the Grand Canyon, or move to Idlewild NJ and meet the wacky whose-its (RE S&S). You get my meaning. :)

Jane had to have things similar happen in her novels.

(Let's face it, even Agatha Christie had to have Miss Marple investigate murders in all those Mudlark-on-the-Marsh English villages.)

So what's a modern-day writer to write about?

Me personally, I am trying to put redemption and humor into my story. I'm even trying to make my heroine 'real' - she is NOT based on Carrie from 'Sex and the City' -- BLEH!

(And she's as bored with small-town life as it sounds like I am -- LOL She wants to leave as soon as possible, only -- things keep happening.)

message 20: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Robin! I certainly didn't mean to cut you to the quick. I was unfair in the way I stated my comment I think, because I have thought almost exactly about all the things you mentioned in your comment, when it comes to plots AND what our modern lives are really about. And I agree and completely see that the plot of returning to your homeland and the people who are part of your past (and you have issues with) makes a strong story.

I am saying that is not the only story though, and as life, the world, and women change, maybe it is not the story that is really most about "us."

I think I understand you well when you talked about how nobody does anything novel-worthy in their day-to-day lives. We do witness that so much, and in the modern world, without some odd occurrence or crisis, we often dont interact strongly with our neighbors and acquaintances. But maybe not too deep under the surface there are things strived for that really are a real, powerful story.

I see you point about the mysteries. I love, respect, and look for new mysteries to read pretty often, but that is not the story of me either.

I am glad that you are writing and that you do want to focus on someone who is not Carrie from "Sex and the City." She is written to be a smart character, but still must spend much of her money on absurdly expensive shoes -- again lowering women a little I think. And I ask you, a program that is named "Sex and the City"? Is that really aimed by the tv producers to respect women? I question that. Have you ever wondered?

I would like to message you about some of these things, if I am not intruding after sounding so tart with my earlier comment. I really would love to see modern stories maybe that reach inside more -- maybe have a plot not driven by drastic changes but still important changes or issues or growth in people's lives. I still think that can come about right where we are without divorce and dealing with the problem family members. And I am sorry I used the "f" word - formulaic. It couldn't apply to your story if your story is set apart though.

message 21: by Robin (last edited Nov 17, 2010 11:57AM) (new)

Robin (robin1129) | 306 comments Oh Sarah - no offense taken - ever!

Nor meant! :)

And, please, message me about whatever. I'd love a dialogue about these things :))

And I'm pretty sure my story is formulaic - can't help but be, as it matches all the criteria. It even has a happy ending - lol

(PS - Formulaic isn't necessarily bad, either. All good stories have the same basic architecture to them.)

message 22: by Robin (last edited Nov 17, 2010 12:21PM) (new)

Robin (robin1129) | 306 comments Phooey.

Was composing a positively brilliant post, hit the wrong button, and lost it. But anyway, it was getting out of hand.

Suffice to say, I agree most with Robin above in that I return to Austen to reset my world when it's out of kilter. Jane's like the best fairy tales in that regard: full of high morals, romance, humor, Good vs Evil, and everyone receiving their just desserts (in whatever shape or form they may be). (Whoever said that, in whatever thread on here, they were spot on! :D) That Austen gives so much more -- witty repartee, a wide range of characters and settings, an understanding look at humanity, and several hundred pages for us to sit back and enjoy it all -- goes without saying.

Taken in this light, 'Sex and the City' can't compare. For what it's worth, I never got that show. I think it's main drawing power is right there in the title: "Sex", and "The City". Does it show women in a wrong light? Does it just show women from a certain facet? Is its main fault that it's just too shallow?

And is that what we love most about Jane? - that for all her painting with a small brush on just 2 inches of ivory, she captured a goodly measure of the human heart.

Dang. What writer wouldn't aspire to do that?

message 23: by Megan, Moderator & Ardent Janeite (new)

Megan | 724 comments Mod
"And is that what we love most about Jane? - that for all her painting with a small brush on just 2 inches of ivory, she captured a goodly measure of the human heart."

Very well said. I think we all read Austen because there is so much "there" in "there." She has so much to say that is so relevant.

