<i>Full Throttle</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Full Throttle: Exclusive Excerpt Julie Ann Walker "There was no use trying to hide the hunger in her expression..." <i>Mine to Take</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Mine to Take: Exclusive Excerpt Jackie Ashenden "A subtle heat that rested on his skin like a ray of sun. Dangerous." <i>The Highland Dragon's Lady</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Highland Dragon's Lady: Exclusive Excerpt Isabel Cooper "His lean body snapped to attention and his eyes blazed with silver fire." <i>Rocked by the Billionaire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Rocked by the Billionaire: Exclusive Excerpt Mandy Baxter "He (looked) so self-possessed, so goddamned gorgeous after so many years..."
From The Blog
November 26, 2014
Families and Holidays
Lucy Dosch
November 26, 2014
5 Reasons You Need to See Beyond the Lights
Rebekah Weatherspoon
November 26, 2014
Dirty Talking in Romance
Laura Kaye
November 25, 2014
The Busybodies of Romance
Marina Adair
November 25, 2014
Gifts for Your Singular Reading Tastes
Team H & H
Showing posts by: Claire Harman click to see Claire Harman's profile
Wed
Mar 9 2011 12:00pm

Why Did Jane Austen Never Marry?

Becoming Jane posterIt wasn’t as if she was never asked, or didn’t want to be asked. The teenaged Jane Austen was in fact such a flirt and party animal that one neighbor called her “the prettiest, silliest, most affected, husband-hunting butterfly she ever remembered.” She was every bit as confident and witty as her creation, Lizzie Bennet, and considerably more mischievous. Take this from a letter she wrote to her sister Cassandra in 1796, when Jane was just 20:

“Tell Mary that I make over Mr. Heartley and all his estate to her for her sole use and benefit in future, and not only him, but all my other admirers into the bargain wherever she can find them, even the kiss which C[harles] Powlett wanted to give me, as I mean to confine myself in future to Mr. Tom Lefroy, for whom I do not care sixpence.”

Her crush on “Mr. Tom Lefroy,” the nephew of family friends, was at least half-serious (which is why she was careful to make light of it here), but hardly the full-blooded romance/elopement that the film Becoming Jane tried to depict. Lefroy went back to his family in Ireland without giving Jane any grounds for hope. But she wasn’t heartbroken: It was fun while it lasted, and Tom could dance, unlike stodgy Reverend Samuel Blackall, who dithered around in 1798, hinting that he might be getting ready to pay court, and who only earned Jane’s scorn: “It is most probable that our indifference will soon be mutual,” she wrote crushingly.

[Jane in Real Life . . .]