Quote Jane


“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

vrijdag 20 mei 2011

Fanny Knight

You are inimitable, irresistible. You are the delight of my life. Such letters, such entertaining letters, as you have lately sent! such a description of your queer little heart! such a lovely display of what imagination does. You are worth your weight in gold, or even in the new silver coinage.
Jane Austen to Fanny Knight
February 20, 1816

Jane Austen was seventeen in 1793 when her niece, Fanny Catherine Knight, was born. The oldest child of Jane's brother, Edward Austen (later Knight), Jane adored Fanny and thought of her as "almost another sister ...  could not have supposed that a niece would ever have been so much to me. She is quite after one's own heart...."

Edward (1767-1852) was adopted in the early 1780's by rich childless cousins of the Austens, Thomas and Catherine Knight. He was sent by them on the "grand tour" of continental Europe in 1786-1788, and eventually inherited their estate of Godmersham, Kent, and took the last name of "Knight". In 1791, he married Elizabeth Bridges. Two years later the couple welcomed their first child, Fanny. Unfortunately for the happy couple, Elizabeth died when Fanny was not yet sixteen (shortly after her 11th confinement). Fanny's aunts, Cassandra and Jane, who had once been occasional visitors, now took on a much more involved and motherly role in the lives of their nieces and nephews. Cassandra, especially, spent months at a time at the family estate, Godmersham, tending to the needs of her young charges, while her brother grieved the loss of his wife.
For Jane, the plight of young Fanny was especially worrisome, as she considered her new role in the family:
Dearest Fanny must now look upon her- self as his prime source of comfort, his dearest friend; as the being who is gradually to supply to him, to the extent that is possible, what he has lost. This consideration will elevate and cheer her. Adieu.
Jane Austen to Cassandra
October 15, 1808



The Great House at Chawton—Former Home of
Jane Austen's Brother, Edward Austen-Knight

Fanny had always been particularly dear to Jane and several pieces of Jane Austen's Juvenilia were dedicated to her in her infancy. The two shared a close friendship during Jane's life and several of the letters written between the two of them survive to this day. Fanny seems to have looked to her aunt for the wisdom and advice she could not ask of her mother, especially in the area of love and courtship. Some of these letters have more to say on the subject than any other surviving pieces of Austen correspondence. Is it possible Jane wrote with the wisdom of one who had loved and lost?

Soon after his wife's death, Edward inherited a house and property in Chawton and was able to offer the nearby cottage to his mother and sisters. This close proximity to the family they loved so much must have only deepend the intimacy of the two.

Sadly, Jane never lived to see Fanny married to any of the young men they discussed. In 1820, three years after her aunt's death, Fanny married Sir Edward Knatchbull, 9th Baronet, a widower several years older than herself, with six children. It appears to have been an equitable marriage and Fanny produced nine more children for the Baronet. As Lady Knatchbull she lived a long and full life, dying in 1882 at the age of 89.

Knatchbull married secondly Fanny Catherine Knight, daughter of Edward Knight (né Edward Austen, the brother of English novelist Jane Austen).[1] They had nine children, including:
Edward Hugessen Knatchbull-Hugessen, 1st Baron Brabourne (1829–1893)
Reverend Reginald Bridges Knatchbull-Hugessen (b. 1831)
Herbert Thomas Knatchbull-Hugessen (b. 1835)


1 opmerking:

Austen werd geboren in Hampshire. Haar vader was een geestelijke. Het grootste deel van haar leven bleef zij in haar geboortestreek. Austen had zes broers en een oudere zuster, Cassandra, met wie zij zeer hecht was. Het enige onbetwiste portret van Jane Austen is een gekleurde schets die door Cassandra werd gemaakt en nu in de National Portrait Gallery in Londen hangt. In 1801 verhuisde de familie naar Bath. In 1802 werd Austen ten huwelijk gevraagd door de rijke Harris Bigg-Wither en zij stemde toe; de volgende dag deelde ze echter mee dat zij haar woord niet kon houden en trok haar instemming in. De reden hiervoor is niet bekend, maar Austen is nooit getrouwd. Na de dood van haar vader in 1805 woonden Jane, haar zuster en haar moeder daar nog verscheidene jaren tot zij in 1809 naar Chawton verhuisden. Hier had haar rijke broer Edward een landgoed met een plattelandshuisje, dat hij aan zijn moeder en zusters schonk (dit huis is tegenwoordig open voor het publiek). Zelfs nadat zij naam gemaakt had als romanschrijfster bleef zij in relatieve stilte leven, maar haar gezondheid ging sterk achteruit. Er wordt nu aangenomen dat zij de ziekte van Addison had, waarvan toen de oorzaak nog onbekend was. Ze reisde naar Winchester om behandeling te zoeken, maar stierf daar en werd begraven in de kathedraal.
Tot Austens beroemdste werk behoort de roman Emma. Het boek wordt vaak aangehaald vanwege de perfectie van vorm. Moderne critici blijven ook nieuwe perspectieven ontdekken op het scherpe commentaar van Austen betreffende de klasse van jonge, ongehuwde, aristocratische Engelse vrouwen in de vroege 19e eeuw.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Fashion - Regency 1