"Knightley!" continued Mrs. Elton; -- "Knightley himself! Was not it lucky? For, not being within when he called the other day, I had never seen him before; and of course, as so particular a friend of Mr. E.'s, I had a great curiosity. 'My friend Knightley' had been so often mentioned, that I was really impatient to see him; and I must do my caro sposo the justice to say that he need not be ashamed of his friend. Knightley is quite the gentleman. I like him very much. Decidedly, I think, a very gentleman-like man." Mrs. Elton, Emma, Chapter 32
Our regular readers of the advice column Mrs. Elton Sez (and of course the community at large) will be interested to read about the origins of author Diana Birchall’s discovery of her affinity to Jane Austen’s character Mrs. Augusta Elton and read about her first adventure writing as the character in the pastiche In Defense of Mrs. Elton which has just been posted online at the JASNA website.
Originally written as an internet serial told on the Janeites online literary list to defend Mrs. E. against some serious bashing, it was an immediate sensation to the Jane Austen community. The Jane Austen Society of America saw its brilliance and paired it with Austen scholar Juliet McMaster’s charming illustrations publishing it as a gift to attendees of the 1999 annual conference in Colorado Springs. In addition to reading In Defense of Mrs. Elton online, readers can own there own copy of it as part of the recently re-released book Mrs. Elton in American: The Compleat Mrs. Elton which includes a trilogy of stories; In Defense of Mrs. Elton, The Courtship of Mrs. Elton and Mrs. Elton in America. Happily, the new edition by Sourcebook has a beautiful new cover and is available at Amazon.com.
Posted by Laurel Ann, Austenprose