writing

Dear Miss Austen Advice Column

Here’s a little something I wrote, thinking it might become a regular feature of the blog. The idea: Jane Austen as a Dear Abbey advice columnist, answering letters from her characters…

Dear Miss Austen,

A most disagreeble man has lately asked me to marry him, couching his proposal in such terms as to make his affection for me seem a circumstance against his will, and beyond his control, to the point that his interest in me seemed almost an insult, rather than the compliment one would expect it to be.

I gave him flat refusal and let it be known that he was the last man I could ever be prevailed upon to marry. But since then the unimaginable has happened.

I fear I have fallen madly in love with the arrogant rogue!

I see now he had good reason and well meaning behind the blunt criticisms he made of me, my family, and my situation. Indeed, I rather like him more for such honesty, hurt though it did.

And then a member of my family found herself in dire and scandalous straights, and this man came to her rescue, though doing so could have tainted his own reputation.

How now, can I win back the love of he whom I spurned?

Sincerely,

EB or Mixed Up at Longbourn

Dear Mixed Up,

Such a man is sure to have haughty relatives. I suggest the formation of a speedy rumor that will soon reach their ears.

As they are sure to scorn your situation, they will be all aflutter to keep you from wedding their young relative. Therefore when they hear that you may do just that, they will descend on him, demanding he not do such a thing.

And surely such a fellow as you’ve described will then be out to show he can do whatever he wants, and he will return to you.

Or, if you are extremely brave and much more honest, you could simply tell him the truth. You judged him wrongly, you are sorry, and if he still loves you….well. I’ll let you finish the thought for yourself.

The choice, my dear E.B. is up too you.

Sincerely,

Miss Austen

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