I never "got" Sex in the City either. I always thought I was too old or provincial or something ;-)

message 24: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley What's not to get about Sex in the City? (I loved the series) They are modern women enjoying success. NYC style success, which means money, men, clothes and men. Sex as just another entertainment not bogged down with nonsencical, emotional, religious or dutiful strings attached to it.
I loved it for the clothes, but the shoes always knocked me out. My time in NYC was thirty years to early. Heavy sigh.

message 25: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I watched one or two episodes of Sex and the City, it was okay, but it isn't Austen. As far as writing about someone who leaves their hometown, but then comes back, there is nothing wrong with coming from that framework, and then seeing how the hero or heroine becomes different because they returned to the nest. People usually write what they know. Personally I see something redeeming when I see a story like that. If you don't like it, you don't have to read it. Austen relates to women and men readers because of her approachability and her ability to see people for who they really are.

message 26: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley Robin, which Austen novel are you referring to where the hero leaves and returns to their home town? Fanny gets 'sent' home, but is very happy to return to Mansfield. Jane Fairfax returns, but doesn't seem too happy.

message 27: by Robin (new)

Robin (robin1129) | 306 comments Patricia - Read up :)

message 28: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Patricia, Robin (of the red bird profile image) was referring to some viewpoints started by my comments in message #19 about modern general fiction rather than about Austen plots.

message 29: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (last edited Nov 20, 2010 09:05AM) (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Robin wrote: "I watched one or two episodes of Sex and the City, it was okay, but it isn't Austen. As far as writing about someone who leaves their hometown, but then comes back, there is nothing wrong with comi..."

Robin, I surely agree that there are good storylines that tell of returning to your home place and also agree with you that, if not my thing, I don't have to read them. So maybe my aversion is not that they are strong on the market these days, but that they are heavily marketed to me. I think they are put in front of me a lot in stores and promoted as the things I should read because they are about me as an American woman. So really what may be bothering me is that marketing.

I have not had that life experience, nor really any woman I know that I can think of, or a desire for that experience. So maybe it is just harder for me to find the books of other types of stories because publishers call those "womens' stories" maybe. And I think womens' stories are something else -- that women might be traveling in other directions.

message 30: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley Oooooooooooooooohhhhh. Went back up and read. Well, now! Okay, you two, I'm your devil's advocate here.
I'm sorry Robin that you feel returning redemption is all there is to write about. I avoid those stories like the plague. I left a small town for the big city and what drove me for almost 50 years was the fear of ever having to return.
And the stories in Sex In The Cities refects modern times and the foibles of the successful. And they have these women doing a lot of things men do and are respected for, even in their dirty dealings towards women. Why the double standard? Hold women to a higher level? Get real. We're all humans with problems and individual perspectives on how to deal with life and, money/success or not, we create individual paths. 10,000 years of a box femininity has been buried in is being cracked open, women will flail miserably and rewardingly without having to return to that box for acceptance that is ancient and tanamount to slavery.
I knew a few women who returned home because of very bad decisions they made, but I know three times as many who went on to be successful without having to return home, sleep around or appear to be a total b---h. Half married, the other did their own thing, and now in our sixties and seventies are still pleased with our choices.
I write too, (Downsized To Death) and I chose to write about them. I also prefer the format set out in Aliens (the second one)which is, tell us the solution to the problem in the first third of the story, do NOT make it the ending, that boring nonsense that the author refuses to accept Everyone already knows. Then let us see what goes wrong and how our heroes preform.
If you think about what Jane wrote, she did that. All her women knew what had to be done for that time period, but she gave them a remarkable and individual perspective.
Not lecturing or yelling, just saying.

message 31: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I know that maybe their is a double standard as far as what some writers may think women may want to read, I just like good compelling novels, but since the slant went towards the redemption, I jumped on that bandwagon, because there is nothing wrong with returning home, most of the Lifetime movies on television cater to women that do return home, I don't know why that is, but maybe to portray that they have to deal with their demons, Ala Sandra Bullock in Hope Floats, she had to return home since her husband cheated on her, and she tried to rebuild her life at home with her mother, I wouldn't condone doing that, but that was what she did in the story. That is all I was referring to. This is one slice of the pie for me, there are a myriad of other choices out there for women to read, I prefer Jane Austen's views personally, and that to me is a form of escapism for women to read about what may be simpler but no easier times for women. End of rant.

