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Jane Austen and Scotland by Diana Birchall — 15 Comments

  1. I wouldn’t refer to Scott as a “fervent admirer” of Jane Austen. He wrote a favorable review of one of Ms. Austen’s novels but “fervent?” Interesting article.

  2. Well…if not fervent, then “decided.” It was an enthusiastic review. And later, he wrote this, which I would say might qualify him as a fervent admirer: “That young lady had a talent for describing the involvements and feelings and characters of ordinary life, which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. The Big Bow-wow strain I can do myself like any now going; but the exquisite touch, which renders ordinary commonplace things and characters interesting, from the truth of the description and the sentiment, is denied to me. What a pity such a gifted creature died so early!” “The most wonderful I ever met with” – it doesn’t get more fervent than that!

  3. Wow I thought your whole article was fascinating and very interesting so thank you for that. I love history and also Jane Austen. Fancy being able to see Mary Queen of Scott’s crucifix and all the history that goes with that! I live in Newcastle upon Tyne which is about 200 miles from Edinburgh. Edinburgh is a beautiful city but I have never been to Abbotsford but looks wonderful from your photograph. I agree with Scott “what a pity such a gifted creature died so early”. She was one very talented lady.

    • Hi Michelle – glad you liked it, and Abbotsford really is beautiful and so full of historical interest. I’d recommend going in spring or summer when the gardens are at their best. Much easier for you to get there than me, since I live in California!

  4. My goodness, thank you for sharing your trip with us. The conference sounded so great in every way. Loved getting to visit there vicariously through you.

    • Oh, by the way, I looked up the authors you mentioned as Scottish contemporaries of Jane Austen and have added some of their works to my wish lists. Anyone else have a favorite author of those times would be welcome to weigh in. 🙂

      • Thanks, Michelle – California is great (especially in winter), but going to Scotland is magic. I love my UK trips so much that the best part is sharing them. It is interesting to read the works of Jane Austen’s “Highland sisters,” and we know she herself read Mary Brunton’s Self-Control and wondered if it would be too much like her own work! Another one I like a lot is Elizabeth Grant’s Memoirs of a Highland Lady – the diary of a contemporary of Austen’s,that really takes you into that world.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your trip. I find it interesting that Scott admired Jane Austen’s works so much. Also, thank you for the mention of Austen’s Scottish contemporaries. I will have to look them up.

    • Thank you for your comment, Deborah! It’s interesting to read women authors who were writing north of the border at the same time as Jane Austen. You gain some perspective, seeing what is common to their daily lives and outlook, but also coming to realize, yet again, that no one can compare to Jane!

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