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A ‘guest post’ from the evergreen Miss Austen

March 4, 2014

Well, who would have thought that Jane Austen would have written my Tuesday Tree post for me? We think of her as foremost a commentator on society; yet the more I re-read her, the more I appreciate her acute observations on all aspects of life. I never expected, however, to discover that she has something to say even about conifers.

This quotation comes from Mansfield Park, chapter 22, courtesy of Talk Like Jane Austen Day.

‘ “The evergreen! How beautiful, how welcome, how wonderful the evergreen! When one thinks of it, how astonishing a variety of nature! In some countries we know the tree that sheds its leaf is the variety, but that does not make it less amazing that the same soil and the same sun should nurture plants differing in the first rule and law of their existence. You will think me rhapsodising; but when I am out of doors, especially when I am sitting out of doors, I am very apt to get into this sort of wondering strain. One cannot fix one’s eyes on the commonest natural production without finding food for a rambling fancy.” ‘

Rambling fancies on common natural productions pretty well sums up Dancing Beastie. Good old Jane.


Douglas firs at Castle Beastie

Douglas firs at Castle Beastie


In illustration of Jane Austen’s point, you might enjoy Autumn under the Douglas firs.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2014 10:52 am

    I really must show that to DH, who is a great lover of evergreens. 🙂 Thanks for the link to the FB page. I’m not on FB, but can read that and it’s super.

  2. March 6, 2014 10:12 am

    That quote is a lovely find! I imagine that it’s Fanny who is saying it, but I shall go and look! A very true observation, and I totally agree. I also admire Jane Austen’s turn of phrase, so effortless, so elegant!

    • March 8, 2014 11:44 pm

      I must go and look too: must confess that ‘Mansfield Park’ is the one I know least. But yes, doesn’t JA make writing look effortless! Particularly amazing when you see the tiny round occasional table at which she wrote.

  3. March 6, 2014 3:58 pm

    A lovely rambling quote that really expresses being in the woods. (All our oaks are quickly shedding leaves now and putting on new ones here…probably seems odd for some that we do a lot of leaf raking this time of year – good excuse to leave the house and get outside)

    • March 8, 2014 11:46 pm

      Leaf raking is a very satisfying job (as long as the wind doesn’t get up!). I can’t imagine oaks both shedding and growing at the same time, although I saw other species of trees doing that all year round in Singapore, where I lived as a child. All the seasons at once.

  4. March 8, 2014 5:35 pm

    Beautiful photo and a lovely quote summing up the wonder of the variety of nature!

    • March 8, 2014 11:47 pm

      Thank you – and I’m glad that you, too, enjoyed Jane Austen’s take on the natural world.

  5. March 13, 2014 8:12 am

    I heart Jane Austin! Great image!

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