Book Beginnings – Letters to Alice on first reading Jane Austen by Fay Weldon

This is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader.  They ask that you post the first line(s) to the book you are currently reading and share some feelings on the book.  I’m tweaking this a bit and I’m going to share first lines of books/stories, written by, about, or in the theme of Jane Austen.

This week I’m taking my opening from Letters to Alice on first reading Jane Austen by PFay Weldon.  I was in Portland, Oregon last week and this was my purchase at Powell’s Books.

Letter One
The City of Invention 
Cairn, Australia, October

     It was good to get your letter. I am a long way from home here; almost in exile. And you ask me for advice, which is warming, and makes me believe I must know something; or at any rate more than you.

     Namely, Jane Austen and her books. You tell me, in passing, that you are doing a college course in English Literature, and are obliged to read Jane Austen; that you find her boring, petty and irrelevant and, that as the world is in crisis, and the future catastrophic, you cannot imagine what purpose there can be in your reading her.
     My dear child!

This alone got me to buy the book. I find myself (as I’m sure you are too) defending dear Jane to people when they learn I am a fan.  I’ll be reading this book in August during Austen In August so make sure you check back in a few months to read my review.


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