The Voices of Men in Praise
Of Jane Austen
Messages c. July 19, 2002


Dear Voices,

Julie Grassi lives with her husband and several adult children on Tasmania. (I believe they were originally from Sydney.) When our friend was posting here, she was a nurse supervisor at night and a goatherd by day—she sold the milk to a manufacturer of cheese specialties. She posted here well over 300 times from April 1998 through July 2000. I don't know what she did with her spare time—that time when she wasn't riding her horses.

This is no doubt that Julie was the main feature at this bulletin board during its earliest stages. Julie was extremely well read and articulate—especially articulate when my attitude with regard to the Brontes became apparent. The last we heard of Julie, she was off to the University to earn her degree. You can read all of Julie's posts by linking to this section of the "Names Index".

I will begin my selection of favorite Julie Grassi posts with this list.

Dear Ash,

You are absolutely right about Julie!  What a treasure!  Our time at this board overlapped only a few months, but I do wish it had been longer.  I shall console myself with all the lovely things she wrote in the past.  I wish her well!

Dear Folks,

I want to continue my summary of the postings of Julie Grassi.

Julie lives high on a hill overlooking Hobart, Tasmania. And Julie is a horsewoman, did I mention that?

Tasmania in Winter—The View Overlooking
Julie's Horse Paddock and Down the Hill

Continue on with ...

Dear Ogden Nashton,

What the heck!  Now that we're winding down, why not hold a "Regency Limmericks" contest?  Have you already had one?  Maybe other Voices might be inspired to jump in if I start off (or else they will slap their foreheads and rejoice they don't have to look at my posts any longer!).  So, for example:


I better work on one about Aunt Norris...

Dear unBreequaled,

OK, I'll give it a try.


Phooie!—I am the first to take up your challenge and now I am already in last place!

Dear Lavashton,

Excellent Ogdenesque pieces, I must say!  The eyeball squeezing is a bit gory.  Well, since no one else feels in a limerick mood, I'll struggle on alone.

Dear Ash,

It was great while it lasted, and I mean that sincerely.  Those of us who are clueless on the computer do appreciate all the work you did for us.  You know I can never bear to be outdone in the sillyness department, so here are a few submissions:

And now I must go and scare the carp with my bow and arrow.  This is an exercise in getting exercise...I'd probably die of guilt if I actually hit one.
Cheryl, the Masked Rhymer

From the Meister: I'm getting out of here just in time—this place is going to the doggerels.

Dear Cheryl,

It's great you became "unmasked"!  Loved your rhymes.  Especially about the one I call only "Prozema".  Let's leave her to Noxema.  Or Noxious!

Arf Arf!!!!

Dear Voices,

I wish to continue the excerpts from the postings of Ray Mitchell that I began on 7/9/02.

Next up: Julie Grassi.

Dear Ash,

And you were right.  Ray outdid himself.  I thoroughly enjoyed his walk through the countryside with Jane.  I had to literally sniffle my way through those posts.  I will read her novels again with different eyes.  Thanks, Ray, wherever you are!

I grew up on all that Southern food he talked about.  It sure brings back memories.  It was good, but I eat differently now after studying nutrition and becoming a health nut.

I think within the next year, grabbing a few minutes here and there, I would like to read all the posts—you truly have done many of us a great favor by starting this site.  Quoting Bree, Thank you so much!

Dear Computer CrAshton,

Dear Breefulness,

Gosh, no one ever wrote an epic poem about me before. (A curious oversight, now that you mention it!)

Well, actually, that's not exactly true. Here is a poem that a Harvard student once wrote about me.

Dear Splendor In The GrAshton,

Was the Harvard student a latter day beatnik?  Wow!  Well dear Meister, it is hard to concentrate on that ammonia-blooded Susan Vernon just now.  The loss of our "little bit of ivory" is uppermost in my mind, but I will guess that most beloved JA would say "the pursuit of a balanced life shews some greatness of mind."

I have often wondered how you gave so much time to this website and answered all of our blatherings so quickly, and still had time for a life.  My grandkids are a priority with me also.  At least, since I am fairly new to the site, there is still a whole bunch of stuff to explore for the next year.  I will really try to find something useful to say about Lady Susan, that ---ch, before the 31st.  Alack and AlAshton!!!  (sorry)

Dear Meister, hear those most unwelcome words.  "Our hearts are broken!"  I have lost my composure; now I shall have to go find it.

Dear Linda,

You have contributed so much around here, you should have been given a vote. Your Passionate Passages pages, for example, are among the most popular at this site.

Remember, we have two more weeks—let us not waste them.

I thought about you and remembered that you are the best web researcher I have ever met. That means that you will soon take your comfort in other places, at other sites. You seem on a very personal journey, a journey both emotional and philosophical. And, in that, you are very fortunate.

