Emsley, The Jane Austen Playgroup

I’m deep into a rather quixotic essay project and thus stalled in my other reading and writing, including blogging. But this is no loss to you, as I’m going to fill in the gap with a lovely little piece of writing by someone else. Here’s an excerpt from a charming children’s story called The Jane Austen Playgroup.

In February Laura and her mom invite us to their house for a Valentine’s party. We watch Mr. Darcy propose to Elizabeth in the Pride and Prejudice movie. Then we make valentines to give each other. My Mom says we’re wasting gold paper, the way the rich sisters Maria and Julia do in Mansfield Park. She likes it, though, when I give her a big valentine and a kiss. Zachary’s mom gives Sophie’s mom a pretty card that says, “I admire and love you, love, Mr. Darcy.” Sophie’s mom laughs and says “Thank you,” but she looks kind of sad.

Pending appropriate interest from a publisher, the story is available in full on the author’s website. The photos are placeholders until there’s a full set of artist’s illustrations, but I think they work very well.

Full disclosure: the author, Sarah Emsley, is a friend and former Ph.D. student of mine. I’d like to take some credit for this particular project but all I’ve contributed is my enthusiasm. Sarah has also written about Jane Austen for grownups, and she edited the Broadview edition of Edith Wharton’s  The Custom of the Country.

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