With only twenty-three shopping days left until my birthday, I thought I would just make the world aware that the (quite beautiful) turquoise and gold ring which belonged to Jane Austen is going up for auction at Sotheby’s (guide price between 20 and 30 thousand pounds). Upon discovering this last Friday, I did the natural thing: I called my mother to tell her about it.
Seeing this ring and reading about it reminded me of something that Barbara Pym is quoted as saying, after a visit to Jane Austen’s family home.
I put my hand down on Jane’s desk and bring it up covered with dust. Oh that some of her genius might rub off on me! One would have imagined the devoted female custodian going round with her duster at least every other day.
And also Harper Lee:
…in other words, all I want to be is the Jane Austen of South Alabama…
In lieu of the real thing, plagued as I am with inherited ancestral practicality, exact reproductions would be perfectly acceptable to me, just in case anyone was wondering.