Hues of the Sea

The day was uncommonly lovely. It was really March; but it was April in its mild air, brisk soft wind, and bright sun, occasionally clouded for a minute; and everything looked so beautiful under the influence of such a sky…with the ever-varying hues of the sea, now at high water, dancing in its glee and dashing against the ramparts with so fine a sound, produced altogether such a combination of charms for Fanny, as made her gradually almost careless of the circumstances under which she felt them.

Normally, Jane Austen is not big on flowery descriptions. So, when I read this passage in chapter 42 of Mansfield Park, I was a little surprised.  The extravagant imagery hardly sounded like Austen at all. I’m guessing she was inspired to wax poetical by her own experiences at the seaside.

I can’t blame her. I spent this past weekend at the coast (Longbeach, WA), at a writer’s retreat, and I came away inspired as well. The weather wasn’t perfect, but it did clear enough to allow a walk on the beach, where the sun sparkled off the water and the waves indeed seemed to dance with glee.

About Shannon Winslow

author of historical fiction in the tradition of Jane Austen
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1 Response to Hues of the Sea

  1. Pingback: Lyme and Limerick | Shannon Winslow's "Jane Austen Says…"

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