Pop Culture Princess

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Monday, April 01, 2013

An amusing set of Austen April Fools

Happy April Fool's Day,folks and for all of my fellow Jane Austen fans out there,I have a seriously silly treat in store for you today. I thought it would be in the true spirit of Our Dear Jane to highlight some of our favorite foolish characters from her works,those men and women who cannot help but to provide the much needed comedy relief for our leading ladies and gentlemen.

Not all of these supremely silly people are welcome guests,to be sure,yet their company is not entirely without some entertaining merit as well as unintentional mirth:

MR.COLLINS: No discussion on this subject would be complete without this obnoxious clerical cousin from Pride & Prejudice,as he would no doubt be flattering himself to hear.

Mr. Collins and his smarmy air of allegedly humble but always pompous manner is only truly appreciated by Lady Catherine,who loves to be useful and as an object worthy of his fumbling fawning ways, she serves his purpose in life quite adequately. To the rest of the world,including his much put upon wife Charlotte,Mr. Collins is a dubious dish best taken in small doses:

MRS. ELTON: Some might consider another resident of Highbury to be worthy of this category but as it was pointed out to Emma,doing so to Miss Bates is far too cruel a cut. No,instead it is the bride of the presumptuous parson who deserves such an honor,what with her pushy ways and references to her "caro spouso" there.

Her dogged determination to be seen as the sought after source of social engagement despite her newcomer status is rather irksome,not to mention her patronizing airs towards "poor" Jane Fairfax, a punishment that even Miss Woodhouse would wish upon her unknowing rival. Of course,the real punishment is all Mr. Elton's,for not taking the suggestion of a far more agreeable wife from the previous object of his(financial)affections.

MR. PALMER: At first glance,it would appear that Mrs. Palmer is decidedly the less sensible member of this power couple but as anyone with sense can see, Mr. Palmer makes every situation with her worse by his publicly marked disapproval.

 His disdain for his lady's high spirits and tendency to chatter away at the most inconvenient and awkward moments does put Mr. Palmer's sullen moods in balance,so to speak. Not to mention that they prove his mother-in-law's jolly conclusions to be correct as at that time of period,marriage was a no deposit,no return state of affairs:

MRS. ALLEN: This good natured yet giddy guardian of Catherine Morland's has the knack of helping her young charge make friends in Bath,only not all of them are the kind worth having.

However,one can rely on her keen fashion sense which is more reliable.While it is true that those skills are best employed by Mrs. Allen when in town at the finer shops for the best bargains,she does have a bit of sense regarding Mr. Tilney's acquaintance with Catherine.

 And she is proven right in the end. Trusting a man who knows his muslin( and who can pick out the proper fabric for his sister's gowns as well) is the right method for finding a man to trust with your heart. Wisdom can crop up in oddest places,so it would seem.

I hope you all enjoy the April Fool's pranks of the day and take a little time to delight in the amusements that Jane Austen has provided us all with these many years. As she might say,do not be too harsh upon our less sensible friends and relations,for they have tender feelings too. However,it is not so harmful to take a little delight in vexing them every now and then,as Mr. and Mrs. Bennet give daily proof of to their loved ones:

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