Tuesday, 30 December 2008

In a letter dated Saturday (9 January 1796), Austen mentioned Lefroy.

You scold me so much in the nice long letter which I have this moment received from you, that I am almost afraid to tell you how my Irish friend and I behaved. Imagine to yourself everything most profligate and shocking in the way of dancing and sitting down together. I can expose myself however, only once more, because he leaves the country soon after next Friday, on which day we are to have a dance at Ashe after all. He is a very gentlemanlike, good-looking, pleasant young man, I assure you. But as to our having ever met, except at the three last balls, I cannot say much; for he is so excessively laughed at about me at Ashe, that he is ashamed of coming to Steventon, and ran away when we called on Mrs. Lefroy a few days ago. . . . After I had written the above, we received a visit from Mr. Tom Lefroy and his cousin George. The latter is really very well-behaved now; and as for the other, he has but one fault, which time will, I trust, entirely remove — it is that his morning coat is a great deal too light. He is a very great admirer of Tom Jones, and therefore wears the same coloured clothes, I imagine, which he did when he was wounded.

In a letter started on Thursday (14 January 1796), and finished the following morning, there is another mention of him.

Friday. — At length the day is come on which I am to flirt my last with Tom Lefroy, and when you receive this it will be over. My tears flow as I write at the melancholy idea.

Upon learning of Jane Austen’s death (on 18 July 1817), Thomas Langlois Lefroy traveled from Ireland to England to pay his respects to the British author.[2] In addition, at an auction of Cadell's papers (possibly in London), Tom bought a Cadell publisher's rejection letter—for Austen’s early version of Pride and Prejudice (originally titled First Impressions).

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