Jane has heard a great deal of [Ireland’s] beauty; from Mr Dixon, I mean — I do not know that she ever heard about it from any body else; but it was very natural, you know, that he should like to speak of his own place while he was paying his addresses — and as Jane used to be very often walking out with them — for Colonel and Mrs Campbell were very particular about their daughter’s not walking out often with only Mr Dixon, for which I do not at all blame them; of course she heard every thing he might be telling Miss Campbell about his own home in Ireland; and I think she wrote us word that he had shewn them some drawings of the place, views that he had taken himself. He is a most amiable, charming young man, I believe.Jane was quite longing to go to Ireland, from his account of things.” Emma Jane Austen is known for her love of England. In her novels, she praises all aspects of Britain, from its beautiful countryside to its Navy and though little travelled, she patriotically preferred it above any other. In her letters, she censures the traveller who does not long for home, “I hope your letters from abroad are satisfactory. They would not be satisfactory to me, I confess, unless they breathed a strong spirit of regret for not being in England.” Did this partiality to her home country extend to its nearest neighbor, Ireland? (more…)
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