We speak of them as they were
Male Voices in Praise of Jane Austen
|Volume 2, Number 2||February 1, 2003|
Edited by Sophia Sentiment
January was a very busy month, but we managed to survive five family birthday celebrations, including yours truly; and, I might add, a good time was had by all. Speaking of which, we send our best wishes to Ashton (just past) and Cheryl (just ahead) on their birthdays.
They must be reading our mail: Sheryl sings Italian opera and other media events
In recent letters I made prominent mention of Sheryl Crow and Italian opera. I must be prescient. 60 Minutes recently did a segment on Sheryl Crow which was very interesting for reasons other than her excellent appearance. (Which, by the way, has actually improved since she passed her 40th birthday recently—but that is neither here nor there.) Apparently, she was raised in a large, loving family and nurturing environment (remind you of someone?) Also, it turns out that Sheryl Crow was provided an early education in classical music which she demonstrated with a short selection on a piano, but that wasn't the best part. She also has a beautiful and trained soprano voice—I would have guessed alto—and that was demonstrated with a short segment of her singing an operatic duet with Pavarotti on stage—I said Pavarotti. The problem is that the segment lasted only about 15 seconds so I can't be sure, but I think she was brilliant. Pavarotti was OK. I couldn't believe it, that woman has balls.
You might have noticed the film Pandaemonium that is currently being shown on some cable channels. It deals with the relationship between the Jane-Austen contemporaries, William Wordsworth (1770-1850) and Samuel Coleridge (1772-1834). Both men began intellectual life as political radicals before fading into the literary establishment. Coleridge's evolution was less clear, less complete, and was marred by an addiction to opium. Most of the action focuses on Coleridge's composition of Kubla Khan—it was a drug dream. (I don't know why I am always drawn to those damn things, things like Miss American Pie, or Whiter Shade of Pale, or Who Left My Cake Out in the Rain, etc.)
In a few places, the film reminds me of Ken Russel's film Gothic, dealing with the Byron-Shelley menage. I am reminded because of some overly done, silly melodrama. (Pandaemonium is the far better film of the two.) But, there are other, more positive similarities. Both films likely tell us something of the intellectual-political climate in our Lady's time, and both films are blessed with an outstanding performance by a fine actress. In Pandaemonium, the outstanding performance is that of Samantha Morton. That is no surprise because the woman is always outstanding.
You might remember Samantha Morton as "Harriet Smith" in Emma-A&E. Harriet Smith is usually played as a clumsy half-wit, but Morton played her as naive—also, as pretty and bright enough. Her interpretation makes far more sense because her character's underlying sweetness and good nature makes Emma's interest in her far more plausible than in the standard portrayal. Apparently others agree with me because she is outdistancing all competitors in the balloting for the "Emma All-Star Team". Either the electorate agrees with me or it thinks her a hottie (actually, I also think of her as a hottie). Another explanation is that Toni Collette and Debbie Bowen might be splitting the votes of those who support the interpretation of the character as a dingbat.
Finally, I should call attention to a recent Masterpiece Theatre presentation of Mrs. Gaskell's Wives and Daughters. (Actually, that appeared on BBC-America about a year ago—I have no idea when it appeared in Britain.) Sue Birtwistle is the producer and Andrew Davies the screenwriter. We are already indebted to that team for P&P-A&E and Emma-A&E. Another instance of genius was displayed in the planning for Ws&Ds when they contracted with Justine Waddell to star in the main role of Molly Gibson. Waddell was as brilliant as ever—she breaks my heart wherever she appears. (How can we forgive Rozema for casting Justine Waddell in the minor role of Julia Bertram when she would have been an absolutely perfect Fanny Price?) The cast is quite good and the cinematography is excellent.
Mrs. Gaskell (1810-1865) is a well-known biographer of Charlotte Bronte as well as a social critic much concerned about the growing difficulties suffered by workers in the new-fangled industrial revolution of her time. Ws&Ds may also give us some indication that she was a Jane-Austen wannabe. You will discover many obvious Jane-Austen plot lines and characterizations in that mini-series. However, Mrs. Gaskell was no Jane Austen.
Did Mrs. Gaskell confuse Jane Austen's time with the Victorian?
