JA quotes and intro

"I should infinitely prefer a book." -- Chapter 39, Pride and Prejudice
"...I wish my collection were larger for your benefit and my own credit..." -- Chapter 8, Pride and Prejudice
"I shall be glad to have the library to myself as soon as may be." -- Chapter 20, Pride and Prejudice

Thanks for dropping by! Titles are below and to the right, under the following headings:
The Trouble of Practising | Longer fiction
The Result of Previous Study | Challenge entries and stories based on others' prompts (or simply others' prompting)
Impulse of the Moment | Short stories written on a whim
Drabbles | Snapshots, usually 100 words but occasionally more, and usually based on a prompt
The Alcove | Writings other than Jane Austen fanfictionNewest Post: All Six Senses (and All F
Note: Some stories include direct quotes from Austen's works, and there is the occasional nod to one or other of the adaptations.

Most Recent Posts:
A Great Coxcomb, Parts 1 - 5 (May-July 2017)
A Little Alteration: Mrs. Forster's Friend (October 2016)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Northanger Abbey Drabbles

Sixty Miles of Good Road (I thought I would never see you again...)

“When last I travelled this road, I was in wretched spirits.”

Her companion breathed a loud sigh. “I can only imagine, darling.” Eyes closed, he reached for her.

She eagerly entwined her fingers with his. “That day—how differently I feel now! On that day, I had no desire for the journey to end; I dreaded what my mother and father would think. And you…” She felt him squeeze her hand. “I feared I would never see you again.”

He looked at her with pain and regret in his eyes. “Had I only known how near you were, how you were suffering…” He turned to stare out the window but did not release her hand.

“You could not have known.”

“No.” He sat up straighter. “Here we are at the turning.”

“I remember. Only five miles now.”

“Four and a half.” He smiled.

“Even better.”

“I do love you.” For the next four miles, he showed her just how much, to the exclusion of further conversation.

Soon they were approaching; soon he was handing her out of the carriage, his face beaming with delight. “Welcome again to Woodston, Mrs. Tilney.” His warm voice made her tingle with anticipation. “Welcome home.”

Cause of Offence (Anger)

Eleanor fingered the two coins she had just found deep in her pocket, chiding herself for not retrieving them in time so they, like the others, might be of use to her friend. She could no longer see the carriage from the window. 

Her appetite, usually hearty this early in the morning, was gone completely. Instead, her stomach was in knots, and she knew not how she would manage breakfast. 

“God, help me! I could hate him for this!”

Never before, not even when he had declared her beloved unworthy of her, had Eleanor been so angry with her father.

Unpromising Circumstance (The Pages of a Book)

“The poor girl.” Catherine's brother had written that her former friend was disgraced and living in some distant farmhouse. The report had got back to him through acquaintances who had known of his brief engagement. “Had James reconciled with her, he would be father to another man’s child.”

“Then let it be some consolation,” said Henry, “that you would truly be an aunt in any case.”

Catherine sadly agreed. She sighed, thinking of how much things had changed from the carefree days when she and Isabella had been shut up in a room, lost in the pages of a book.


“Henry, you knew better than to tease her that way,” his sister chided.

“I dare say she enjoyed it.”

“You know she did not! She was mortified!”

“She did not appear so.”

“You really ought to stop misbehaving long enough to think of someone else’s feelings.”

“I cannot help teasing.”

“You can; you simply will not. You are greedy, that is what it is, wanting everybody’s attention for yourself.”

“I want much more than her attention.”

“What did you say?”

(Cough) “Nothing, Eleanor.”

“My goodness, Henry! I know you like her, but…are you in love with Miss Morland already?”

Perfect Felicity (By Express)

“Let him be a fool if he likes it.”

Eleanor thanked her father and hurried away, her mind already forming the words she would pen to Henry. How she had longed for this moment! Later she would tell the happy news to her husband, but now she had a letter to write.

It must be sent express, she decided, completed missive in hand. She wished she could fly through the air to stand at her brother’s side, to see his face. “Have this delivered to Woodston Parsonage immediately!” she ordered, the smile in her voice spilling over into joyous laughter.

Northanger in Short (A Novel in 100 Words)

Catherine is a heroine, though her father’s name is Richard, though she is neither beautiful nor rich nor accomplished, and though she loves novels. So there!

Henry (the charmer!) is her hero—the hero’s name cannot be Richard—and John (the rattle!) her bane. Eleanor (so kind!) is Henry’s sister. Isabella (false friend) seeks Catherine’s brother’s overstated fortune. John seeks hers (also overstated). Henry’s rakish brother reveals Isabella’s true stripes (tigress!) once money matters are made clear.

Henry loves Catherine because she simply adores him. The General approves (John) then disapproves (John again) then approves (Eleanor) of their betrothal. Hurrah!

A Silent Reconciliation

He must hate me now.

How could she conceive of it? My father, a murderer?

He despises me.

She is young yet, and fills her head with nonsense. But with time and experience…

What am I to do? He detests me!

She took my words to heart—I can see it in her eyes. I shall behave as though nothing happened.

He smiles! He is not angry!

How easy it is to make her smile, and what a lovely smile it is.

He does not look as though he hates me.

I think I like you very much, Miss Morland.

Regret and Resolution

Isabella screamed at her empty room, cursing John’s ineptitude. Had he not mistaken Morland’s prospects, she never would have become engaged, never would have been so eager to drop Morland and catch Tilney.

And had she not been engaged, she now knew, Tilney never would have been so eager to catch her. That rake had made her the tittle-tattle of Bath.

If only Morland would return! If only she had not humiliated him! Perhaps Catherine could change his mind. It was her only hope. She composed herself and sat down to write the most important letter of her life.

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