June birthday blessings to Harriet Smith, Robert Martin, et al.

June birthday blessings to Harriet Smith, Robert Martin, et al.

Gloria Lavern Collins was born June 12, 1948. Listen to the song. Lyn Collins may be an unfamiliar name to many, but chances are you’ve heard her music. It’s sampling gold.

My little girl turned nine on Wednesday! I can’t believe my baby is so big! She’s becoming quite the book lover, to my immense delight, though she isn’t as interested in the classics as I could wish. She likes fantasy. What’s a Janeite to do? I’m thrilled she loves reading.

It has often been noted that Jane Austen does not make much of birthdays. The only ones she mentions in her novels are that of Harriet Smith and Robert Martin in Emma, with the details provided by Harriet herself:

“He was four-and-twenty the 8th of last June, and my birthday is the 23rd just a fortnight and a day’s difference—which is very odd.” 

No, my dear Harriet, it is not odd in the least. Austen uses this anomalous fixation on birthdays to illustrate Harriet’s simplicity and affections. The dates themselves are entirely inconsequential, unless you happen to be an Austen Author in need of a post topic. Suddenly, it seems very odd, indeed, that Mr. Martin’s birthday should be a mere two days before my daughter’s own, and not even a full fortnight from Miss Smith’s! What a convenient coincidence!

I can feel Miss Austen rolling her eyes at me from beyond the grave.

Sonia Monzano (aka Maria from Sesame Street), born June 12, 1950.

What is uncontrovertibly is the fact that my daughter thinks her birthday extremely consequential, and as her mother, I cannot help but share that sentiment. So forgive me for harnessing this forum to revel a bit.

In our modern times, it’s all too easy to look up all the many famous people born on/in any day/month. What significance might Harriet find upon discovering that Mr. Martin shares the exact same birthdate as Kanye West (1977)? Might it reveal his previously undetected eloquence?

Gelbe Stadt (1914) by Egon Schiele, born June 12, 1890.

My daughter shares her birthday with a bevy of royals the world over, including “The Old Pretender”, James Francis Edward Stuart (1688) and Prince Philip (1921). More interesting to my daughter are the births of Judy Garland (1922) and Sasha Obama (2001) on the same day.

Today is the birthday of Anne Frank (1929). Actually, a lot of artistic voices were born on this day. The images on this page pay homage to some.

Frances O’Connor as Fanny Price (Mansfield Park, 1999), born June 12, 1967.

Miss Smith herself would certainly be agog to learn that she shares her birthday with some very notable intellectuals: Huda Sha’arawi (1879), Alfred Kinsey (1894), and Alan Turing (1912), to name a few. But I think she would be more interested in Empress Josephine (1763 – maybe she knew this one?) and Randy Jackson (1956).

A very happy birthday to everyone born in June, be it in or outside of Harriet’s magic fortnight zone. I wish you all the very best.

With love,

Alexa

 

17 Responses to June birthday blessings to Harriet Smith, Robert Martin, et al.

  1. Enjoyed your post. I’ve always been disappointed that the only famous people who share my birthday are the Olsen twins and Basil Rathbone. My mom however shares her birthday with Jane Austen so I’m tangentially connected to her.

  2. My birthday is June 21. I’m on the cusp so Gemini and Cancer are my signs.
    Prince William’s birthday is also the same day. He’s ten years younger.

  3. Thank you for sharing this interesting post and for the Birthday wishes as my birthday is this month. My family has a lot of May and June birthdays however almost all the other June birthdays have moved to Florida. Happy Birthday to everyone else with a June Birthday!

  4. Happy Birthday to all born on the 12th of June. Thank you for this post. it does bring memories and loved characters. i do miss them as they were part of my growing up (they are a part of me)

  5. What a fun post. What no pictures of cake? LOL! Happy Birthday to all who celebrate this month. Blessings to you, Alexa and yours. Stay safe and healthy during these trying times.

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