Sunday, September 12, 2010
Dressing up and Northanger Abbey
"Miss Morland, no one can think more highly of the understanding of women than I do. In my opinion, nature has given them so much that they never find it necessary to use more than half."
This quotation is from a conversation (in Northanger Abbey) during a walk to Beechen Cliff in Bath, between Henry Tilney, his sister Eleanor and Catherine Morland, our heroine who is rather smitten with Henry Tilney. Henry loves to tease his sister and here, Miss Morland gets to know the way in which he banters with his sister, and all those to whom he is close.
"Woman is fine for her own satisfaction alone. No man will admire her the more, no woman will like her the better for it. Neatness and fashion are enough for the former, and a something of shabbiness or impropriety will be most endearing to the latter."
Well, this is why Jane Austen's writing has endured. It is just so damned funny and so relevant even 200 years later.
With respect to my own Regency finery for the JASNA gathering in Portland in October:
This is the back view of the dress which just arrived from England and doesn't need any alterations (yay!) so in celebration, I spent an entire $6.99 on this silver amethyst cross pendant to go with it. Not exactly Regency in style, but fairly close. Now I have to work on shoes. I think that some pink ballet slippers would be a good choice for under this dress, and I could use them as slippers after. Anyone with any thoughts on what would make a historically correct but also reasonably priced and comfortable shoe to go with this outfit, please post a comment below. I am also wondering whether white gloves are just going too far, or should I go for it?
On to other matters, I have nearly finished the book Northanger Abbey again to get into the spirit of the JASNA gathering in Portland, Oregon in October. I am saving the latest film version of Northanger Abbey for a stormy evening.
Well, my dear old Dad used to say that anticipation is half of the fun of a trip and he was right!