<i>Just Married</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Just Married: Exclusive Excerpt Jenna Bayley-Burke "He rubbed his hands together as he looked for her, tense with anticipation." <i>Balance</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Balance: Exclusive Excerpt Lucia Franco "His gaze openly traveled the length of my body, taking in every inch." <i>Steady Stroke</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Steady Stroke: Exclusive Excerpt A. M. Arthur "Will they let their fears control them or take a chance on something real?" <i>The Devil's Bedpost</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Devil's Bedpost: Exclusive Excerpt Lena Hart "Sometimes you have to face the devil with a demon..."
From The Blog
August 29, 2016
Just How Naughty Were Those Regency Balls, Anyway?
Vanessa Kelly
August 26, 2016
You Don't Say: Comments That Made Our Week
Team H & H
August 26, 2016
Friday Beefcake: A Love Letter to Aldis Hodge
Team H & H
August 26, 2016
5 Reasons to Watch Victoria
Naz Keynejad
August 26, 2016
August 2016 Unusual Historical Best Bets
Wendy the Super Librarian
Showing posts by: Claire Harman click to see Claire Harman's profile
Wed
Mar 9 2011 1:00pm

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 . . .]