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Friday, August 29, 2014

For what do we live..." | a Janeite Conversation

If there's one thing Jane Austen excels at, it's writing ridiculous, hilarious, ludicrous and/or shake-able characters. You get the feeling that she must have been surrounded by some real doozies, which lead not only to her ability to capture them on paper, but to one of her most famous quotes. So, for this Conversation, I asked...
For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn? Which Austen character(s) would you most like to make sport for? Who would be the most diverting neighbor / the most obnoxious neighbor, etc?

ANNA: Jane certainly knew how to create ridiculous characters that a reader feels no shame in laughing at!
MISTY: That she did!
ANNA: Mrs. Bennet ties with Lady Catherine, and Mr. Collins and Mr. Elton (along with his Missus) are laughable. Caroline Bingley would be a terrible neighbor, although one probably wouldn’t have to worry about bumping into her at the corner market.
JOY: I think I'd be annoyed by Maddie Bates, too, even though I agree Emma treated her too harshly. 
MISTY: Horror! I don't know if it'd be worse to live near Mrs. Elton or Miss Bates. They both seem so inescapable, and those type of people make me feel caged
ALEXA: The most obnoxious neighborhood would be Hunsford.
MARIA: Living next to Mr. Collins and Lady Catherine I could definitely do without. 
MISTY: I don't know, I think I'd quite like goading Lady C. And it does have some pleasant walks in which to escape, after all . . . ;)
JOY: If my neighborhood were filled with Maddie Bates, Maria and Julia Bertram, Lydia and Kitty Bennet, and William Collins, though, I'd move. 
MISTY: And that is a completely rational reaction to such a scenario. Though I do have to say, it'd be interesting to see how the local gatherings would go, as they'd all amuse themselves talking about their own concerns, and not listening at all to each other's.
CECILIA: I'd have to live next door to Lydia. Who needs reality television with that one around?
MISTY: The only flaw being you can turn off the TV when you're sick of it...
MARIA: The Middletons are probably a little too forceful in their hospitality for me to be comfortable living near as well.
MISTY: Though they'd always be willing to loan you a cup of sugar! Of course, it would come with endless teasing questions about whom you're baking a cake for. . . 
ANNA: The best neighbors would be the Bingleys, as they would always have their door open for a lively party or dinner.
MISTY: I think I'd have to agree with that. And then you'd get to see Lizzie and Darcy on occasion, too. Although you'd probably be putting up with more than your fair share of Caroline . . .
JOY: I'd love to have Lizzie Bennet as a neighbor!
MISTY: Me, too. I feel like she and I would get along really well.
MARIA: I’m pretty sure Elizabeth Bennet would find me easy to laugh at—I’m more of an Anne Elliot. I think Anne Elliot would be a lovely neighbor to have.
ALEXA: I think I'd like to reside someplace like Highbury. Not too big, not too small, and decently diverse.
ANNA: Elinor and Edward Ferrars would entertain in a quiet manner, but there would be music at the Brandons’ house.
MISTY: And picnics at Delaford!

So who would YOU have as your neighbor, whether because you'd enjoy their company or because you'd enjoy making sport? And who would lower the property values, as far as you're concerned? ;)
Let us know in the comments!

Special thanks to the authors:
Alexa Adams, author of the Tale of Less Pride and Prejudice series
Maria Grace, author of the Given Good Principles series and Remember the Past
Cecilia Gray, author of the Jane Austen Academy series
Joy Penny, author of A Love for the Pages
Anna Small, author of How to Marry a Rogue, In the Arms of an Earl and Back in His Arms Again

Click the button or HERE to return to the Austen in August main page!

1 comment:

  1. I just love reading this group's discussions. You gals are an entertaining mob.

    I don't like to talk much, but I enjoy people watching so Hunsford or Highbury or even Bath for its Pump Room and confectionery shops would tickle my fancy. That does include the Austen people in those places too b/c they just need an audience not a response. The more garrulous ones wouldn't even notice if I got up and walked away :)


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