Saturday, February 27, 2021

"Wearied in spirits": A passage from Jane Austen's "Emma" that stands out in the pandemic

At the end of the community's visit to Mr. Knightley's Donwell Abbey for strawberries and conversation in Jane Austen's "Emma", Jane Fairfax leaves for home without telling anyone except Emma Woodhouse, to whom she confides something personal for the first time in the novel: "I am fatigued; but it is not the sort of fatigue – quick walking will refresh me. – Miss Woodhouse, we all know at times what it is to be wearied in spirits. Mine, I confess, are exhausted." I have read the novel many times, so I am familiar with this passage, but it reads quite differently after a pandemic year which has been so exhausting for our spirits. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 27 February 2021)

Close-up of red strawberries : Free Stock Photo

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