message 32: by Robin (last edited Nov 20, 2010 01:50PM) (new)

Robin (robin1129) | 306 comments Other Robin here. ;)

Patricia, you may have misunderstood me. I do not feel like returning redemption is all there is to write about. I'm concentrating on a story about it because my heroine is giving me no peace until her story is finished and sent out into the world. I do have lots more stories to write, but they're being forced to queue up. lol

I also know some women who succeeded outside their small hometown, and I rejoice that women have a wider field than ever before.

Patricia, I'm glad you can write the stories you see, and that you're finding a market for them. Apparently there's room on the world's bookshelves for both kinds of stories, as both SarahC and Robin have pointed out.

-- Okay, up to now I've been stating my opinions. Only. Nothing harsh, no yelling - and I haven't taken anyone else's posts that way. However, the following, while also my opinion, I must admit to be a rant --

Regarding 'Sex and the City' and the "double standard" Patricia and Robin have mentioned -- I think everybody, both men and women, regardless of their success/failure, money-earning power, or social status, should be held to a higher level. If they fall from it, well, they've fallen from it -- but the higher level is still in effect.

And, I might add, Jane thought so too.

message 33: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Robin wrote: "Other Robin here. ;)

Patricia, you may have misunderstood me. I do not feel like returning redemption is all there is to write about. I'm concentrating on a story about it because my heroine is..."

I think my comment here may fall under Robin's (Robin the First, I'll call you because you were my first Robin friend here,:). Pat, "I hear you" almost if you were in the same room with me. Even though we have a few years age difference, you were of a little bit older crowd of women that I have looked up too ever since I could look up to people. Even at a younger age, I saw what you ladies were experiencing in breaking ground and wanting to enjoy the "great wardrobe" as a reward so to speak. Serious, smart women who can hold a candle to men.

I think my Sex and the City dislike mainly comes from there not being enough of a balance in lit and moving pictures to show enough sides of women. I'll give you your Sex & City -- you made some very good points about that -- but give me credit for wanting a good number of films that show the inner life, a bar that is raised, yes a higher level view of women. Because there are still too many standards out there that seem to require the star of a show to be a thin sexy Sarah Jessica P., too many young stars in eating disorder therapy, and no one is allowed to get wrinkles anymore. So those things are what I don't understand has anything to do with the inner growth of the modern woman. And I still think we are trapped in those things too much. The balance is waaaay off.

message 34: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley Sarah, too true, too true. Unfortunately, women thought they found their way when they broke a few barriers, however they found that all life is an obstacle and we each must face them in our own way. Not always wisely. I feel, however, that women will find balance sooner than it took men--if you believe for a NY second that men have.
I so agree about the eating disorder images portrayed as the ideal woman. I find I have to admire the directors that say they will never hire a botoxed woman again. If we take Sarah JP out of Sex In the City, and watch the other three's lives, it does make the series more interesting. Samantha may be a fabulous slut, but she really did have business and personal problems to overcome that were far more interesting than Carrie.
Oh, Robin, I so understand about whining, hounding, haunting characters. They are worse than ghosts, vampires and demons. Okay, okay, I'm coming--give me a break!

message 35: by Jennifer (last edited Nov 21, 2010 01:26PM) (new)

Jennifer Becton (jenniferbecton) | 8 comments Wow, I missed some really interesting discussion about the current state of literature. And oddly enough, I do live in the South, and I also despise most (current) Southern literature. I don't have a definite opinion on the motifs of return vs escape or redemption through return or escape, but I have become tired of plots that are almost guaranteed to end in tragedy or disappointment. I have always believed the following:

"[Comedies], in the ancient world, were regarded as of a higher rank than tragedy, of a deeper truth, of a more difficult realization, of a sounder structure, and of a revelation more complete. The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read, not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man.... Tragedy is the shattering of the forms and of our attachments to the forms; comedy, the wild and careless, inexhaustible joy of life invincible." Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

