Our Jane Austen Pet Peeves: Austenesque Extravaganza (Part 2)

Welcome to the halfway point on this week’s Traveling Tuesday, a segment of this year’s Austenesque Extravaganza!   You’ve stumbled onto Part 2 of a three-part roundtable discussion that begins at Lori Smith’s blog and ends at KaraLynne Mackory’s.  So, if you feel a little lost, be sure to go back and read Lori Smith’s blog first.  I’ll be here when you get back…


The continuation of

A Discussion of Some Oh-So-Minor Pet Peeves with Jane Austen’s Novels…


Lori Smith: Another pet peeve — occasionally, at critical points in the stories, Austen doesn’t show us the whole scene.  As when Knightley proposes.  Austen doesn’t give us Emma’s response, just says, “She said everything that a lady would say…” or something like that.  This happens a couple other times.  Like Austen didn’t want to write that particular bit of dialog, perhaps?

KaraLynne Mackrory: Oh and when Darcy proposes “He reacted as a man violently in love can be expected to.”

KaraLynne Mackrory: Urgg that does bother me.

Lori Smith: Exactly, KaraLynne!

Alyssa Goodnight: I have to admit, I kind of like that.  I guess I’m in the minority.

Lori Smith: Maybe it leaves a little up to the imagination?

Alyssa Goodnight: I feel like the scene is wide open with possibility–that it’s so romantic and heartfelt that it can’t even be captured.

Lori Smith: I like that perspective, Alyssa.

KaraLynne Mackrory: Yes, and that is how the reader is left feeling, Alyssa, which is probably why her books are so loved – we get to create a bit of the scene in our heads and imagine that part for ourselves.

KaraLynne Mackrory: I am left asking…”so how violently did Mr. Darcy act?….rarrr!”

Alyssa Goodnight: Perhaps the scene you need to write…

Lori Smith: Sort of like when she says of both Darcy and Knightley, something like “If I felt things less I might be able to talk about them more.”

KaraLynne Mackrory: Yes.

Alyssa Goodnight: YES!!

Alyssa Goodnight: And I think Colin Firth embodied those scenes (in P&P) beautifully because he filled all those silences with angsty, brooding stares.  And we all sighed, imagining what he must be thinking.  What he wanted to say, but couldn’t.

Lori Smith: Oh, love his brooding stares.  Like when she’s helping Georgiana, turning pages for her while she plays the piano?  My fave scene.

KaraLynne Mackrory: But I have to admit, sometimes it is disappointing because she does give clues as to the men’s “violence of love” – Darcy makes the wicked comment about admiring her figure from where he sits and Knightley comments that “indeed” they are not brother and sister.

KaraLynne Mackrory: So when they say things so leading and then the big moment happens and we are all ……. oh, I guess I have to imagine that part.

Alyssa Goodnight: But they are true gentleman, KaraLynne!

Lori Smith: Yes, it’s a little funny.  Like the whole book leads up to that point, but the scene is still in some way shrouded in secrecy.

KaraLynne Mackrory: Well I wouldn’t want Jane to describe any physical passion – that wasn’t her thing – but they were good with words and even a gentleman can say charming things that are indicative of their thoughts and feelings.

KaraLynne Mackrory: Lori – maybe JA was giving them some privacy.

Lori Smith: She does some of the same thing with Anne and Wentworth.  They talk over everything on the gravel walk, but she doesn’t tell us much of that.

KaraLynne Mackrory: Or blushing herself as a maiden writing the scenes.

Alyssa Goodnight: Maybe she didn’t trust herself to write those sorts of scenes…  I don’t really know her personal history and what experience she had with men.

KaraLynne Mackrory: Ok, so it sounds like I expected them to make out but I’m not saying that.  You guys get what I mean, right?

Alyssa Goodnight: Definitely!

KaraLynne Mackrory: I mean something more along the lines of “I ardently admire and love you -” without the “even though your family is crappy and you are poor and way beneath me.

Lori Smith: Totally get what you mean, KaraLynne!

Lori Smith: She received at least one proposal, likely two.  The first she accepted, then changed her mind and withdrew the next morning.  (She and her sister had to leave the house in disgrace.)  The second proposal she didn’t accept.  The perhaps love of her life (a man she met while vacationing by the sea) died suddenly without being able to propose.

KaraLynne Mackrory: Ohh poor Jane.

Lori Smith: The first proposal, he was rich, but she didn’t love him, so she just couldn’t do it.  Even though he was a good family friend.

Lori Smith: Most women back then would have married him anyway.

Lori Smith: She just thought marrying without love was evil.

KaraLynne Mackrory: Maybe his brooding stares weren’t that good.

Lori Smith: 😉

KaraLynne Mackrory: I think her sticking to her convictions makes her truly magnificent especially considering the time (cough, cough Charlotte being a good example of what was common)

Lori Smith: YES — I’ve always felt that!

Lori Smith: And agree, KaraLynne.

Alyssa Goodnight: I agree, KaraLynne (and Lori), but I feel so sorry that she never married.

Lori Smith: Me too.  But she was very happy.


Be sure to hop over to KaraLynne Mackory’s blog to read the end of the discussion, and please feel free to play along!  What do you wish Jane had done differently?


 Before you go…I have a giveaway!  With my next book, AUSTENSIBLY ORDINARY, coming out in late January, I want to celebrate by giving away a trade paperback copy of AUSTENTATIOUS (Shipping to the US only.  Sorry!)  There are three ways to enter.

