I started reading my second-to-last Jane Austen book this week: Northanger Abbey. And I’m loving it. The humor is so dry and wonderful. So I started to reflect on the other four Austens I’ve read so far, and something horrible happened.
I blanked on one of the titles.
I have two degrees in English. Reciting the names of Austen’s six novels is supposed to come as naturally to me as an accountant spouting out tax law. I knew which one I haven’t gotten to yet — Sense and Sensibility — and I remembered listening to Emma on audio book, and I thought fondly of Persuasion and, of course, Pride and Prejudice. I own those five, but the one that I’d checked out from the library and read a few years back I couldn’t remember other than the heroine’s name.
Worse yet, I kept trying and failing. I refused to let myself cheat by looking up the answer. I wanted it to surface from the depths of my English-major brain. I tried for a half hour, and then when my sister, a fellow English major, called, I buckled and asked her. She struggled at first (maybe just to make me feel better?), but I suggested that it was named after the place, the estate, where they live, and she remembered: Mansfield Park.
So here’s the quiz: Can you name all the heroines of those six novels? First and last names? What about the love interests? I’ve never been an Austen fanatic, just a simple admirer, so it’s interesting to me to find out who knows this kind of stuff off the top of their head. Obviously I failed on the titles, but I know the first names of the heroines. If you have this down, shout it out from the comments! Proclaim your devotion to Austen right here!
Or, if there’s some other author you know backwards and forwards, you can show that off here, too.
Anybody else had this embarrassing of a blank? Ever tried to remember information you should be an “expert” on and failed? Do you remember every detail about books you read, or just the gist? And, the real question: When trying to recall trivia, is it less of a cheat to ask a nearby spouse/sibling/roommate if they know the answer than it would be just to look it up online?