3. Says who vand says why?
^Cassandra, Jane[s elder sister and closest companion, was a beauty; but after the death of her fiancé she retreated into voluntary
Love story between sisters: Cassandra & Jane supporting each other --> "family, sisterhood love story"
"Tall, thin, spare person"
"Clear & brown complexion" --> rosy/brunette
So what does Jane Austen looks like?
"The only member of the Austen family to have no formal portrait, apart from her handicapped brother George, was Jane."
A conglomeration of Jane Austen--> picture drawn by Cassandra, then steel engraving decades after death
"Whole/general" isn't the sum of its parts
Jane Austen: the only member of the Austen family to have no formal portrait, apart from her handicapped brother George, was
Jane--> linking absences is provocative
Blank space: we want to fill, to inject something into it --> fulfill via fiction
Reading Life From Fiction
Benefit: brings subject immediately closer, more comfortable
But Tomalin: be careful to associate fictional characters with real people--> Austen did not intend to portray Elizabeth Bennett
Tomalin: books are never transcripts of what she saw going on around her--> did not write from life DIRECTLY ("painted around
her but never portraits") --> we need to be careful when making associations, need to leave Austen as her own character,
versus a conglomeration of her characters
"Becoming Jane": filmmaker makes her life feel comfortable/familiar, without doing its own groundwork --> tying in with other
characters from her novels (e.g. Pride and Prejudice)
^Elizabeth Bennet is a superb creature, and we may think Jane Austen another; but Elizabeth is not a version of herself, as she
Á}µo]vZÁ}l}(}uv]v}Ào]X_vClaire Tomalin, Jane Austen: A Life (p. 160)
^The truth is that Austen depended very little on fresh scenes and new acquaintance; her work was done in her head, when she
began to see the possibility of a certain situation and a set of characters, and her books are never transcripts of what she saw
P}]vP}v}µvZX_vClaire Tomalin, Jane Austen: A Life (p. 167)
Biography: Gaps & Story Decisions
Tomalin's book cover: "landscape" --> is it her external environment or her inner landscape that drove her life? --> can infer the
direction of the narrative based on the cover
Inside: a map --> way to show a life GRAPHICALLY--> can chart out her life via a map, i.e. Where she belonged
Also: family tree --> Tomalin's story decision: book is not JUST about Jane Austen
Of Austen[P}vW^]µv}µUZÇv}v}(Zu]vÇZ]vP(}Z]P}-daughter; but as evidence ofthe great
connecting webof cousins, mostly clerical, spread over the southern counties, they area ]Pv](]v}(:vµv[}ÇX_
"Evidence as the great connecting web of cousins, they are a significant part of Jane Austen's story" --> Tomalin's story decision, has
to tell everything about her life
Pictures in the book: shiny pages in the middle
--> The wistful face of little Betsy vlater Eliza v,v}lUWZ]o[}voÇZ]oUP}µPZv}oÇo}vµoµPZ}(
enjoyed flirting with her male cousins.
Romance plot: caption of Eliza's picture in the middle of the book --> coyness in terms of her story decisions
--E^James, Edward, and evenprecocious four-year-}o,vÇÁZvo]v}Z]}µ]vu]]vPoÇX_~Xñ
Retrospective knowledge: know Henry and Eliza will get together --> David Copperfield sitting by the fire telling you he's happy
Tomalin as a writer: not giving you everything upfront, hiding things due to suspense/interest
once wrote; he was the charmerof the family, witty, dashingand not always reliable, but his (Z[(À}] and hers.
Henry: a novel character's descriptions
"He took his Oxford degree while serving as an officer in the militia, made a romantic and advantageous marriage, and on leaving
the army set up as a banker, living in high style in London."
The story of romance between Henry and Eliza --> running underneath Jane's own story