The Very Secret Diary of Henry Tilney, Part the Fourth


It’s been much too long, I know, but in honor of Valentine’s Day, the pairs skating short program in the Winter Olympics, and oh yeah, the rebroadcast of NADublin, at last we finish this one up. For those new to AustenBlog, previous entries in Mr. Tilney’s Very Secret Diary may be found here: Part the First, Part the Second, Part the Third

Hold me like you did by the lake at Beechen CliffDay 19: Big storm last night. V. picturesque. Eleanor and I cleaned out nest of undead hiding in the offices. Bit tired this morning, not up to flirting with Miss M. Fortunately the governor’s taken himself off to London. Time for training to start in earnest.

Day 20: Took Miss M. to Woodston. Was v. excited about showing her training facility disguised as “cottage” in orchard. Remembered at last minute that vampyres killed housekeeper whilst incompetent curate was cowering under bed and place is a mess. Contented self with sort of pointing at house as we rode past. Oh well, it’s not like I’m going to marry her or anything.

Day 21: Found one of those sparkly American vampyres swanning round the hermitage walk in broad daylight. Gave me some bollocks about being a “vegetarian.” As though I haven’t heard that one before. Whinged about having the skin of a monster until one was positively embarrassed for it and staked it out of compassion.

Day 22: Am having difficulty communicating facts of Abbey and her destiny to Miss M. She seems to understand something is going on, but just as I am about to tell her something important, I turn it into a joke. I don’t know why, though after all, a secret explained loses all of its charm. Perhaps am just obsessed with being the wittiest. Perhaps am just a simp.

Day 23: Emergency message from curate; must make trip to Woodston. Eleanor promised to explain all to Miss M. while I am away.

Later: Incompetent curate incapable of coping with one young vampyre. Took care of it. Too bad Miss M. not quite ready, as it would have been excellent for training. Found Collins in old-womanish hysteria, no longer wants to be curate. Says he has obtained a new situation far from hellmouth. Probably for the best, though I’ve heard strange things about Rosings.

Day 24: Returned to Abbey, found Miss M. skulking about near Mamma’s room. Questioned her, discovered she has completely misunderstood the governor’s idiotic comments. Somehow thinks she has stumbled into a Radcliffe novel instead of proper hellmouth. Not the time to explain properly, so acted like prat and made her cry. Am so not the wittiest.

Later: Should have been more understanding. If not prepared to tell Miss M. that she is The One and has a special destiny, should have led her gently; should have appealed to her good common sense and her understanding, should have called her “dearest Miss Morland.” Daresay that’s a bit subtle for a 90-minute low-budget telemovie, so only thing to do now to save situation: marry Miss M. But first, back to Woodston to redecorate sitting-room.

Day 25: Letter waiting for me at Woodston. Freddy says he has “neutralized” the succubus. Probably stole her shoes as well.

Day 26: Arrived back at Abbey, ready to offer hand, heart, and newly-papered sitting room to Miss M. only to find the governor came back unexpectedly and has tossed her out on word of werewolf. I’m done with him. Vampyres had a positive party in the shrubbery. Eleanor and I were up half the night cleaning up. Must go after Miss M.

Day 27: Arrived at Fullerton. Explained all about Abbey being hellmouth to Miss M. She has agreed to marry me nonetheless. Should be an excellent situation for training. Snogging in shrubbery also quite agreeable.

Day 28: Low-budget telemovie, blah de blah, parental scruples, blah de blah, months of clandestine correspondence, blah de blah, rush rush rush, blah de blah. Things are moving fast. Good thing sitting-room redecoration is well in hand.

Day 29: To begin perfect happiness at 18 and 26 is to do pretty well. Miss M.–that is, my dearest Catherine—and I shall endeavour to cope as we breed our own little team of vampyre slayers.

And a thousand points that don’t mean anything to the first person who recognizes the two references in the LOLAusten.

20 thoughts on “The Very Secret Diary of Henry Tilney, Part the Fourth

  1. Hilarious! My roommate and her boyfriend must think I’m mad for snickering like this. Poor Henry, you are still the wittiest.

    As for the LOLAusten, I definitely got “Revenge of the Sith.” And I think Beechen Cliff is where Catherine is reminded of the south of France.


