I originally posted this on my other group blog:
A pastiche of Northanger Abbey that I wrote in March when I re-read Northanger Abbey. The opening passages are some of my favorites in the book! :)
"No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine."--Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
There exists among the rank-and-file, pendantic, and provincial that elevated class of the female sex known as the heroine, of which our subject, Miss R., possessed not the distinction of membership. Her disposition, sunny to a fault, rendered it impossible for her to pronounce with the proper acidity the satiric remarks necessary for the exhibition or a heroine's clever wit and intellectual brilliance, without accompanied by blushing, smiling retractions of her vitriolic statements. Although her posture good, her shortish frame wanted the pleasure of being either nicely plump or enchantingly slender, and was forced to reside in the wholly uninteresting territory known as average. Her eyes were weak, of a greyish colour, and had never had the honor of receiving the most coveted of epithets: "fine eyes." Betwixt these two embodiments of blandness resided a most perverse nose; that at times took on a most un-solicited mannish cragginess and at others exhibited a most alarming saucy upturn. Her lips bore little resemblance in colour or softness to roses, and often contrived to lend her gaze a most idiotic blankness. Her teeth were large and stained slightly yellow as a result of the daily tea she was so prodigiously fond of. Her obstinate forehead and jaw conspired together to give her face a firmness and stolidness most unusual for her sex. Her hair, oft the crowning glory of so many women, was a disappointing mousy brown and coarse in texture, requiring much teazing to hold a curl. Although her locks boasted a brazen bronze sheen, they owed that more to woman's art than the cornucopia of nature's gifts. Despite, however, this utterly discouraging physiognomy, Miss R. possessed one feature that provided her with enough secret comfort to serve as balm for the bitter wounds on her vanity. Residing dantily above her unremarkable neck, which did not remotely resemble anything swan-like, were her two shell-like auricles. Delicate conch-pink, and nicely rounded, her ears were her clandestine pride and joy, especially as they came to a delicate point, at their peaks, lending them a most deliciously elven air.
Upon reviewing the dilemma of her features in the mirror, there was only one remotely that immediately presented itself to her, and that was to look in that instrument less often.
A solution which, as we shall see, rendered itself not altogether satisfactory.