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What Jane Austen Means to Me by Becca Hemmings

me-2Why I love Jane
 I love Jane Austen for two contradictory reasons:
  1. Picking up a Jane Austen novel acts as an escape from the modern lifestyle for me.
  2. She is wonderful satirising and celebrating human nature. Her characters and their emotions are timeless and we can recognise and relate to them today.

How Jane has influenced my life
I was first introduced to Jane Austen aged 10 back in 1995 when Andrew Davies’s Pride & Prejudice was on TV. I remember it being on a Sunday, late in the afternoon, and I would watch it with my mam whilst she was ironing. I loved it: the characters, the costumes, the scenery, the humour, the drama and the romance.

From that moment on I was hooked and read all her books. I decided to study English Literature at University, even choosing Bath because it was largely unchanged since the Regency period.

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Jemima Nicholas, Heroine of Fishguard

“This woman was called Jemima Fawr or Jemima the Great from her heroine acts, she having marched against the French who landed hereabout in 1797 and being of such personal powers as to be able to overcome most men in a fight. I recollect her well. She followed the trade of a shoemaker and made me, when a little boy, several pairs of shoes.”

Samuel Fenton, Vicar of Saint Mary’s, 1832

The battle of Fishguard has been memorialized in The Last Invasion Tapestry, the work of more than 70 women, who stitched for over 2 years to complete the project.

Jemima Nicholas (also spelled Niclas; baptised 2nd March 1755– died July 1832), also known as Jemima Fawr, was a Welsh heroine who led the women of Pembrokeshire into battle in what is known as the last invasion of Britain. When the contingent arrived, she reached for a pitchfork and captured 12 French soldiers who were drunk at the time. They surrendered shortly afterwards at the Royal Oak. She died at the age of 82, and a plaque in Fishguard is dedicated to her.
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