    • Mags

      You get half credit! Yes to the Revenge of the Sith reference (I’m glad somebody got it) but not quite on the Beechen Cliff reference. Think of it in the movie as compared to the book…


  2. Joan R

    I have just started watching NA on PBS – what is it with these people. The major cuts are so harmful, where was the cramped scene at the Bath Assembly Rooms where Mrs Allen and Catherine were so out of place in the refreshment area? I cant recall whether these excisions were in the original PBS broadcast, but they were certainly not in the original BBC version! (Sorry, I know this comment is not relevant to the current topic, but just had to vent – grrr!)


  3. Whaat – there is no lake on Beechen Cliff. Is that the AustenLOL?

    P.S. *snicker* on the story Mags. Henry Rules!

    Missed the RoTS reference. Clueless. Too long since I’ve seen it I guess.


    • Mags

      And that’s the second part. The line “Hold me like you did by the lake on Naboo” is a famous very very bad line from The Revenge of the Sith (and was the point where surreyhill and I fell out of our chairs in the theatre clutching each other and shrieking with pent-up laughter–there’s a lot of bad dialogue in that one, though no vampyres of which I am aware). And of course the REAL Beechen Cliff, as opposed to the faux Irish Beechen Cliff in the movie, has a not very picturesque 😉 view of Bath rather than a view of a lake. There is no lake in Bath, thus, irony employed in a humorous manner. My twisted brain, let me show you it. Elizabeth and Laurel Ann each get 500 points that don’t mean anything. 😉


  4. Kathleen Glancy

    Considering how very slow Amanda grange is being with Henry’s Diary, Mags, you may have to expand this into a book.


  5. Maria L

    I loved it when Henry admitted he acted like a prat 🙂

    This is so much wittier than the scissored down and geographically impaired NA that PBS showed again last night…..


    • Mags

      Pray note he doesn’t act like a prat in the book. In fact, he, er, “led her gently. . .appealed to her good common sense and her understanding. . .called her ‘dearest Miss Morland.'” See what I did there? 😉


      • Maria L

        Oh, I know Henry could never really be a prat, but when he launches into “Remember that we are English, that we are Christians…” it always makes me giggle a bit, and now I’m adding in my head “…and we are not prats!”


      • Mags

        *sees a Teachable Moment*

        The “we are English, we are Christians” bit is a reference to the fact that Ann Radcliffe’s novels take place in Roman Catholic countries in continental Europe (that is, France and Italy). A continuing theme in Radcliffe’s work is that allegedly supernatural occurrences can always be explained as naturally occurring phenomena. In other words, that’s not a reanimated corpse that frightened Emily and Dorothee, it’s a banditto who came up the back stairs and thought it might be fun to play a joke on the girls gullible housekeeper (Emily Sue St. Aubert is no gullible girl! She just faints a lot!), so lay on the bed and pretended to be a reanimated corpse. (There is an underlying sense of Radcliffe considering Catholicism to be a religion naturally given to superstition.)

        It’s just a way for Henry to remind Catherine that “this is real life.” That’s not a cobwebby, dark chamber of horrors that Mrs. Tilney was forced to occupy (two film adaptations to the contrary), it’s a bright, cheerful, pleasant apartment, no doubt kept very clean by the General’s well-trained staff, and Henry wonders why Eleanor doesn’t take it for her own. His mother was not Madame Montoni, locked up to starve, go mad, and die.

        Udolpho explains SO much of NA.


    • Mags

      I take it you’re unacquainted with the Sparkly Vampyres, then? No, they don’t catch on fire or melt in sunlight, they just SPARKLE. (At which point in both the book and the movie I commenced giggling uncontrollably.)


  6. Reeba


    Giggled a lot at Eleanor and Vampyre Tilney clearing up the mess so often.

    And that showing of the cottage from afar, because of the mess! – LOL!!

    >Incompetent curate incapable of coping with one young vampyre. Took care of it. Too bad Miss M. not quite ready, as it would have been excellent for training.

    *snorted* at the ‘taking care’ of it.

    Thank you Mags.

    Can we have a sequel, to find out how Catherine turned out? Hehehe.


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