The rain spatters out a drumbeat across the windowpane as I slip headlong, with every turn of the page, into the wonderful world of Jane Austen. I have read these stories so often the characters feel like old friends. Sassy, self-assured Lizzie, walking in the woods the hem of her dress muddied. The quiet and steadfast Fanny, whose beauty shines when she speaks. The young Catherine her head full of romance and dangerous fantasies. There are the wonderful Dashwood sisters, sensible and long-suffering Elinor carrying a deep and abiding love and wild and impetuous Marianne a fiery comet of a woman. Lastly, there is Emma, whom every ounce of me wants to dislike, but I cannot help but love. She is snobby and an incurable gossip, but she hides a tender and loving heart.
My eyes grow heavy as I settle into the comfy recliner and lightly nap, my fingers splayed along the well-worn pages. And I realize I’m not dreaming of features or faces, but the words and spirit that these characters embody. Miss Austen has created characters from the different facets of a woman’s personality. It is a mistake to believe these are simple love stories, for they are something far richer and I relish the sublime beauty of her work. The delicate words she has woven around these persona's are a rare treasure, with careful precision she has exposed the very essence of women. The good and the bad and it is no wonder her work is standing the test of time.
copyright Sherry Obsheatz