Dear Ash,

Well, I said I canna write poetry!

Though you may think it was your decision, you shall see there is One who directs our way where all things work together for our good, because as of September I have other duties coming up.  My granddaughter starts kindergarten and it falls to Grandma's lot to homeschool her while the others listen in.  We will be off on our own adventure.  We are in the organizational stage now, doing some gathering of materials.

I seriously doubt that I will participate heavily in any other JA sites because I have some major reorganization of my own to do—my books and papers are in a mess.  Besides, I haven't even mentioned the fact that my genealogy research has been nil since I got my computer three years ago and became a JA obsessive.  So who knows, I might even get around to writing a book.  See what you started!

At the moment I have some hard and fast reading to do because I want to share my latest discovery with you all.  So hang in there.

Dear Linda,

Ye are givin' a bricht, richt imitation o' poetry, Lass!  It sounds like you have some great projects to work on.  Your daughter and son-in-law are lucky.  Please don't forget my e-mail.

Dear Linda,

How about ...

Dear Angela's Ashtons,

I'm SO disappointed at your latest post.  I am sure you have your reasons for shutting down the message board.  But I just discovered this site in January, and I was really relating to it!  I guess we'll all have to go find a life now.  What do you want us to do?  I'm certainly not going to those arrogant snobs at RoP.  I guess all that is left is to THANK you for the many many hours of enjoyable information, literary synopses, opinions, and wonderful other voices we have met.  Life won't be the same...

Dear Bree,

We still have two weeks and let us use that time to continue our thoughts of Lady Susan or Sanditon or The Watsons.

You and I have a tie that can never be broken. The Aggies will likely move to Division I by the end of this year and so you may see them soon competing with UCLA and USC. And, the new performance center opens in a few months and is the talk of the north-central valley. Also, the sleepy country village that you knew has transformed into an actual college town—and looks it!

Dear Ashton,

I am very surprised and sorry to hear that your web site will be closing in a year. Just yesterday I was showing to my two Canadian friends, JA admirers, your site and touring them through it. They were ecstatic and now I have to tell them this sad news. Although I did post only a couple of times, but I would check your site every day, I'll miss it and all the participants' thoughts very, very much. I guess good things don't last that long.
Ana Y.

Dear Ana,

I have been trying to make this move for two years. (The feeling was the same one we get when it is necessary to put a beloved pet to sleep.) My interest and my attachment to this site have only increased over the four and a half years of its existence, but other interests have recently grown even faster. None of those interests have anything to do with literature or the humanities. Also, I am not getting any younger and my family needs more of my attention—my four year old grandson still cannot ride his two-wheeler and his baseball swing is still childish—bad Grandpa!

My deepest regret is that I will lose track of you and all my other friends. I will also regret not being able to express this side of myself any longer. My only consolation will be a return to those other ways to express myself and I will have more time to improve that swing (he swings from the left side.)

I am sorry for a few things. I wish I had been more gracious at times. I have too hard an edge to be a useful bulletin-board meister. I had hoped that this experience would cure that defect; but, instead, the trait only became highlighted at times. There were a number of other things. For example, there was one six month period when the on-line Encyclopedia Britannica linked users to my Mary-Wollstonecraft pages. I was mortified—I have always tried to make clear that I have no credentials and that this was not a professional site; but, I am afraid that my tone sometimes gave the wrong impression. But then, I should not give the negative part of this experience much mention since it is far outweighed by the positive.

I will still be puttering about the site in the coming months. I will be adding to the "What Famous Men Have Said About Jane Austen" pages, and I will complete my page on the Aftermath of Jane Austen's time. When I have completed all that, I will take the site down.

Dear Meister,

I am verklempt!  I can't figure out why whenever I take an interest in something, and find a sympatico website to embarrass myself in, it goes away or loses its source of interest.

In the past five years I became a strong fan of:


Oh, well, there's always D), of course, but without the intelligent illumination and discussion. I have been to the RoP, but find it to be less lively and informative than MVIPOJA.

I tried to search the Life and Times archive to see about the contention that gentlemen always/usually/sometimes rode about with servants tagging along, but cannot seem to frame a search strategy that will get me there.

Maybe when I gain a little strength I will venture a limerick.  Ichabod!

From the Meister; Ge-eez, maybe you are the kiss of death. Or not—I mean think about it from my point of view. I'm exhausted; have you ever tried to match wits with Bree?

Hi There,

Just a quick message from a long term Jane Austen fan (female) to say how much I am enjoying your website. I am on holiday at the moment and have brought P&P with me for a much enjoyed re-read and it has been great to read your comments about the novel mixed in with information about Jane Austen's life.

Excellent stuff.  Hope to read more later.


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