Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy birthday, Jane!

Today, in honor of Jane Austen's 234th birthday, I am sharing a short poem from the authoress's juvenilia:

At Eastbourne Mr. Gell

At Eastbourne Mr. Gell, From being perfectly well,
Became dreadfully ill, For love of Miss Gill.
So he said, with some sighs, I'm the slave of your iis;
Oh, restore, if you please, By accepting my ees.

In reading this poem, it is interesting to note that Mr. Gell and Miss Gill were in fact real people; the young Miss Austen read a newspaper announcement of the marriage of Mr. Gell to Miss Gill of Eastbourne and, being so tickled by the similarity of their names, wrote this little ditty. Talent, indeed, I think.

Take fifteen minutes or so today and reread your favorite Jane Austen passages; or, if it better suits you, watch your favorite scenes in whichever film versions you prefer. Whatever you do, take a moment to celebrate the birthday of a literary genius like Jane!

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