Saturday, October 12, 2013

Very droll ...

The Wells Literary Festival kicked off for us this lunchtime with John Mullan at St. Thomas Church. Mullan wrote "What Matters in Jane Austen" and seems intimately familiar with every character and event in her six novels (as well as stacks of other literary works).

John Mullan in action at St Thomas Church, Wells

Mullan is exceedingly droll (amusing that is, not - as in Austen's time - rude), theatrical and seems to inhabit the characters he talks about. He ran the hour-long session as Q&A: he would ask questions which he classified in difficulty as alpha, beta or gamma and then discourse on the audience's replies.

I am pleased to say that Clare uniquely got one question right: which Jane Austen character said 'I hate money!'?  

While the audience sat in puzzled silence, Clare answered that it was Isabella Thorpe in Northanger Abbey. Well done you!

Our next talk is Clive Anderson on Tuesday evening, although we've forgotten the subject.