Jane Austen's nieces had aspirations to become novelists and our Lady advised them about the art of writing in very explicit terms. She was severe in her admonition that an author risked blunder if she tried to write about unfamiliar times and cultures. I wonder if Mrs. Gaskell's Wives and Daughters isn't a case in point. Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell (1810-1865) set that novel, published in serial form in 1864-6, in Jane Austen's time (1775-1817). While watching the Masterpiece Theater production (mentioned above), I thought I might have detected an error.
Here it is. A crucial plot point is an inadvertent scandal involving that sweetest of heroines, Molly Gibson. Molly meets with a man and tries to stop his unwanted, determined attentions to her step-sister. Molly is observed by others in a private conversations with the man in a park and then in a dry-goods store. Bad girl!—an unmarried woman meeting with an unrelated man in private?!—or so Mrs. Gaskell seems to think. That's it, but it is enough to make Molly a social pariah whom the other women in the community choose to shun, and enough to shock and discourage her otherwise loving father.
Well, that might make sense in Mrs. Gaskell's own Victorian milieu, but does it apply to Jane Austen's earlier times? I don't think so, and I base my judgement on an examination of our Lady's novels. Elizabeth Bennet is more than pleased to accept Colonel Fitzwilliam's offer of a private tete-a-tete and unescorted walk in the park at Rosings. Earlier in the novel, she was entertained by Wickham in exactly the same way on several occasions at Longbourn. Elizabeth is not bothered by two visits from Darcy while alone in the parsonage at Hunsford, and then accepts another such visit from him in the inn at Lambton. Emma meets and converses with Frank Churchill in a store as does Harriet Smith with Mr. Martin. Catherine Morland hops into John Thorpe's carriage and rides off alone with him into the sunset!—and so on, and so on. Lydia Bennet sacks out with Wickham but is restored to respectability after she marries the guy, and everyone seems to understand that that will be the case when Darcy uncovers the whereabouts of the couple.
The only thing resembling Mrs. Gaskell's idea of things is the stir caused by Marianne Dashwood cavorting about the countryside with Willoughby, but even that isn't a scandal, it merely raises some eyebrows. (If you think about the circumstances, the same behavior might raise some eyebrows even today.)
No, Jane Austen's times were not the Victorian.
A modest proposal
When Jane Austen's older brothers, James and Henry, were at Oxford, they published a student literary-magazine for a short time. It is believed by some that they might have allowed their fourteen year old sister, Jane, to publish there under the pseudonym "Sophia Sentiment". The name of their short-lived attempt was The Loiterer. Its motto was "speak of us as we are". I suggest we change the name of our Newsletter toThe Loiterer—Speak of us as we are
A Male Voices Newsletter
In Praise of Jane Austen
Perhaps our co-editors might consider editing under the single pseudonym, "Sophia Sentiment". Check that—that's silly—it would be ludicrous to operate any part of a public web site with a pseudonym drawn from Jane Austen's biography.
Jane Austen and the dank hole of exploitation
In the last Newsletter, our Yoda-like editor provided us a link to an interview with Gideon Polya, a professor of biochemistry. Professor Polya provides us there with a bit of nonsense, a discussion of his book, Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. My comments today are intended as a celebration of his nonsense.
Polya explains his title:
"... My book is entitled, 'Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History and sub-titled, 'Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability'. I describe this whitewashing of history as 'Austenising' after Jane Austen, whose exquisite novels were utterly free of the ugly social realities of her time. Some of Jane Austen's siblings and other connections, were involved in the rape of India. Of major note was Warren Hastings, the first Governor-General of India, who ferociously taxed famine-devastated Bengal and was eventually impeached and tried but ultimately acquitted for his manifold abuses in India. Warren Hastings almost certainly seduced Jane Austen's aunt, Philadelphia Hancock. This adultery gave rise to Jane Austen's lively cousin Eliza who is an evident model for the more advanced women of Jane Austen's novels. While much of the huge academic Jane Austen industry has ignored (or 'Austenised') such interesting aspects of the lives of Jane Austen's relatives, Jane Austen herself was much more forthcoming; thus to the initiated, 'Sense and Sensibility', the most Indian of her novels, includes a very detailed and barely disguised account of the Warren Hastings Scandal."
"While it was legitimate for Jane Austen, the artist, to render her exquisite novels free of the contemporary awfulness in which her connections participated, the continuing 'Austenising' of British history is a holocaust-denying outrage that threatens humanity. ..."