1.  Add AUSTENSIBLY ORDINARY to your to-be-read shelf on Goodreads.

2. Follow me on Twitter, so you can get all the deets as the release date gets closer (a_goodnight).

3.  Help me in making my dream come true.  Tweet the following and send me the link:

“I want to see AUSTENSIBLY ORDINARY by @a_goodnight on @TheEllenShow! #EllenDancesWithAO”

Entries will be accepted through October 2nd, and I will choose a winner on October 3rd!  Good luck!




Posted in austensibly ordinary, austentatious, Jane Austen books on 09/11/2012 12:10 am


  1. I guess I’m in the minority in agreeing with Alyssa about liking how JA leaves some of those scenes up to the imagination with the “He reacted as a man violently in love can be expected to.” bits. Its very typical of the period, and I like imagining how it goes…more fodder for fic! :)

  2. Alyssa,
    I would love to win a copy of your book! I follow you on Twitter (as Lori Johnston Hedgpeth) and Tweeted your dream (https://twitter.com/LoriHedgpeth) as well as added the book to my Goodreads list.

    Thanks so much for this post. I love reading authors’ debates about JA!


    • Alyssa Goodnight

      I’m with you, Lori. I love to hear a good Jane Austen discussion (or take part in one…) 😉

      Good luck!

  3. I’ve been anxious to read Austentatious since hearing about it, and it has been on my wishlist. Looking forward to Austensibly Ordinary, too.

    I’m following you via Twitter and tweeted your wish: https://twitter.com/veronicaibarra/status/245559237005152256

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Thank you, Veronica! Glad to have piqued your interest! Good luck!

  4. I have both your books on my too read list!!! Love the post!!! Also Tweeted your message here is the link to my profile
    I don’t know how to do a direct link from twitter but it was 9/11 at 11:44am Utah time! Thanks for this amazing chance to win!

  5. Enjoying your chat! I agree, while I am sure Jane was happily unmarried, I would loved to have seen her married to a great love! Heading to KaraLynne’s blog now! :)

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      We definitely had fun with it–glad you are enjoying it, Jakki!

  6. I really loved the two posts, interesting to see how much writers of JAFF think like the rest of us. :-)

    I have both AUSTENSIBLY ORDINARY and AUSTENTATIOUS on my Goodreads TBR list (Danielle). I also follow you on twitter (DanieGirlASL) and tweeted the message.


  7. I do wish that she had given us a little bit more in certain places, like Darcy’s second proposal. I wonder if her contemporary readers felt that way too, or if it’s just that we’re now so used to being privy to everyone’s private lives?

    I already own Austentatious but I will definitely tweet to Ellen!

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      I think our modern sensibilities definitely influence this way of thinking, Monica. Good point!

      Thanks for tweeting!

  8. Thanks for being a part of AE – You guys are just so talented!!

  9. Sophia Rose

    I don’t really find the lover scenes to be pet peeves because I was just so happy they finally got that far. I do have quite the imagination though so maybe I filled it in without thinking about it. ;D

    • Alyssa Goodnight

      Oh, I hear you, Sophia Rose! I’ll take what I can get! And a good imagination is a very good thing! :)

  10. Patricia Finnegan

    I added it to Good read

    I tweeted (heres link)

    (I cant find your twitter account :(

  11. I guess that I’m in the minority, too. I do like the vagueness of some of the love scenes, it leads to more thought (and discussion!) and keeps the story in my head longer….maybe that’s the goal that JA was shooting for? loved the discussion!

    AUSTENSIBLY ORDINARY has joined AUSTENTATIOUS on my GoodReads TBR list….sorry, I don’t do (or get) the whole Twitter thing.

  12. Patricia Finnegan

    I found your twitter account


  13. Hey there! Your books sound so good! I would love to read them!

    I added both Austentatious and Austensibly Ordinary to my to-read folder on goodreads.
    I also follow you on twitter and I tweeted your dream. My username is xxpaperhearts and below is a link to the sweet.


  14. twitter follower @_eHope

  15. tweeted your dream =)

  16. Added AUSTENSIBLY ORDINARY to my to-be-read shelf on Goodreads.

  17. What do you wish Jane had done differently?
    luved hearing your conversation comments! and agreed with you on wishing for more description of just what those ‘thoughts’ might translate into … =)

  18. I added your book to my Goodreads to-read list. I regret that JA left out so many scenes with the gentlemen — Colonel Brandon’s duel with Willoughby, any details about the Napoleonic wars or military life, and what did Mr Bennet do all day in the library???

  19. I follow on twitter,

    posted on twitter

    To be read on Goodreads

  20. I kinda like that Austen left those parts up to our own imagination. Leaves some room for interpretation and some great Austen adaptation movies!

    Excited to hear about these books; love finding new authors! I follow you on twitter @atticgirl76 and tweeted: https://twitter.com/atticgirl76/status/249911797480570880

  21. Thanks for the insight into your great minds, Alyssa, Lori and KaraLynne. I kind of agree that love scenes are best left to the imagination. We have JAFF writers who would attempt to fill up this void but I hope the love scenes they added are not tasteless.

    Alyssa, looking forward to AO. I already own a copy of Austentatious but have yet to read it.

  22. Chelsea Knestrick

    I added Austensibly Ordinary to my TBR at goodreads & also have Austentatious on my TBR at goodreads.

  23. Michelle Fidler

    I follow on Twitter (MichelleFidler1) and added Austensibly Ordinary to my Goodreads shelf (Michelle Fidler). Yeah, the vague scenes do kind of annoy me.

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.