Monday, 16 December 2013



If the ‘Men in Black’ popped in and zapped Jane Austen and her books out of my brain, it would be like having a large number of friends torn out of my address book, or unfriending me on Facebook. I’ve read her books so many times, her characters are real to me, like friends, relatives, or even annoying workmates or neighbours you can at least laugh at or gossip about. Though she’s very much of her time and class, Austen’s books are populated with people we can recognise in any age. And to lose my knowledge of her language, her use of comedy, beautifully crafted words of wisdom, that would be tragic indeed. For Jane herself is like a friend, who enjoys a goss about the people down the road, sees and enjoys absurdities, and the problems we all face - particularly women. It’s always good to re-read her novels and remember that ‘the past’ wasn’t all tight-laced Victorians, but that before them were the Georgians, lustier, earthier, despite their formal manners: cheeky, demanding, daring, sinful and knowing.
Speaking of which qualities, one consequence of the Austen zapping would be that Lydia Bennet, who is both typically Georgian and a typical modern teenager, wouldn’t have started talking in my head, until I wrote her adventures in my comedy novel LYDIA BENNET’S BLOG which was such fun to write and so many have enjoyed reading on Kindle! So if I see Will Smith or Tommy Lee Jones approaching, sombrely dressed and holding some kind of instrument, I’ll be off, perhaps to hide in Netherfield, Pemberley, Bath, or perhaps Longbourn, while Lydia goes out to both flirt with them and send them packing.

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Austen comedy: LYDIA BENNET'S BLOG

Valerie Laws is an award-winning crime and comedy novelist and a prize-winning poet, playwright and sci-art installation specialist with twelve books published; four of them are also available on Kindle including her comedy inversion of Pride and Prejudice, LYDIA BENNET’S BLOG. She lives on the North East Coast of England, and is world-infamous for ‘Quantum Sheep’, spray-painting poetry onto live sheep to celebrate quantum theory. Her recent work results from working with pathologists, neuroscientists, human specimens and dissections. She performs her poetry and fiction worldwide, live and in the media.

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Mary Jane Hathaway said...

Oh my goodness! I laughed from the very first line! Must go find Lydia's blog now...

Lydia Bennet said...

so pleased,do go and check out Lydia Bennet's blog checkout

Jo's Daughter said...

I too would miss my fictional friends Lizzie & Darcy, Jane & Bingley... Even perhaps Mr Collins for he would provide some entertainment of the quirky type ;)

Lúthien84 said...

You have wisely summed up what I feel will be lacking if I did not know Jane Austen and her novels. I would be lost without her characters that will brighten up my life. Thanks for sharing your opinion on the subject.

Sophia Rose said...

Yes, the characters are like the friends and people who live alongside me in the real world. Thanks!

ColleenL said...

One of the things I've liked about Lydia's character is that is very easily adapts to modern times. She is still very much the stereotypical teen and youngest child.