Let me demonstrate just what a mare's nest this man has concocted. Think about Shakespeare. Shakespeare lived during the time of the Tudors, a time when Henry VIII committed far more murders among the aristocracy than among discarded wives. Henry used the apparatus of the state's legal system to eliminate possible rivals, members of his entourage who would not cater to his whims, or persons whose jib simply was not cut in the manner Hank preferred. He killed dozens in this way. (And we think that Nixon was bad!) That was nothing compared to the religious holocausts unleashed by Elizabeth I's Catholic sister and then by the Protestant Virgin herself. All this says nothing about Henry's silly war inflicted on the French and countless other Tudor missteps. And yet, not one peep out of that Tudor contemporary, William Shakespeare, about any of this. I suppose that I might say that, "The continuing 'shakespeare-ising' of British history is a holocaust-denying outrage that threatens humanity." Or, maybe not, maybe I will be a better person—a more thoughtful person.
The simple truth is that some of us are even more interested in the enduring qualities of humans and humanity than in current events. That is why we study Shakespeare and Jane Austen—Jane Austen, the "prose Shakespeare".
What is Polya really doing here? Well, he is putting Jane Austen's name in the title of his book at a time when our Lady is undergoing one of her periods of extreme popularity. The good professor is exploiting her name in order to call attention to himself and his thesis. His crime might not be as severe as Patricia Rozema's because it is more transparent and silly appearing. The irony is that the two exploitations are performed at opposite ends of the exploitation spectrum. These "initiated"—as Polya puts it—take opposite views: Polya claims that Jane Austen ignores history while Rozema insists that, properly deciphered, Jane Austen takes Rozema's sense of history. Obviously, Polya and Rozema were not "initiated" in the same building.
I make the counter offer—I suggest that "Polya-ising" should be another name for exploiting the names or works of the authors of the classics.
But Polya's exploitations don't end there, he also exploits the feelings inspired in us all by the evocative term "holocaust". He accuses the British of numerous such acts in Bengal and of covering up the same by "lying by omission". ("Lying by omission"—now there is a phrase that says a great deal about a writer.) He is referring to several famines in that Indian state and he explains the British acts of genocide in this way.
"... The causes of the famine are complex, but ultimately when the price of rice rose above the ability of landless rural poor to pay and in the absence of humane, concerned government, millions simply starved to death or otherwise died of starvation-related causes. Although there was plenty of food potentially available, the price of rice rose through 'market forces', driven by a number of factors including: the cessation of imports from Japanese-occupied Burma, a dramatic wartime decline in other requisite grain imports into India, compounded by the deliberate strategic slashing of Allied Indian Ocean shipping; heavy-handed government action in seizing Bengali rice stocks in sensitive areas; the seizure of boats critically required for food acquisition and rice distribution; and finally the 'divide and rule' policy of giving the various Indian provinces control over their own food stocks. Critically, cashed-up, wartime, industrial, Calcutta could pay for rice and sucked food out of a starving, food-producing countryside."
"Ultimately, millions of Bengalis died because their British rulers didn't give a damn and had other strategic imperatives. ..."
Now, I should point out that Polya's "holocaust" occurred in 1942-3 when the British were engaged in a little something called World War II. And that at a time when they were having some difficulty feeding themselves. Perhaps the British can be criticized for indifference or incompetence or insensitivity because that is all that Polya's charges imply, but it makes my blood boil to see the real holocaust trivialized in this way, simply so that Polya can call attention to himself.
Here were the mechanisms of the real holocaust. The Germans and their continental collaborators engaged in a systematic identification, relentless detection, and merciless arrest of their victims. They then invented and put into practice massive transportation, incarceration, and execution systems and then a slave-labor network as well. All this required the dedication of large cadres of engineers, administrators, accountants, clerical staff, and military personnel for security and discipline. Think about the industrial workers meeting their quotas at the execution chambers and at the furnaces. Think of the budgetary controls and the accounting problems. Etc. None of that can be characterized as indifference or incompetence; in fact, it was an effort of great, enduring, passionate hatred and a demonstration of the highest technical and organizational competence. That is what the real holocaust was like and that is why it was so horrific—what makes it so difficult to even comprehend. Perhaps Polya himself cannot comprehend it. But, if his comprehension is so meager, what value can we assign to his understanding, what faith is inspired in his statistics?
