As we mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, it’s no small wonder that readers have been coming back to enjoy this novel time and time again, After all, what’s not to love? Whether you recall the deep and tender, yet hesitant affections between Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot, the charming town and country settings visited throughout the story, or the humorous supporting characters that often steal the show, Persuasion has a lot to offer readers! Yet, I think no other supporting character steals the show in the same manner as Anne Elliot’s father, Sir Walter Elliot!
Last week I happened to reread Persuasion as an audiobook as part of my commitment to remember Jane this year and when I found out that Laura Hile had written a comedy of manners told by Sir Walter Elliot himself, I had to stop the presses to offer the man himself a chance to put quill to paper in an attempt to offer his collective wisdom for our modern-day readers. Oh, how I laughed at his musings, and I believe you certainly will too!
I want to thank Laura Hile for bringing gifts for my readers, as well as for arranging for Sir Walter to visit here with my Just Jane 1813 readers, as he shares with us his thoughts on church attendance, in this excerpt from Laura’s new book, Marrying Well for Fun & Profit.
Marrying Well for Fun & Profit
“Many come to bring their clothes to church rather than themselves” THOMAS FULLER
My Dear Vulgarian Miss,
Church Attendance is a duty, a mark of civilization and culture, and you should comply. Nevertheless, there is more to it than just sitting in a pew.
Even the most zealous vicar cannot deny that the church is filled with Hypocrites and Sinners. Keep this in mind as you view your fellow congregants. They are, no doubt, wearing their very best garments to please the Lord. These are the Sinners, poor devils, and they are sinning against you! Even so, consider Fashion Transgressions as your opportunity to demonstrate forgiveness. Riffraff cannot help having bad taste. For your convenient reference, I have compiled a list of helpful meditations.
And for heaven’s sake, next week attend a better parish church!
Here are my thoughts:
- Friends are chosen because of social usefulness, and so should one’s parish.
- To better love your neighbor, live in a better neighborhood. Obviously.
- The best Sunday service combines religious exercise with haute couture.
- Remember, ‘Man looketh on the outward appearance.’ Expect to be envied.
- God may look at the heart, but who cares? Why else did He create eyes?
- New clothes are in harmony with the Christian ideal of Spiritual Renewal.
- The concept of Redemption, however, should be kept strictly theological.
- For Redemption applied to garments would mean shopping at thrift stores!
- The 11th Commandment, ‘Never be behind the times,’ forbids thrift stores.
- Liturgical music is conducive to napping. It is not your fault if you succumb.
- However, this certainly explains the low-church preference for rock-and-roll!
- Sit as far forward as possible, the better to be seen by the congregation.
- Pious, rich matrons could well have titled grandsons and grandnephews.
- Keep your prayer book open so the old girls can see. Chat them up after service.
Yes, Church Attendance is certainly beneficial. And isn’t it nice to obligate God to bless you because of your good deeds?
Cordially yours in the upward climb,
Sir Walter Elliot
The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because generally they are the same people. K. CHESTERTON
When you see a man with a great deal of religion displayed in his shop window, you may depend upon it, he keeps a very small stock within. CHARLES H. SPURGEON
The format of each entry of this book follows the format of the excerpt shown above, which makes this a book you can enjoy in a few different ways; perhaps reading it straight through in one sitting and then going back to reread memorable sections to share with others? Either way, you can’t go wrong celebrating Austen’s ever-pompous Sir Walter Elliot! After all, the advice he offers can certainly rings as true as ever and can help today’s readers find the contentment they seek in love and romance.
Laura Hile has graciously offered three ebooks of Marrying Well for Fun & Profit as giveaways for my Just Jane 1813 readers. To enter these giveaways, please tell us what you love about Sir Walter or any character from Persuasion, no later than February 2nd and the winners will be announced on this blog on February 3, 2017 on this blog.
Meet Laura Hile… Readers are loving Laura Hile’s joyous Regency novels. Her signature style—intertwined plots, cliffhangers, and laugh-out-loud humor—keep them coming back for more. The comedy Laura comes by as a teacher. There’s never a dull moment with teen students! Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and sons. Her fiction is for everyone, even teens.
Darcy By Any Other Name
Austenesque Reviews: 2016 Favorites Award (Pride & Prejudice Variation)
Just Jane 1813 Reviewer’s Favorite Award – 2016 (JAFF Paranormal)
From Pemberley to Milton: Top 10 Favorites – 2016
Book Dragon’s Favorite Books – 2016
Austenprose.com’s 2012 Debut Author Award
Mercy’s Embrace as a series, AustenesqueReviews.com’s Top Ten 2012
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