03 December 2010

Jane Austen & Twitter

I decided to re-read one of my all time favorite Jane Austen books - Emma.

In the story the Woodhouses are the genteel family in the neighborhood and leave Emma desiring appropriate company on numerous occasions. One family that is available to her is the Bateses, an older lady and her niece.

Consider the dialogue below, from the younger Miss Bates, upon sharing news of the marriage between Mr. Elton and Miss Hawkins.

"But where could you hear it?" cried Miss Bates. "Where could you possibly hear it, Mr. Knightley? For it is not five minutes since I received Mrs. Cole's note—no, it cannot be more than five—or at least ten—for I had got my bonnet and spencer on, just ready to come out—I was only gone down to speak to Patty again about the pork—Jane was standing in the passage—were not you, Jane?—for my mother was so afraid that we had not any salting-pan large enough. So I said I would go down and see, and Jane said, 'Shall I go down instead? for I think you have a little cold, and Patty has been washing the kitchen.'—'Oh! my dear,' said I—well, and just then came the note. A Miss Hawkins—that's all I know. A Miss Hawkins of Bath. But, Mr. Knightley, how could you possibly have heard it? for the very moment Mr. Cole told Mrs. Cole of it, she sat down and wrote to me. A Miss Hawkins—"

It is too tempting to break the whole monologue into a twitter stream:

--Got a note from @mrsCole. Just put on bonnet and spencer. Patty will have to wait.

--@Patty - I know Mother wants to know about the salting pan, but she must wait. @mrsCole sent a note!!!

--@Jane, don't run down the steps. I'll do it - your cold is too bad. @patty was washing the kitchen.

--@Knightley - how ever did you hear about @Elton news already?

--@mrsCole did you tell @Knightley about the @Elton news already?

Etc. Etc. Jane would have loved Twitter.


Bethany K. Warner said...

Too funny! I wonder when somebody's going to write a whole novel in tweets? Lauren Myracle did the books all in chat conversations(ttyl, l8rg8r), but surely somebody's working on a twitter novel...

Bethany K. Warner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacie Penney said...

I could have kept going too! It was fun :)