Personally, I think there is nothing wrong with a biochemistry professor holding forth on history and politics; in fact, I would like to see more rather than fewer violations of academic boundaries. However, Polya must have been self-conscious about his credentials because he begins his interview with a banal diatribe on the scientific method and a condescending admonition to historians to be more conscious of objective facts. The result is unintentionally hilarious.
I think the answer to the German composers' unpopularity can be found in George III's court. It was full of Germans instead of English. I can't help but notice that any British government's popularity with the upper classes always seems to ride on who's getting the most QUANGOs. QUANGOs of course, come with expense accounts and small annual salaries. This is the modern equivalent of Wickham's "place at court." Certainly in Jane Austen's time, only the relatively rich had the leisure to listen to the sort of music we think of as "classical."
You're comment on the popularity of Italian composers takes us straight to that classic American Yankee Doodle who "stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni!" All things Italian were popular on both sides of the "pond" I guess.
There's been some modern revising that claims the "Black Hole of Calcutta" incident never happened. They've done studies, you see, on the room in which the atrocity was supposed to have taken place and found that you couldn't possibly have fit that number of people in the room. This is possible, of course but one of the survivors' accounts states pretty clearly that by time he was shoved into the room, there was already a layer of dead men on the floor. Memory is highly subjective and the account (in Eyewitnesses to History) doesn't say when it was written—2 days or 30 years later so I don't suppose there's any way to know. It's been some time since I read Following The Equator but I'm wondering if it follows the typical Twain arc: Loves wherever he's at for about 3 days, then things start to go down hill. It's very funny to read, side by side, his accounts of Italy from The Innocents Abroad and A Tramp Abroad. In one he reviles everything Italian, especially the people; and in the other he defends them stoutly from accusations of dishonesty.
I was at the (horrors! to admit it) Barnes and Noble today and saw a silly little book called Pride and Prurience which claims to be the lost erotica of Jane Austen. A quick glance brought guilty chuckles—the first entry involved Miss Bingley, Mrs. Hurst, Jane Bennet and the skillful use of an er, um, "aide". It looks like (relatively) innocent fun and I was wondering whether anyone else had heard anything about it. I'm sure the "tweed brigade" will be up in arms about it—a selling point if there ever was one.
News Items—Dear Voices
I hope everyone's New Year has gotten off to a bright start. We've been in our spring weather pattern all month: fog, wind, rain, fog, wind, snow, fog, wind, whatever you call it when the fog precipitates out, fog & wind; and more fog. I suppose May will be snowy to make up for it. I've been trying to learn the mysteries of our new digital camera, with middling success. On the other hand, I hope we'll be too busy catching fish on our vacation to worry about some of its more esoteric features.
I don't know if anyone saw, but Claire Tomalin won a Whitbread award for her new biography of Pepys.
The Field magazine
Our Dear Jane crops up in strange ways. In November, my husband bought a copy of a magazine called The Field for the cover story Shooting Frenchmen. Disappointingly, "Frenchmen" is British slang for a particular species of partridge, but the magazine itself is a fascinating look at the country squire life as it exists today, which by all appearances, hasn't changed much since the days of Mr. Darcy and Colonel Brandon. It's full of interesting little tidbits such as the Christmas party contest Soviet-bloc ambassadors used to hold to see whose dog could find the most electronic bugs on the embassy grounds within a set period of time. And how to be a good guest: arrive on time; don't shoot your host's servants, dogs, or wife; don't hog all the good shots or the best liquor. Wise words for any social situation.
January marks the 150th anniversary of the magazine and a facsimile edition of the first The Field was included. The back page is devoted to ads from booksellers and I'm pleased to report that all of Jane's work remained bestsellers in 1853. Other prominent "Standard Novels and Romances" are by Cooper, Miss J. Porter, Godwin, Marryat, Bulwer, and Mrs. Trollope. Other ads on the page are for books devoted mostly to agriculture plus a few "coffee table" albums.
A great ad on the first page reads:MONEY TO ANY AMOUNT IMMEDIATELY ADVANCED.
Noblemen; Gentlemen of landed property, heirs to entailed estates, officers on full pay, and gentlemen holding public appointments, can be accommodated on their personal security. SUMS OF MONEY ready to be ADVANCED on securities of every kind. References of the highest respectability given if required. Address, by letter in the first instance, to B.B., No. 5 Cecil Street, Strand."
