Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Monday 19 November 2012

Britain in the EU; a matter of Persuasion?

An opinion poll published in the Observer found more than half of British voters (56%) would vote to leave the EU if a referendum was held.
(BBC news)

EU officials have begun work on a plan to create a long-term budget without the UK in a move that reflects mounting frustration that Britain’s demand for a spending freeze cannot be reconciled with the rest of the bloc.

"Oh! Mr. Bennet, you are wanted immediately; we are all in an uproar. You must come and make Lizzy marry Mr. Collins, for she vows she will not have him, and if you do not make haste he will change his mind and not have her."

Mr. Bennet raised his eyes from his book as she entered, and fixed them on her face with a calm unconcern which was not in the least altered by her communication.

"I have not the pleasure of understanding you," said he, when she had finished her speech. "Of what are you talking?"

"Of Mr. Collins and Lizzy. Lizzy declares she will not have Mr. Collins, and Mr. Collins begins to say that he will not have Lizzy."

"And what am I to do on the occasion?—It seems an hopeless business."
(Pride and Prejudice; Jane Austen)


  1. The EU reminds me more of Dotheboys Hall or even Llanabba Abbey, the latter rather later than Jane. The name William Collins I read once came from one of her father's local parishioners. Given that one of my forebears was a clergyman who Jane either knew or knew about Mr. Collins is a slightly worrying character.

  2. The Llanabba analogy is a novel (to me, at least) and thought-provoking one - it entirely captures that slightly surreal edge.

    As for pen-portraits, I do wonder whether Jane Austen's neighbours recognized themselves in her characters.

    I am firmly convinced that Emma's unkind retort to Miss Bates (which always makes my toes curl however often I read it) is not unrelated to some real-life exchange between the sharp-witted Jane and one of her father's flock.



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