I write under that theory, and though I can't prove it, I always fancied that Austen did as well.

message 36: by Serina (new)

Serina | 15 comments Back to Austen!
IMO the most important theme in Austen stories, is digging deep in the charcters, sometimes I think she is a psychiatrist! she portrays her characters fully even if they are arbitary with her great comedian tinge which make it fabulous.
We learn from her that life although was so simple in the past, no media no fast planes to travel, people enjoyed their life through communication which is her main idea in all her books, communication is something that we have lost or ignored in the last century and try to compensate for by the internet but personal facing and talking so frank or so masked is not present anymore!

message 37: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (last edited Nov 21, 2010 06:06PM) (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Serina, I did turn us down that long verbal stroll through the park, but that is kind of the way my mind works and it does seem that it is relevant to our Austen topic to look at where we have come in fiction today and what issues we have with literature. After all, Austen left us with great promise and nothing wrong with looking at how we think that has been fulfilled.

Serina, one comment was so thought-provoking - that communication was one of the big aspects of Austen's plots. She was able to make that work so well in her books -- when the characters could finally level with each other, the story was fulfilled.

And Jennifer, this is obviously why I should read Joseph Campbell. That is the most awesome quote. I think it is for the same reason that I also have never thought happy endings were cliche. Some readers think they are so unsophisticated apparently and that we are too modern for them. On the other hand, when the story reaches the end or near end and some sort of simple joy is revealed, it more that something has been conquered, but not that life has reached perfection. Like you, I believe we at least should get to share some perfect moments with characters in fiction -- of course some of Austen's and Dickens' and many others come to mind. (And I'm still gonna work on that Non-misery Classics bookshelf.)

message 38: by Robin (last edited Nov 21, 2010 06:35PM) (new)

Robin (robin1129) | 306 comments Sarah, Serina, that is an interesting point about Austen and communication.

You know, I not only learn a lot from Jane Austen (about literature, women, life and other things), but I learn a lot from everybody here. I like that!

SarahC wrote: "(And I'm still gonna work on that Non-misery Classics bookshelf.)"

The circle is complete. :D

message 39: by Serina (new)

Serina | 15 comments Sarah, don't take it hard that I stopped your other discussion , I didn't mean it that way, it is just I could't follow so I sticked to the point of interset in the thread title, sorry ;)
Robin, thanks
and yeah we learn from each other sometimes beyond what the books tell, because everyone understands it differently and by talking is like gathering peices of the puzzle together to see a complete picture with all the pointof views!

message 40: by SarahC, Austen Votary & Mods' Asst. (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1473 comments Mod
Serina, there is absolutely no problem in any way. This thread entitled "What We've Learned from Jane Austen" is bound to take us in many directions and then circle back around (as Robin said) and also probably raise some eyebrows! Thanks for offering your thoughts and comments always!

message 41: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Austen had a way of circumnavigating the relationships of family and men and women in general,she is very appropos to today's society for just the inner workings of a quaint and poignant society of people that I feel that everyone is drawn to, in their own way, Austen can become a way of life to acting civilly towards one another, I like the mannerisms and just the gentility of Austen. She is pretty great in that respect.

message 42: by Yasmin (new)

Yasmin (yasmin13) That we were born in the wrong century where men are pigs? -.-

message 43: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) How true Yasmin, but not ALL men are pigs, just a relatively few.

message 44: by Samantha McNulty (new)

Samantha McNulty Reading Jane Austen's books have taught me the pleasure that comes from the little things in life - a smile, a dance, music, close friends, for example.

message 45: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) And also to stop and smell the roses, or the hibiscuses in my case.

message 46: by Shea (new)

Shea | 117 comments Austen teaches us to be true to ourselves, to appreciate simple things in life and to cherish family, friends and lovers--even if they drive us crazy!

message 47: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) So true, and so apt.

message 48: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Ramirez (bvramirez) does any of u know about jane austen herself. Her bio why she never marry n more.

message 49: by Sandysconnected (new)

Sandysconnected | 10 comments This is an awesome thread!

message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

It is! I know I've learned a lot from Elinor and Lizzie Bennet.

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