Can you any way in which we might possibly retrench?!!
The modern magazine's classified ads tend toward private hunts, horses and dogs for sale; no prices. But to give you an idea, probably a quarter of the shotguns listed for sale are priced at over 40,000£. I don't want to hear about decadent Americans any more
I've read a handful of essays in Erik Durschmied's The Hinge Factor: How Chance And Stupidity Have Changed History. He titles his account of the battle of Waterloo A Fistful of Nails. The "hinge" is that the French cavalry, after making its daring charge into the guns, failed to spike them. In Durschmied's somewhat over-tidy world the loss of these guns would have forced Wellington to withdraw. To my mind that's rather like saying "Had the Persian army found an alternate route through the pass, the 300 Spartans would have been forced to surrender." Yeah, right.
Durschmied does his best to absolve Napoleon of responsibility for the defeat, blaming Ney and Grouchy for failing to follow orders. With 20/20 hindsight the author goes so far as to put thoughts into Wellington's head; having him call Grouchy a fool for taking the British Army's feint seriously. Never mind that Wellington would never have committed thousands of men to a maneuver that had no chance of success. Durschmied also ignores basic military principles: a feint's success or failure doesn't necessarily rest on its "believability" but on the possible consequences of ignoring it.
But why, if the battle hinged on the French Army's lack of nails to disable the British guns, does Durschmied need a scapegoat? Because Ney's cavalry did have the nails and, according to the author, a full hour to use them. Although the cavalry charge was shot to pieces by the guns, enough horsemen won through to push the gunners from their pieces and into the protection of the square (rather oddly Durschmied calls the British Square obsolete despite the fact that it won not only the battle of Waterloo, but had conquered over a quarter of the globe before the end of the 19th century.) The guns were left unprotected for an hour while the French cavalry attacked the square without success. Ney, who led the charge, apparently failed to give the order for his infantry to advance and Napoleon, watching from his vantage point also failed to do so.
Or was the infantry deliberately withheld for some reason?
Durschmied's analysis doesn't give us any clues, and is of course, weighted to his own conclusions. What seems clear to me though, is that while one failure might be reasonably be placed on Napoleon's commanders, we're asked to believe that an entire series of failures occurring over two days were entirely out of Napoleon's control. Failure to issue explicit orders and to ensure those orders are understood as always the failure of the person giving the order. Failure to ensure one's subordinates understand their objective is also the failure of the person giving the order. Perhaps the "hinge factor" was that time had passed Napoleon by; that during his exile his tactics and strategies had been studied, embraced, and rendered obsolete. More likely, there was no specific hinge and the French forces simply found themselves out generaled on all levels.
Part of the problem with trying to analyze Waterloo is that I don't know much about it and Durschmied is, to put it kindly, a poor scholar; possibly even dishonest. In the essay on Antietam for instance he gets the name of one of the principles wrong ("Summer" instead of Sumner), mistakes the end of the Civil war by 7 months; and simply makes up a very serious event: that Lee was wounded during the battle and had to be carried from the field. Reviewers have pointed out other factual errors in essays about WW II North African battles, among others. Another major nuts-and-bolts problem with the book is Durschmied's poor command of English. He mistakes "Byzantine" for "Byzantium"; "hollow" for "hallowed" (rather amusingly: he speaks of the "hollow ground of Old Virginia") "precipitated" for "precipitate" and "nourished" for "&." well I haven't figured that one out yet. There's no editorial credit listed and it shows.
There are some what might be called "philosophical" problems as well. He makes the always fatal error of assuming those participating in various battles knew precisely what was going on or that they should have, and takes a corresponding patronizing tone. Dozens of books have been written about Waterloo with another one coming out ever few years and it's insulting both to the reader and the participants of the battle to think they somehow had access to aerial maps, regimental histories and a safe warm office in which to second guess each decision. Even worse, Durschmied seems to believe that the men he writes about knew their decisions/actions were wrong ("wrong" being defined as not as enlightened as the author's) but pursued them anyway.
