Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas to all our readers!

One of the wonderful things about Jane Austen's novels is that they give us a realistic portrait of family life in the Regency period. This extract is taken from Persuasion. It gives us a cheerful image of lively children, indulgent parents and conflicting views on what does and doesn't make a perfect Christmas!

Immediately surrounding Mrs Musgrove were the little Harvilles, whom
she was sedulously guarding from the tyranny of the two children from
the Cottage, expressly arrived to amuse them.  On one side was a table
occupied by some chattering girls, cutting up silk and gold paper; and
on the other were tressels and trays, bending under the weight of brawn
and cold pies, where riotous boys were holding high revel; the whole
completed by a roaring Christmas fire, which seemed determined to be
heard, in spite of all the noise of the others.  Charles and Mary also
came in, of course, during their visit, and Mr Musgrove made a point of
paying his respects to Lady Russell, and sat down close to her for ten
minutes, talking with a very raised voice, but from the clamour of the
children on his knees, generally in vain.  It was a fine family-piece.
Anne, judging from her own temperament, would have deemed such a
domestic hurricane a bad restorative of the nerves, which Louisa's
illness must have so greatly shaken.  But Mrs Musgrove, who got Anne
near her on purpose to thank her most cordially, again and again, for
all her attentions to them, concluded a short recapitulation of what
she had suffered herself by observing, with a happy glance round the
room, that after all she had gone through, nothing was so likely to do
her good as a little quiet cheerfulness at home.
Louisa was now recovering apace.  Her mother could even think of her
being able to join their party at home, before her brothers and sisters
went to school again.  The Harvilles had promised to come with her and
stay at Uppercross, whenever she returned.  Captain Wentworth was gone,
for the present, to see his brother in Shropshire.
"I hope I shall remember, in future," said Lady Russell, as soon as
they were reseated in the carriage, "not to call at Uppercross in the 
Christmas holidays."

Whatever your own idea of a perfect Christmas, whether it's a noisy family gathering or something more sedate, everyone here at Historical Romance UK hopes it will bring you whatever you wish for.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Historical Romance UK

1 comment:

Elizabeth Hawksley said...

What a lovely reminder from my favourite Austen book, Amanda. Thank you. I'm lucky this year; I'm see-sawing between fun and festivity with friends and relations to quiet cheerfulness at home, which suits me just fine!

I wish you, and all our readers, all the best in 2017 - even if we have to cross our fingers and hope! Personally, I'm following Voltaire's advice and cultivating my garden. I can't influence the world, but I can do my best to face in a positive direction at home.