Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jane Austen Sightings: A Series of Unfortunate ...

Perhaps it's so obvious, dear friends, that years ago it was discussed to death (that would be unfortunate). What is the biggest literary allusion in a series of books for children that contain numerous literary allusions? A series of unfortunate... 

We know Lemony Snicket peppers his books, from a bad beginning to the very end, with references to classic books.

Of course, Jane Austen has to be in the mix! Not just in the mix, but hovering over every book cover, every unfortunate event. Here is Colonel Brandon, in Sense and Sensibility, alluding to some most unfortunate circumstances:

"I speak from experience. I once knew a lady who in temper and mind greatly resembled your sister, who thought and judged like her, but who from an enforced change -- from a series of unfortunate circumstances" ---- Here he stopt suddenly; appeared to think that he had said too much, and by his countenance gave rise to conjectures which might not otherwise have entered Elinor's head. The lady would probably have passed without suspicion, had he not convinced Miss Dashwood that what concerned her ought not to escape his lips. As it was, it required but a slight effort of fancy to connect his emotion with the tender recollection of past regard. Elinor attempted no more. But Marianne, in her place, would not have done so little. The whole story would have been speedily formed under her active imagination; and every thing established in the most melancholy order of disastrous love.

You can find it in volume 1, chapter 11. But the story of his lost love, Eliza, awaits you later in the novel (volume II, chapter 9).


  1. I love this kind of books I really enjoy it so much I hope someday very near buy this one because with just your article says I want read it

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