Jane Austen discussion

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General Discussion > A new theory on the death of Jane Austen

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message 1: by Lani (new)

Lani (lani14) | 57 comments http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertain...


I'm not sure how I feel about this. My initial reaction was this is important why? Oh because the author is selling a new book.


message 2: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (stewartry) | 44 comments Jane Austen murdered?? Oh. Come. On. Unless this Ashford person can come up with better proof than that (how much arsenic was found in the hair sample? There are plenty of natural sources as well as the medicines mentioned), I'm not buying it. And, coincidentally, not buying that book.


message 3: by Megan (new)

Megan I heard the author speak at the recent JASNA AGM. She was interesting and has a background in true crime type writing. I thought it was an interesting conspiracy theory kind of thing. I didn't buy her book as that sort of genre does not appeal to me. I know several people who did get it.

That is the beauty of Goodreads - everybody can read what interests them ;-) - to each their own.


message 4: by Serina (new)

Serina | 15 comments This is really interesting although she was diagnosed with lymphoma and may be they used arsenic as part of treatment, besides who could possibly kill such a beatiful soul, her family was so simple and her life was so simple, no great fortune or treason , I think if the arsenic is true it is a treament not a kill conspericy but to be honest I dont know that much on her letters that the writer claims to have read in a new light.


message 5: by J. (new)

J. Rubino (jrubino) | 210 comments One problem I would have is motive - Jane Austen had reached a point in her life where she was earning money with her writing, and using some of the money to make her immediate family comfortable. So it seems unlikely that anyone in her household would have killed the golden goose. However, as is mentioned, arsenic - and things like laudanum, belladonna, etc - were often in the household. Cassandra would have been more of a financial burden.
Unless the suggestion is that the motive was jealousy?


message 6: by Megan (new)

Megan From one of my favorite blogs - "Arsenic and Old Jane"

http://austenacious.com/


message 7: by P. (new)

P. It seems to be a 'to each his own book' but, and I think it's great when people push at boundaries, her quote "Having delved into her family background, there was a lot going on that has never been revealed and there could have been a motive for murder.” means what?

She has access to unrevealed stuff or has given herself license to guess what that might be - although that there is the unrevealed is probable - Cassandra did a good job destroying things.


message 8: by P. (new)

P. Serina wrote: "This is really interesting although she was diagnosed with lymphoma and may be they used arsenic as part of treatment, besides who could possibly kill such a beatiful soul, her family was so simple..."

I've read 3 bios - one I highly recommend - and her life wasn't simple. There was zero love between her and her mother [who seemed mean and jealous to me] and she wasn't at all fond of several of her sibs [one of whom treated her unkindly, at least financially], she heartily disliked children. And while it is painful to think, she wasn't especially well liked either. Which is not to say I think she was murdered


message 9: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley Arcenic was too prevelent in to many things and used for too many thing considered mondane to assume it was murder.
Might as well call Edward a murderer of his wife because he bred her to death.
I don't think Cassandra was mean spirited, just very much a women of her time that embraced it and her mother's teachings. Jane was the odd one out, and we should always love her for being out of time and forward in her thinking.
Patg


message 10: by Serina (new)

Serina | 15 comments P. wrote: "Serina wrote: "This is really interesting although she was diagnosed with lymphoma and may be they used arsenic as part of treatment, besides who could possibly kill such a beatiful soul, her famil..."

What book exactly are you talking about? please give me its name and why do you think this one is the honest theory told about her?
besides how could she hate Children like that ? it just doesn't make sense , although her writing about children was always full of irony , picturing them as little devils.


message 11: by Serina (new)

Serina | 15 comments Patricia wrote: "Arcenic was too prevelent in to many things and used for too many thing considered mondane to assume it was murder.
Might as well call Edward a murderer of his wife because he bred her to death.
I ..."


the relationship with her mother might be somehow messed up, because there was more than one sister and she was the most close to her father , so may be she was the alignated one , bookisk and nerdy in a era of happily married and happily ever after families.


message 12: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley Most biographers agree that she was not on the best of terms with her mother. They were a family of 'bookish' people, put on plays, wrote poems, and some believe she got her story telling from her mother's side of the family.
I never read she 'hated' children, but she most certainly feared child birth. Elizeth's continuous pregnancies scared her.
Patg


message 13: by P. (new)

P. The Austen family was very complicated and Jane was no easy person to deal with. She hated the noise children made, did not want them around and was generally mean or - more politely- not nice to them and they didn't like her. What ever is and can be said she didn't have a nice life and it is to her credit she wrote [with some notable exceptions] thru it. For instance, she had myriad household chores that interfered and was always at odds with her mother. What ever killed her had serious ramifications while she lived. She loved to walk and went from walking to walking poorly to pony cart rides to not being able to sit in the cart and nearly bed ridden. For a clear eyed well researched look try John Halperin's The Life of Jane Austen.


message 14: by Serina (new)

Serina | 15 comments Thanks P.sounds like a good book.


message 15: by Serina (last edited Nov 22, 2011 01:17PM) (new)

Serina | 15 comments Patricia wrote: "Most biographers agree that she was not on the best of terms with her mother. They were a family of 'bookish' people, put on plays, wrote poems, and some believe she got her story telling from her ..."

Honestly i didnt read any complete biography about her just some book introductions about her, and some ideas here and there but if her books can tell us something about her character it can tell us that she was ironic of the superficial minds aroud her which she tried to put light on in most of her characters and that her ideas of relationships that they are moslty built on the money and position in her time, besides she always showed that there is always misunderstandings in the intention between the people when they establish a relation mainly due to naivety of the character like Northanger abby and Emma but some how the truth reveals her self, so in my opinion that she encountered troubles with the shallowness of her generation which made her such ironic to them!!!


message 16: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley P. I've put Halperin's book on my list. The Austen Societies consider it controversial, but I've read other books that are too. Let's face it, it is all conjecture taken from bits and pieces.
Patg


message 17: by P. (new)

P. Absolutely, who can really know? Of the 3 I've read his was by far the best and seemed even handed to me and I didn't notice any hidden agenda.

I was at conference where Robert Crais was talking about an interview where they were asking him questions about his life as if he actually WAS Elvis Cole, writing about himself, and not the writer who created him.

Did Austen actually have to BE Elizabeth or Emma or any of her heroines to write about them? All she needed to be was a good writer, but that will never satisfy some.


message 18: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley Wise words P. She definitely knew her society and she translated it into memorable characters. Oh that we could all do that.
Patg


message 19: by Amalie (new)

Amalie These conspiracy theories are sometimes so funny. Most the time they don't give a good/clear motive in their books. I wonder what's the motive introduced by the novelist in hers if indeed she has given a one. Frequently I've seen they come up with bunch of theories but as tho why's - nada. I don't think anyone should get carried away with this. When I first saw the name of the thread, I thought it was a joke.


message 20: by Shelley (new)

Shelley | 34 comments Any theory about Austen being murdered reminds me of those folks who just can't accept the fact that a third-rate loser named Oswald could bring down a President.

Real life is much sadder, and more ordinary, than fiction. People get sick.

Shelley
Rain: A Dust Bowl Story
http://dustbowlpoetry.wordpress.com


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