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.