Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"My Friend Jane"

"My Friend Jane"

The month of August was spent in quiet - reflective family time.
Early this summer, my 11 year old attempted to read Sense and Sensibility. She was given this lovely edition from Penguin classics as a gift.

She is all too aware of my fervent ardor for all things Austen. I think she was trying to bond but wound up being frustrated. She couldn't get into it. I told her, I read them in college. Wait. You'll get them, you just have to live more.

Then my husband decided this summer was the time to Explore the Final Frontier. A Star Trek marathon that lasted a month. No, no. This would not do.

So - I started a marathon of Jane Austen films 3 weeks ago.

Oh- we are all a flutter in the Light House.

The happy conclusion is we have bonded. The talk is all merriment of balls and bonnets and barouche boxes.
Her long curly blond hair is now her greatest feature and no longer the bane of her existence. She has pulled it to the side with a ribbon and gone off to school in these...

Which she says "Are so Jane..."

When she was 8,  I was writing a PB idea called "My Friend Jane". She had a group of friends that made me think of what it would be like to be young girlfriends, about 11, back in the Regeny period. Girls are girls at that age. All silly and BFF's no matter the language and the dress.
The book was narrated by "Lizzie" - about her friend Jane who preferred the feather of her pen to a feather in her hair. The idea was to be a book about friendship- but in the end- the back page was a letter, telling you it had all been written by your friend Jane, who urged you to take up your own pen.

I abandoned the idea after Jane Austen was paraded about with Zombies and Sea Monsters. I read a book called "Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife" that made me have to take a cold shower.  I thought Jane had been overexposed and commercialized past the point of tribute. (tribute, homage - I am all for - check out "Lost in Austen" -TVseries- brilliant)

After this month- I am secure in my feelings for Jane. She is a constant. 194 years after her death, the characters she created are still as real to the right reader or viewer as they were when she wrote them. 

She has been a true friend and I am all gratitude for my daughter's introduction into her society.

These illos are all older works.. you can find them back in the blog... way back. I would do them differently now. But I think sharing Jane with my daughter has fulfilled the need to pay tribute to her- just pass Jane on.


Anonymous said...

I want to read more!!!!!!!!!This is a book, a book that must be written stop the ideas and put your pen to paper and get started. I await the new Jane series. PPPLEASE.........
Your greatest fan............

Kelly Light said...

Mom I know it's you

KATIA WISH said...

Your family is very very cool. You seem to invent so many different ways to spend time!

Jennifer Noel Bower said...

I love every ounce of your idea, and agree with your Mom. Let Jane shine. She was brilliant yesterday, today, and the girls of tomorrow must know her.

Casey G. said...

I really like the idea too. I'm sure you have some newer ideas you want to think about now but, I wouldn't give up on this one. Jane is always. So, just wait out the storm of the current weird take on her. Then it will be your time with her.

RC Reese said...

Awesome Idea!!! I agree...I don't think she's overdone.. we're just all Jane enthused! Love your work
I'd like to grow up to be a full time artist one day too.