Jane Austen on Christmas

Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775.

Mr. Elton: “This is quite the season indeed for friendly meetings. At Christmas everybody invites their friends about them, and people think little of even the worst weather. I was snowed up at a friend’s house once for a week. Nothing could be pleasanter. I went for only one night, and could not get away till that very day se’nnight.”
Emma, volume 1, chapter 13

Caroline Bingley: “When my brother left us yesterday, he imagined that the business which took him to London might be concluded in three or four days; but as we are certain it cannot be so, and at the same time convinced that when Charles gets to town he will be in no hurry to leave it again, we have determined on following him thither, that he may not be obliged to spend his vacant hours in a comfortless hotel. Many of my acquaintances are already there for the winter; I wish that I could hear that you, my dearest friend, had any intention of making one of the crowd– but of that I despair. I sincerely hope your Christmas in Hertfordshire may abound in the gaieties which that season generally brings, and that your beaux will be so numerous as to prevent your feeling the loss of the three of whom we shall deprive you.”
Pride and Prejudice, chapter 21

“I thank you for your long letter, which I will endeavour to deserve by writing the rest of this as closely as possible. I am full of joy at much of your information; that you should have been to a ball, and have danced at it, and supped with the Prince, and that you should meditate the purchase of a new muslin gown, are delightful circumstances. I am determined to buy a handsome one whenever I can, and I am so tired and ashamed of half my present stock, that I even blush at the sight of the wardrobe which contains them. But I will not be much longer libelled by the possession of my coarse spot; I shall turn it into a petticoat very soon. I wish you a merry Christmas, but no compliments of the season.”
Letter to Cassandra from Jane Austen, December 25, 1798.

I am sorry my mother has been suffering, and am afraid this exquisite weather is too good to agree with her. I enjoy it all over me, from top to toe, from right to left, longitudinally, perpendicularly, diagonally; and I cannot but selfishly hope we are to have it last till Christmas — nice, unwholesome, unseasonable, relaxing, close, muggy weather.
Letter to Cassandra from Jane Austen, December 2, 1815.

And here are links to a few book reviews if you’re in an Austen-ish mood:

In the Steps of Jane Austen by Anne-Marie Edwards. Reviewed by Fleur-Fisher, a Cornish bookworm.
Jane Austen: A Biography by Carol Shields. Reviewed at Rebecca Reads.
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. Reviewed by Jayne at Dear Author.
Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera RIgler. Reviewed at Booking Mama.
Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Patillo. Reviewed by Lisa at 5 Minutes for Books.
Jane Austen: A Life by Claire Tomalin. Reviewed by JenClair at A Garden Carried in My Pocket.

One thought on “Jane Austen on Christmas

  1. Pingback: Saturday Review of Books: December 17, 2011 | Semicolon

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