I must begin with a confession. I have been known, on occasion, to intentionally overhear conversations. Writers, however, call it research, a perfectly legitimate way to focus on the content and cadence of everyday conversations. Call it eavesdropping if you must, but I have picked up some wonderful bits of dialogue this way. One day in the not too distant past, I heard an interesting phrase in the middle of a stranger’s rant about a philandering boyfriend: “It’s like I’m living in a Jane Austen novel.’’
What struck me is that there was nothing about the drama she was describing in her relationship that even remotely resembled any of Jane Austen’s novels. I took a mental note about how off her perceptions of Jane Austen were. Over the course of the next week, I found myself with a case of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. Suddenly everywhere I turned, people were comparing their lives to living in a Jane Austen novel. Some were spot on while others were a bit of a stretch. I wondered if the idea that one’s life was like an Austen novel was now “a thing.” Apparently it is.
The more I looked, the more I found. I struck gold on Twitter. Below, you’ll find some of the gems I found there. There’s no need to expound on the deliciousness of these tweets. Enjoy them for what they are:
I just tied my hair up in ribbon. Feeling like a character in a Jane Austen novel & also quite destitute of hair bands.
— austinfaye (@a_faye_l) December 16, 2015
If Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton get together, we'll be officially living in a Jane Austen novel.
— angela harvey (@nationsfilm) December 15, 2015
The aim of my handwriting is to have it look like it belongs in a Jane Austen novel Reply with a picture of yours ? pic.twitter.com/lcyB0fOCF8
— Camryn Austin Yule?? (@sheephugs) December 7, 2015
I've found myself in a Jane Austen novel! https://t.co/45AV9axsfk
— Maria (@AnAdventure_) December 5, 2015
(Click through to the Instagram photo and read the comments for a giggle.)
MY BODY IS FALLING APART. I AM SO YOUNG. WHAT IS THIS. If I was in a Jane Austen novel, I would be the sickly one with the weak constitution
— Kate (@margotsmokes) December 2, 2015
I had a "I'm 24, I'm not married and I have no prospects" moment, but then I remembered life isn't a Jane Austen novel and all was chill.
— Becca Lundberg (@becca__lundberg) November 30, 2015
That delightful place between Austen novels and reality.
I can hear the Founders clock chiming and horses whinnying from my bedroomm sorry am I in a Jane Austen novel
— Alice Dodd (@alicesantics_) November 27, 2015
"you act like you're in a Jane Austen novel and you assume everyone should act like that too." 🙁 🙁
— Mia Farraday (@miafarradaily) November 23, 2015
"julie your life is literally pride and prejudice" "…" "the jane austen novel" "…" "you're elizabeth" "OKAY"
— Julie Jimenez (@julieaji_) November 23, 2015
Am gaining a lot of pleasure this afternoon working on my cross-stitch. Channeling my inner Jane Austen. Now to write stunning novel…
— Philippa N Antipas (@AKeenReader) November 22, 2015
I had a meeting out in the wet cold this morning and now I feel like a sick character in a Jane Austen novel
— Leah (@lalapazaza) November 17, 2015
Harry's solo in Olivia makes me feel like a brocade-clad lady in a Jane Austen old classical novel #MadeInTheAM
— Mia (@escapayno) November 12, 2015
Okay, I can’t let this one pass. Jane Austen never actually used the word “brocade” in any of her novels.
I get very excited about stationery. Idk if this means my brain is finally 25, or I'm stuck in a Jane Austen novel as a rule. #stationery
— Charley Reid (@TheIndieWriter) November 3, 2015
you know you're in a Jane Austen novel if no one has a recognizable job except the vicar, and even he rarely seems to be doing it
— Harrison Lemke (@hplemke) October 28, 2015
What is better than written correspondence with a handsome Irish lieutenant? I feel like a character in a novel by Jane Austen
— Dublin J-24 (@truestwisdom) October 27, 2015
Letter from Dad. Apparently my mother lives in a Jane Austen novel. pic.twitter.com/9ksGY4QKei
— susan adsett (@susanadsett) December 9, 2015
Listening to classical music makes me feel like I'm in a movie adaptation of a Jane Austen novel.
— Iman (@imanomaly) December 1, 2015
So there you have it. If you want your life to feel a bit more like a Jane Austen novel (or movie adaptation), tie a ribbon in your hair, play a game of whist, do some needlework, buy some stationery, practice your penmanship, engage in correspondence, go for a walk in the rain, turn on the classical music, speak as they spoke, or become ill. Better yet, be a bit of a hypochondriac and just think you’re ill!
How about you? Do you ever feel as though your life has Austenish elements? I know I sometimes find myself reveling in my daily cup of herbal tea, closing my eyes and picturing cake to go with it. Alas, when I open my eyes, there is no cake.