J.B Priestly in The Prince of Pleasure , his entertaining survey of the Regency, writes these lines about the year 1817 in which the Prince Regent’s much-wronged wife, Queen Charlotte, died.
“Another woman, only 41, slipped quietly away .. and was buried in Winchester Cathedral. This, of course, was Jane Austen, who has probably given more delight to more English-speaking-people than any other woman who has ever lived.”
Mawson’s Guardian splutters, “That should read, More than any other PERSON, Dammee, Priestly.” But it must be admitted that the patriarchal Priestly does redeem himself in the next passage.
“Next to Shakespeare”
“Though she made no stir with the public, it is a mistake to imagine that her exquisite work was not appreciated in her own time. The Regent himself was among her admirers, as were Scott, Coleridge, Southey, Sydney Smith and Lord Holland. In the next age Macaulay placed her next to Shakespeare as a creator of character.”
Vale, Jane Austen, who still gives the world so much pleasure after 200 years.
(While no-one was looking, the Tedettes found all of Jane Austen’s books and much other Regency material lying about the house, strangely enough. Possibly an Austen-phile lives here?
You are at Baffled Bear Books, the blog of Mark, guardian and blundering typist for Mawson Bear, Ponderer of Baffling Things and one of this bright world’s few published bears. Mawson is writer bear of It’s A Bright World To Feel Lost In.