Persuasions #12, 1990                                                                                                                                            Page 141


Speech by “Mrs. Elton” on the occasion

of the Memorial Picnic of JASNA-IL, Summer, 1990



Chicago IL


My caro sposo and I are pleased to have been invited to this ceremony in which tribute is paid to the novelist Jane Austen.  We, of course, are welcome everywhere, because of my lord and master’s profession and especially because of my family’s connections.  My sister at Maple Grove would certainly wish me to participate in the present festivities.  I am a great reader – I am so fond of reading!  Novels have always been part of my resources – especially the novels of Miss Austen.  She is especially understanding of the arduous duties of a clergyman and his wife, as depicted so well in that fine novel, Emma – or so I am told; I have had no time for reading since I married, and I did not, myself, read this work, but dear Jane Fairfax – or was it Knightley? – has told me all about it.  We are all such good friends!

How do you like my dress and hat?  I hope I am not dressed too fine for a picnic.  Here, sit down beside me.  We can talk about Miss Austen’s novels.  Have you read Jane Eyre?

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