I’m posting at Austen Authors again, with words and pictures in tribute to the fall season:
After an exceptional stretch of summery weather, lasting all through September and into October, fall has suddenly arrived in the Pacific Northwest. The days are shorter. Rain and wind have returned. The leaves are turning.
The other day, when I went out for my morning constitutional, I had multicolored maple leaves crunching underfoot and the occasional spider web hitting me in my face. I also took a plastic bag along with me, into which I hoped to collect enough blackberries to make a small cobbler – the last of the season.
Even though my outing was on foot, not horseback, it made me think of an excerpt from my second Austen-inspired novel, For Myself Alone:
John and I embark upon our ride shortly after noon, I on Viola and he on an ancient gelding called Max. The plan is to make for the glade in order to gather some of the blackberries that grow in the brambles round its fringes. Viola is eager, as am I, to set a brisk pace; Max and John are not so well able to follow suit. So the refreshing gallop I had hoped for must come in fits and starts. I race off for a stretch and then wait for John to catch me up. Still and all, the cool air and the beauty of the wood, both tinged with the first hints of autumn, do not disappoint.
Then I began wondering what Jane Austen had written about this season. As you know, she’s not prone to using long, flowery descriptions. And, off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of any specific references to “autumn” in her work. So I did a search. Most of the examples I found simply used the word as a point in time, such as, “since the beginning of our acquaintance with him last autumn…” But I did find a couple lovely passages that do poetic justice to the season… (please continue reading here at Austen Authors for the rest of the story)