Saturday, June 21, 2008

Writing a Hero's Diary - Henry Tilney, part 2

You can find the first part of my meandering blogs which are following me through writing Henry Tilney's Diary by scrolling down to my last post on 6th June

Working out the timelines for the diaries is never easy because Austen doesn't usually mention specific years in her books, the exception being Persuasion which starts with a list of dates from the baronetcy and frequently talks about "the year six".

In Northanger Abbey no specific year is mentioned, but there's a good clue as to when it was set in Chapter Six. Isabella says to Catherine:

". . . when you have finished Udolpho, we will read the Italian together; and I have made out a list of ten or twelve more of the same kind for you.”

“Have you, indeed! How glad I am! What are they all?”

“I will read you their names directly; here they are, in my pocketbook. Castle of Wolfenbach, Clermont, Mysterious Warnings, Necromancer of the Black Forest, Midnight Bell, Orphan of the Rhine, and Horrid Mysteries. Those will last us some time.”

“Yes, pretty well; but are they all horrid, are you sure they are all horrid?”


I looked up the publication dates for the books mentioned and found they were as follows: Castle of Wolfenbach,1793; Clermont,1798; Mysterious Warnings,1796; Necromancer of the Black Forest,1794; Midnight Bell, 1798; Orphan of the Rhine,1798; and Horrid Mysteries, 1796.

Given that Isabella and Catherine are talking to each other in February, it can't be any earlier than February 1799, because all the above books are already in circulation.

This also fits in very neatly with the fact that Austen started to write it in 1798/1799.

After that, it was just a question of printing out a blank calendar and adding the various events of the book on the relevant months, then checking in the almanack to add the days to the dates, eg to see that the first of February was a Friday.

Next time I'll be talking about how I take one of the most difficult decisions in the diaries, where to start.

Amanda Grange

Available books in the Austen diaries series are Mr Darcy's Diary, Mr Knightley's Diary, Captain Wentworth's Diary, Edmund Bertram's Diary and Colonel Brandon's Diary. They're available from bookshops or from Amazons including Amazon US and Amazon UK

Labels: ,

4 Comments:

Blogger Inspire said...

I enjoy this blog immensely. I feel you take me a step further into Austen's world. Thank you!

1:34 AM  
Blogger Jan Jones said...

But have you read all those books too, Amanda? Or was that a bit of research-too-far?

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read The Castle of Wolfenbach and The Mysteries of Udolpho but not the others.

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been hoping that you would write Henry Tilney's Diary next, and I simply can't wait to read it! I absolutely love NA (and Henry Tilney . . . )

8:07 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home




Follow us on Twitter @http://twitter.com/HRomanceUK




Readers outside the UK might like to know about

The Book Depository

which offers free delivery worldwide


Our books are also available from all Amazons

- see links to our websites

and our UK and US Amazon pages below -

as well as most book shops

depending on country

LOUISE ALLEN'S WEBSITE

UK       US


JO BEVERLEY'S WEBSITE

UK       US


LYNNE CONNOLLY / LYNNE MARTIN WEBSITE

UK       US


NICOLA CORNICK'S WEBSITE

UK       US


CHRISTINA COURTENAY'S WEBSITE

UK       US


AMANDA GRANGE'S WEBSITE

UK       US


ELIZABETH HAWKSLEY'S WEBSITE

UK       US


ANNE HERRIES'S WEBSITE

UK       US


JANE JACKSON'S WEBSITE

UK       US


JAN JONES'S WEBSITE

UK


MELINDA HAMMOND / SARAH MALLORY WEBSITE

UK       US


JOANNA MAITLAND'S WEBSITE

UK       US


FENELLA JANE MILLER'S WEBSITE

UK       US


JANE ODIWE'S WEBSITE

UK      US



Cover art copyright the publishers