sitting in the front row of my Jane Austen talk last week. In fact, the entire night was sort of a series of unexpected moments.
But before I give the real shock away, let me tell you, I am so relieved those chats are over. While I’m usually pretty confident I know more about the era than the average bear, I always get nervous before I do a talk on Jane Austen. Because she is so beloved, so studied, so written about. So I did my talk by skirting Jane and just talking about her era. That is fun. Sharing those tidbits–like Jane losing her writing desk while she was traveling because it looked like everyone else’s traveling desk–sort of the ubiquitous black suitcase you see today going round and round on the baggage carousel. Or how people then overspent, run up debts and built houses and lives they couldn’t afford.
Ah, the world and mores and times may change, but people, God bless them, never really do.
For me, going to the talk out at the Snoqualmie Library was like taking a step into my past. I used to live out there, in the woods, near the river. When it was really the sticks and no one lived so far off the beaten track. But these days, civilization has discovered what my parents knew all those years ago when they moved out there. The place is gorgeous. Look at this million dollar view from one of the housing developments I passed on the way there:
So, hey, what’s surprised you lately?