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

zaterdag 19 april 2014

During Jane Austen’s day, the Easter Season

During Jane Austen’s day, the Easter Season (Easter and the 40 days following it, until Ascension Sunday, when Christ’s final ascension into heaven is celebrated) or the Easter Holidays as they are sometimes referred to, were a time of traveling and visiting Family. Every mention of Easter in her letters and novels involves travel, including her most notorious use in Pride and Prejudice when Mr. Darcy arrives at Rosings Park, to visit his aunt, Lady Catherine DuBourgh. The idea of wearing something new for Easter has its roots in Roman tradition (it was good luck to have something new to wear in the spring) and early Christianity where new converts would celebrate their baptism by wearing white for a week. The first Easter bonnets were spring bonnets which would be delightful to wear after the dark clothes of winter and somber tone of Lent.

Eggs have long been a symbol of fertility and new life and giving them as gifts in the spring, often colorfully decorated, is a centuries old custom among many people groups. Since they would not have been eaten during the weeks preceding Easter, it was common to hard boil them (in order to make them last) and have them in abundance during the week of Easter. It is said that Christians dyed their eggs red using red onion skins in order to remember the blood of Christ shed in their place.

Beautifully decorated eggs became an art form across Europe, from the Pysanky created in the Ukraine and Faberge’s gorgeous creations for the Tsar’s family in Russia, to homemade tokens created as gifts from lovers to their beloved, often trimmed in paper, lace, gold leaf, and paint or dyed with natural colors. Dyeing them in pale, pastel colors seems to come from Egypt, though tales of multicolored eggs spring from the legends surrounding Eostre, as well.
Read on: jane-austens-easter

Perhaps the most famous Easter food is the Hot Cross Bun. The first mention of these in association with Easter comes from Poor Robin’s Almanack (1733): “Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs, with one or two a penny hot cross buns”. Typically, the cross marked on the top of the bun symbolizes the cross on which Jesus died, and they are eaten on Good Friday as a build up to Easter Sunday. English tradition holds that a bun baked on Good Friday brings good luck to the household and will not mold. Many were kept throughout the year until the next batch would be made.
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.


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Fashion - Regency 1

Edward Austen Leigh wrote down this description of Jane's appearence in the years just after the family left Southampton.

"She was tall and slender; her face was rounded with a clear brunette complexion and bright hazel eyes.

Her curly brown hair escaped all round her forehead, but from the time of her coming to live at Chawton she always wore a cap, except when her nieces had her in London and forbade it."

Henry Austen said of his sister, " Her stature rather exceeded the middle height; her carriage anad deportment were quiet but graceful; her complexion of the finest texture, it might with truth be said that her eloquent blood spoke through her modest cheek." Henry applied these lines to Jane: " Her pure and eloquent blood spake in her cheeks and so distinctly wrought that you had almost said her body thought."

Austen's niece Caroline recollected: "As to my aunt's personal appearance, hers was the first face I can remember thinking pretty. Her face was rather round than long, she had a bright, but not a pink colour—a clear brown complexion, and very good hazel eyes. Her hair, a darkish brown, curled naturally, it was in short curls around her face. She always wore a cap