To sit in idleness over a good fire in a well-proportioned room is a luxurious sensation

Oh! How I can relate to today’s title quotation, taken from Jane Austen’s letter (a continuation from the previous day) of 7 November 1813.  I’m a little late with that one, and the letter written over two days from 8 to 9 November 1800, as I travelled out west on Friday 7th to visit family.  And I am indeed sitting in idleness by a good fire in a well-proportioned room at the moment, outside of Denver.

I am here ’til Tuesday, then off to Seattle area for a couple days to visit a dear friend, then to Montana for another family visit before heading home next week.  So my apologies if letters are a little sporadic in coming… wholly dependent on time and connectivity.  In the meantime, however, enjoy these three — they are as delightful as the sentiment expressed in today’s quotation.

7th November 1813 (continued from 6th)

8th November 1800

9th November 1800 (continued from 8th)

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[I am] very snug, in my own room, lovely morng, excellent fire, fancy me

Doesn’t that sound lovely?… snug in a warm room on a lovely morning?  I’d say “fancy me” too!

Today’s letter is from 1813 and chock full of lovely snippets as Jane Austen engages in visits, pleasant parties, concerts and a ‘day of dissipation,’ for her last few days before departing her stay in Kent.  This letter is incomplete, but will delight us with its conclusion tomorrow — in the meantime, enjoy Mrs Paget’s ‘female government’, Lady Honeywood’s ‘perfect sort of woman’ and the ‘disputable Beauty’ of Sophia Deedes… and of course, Lady Eliz. Hatton & Annamaria who “came & they sat & they went.”  I hope you’ll come and sit and read… and enjoy!

6th November 1813

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…it is but roughish weather for any one in a tender state

Given the high winds and cold that have descended upon my own area these last few days, I found today’s quote appropriate for a title… but Jane Austen’s lengthy letter to sister Cassandra on 3 November 1813 has so much more of interest in it, so do indulge!!!  And there’s also a short note from the same date in 1815, written to publisher John Murray requesting a brief meeting while Jane Austen is in London attending to Henry and his illness.

3rd November 1813

3rd November 1815 – to John Murray

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the sentence had been made ever since yesterday, & I think forms a very good beginning

Jane Austen was in fine form in her letter to Cassandra of 1 November 1800 — so many quotable lines I could have used for my post title!  You must read it to appreciate them.

The one I did choose refers to the opening line of this letter — but as today is 1 November and the start of 2014’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) I thought it a good line for that endeavour too.

So, enjoy today’s letter — and I am off to make my first day’s word count for NaNoWriMo (so that I’ll have a new book to post about on my blog next spring! 😉  )

1st November 1800

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Now that you are become an Aunt, you are a person of some consequence & must excite great Interest whatever You do.

Here’s a short note from 30 October 1815 for anyone who is an Aunt, validating the critical role we fill — in a short note to niece Caroline Austen —

30th October 1815

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Miss Jane Austen’s tears have flowed over each sweet sketch…

Ah! But are they tears of sorrow, joy, frustration, or perhaps just… boredom?  Jane Austen’s brief letter to niece Anna, written sometime between 29th and 31st October 1812, concerns a novel by Mrs Hunter that they have been reading together — one that certainly appears to provide more entertainment in the sharing than in the actual reading, 😉

29th October 1812 (date approximate)

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I shall think with tenderness & delight on his beautiful & smiling Countenance & interesting Manners, till a few years have turned him into an ungovernable, ungracious fellow.

I always enjoy Jane Austen’s balanced descriptions of family members, and the ‘proof’ of her understanding of human nature, as suggested by this comment of her nephew, “Itty Dorty” in the first of two letters written on this date.  This first is from 1798, the second from 1800.

27th October 1798

27th October 1800 – continuation from two days prior

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I am not at all in a humour for writing; I must write on till I am.–

Despite the lack of humour (for writing) I have five letters to share over the last couple days — I’ve been away for the weekend, so grouping them again.  But plenty of observation to enjoy —

24th October 1798

24th October 1808

25th October 1800

25th October 1808

26th Octoer 1813

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I ask, what am I to do with my Gratitude? — I can do nothing but thank you & go on.

Jane Austen’s gratitude (post title) was for a long newsy letter from Cassandra.  Mine is for your patience — I fell behind again!!!  I made it nine months posting the “daily” letters on (or near) the dates they were written, but work and life got me backed up for a while.  So, without further ado, here are several letters to get caught up with — all with exceedingly quotable lines, lots of family detail (including, sadly, the death of Edward’s wife Elizabeth), and offering an excuse to make a cup of tea, curl into a comfy chair for a while, and immerse yourself in Jane Austen’s world for an hour!!!

12th October 1813 (continuation from previous day)

13th October 1808

14th October 1813

15th October 1813 (continuation from 14th)

15th October 1808

16th October 1808 (continuation from 15th)

17th October 1815

18th October 1815

20th-21st October 1815

21st October 1813

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After having much praised or much blamed anybody, one is generally sensible of something just the reverse soon afterwards.

Lots of news from Godmersham to report today in 1813 — what with men out shooting, the neighbourhood all visiting, the weather gearing up for a blistery cold fall, and family news!

11th October 1813


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