Monday, April 16, 2012

20% Off Coupon at!

Some of you may recall my pitch for the non-profit organization Gone Reading ( a few months ago (if not, you may read it here). I am please to announce that Brad Wirz has kindly provided a special coupon for my readers, good for the "Jane Austen for President" line of goods, a new collection of Austen inspired candles, and all the other items available, designed to entice the book lover. Just use this code, which expires May 12th, at checkout:

Now let's discuss these Austen inspired candles, shall we?
One might wonder how a scented candle can evoke our favorite writer. The answer is by including a quote from one of her novels upon the packaging. However, I cannot endorse this particular product without dwelling on the appropriateness of the particular quote used here: "There is nothing like staying at Home for real comfort." It sounds very well, but the committed Janeite quickly detects something amiss. The quote is spoken by Mrs. Elton of Emma in the following context:

"Ah! there is nothing like staying at home for real comfort. Nobody can be more devoted to home than I am. I was quite a proverb for it at Maple Grove. Many a time has Selina said, when she has been going to Bristol, 'I really cannot get this girl to move from the house. I absolutely must go in by myself, though I hate being stuck up in the barouche-landau without a companion; but Augusta, I believe, with her own good-will, would never stir beyond the park paling.' Many a time has she said so; and yet I am no advocate for entire seclusion. I think, on the contrary, when people shut themselves up entirely from society, it is a very bad thing; and that it is much more advisable to mix in the world in a proper degree, without living in it either too much or too little. I perfectly understand your situation, however, Miss Woodhouse--(looking towards Mr. Woodhouse), Your father's state of health must be a great drawback. Why does not he try Bath?--Indeed he should. Let me recommend Bath to you. I assure you I have no doubt of its doing Mr. Woodhouse good."
This is a classic Austen maneuver - exposing the hypocrisy of a character by having her assert one thing and immediately contradict herself. So Mrs. Elton does not like to remain at home, does not find it comfortable, and quite pities Emma for being so confined herself. The message seems a bit in conflict with what the makers of these candles had probably intended. Unless, of course, we assume the quote was chosen ironically, in which case it is quite in keeping with Austen's sense of the absurd and an apt homage. Either way, I'm sure they smell lovely, and it is a very good cause, so please take advantage of this offer.

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