Durschmied also lets his politics run away with him sometimes. After 300+ pages of obvious contempt for generals/governments that, to his mind, needlessly wasted lives by failing to embrace (or anticipate) new technologies, strategies, or daring thinking, in his analysis of the Gulf War he does a 180° turn and treats the coalition's low number of casualties, which he credits to technological superiority and excellent lateral thinking, as somehow immoral. He seems to feel that the Iraqi ground troops should have been given (there are no other words for it) a "sporting chance" to kill some Americans. And that, having destroyed the Iraqi Army's communications in the first six hours of the air war, further action against that army was wrong. (Unfortunately, that army was still able to launch missiles, torture and murder thousands of Kuwaiti citizens and loot or destroy hundreds of millions of dollars worth of property, so that argument falls down somewhat.)
Overall, The Hinge Factor suffers from the author's limitations as a scholar and writer. And for someone who claims as a combat journalist to have witnessed more battles than any officer currently serving in the military, Durschmied's ignorance of basic military concepts like chain of command is inexcusable. As a reader, I got the feeling that he believes actually learning such mundane facts would somehow be beneath his dignity. And unfortunately, although the majority of the essays are interesting and some at least appear incisive; his facts are too suspect for the reader to depend on his analyses. The "what if"s that appear at the end of each essay also detract from the book: they are invariable glib and simplistic; more suited to Jr. High creative writing class than serious history.
My own recommendation is that you skip The Hinge Factor. It's not a total waste, but it's a frustratingly poor attempt. You might try the "What If?" series which has real historians asking the hard questions and demonstrating the usefulness of counterfactualism when done properly.
FROM OUR SISTER SOPHIA:
What can I say? I love this book. Ms. Johnson may be academic and possibly pulling the proverbial wool over our eyes, but I am impressed. Ash, you thought that Northanger Abbey was not deep, but after reading the chapter on it, you will think otherwise. Jane was well aware of everything going on around her world. Let me quote one small example:"Given the political ambience of British fiction during the 1790s, it is not surprising that of all Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey, arguably her earliest, should be the most densely packed with topical details of a political character—enclosure, riots, hothouses, pamphlets, and even anti-treason laws authorizing the activities of "voluntary spies"."
Her very next sentence also mentions "the status of promises". NA is fraught with promises made and not kept. I believe it was Godwin who did not see the necessity of keeping one's promise. And on and on. The book is an eye opener, and I have only gotten through Chapter Two.
All of the above leads me to your suggestion of The Loiterer. I love the idea, because it is just the right "Jane Austen" touch! Because I wanted to read the actual issues, I found that a Robert Mack has prepared an annotated book of all of them; but, as Ash so helpfully discovered, unfortunately he has no publisher as yet. It reminds me of the university newspapers of today, in that they probably "told it like it was". I expect to find more truth in them than most novels, etc. about the issues of those times.
I must include this paragraph because the reference to "Mrs. Croft" and "rational creatures" really pulled at my heart strings."The novels of Jane Austen focus on the discourse rather than the representation of politics. Alluding only rarely to actual events outside her famously placid villages, Austen does not, it is true, explicitly invoke the French Revolution; but from the 1790s—the formative years of her career—until the end of her career, she is constantly evoking the tradition of fiction in England to which it gave rise: from Mrs. Percival's admonitions about female virtue and national security in Catharine, or The Bower, to the staging in Mansfield Park of Inchbald's version of Lover's Vows, featuring a woman's proposal of marriage, and finally to Mrs. Croft's untroubled insistence in Persuasion that women are "rational creatures" who can and indeed who must seize the reins lest the carriage overturn. Austen may slacken the desperate tempos employed by her more strenuously politicized counterparts, but she shares their artistic strategies and their commitment to uncovering the ideological underpinnings of cultural myths."
I never gave a second thought to Mrs. Croft's taking of the reins to forestall an overturn, but in their time, it simply was not done—not in novels anyway. The man was always the protector, etc. And on and on.
Talking to Jane Austen
Now if you find yourself with some time on your hands (now that's funny), you might like to peruse this site—Talking to Jane Austen for fun. I can't vouch for the accuracy or expertness of the opinions, but you might enjoy some of it.
One more item re Claudia Johnson—I found THIS in the Male Voices archive about Johnson's take of Rozema's "Mansfield Park". After reading the first two chapters of her book, I can see where she is coming from, but Rozema still goes way too far.
Please notice our new "look" as Ashton posts this Newsletter at Male Voices. I quite like it and I hope you do too.
This issue of The Loiterer is dedicated to the Crew and their Family members of the Columbia space shuttle lost today, February 1, 2003. We extend our deepest sympathy.
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