Category Archives: Parties

A season for friendly meetings

Today we have Mr. Elton giving the opposite perspective on holiday parties:

“This is quite the season indeed for friendly meetings. At Christmas
every body invites their friends about them, and people think little of
even the worst weather. I was snowed up at a friend’s house once for a
week. Nothing could be pleasanter. I went for only one night, and could
not get away till that very day se’nnight.”

Emma, volume 1, chapter 13

This image of Steventon rectory is from Jane Odiwe’s Austen Effusions — isn’t it lovely?  I am all for snow, and for getting snowed in with friends.


Filed under Emma, Friendship, Mr. Elton, Parties

For all the homebodies out there

Life is conspiring against me again.  I spent yesterday flat on my back dealing with the vicissitudes of Lyme disease — ugh.

Today’s quote is Mr. John Knightley being rather difficult on Christmas Eve as he and Emma head to the Westons (but who doesn’t want to spend Christmas Eve at home with his family?  At least if he is difficult, I can sympathize.):

“A man,” said he, “must have a very good opinion of himself when he
asks people to leave their own fireside, and encounter such a day as
this, for the sake of coming to see him. He must think himself a most
agreeable fellow; I could not do such a thing. It is the greatest
absurdity—Actually snowing at this moment!—The folly of not allowing
people to be comfortable at home—and the folly of people’s not staying
comfortably at home when they can! If we were obliged to go out such an
evening as this, by any call of duty or business, what a hardship we
should deem it;—and here are we, probably with rather thinner clothing
than usual, setting forward voluntarily, without excuse, in defiance of
the voice of nature, which tells man, in every thing given to his view
or his feelings, to stay at home himself, and keep all under shelter
that he can;—here are we setting forward to spend five dull hours in
another man’s house, with nothing to say or to hear that was not said
and heard yesterday, and may not be said and heard again to-morrow.
Going in dismal weather, to return probably in worse;—four horses and
four servants taken out for nothing but to convey five idle, shivering
creatures into colder rooms and worse company than they might have had
at home.”

Emma, volume 1, chapter 13


Filed under Emma, John Knightley, Neighbors, Parties

A large party

“One cannot have too large a party.  A large party secures its own amusement.”

Mr. Weston on inviting the Eltons to join them at Box Hill (of course, Emma disagrees)
Emma, volume 3, chapter 6

Dear Mr. Weston and his “unmanageable goodwill.”

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More stupid parties in Bath

“We are to have a tiny party here tonight; I hate tiny parties–they force one into constant exertion.”

letter to Cassandra
May 21, 1801 [37]

A (not very good) picture of the outside of Paragon Buildings, where Jane was staying with her Aunt and Uncle when she wrote this letter.  (If you look closely, you can see the building name etched in the stone.)

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An evening in Bath

“Another stupid party last night; perhaps if larger they might be less intolerable, but here there were only just enough to make one card table, with six people to look over, & talk nonsense to each other.”

letter to Cassandra
May 13, 1801 [36]

I have a feeling this is one of the reasons Jane disliked Bath, all the social engagements, with intolerable people talking nonsense to each other.

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