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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Just Jane by Nancy Moser

I am trying (hard!) to do a proper blog post on the IPad so please excuse any errors as this is the first time.

I am at Rozella which is in beautiful tea country in Sri Lanka. It is very serene  acres of hills and totally green. Very quiet. Today not even the sound of a bus in the distance. The only sound is continuous temple music from a Hindu temple in the far distance heralding a festival of some sort. Sri Lanka has an abundance of festivals anyway. All celebrated with much gusto!

The book Just Jane was for me continuously touched with a feeling of both nostalgia as well as sadness.  The story of Jane Austen herself was not an easy one. Jane was different from her siblings and a strong contrast to her only sister Cassandra. Fortunately Cassandra loved Jane understanding that her temperament was so different to other young women of her time and loving her for it. Unfortunately Jane did not get that understanding or acceptance from anyone else though her father certainly tried.

The idea that for a young woman marriage and family was the sole purpose of her existence was paramount at the time and no where more prominent other than in Jane's circles. Jane felt herself in love but that was not to be. A more advantageous match was made for him and Jane felt it very sadly. For the future, Jane looked at any future partner more judiciously - looking at the social norms of society other than her personal feelings. However here too her natural sensitivity took precedence and she released her future husband from his proposal feeling that it was "not right" to marry him under a false prevention of love. This letting go of an advantageous match was met with exclamations of horror on the part of the small community which surrounded Jane. Apart from the advantages of a rich husband, Jane was accused of being wicked, selfish and nonsensical. This more than brought out how much importance was put on marriage as the very purpose of a woman's existence.

That Jane eventually was successful with her trade and gained some recognition during her lifetime was for me some consolation. I disliked the overwhelming feeling of frustration and anger I had just reading how Jane had to face family and friends with a pleasant face and attitude, despite in my case seething inside with the unfairness of it all.

That a book got me so riled, so thinking of what could have, should have makes me think this was a very good book. Not just for lovers of Jane Austen but for anyone.


  1. So glad you liked it! I think it would have been really hard to be in Jane's shoes but she did get some happiness from her writing career as well as a close friendship with her sister and niece later on.

  2. Oh yes, any book that evokes emotions like that is well written!

    By the way, I'm impressed you wrote all of that out of your iPad.

  3. I liked this look into Jane's life and felt much the same.