Which is your favorite scene in any of Jane Austen’s novels, the one you find the most memorable, and why? I have more than one.
Who could forget the Pride and Prejudice moment when Elizabeth Bennet confronts her adversary Lady Catherine de Bourgh and tells her, regarding Mr. Darcy:
"He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman’s daughter; so far we are equal." -Pride & Prejudice, Chapter 56
Elizabeth is everything I’d like to be: fearless and articulate; she is able to beautifully express her sentiments – and she remains calm in the face of severe provocation from Lady Catherine. Under the surface Elizabeth may be simmering with rage, but outwardly she maintains a veneer of politeness.
By contrast, Lady Catherine becomes apoplectic, ranting and raving at Elizabeth, demanding that she promise never to become engaged to Mr. Darcy and, when Elizabeth refuses, tells her what she thinks of her: "Obstinate, headstrong girl! I am ashamed of you!"
Another memorable scene in Jane Austen’s writing is in Persuasion, when Captain Wentworth writes a letter to Anne Elliot, pouring out his feelings, telling her he still loves her – while he’s in the same room, and Anne is in conversation with his friend Captain Harville.
What torture for poor Captain Wentworth to listen to Anne and Captain Harville; as he’s writing his letter of love to her, they are discussing who loves the longest and most constantly – men or women.
Anne to Harville,
"All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one; you need not covet it), is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone!" -Persuasion, Chapter 23
Captain Wentworth’s reply in his letter:
"Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death." -Persuasion, Chapter 23
Isn’t that some of the most romantic language ever? And yet, it’s not trivial nor sentimental. Anne and Captain Wentworth's feelings are the deepest and whole-hearted a man and a woman could have for each other.
Such a memorable scene for me! Anne and Captain Wentworth finally, eloquently declaring their love for each other (albeit in Anne’s case, indirectly.)
For me, this is what Jane Austen is about: beautifully expressed emotions and careful delineations of character. She understood the human psyche so well. Although society has undergone momentous change since she lived, people remain fundamentally the same.
Which scenes in Jane Austen’s novels stick in your mind and why?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elaine Jeremiah lives in the southwest of England with her husband. But she was privileged enough to grow up in Jane Austen country, in Hampshire.
She’s always loved writing, but it’s only been in recent years that she’s been able to devote more time to it. She decided to self-publish with the help of her wonderful husband who’s very tech-savvy! In 2013 she self-published her first novel, but it was only with her fourth, her novel Love Without Time, that she felt she finally found her niche: Jane Austen Fan Fiction!
She’s always loved Jane Austen’s writing and the Regency era, so this felt like a natural thing for her to do. Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again is the first Pride and Prejudice variation she’s written.