On the Jane Austen Watch: The Stifling Perfection of Roses


In which The Jane Austen Watch reports on the intersection of two centuries.

Today we heard from our newest correspondent, The Jane Austen Watch, who filed the following report:

The roses in Astoria are in bloom, and all the local inhabitants are basing the horticulture of their small front gardens on the assumption that they indeed live in 19th Century England. Therefore, they plant rosebushes, to the infinity. Yet the perfection is stifling, and respect given to youthfulness slightly aggravating.

Twelve years had changed Anne from the blooming, silent, unformed girl of fifteen, to the elegant little woman of seven-and-twenty, with every beauty except bloom, and with manners as consciously right as they were invariably gentle.

–Jane Austen, Persuasion

A few months had seen the beginning and the end of their acquaintance; but not with a few months ended Anne’s share of suffering from it. Her attachment and regrets had, for a long time, clouded every enjoyment of youth, and an early loss of bloom and spirits had been their lasting effect.

–Jane Austen, Persuasion

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