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Miss Austen


A witty, poignant novel about Cassandra Austen and her famous sister, Jane.
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Discuss this line: "For whoever looked at an elderly lady and saw the young heroine she once was?"

Created: 04/06/21

Replies: 12

Posted Apr. 06, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2710

Discuss this line: "For whoever looked at an elderly lady and saw the young heroine she once was?"

Discuss this line: "For whoever looked at an elderly lady and saw the young heroine she once was?" Did your view of Cassy/Cassandra change depending on her age? Why do you think there are so few depictions of older main characters in literature?


Posted Apr. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ABeman

Join Date: 01/14/15

Posts: 58

RE: Discuss this line:...

Because history and the historical record have commonly recorded the expoits of men, it has lulled our attentions from women's exploits and accomplishments. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
I was pleased to see older Cassandra as capable of change as a younger Cassy. The reason that so few depictions of older main characters exist in literature? The prevailing notion that old dogs can't learn new tricks -- that people are incapable of change when they're older. Older people come of age, too. In older people's case, 'age' is equivalent to wisdom, while for a young person, the 'age' in coming of age is adulthood.


Posted Apr. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
millicentg

Join Date: 03/10/15

Posts: 30

RE: Discuss this line:...

I loved this quote "bittersweetly". An older friend told me years ago that after I turned 60 I would become invisible. It made no sense to me, until I got much older. Now I am a "Primary Source" for so many historical events for my grandchildren. They are amazed when I know so much about The Sixties and all that that era changed. They listen skeptically when I tell my stories. Is Nan making that up? That's okay...I know the rest of the stories...the parts I won't be sharing! Cassandra did not need to tell everyone her whole truth either and she was secure enough in herself to be at peace with that. Why are there few Older Women successfully portrayed in literature ? A great question for every Book Club. I will throw that one out there to my group next month, a group of women who just so happen to be all of a Certain Age!


Posted Apr. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
linz

Join Date: 08/12/15

Posts: 89

RE: Discuss this line:...

I love that quote! Who looks at an elderly woman now and thinks she had an interesting life?? We look at statues of famous men, but the women are a fraction. Men's thoughts have always been looked at as if they are more important. Generations of women have taken a back seat to men in all fields. We are just now reading books about heroic women in WWII. That generation didn't live to get their praise. Women's stories should be told, regardless of their age!


Posted Apr. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rachelh

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 46

RE: Discuss this line:...

I also loved this quote. I think it's clear that the lived experiences of older women are often dismissed, and it was refreshing to read a book about someone Cassandra's age.


Posted Apr. 09, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teacher reader

Join Date: 02/14/18

Posts: 47

RE: Discuss this line:...

I found this quote a little disturbing because I do think that some people appreciate older women (and men). My grandmother was a school principal with 4 children of her own in 1923; I always found it interesting to think about what kind of young woman she was. I have had that same feeling with many older women. I am moving quickly through my 70's myself, but I seldom feel invisible.


Posted Apr. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
larryandcarols

Join Date: 03/13/17

Posts: 14

RE: Discuss this line:...

I do find this quote definitely has a ring of truth, especially in the lives of the Cassandra, Jane and contemporaries. Their fathers and brothers were in control, managing financial security, travel and most of the domestic arrangements that were available to women. This was the case particularly, of older, unmarried women. I live in a senior community and enjoy celebrating the accomplishments of my older, single and married female friends. We just have to try a little harder to keep from being invisible.


Posted Apr. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 298

RE: Discuss this line:...

I was very young when The Thornbirds was on TV but I have always remembered the scene in which Barbara Stanwyck tells Richard Chamberlain that she loves him. In tears but not sobbing she tells this handsome young man that inside this old woman's body is the heart of a young woman with all the feelings of a young woman. He is sensitive enough to understand but, of course, there is nothing to be done--never mind he is a priest! LOL Even then I knew there must be truth to that scene--oh, little did I know how much of a foreshadowing that was. Not that this 78 year old has fallen for a younger man--although my husband is 7 years younger--lol--but that this 78 year old woman that you see hides the 30 year old inside.


Posted Apr. 13, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 330

RE: Discuss this line:...

I was startled when I read this quote because not one week earlier I had said nearly the same thing to my hairdresser. In our society, when women turn a certain corner in time, they become invisible. They no longer are of interest to society in so many ways. While it took me awhile to grasp the truth of the idea, I have learned to live with it and have found that I can still make a difference and find satisfaction in my life. No, women of a certain age are not the focus of society, but many are still very strong and important contributors. There has been growth in this area but it is and has been slow. I believe women are the backbone of our culture and one day that will become very apparent and appreciated by most.


Posted Apr. 13, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 136

RE: Discuss this line:...

I find a definite ring of truth in the quote. Elderly women in particular are expendable or easy to ignore and dismiss. I wish that were not so.


Posted Apr. 18, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Leslie G.

Join Date: 11/08/20

Posts: 1

RE: Discuss this line:...

My book clubs made up mostly of older women enjoy books with older women as major characters. We recognize their value to society, whether or not other people do.


Posted Apr. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jeann

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 56

RE: Discuss this line:...

I do think that elderly women are often looked at as "old women". It is ridiculous, because these women have so much to share! Experiences, adventures, knowledge, good advice etc. I am going to be76 next week. With the exception of aches and pains (ignore)...I still feel much the same as I did years ago. It is hard to believe that the years kept marching on, so fast that I didn't see it coming, until I looked up and couldn't believe that I was "old". But, still young at heart and learning things all the time!!
Who would guess that this "old woman" has had so many adventures in her life, including scuba diving, riding her own motorcycles, oil painting, watercoloring, traveling for weeks at a time in Europe (on a motorcycle), and other adventures that I will keep under my bonnet!!
I think people who don't really see "elderly people" and hear their stories are really missing out on something wonderful.


Posted May. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 297

RE: Discuss this line:...

I f is very difficult for the young to believe that elderly women were ever young and would understand what they are going though. My granddaughter had to write about her grandparents for a college project. I remember when she started talking and asking questions, she was very surprised at my answers. The whole was sitting around the table listening to this. It did give them a new understanding of me. They realized I had had a whole other life than just being grandma.


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