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I sincerely hope your Christmas … may abound in the gaieties which that season generally brings.

Pride and Prejudice


Yes, I know I’m quoting Caroline Bingley here, just as the Bank of England quotes her saying, “I declare there is no enjoyment like reading” on the mock up of the new £10 note. (I recommend John Mullan’s analysis of “Why that Jane Austen quotation on the new £10 note is a major blunder” and Janine Barchas’s post “Jane Austen on the Tenner — great idea, bad execution.”) No matter how hard you search the texts of Austen’s novels and letters, it can be a challenge to find quotations that fit special occasions such as holidays and weddings.

My wishes really are sincere, however. I hope you all have a wonderful time over the holidays. May you all enjoy good food (syllabub, perhaps?), good books, and good company – or, if you’re very fortunate (and I hope you are), the best company: “the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation” (Persuasion). There – that’s a Jane Austen quotation that fits the occasion, and it’s Anne Elliot this time, instead of Miss Bingley.

Merry Christmas, and I’ll see you in the New Year. Let’s celebrate 200 years of Mansfield Park!