The “Invisible Cast”

December 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm (books, jane austen, jasna) (, , , )


Being the anniversary of Jane Austen’s birth (16 Dec 1775) — as well, I must mention, of the marriage of Emma Smith and James Edward Austen (16 Dec 1828) — JASNA publishes Persuasions On-line. The first article which GRABBED my attention was Natalie Walshe’s “The Importance of Servants in Jane Austen’s Novels.”

all austen

The servants who come-go-serve the Smith & Gosling households are, as in Jane Austen’s novels, there. One must, however, tease them out! Sometimes they appear as a surname only. Or, when a first name, you wonder if when a first AND last name comes up IF the two are the same person — or different people. I’ve a few names posted online – but, gosh, there are TONS more. (I have been VERY remiss getting more names online.)

And how welcome an opportunity when someone points out a more subtle WHY behind the “half-smile” of such as Baddeley! (Mansfield Park) So many small points go over our heads (for, I don’t know about YOU, but I’ve never employed a servant…)

Consider Persuasions On-line as an early Christmas present: much to be enjoyed!

* * *

Extras:

“A servant should neither blow his nose or spit in his master’s presence;
and, if possible, neither sneeze nor cough.”
— Dr. Trusler, Domestic Management (1819)

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