Austenprose on Twitter

Costume Parisien (1817)“Give a loose to your fancy, indulge your imagination in every possible flight which the subject will afford” Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 60 

Thanks to my co-blogger and technology savvy friend Vic of Jane Austen Today, I have signed up on Twitter as Austenprose. This could be addictive! I will endeavour to Tweet on Austen tidbits, quotes, news on Austen-esque books and anything a true Janeite might find ironic or enlightening in today’s world from Jane’s perspective. 

So, what would Jane Austen think of this form of instant communication? Since she was a devoted letter writer, I think that she would love it, and be addicted too.  Ain’t technology grand? 

Join Vic and I and Tweet about Jane! 

Cheers, Laurel Ann

8 thoughts on “Austenprose on Twitter

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  1. I am already benefiting from Twitter! Eliza_Bennet herself has corrected my quote above mentioning that I omitted REIN. “give a loose rein to your fancy

    Interesting. It is difficult to challenge the person who actually spoke the line, but according to Miss Austen in her first and second edition of Pride and Prejudice (1813), REIN is not included. My modern edition of Pride and Prejudice published by Oxford Univeristy Press (1923) based on collation of the early editions by R. W. Chapman does not include REIN in the text either. Editions that do include it are posted at Project Gutenberg. Could this be a modern addition to the text?

    If anone knows, I would be happy to be enlightened. The sentence as Austen wrote it, “give a loose to your fancy” in today’s vernacular seems off. Maybe a 18th-century language expert could claify it for us!

    Anyway, my thanks to Eliza_Bennet at Twitter for calling it to my attention. It afforded me the excuse to haul out all of my P&P editions and check online to validate my error.


  2. Yes, twitter is addictive and very interesting. As for quotes from P&P, I normally use the online version by Gutenberg. So REIN was included in it. I checked my Crown Publishers’ JA complete novels, the word was included in it as well. But it’s interesting to see who put that word in for the later editions.

    Steamy Darcy


  3. Hello again Laurel Ann,

    I have checked as well several of my P&P editions [I am quite the crazed collector you must know…] and find as you do that Chapman follows Austen’s text of “give a loose to your fancy” as do all the works that use this as their source: a few examples: Heritage Press [1940]; Folio Society [1957]; Franklin Library [1980]. The following use “loose rein”: Pantheon [no date] edition that says “loose rein” though the editor cites Chapman as his source; a Modern Library edition of 1950 [and also the ML edition of all 6 novels]; 1995 Anna Quindlen editor – there are more but i see no real pattern other than as you say the word was put in at some point for clarification [likely an American edition] – the Annotated P&P [which cites and follows Chapman] gives a note for “loose” = “give full vent”. I do not have the Cambridge edition [woe is me] but should look at that for a footnote. Interesting point here and again brings to the fore the issue of how long conversations can be engaged in on the mere placement [or addition] of a word. [Claudia Johnson gave a fabulous talk at the last AGM on the placement of comma in MP and how it changed the whole meaning of the sentence]… yikes! Thanks for bringing up this excellent quote – though here referring to Twitter and all its possibilities, where in the original Elizabeth is referring to Darcy and her being engaged.
    Deb [who must now reshelve a few of her P&Ps…]


    1. Deb, you amaze me! Thanks for answering my question so thoroughly! Oh my. You do have a few editions to compare. It is interesting how these little changes slip in to the original text. Not quite sure why or when it was added, but there is a nice research paper for you on how the language in literary classics evolve. You mention a comma being added that changes the meaning of a sentence. If Claudia Johnson is intrigued by comma, I am sure the addition of REIN in the sentence would light her hair on fire.


      Thanks again for your excellent scholarship. You do Jane proud.



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