". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Monday, January 20, 2014

Jane Austen Is American-Free: Louisa Catherine Adams

Am I correct in thinking there are no Americans, not a single one, in the Austen canon?

LCA as First Lady
This came to mind as I continue to look at Louisa Catherine Adams, who could have been a character right out of a Jane Austen novel, at least until her marriage. In the much the same era, LCA was brought up like the marriageable young ladies in Austen's novels, and certainly with the same terrifying knowledge that it was marriage and probably nothing else for them, if they wished any sort of adult identity and respect.  She was much the same rank as many of them. Her education could have been that of Emma, but LCA seems to have been actually more talented and better read.  It was never determined whether Emma could speak French but my guess is that she couldn't -- at least beyond the most rudimentary school girl's French.

LCA is older than the average Austen young lady, though, born as she was in 1775, into the first great revolutionary wave, that of the North American British colonies, even though her Maryland father had already immigrated long before that to England.  The great revolution for Austen's ladies was the French one.  But surely the War of 1812 must have effected some members of some of their families?

However, such thoughts may well be goofy,  provoked by the goofy pills for my broken elbow.  I toughed it out today, taking none at all between midnight and 6 PM tonight; now I'm deeply aware of my interior, which is riding the gentle ocean swells of relief, up and down, and all floaty-like.

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