The Washington Post points out that books are always the right size and quite easy to wrap, including one that will have particular interest for Janeites:
Richard Jenkyns’s A Fine Brush on Ivory (Oxford Univ., $25) is subtitled “An Appreciation of Jane Austen,” which sounds rather lightweight, a work of breezy, David Cecil-like nonchalance. But Jenkyns — a professor of classical tradition — offers telling observations throughout his engrossing short book: “The distinctive feature of Pride and Prejudice is the number of its subplots, knit into one another with confident mastery. The abundance of anecdote and episode in the book — the sheer amount of things happening — is a part of its vitality; it is a means of imparting the ethos of sparkling comedy.” Elsewhere, Jenkyns points out that Persuasion is “that great rarity, a novel which is too short.” He goes on to say that we really need to live through Anne Elliott’s “lonely endurance” more extensively than the book allows us to and that the “reawakening of Wentworth’s love for her” should have been a more gradual process.
That’s why the gods of literature gave us fan fiction! 😉