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Jane Austen, Ph.D: A Contemporary Romance

Jane Austen, Ph.D: A Contemporary Romance

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Jane Austen, Ph.D: A Contemporary Romance

évaluations:
4.5/5 (17 évaluations)
Longueur:
86 pages
1 heure
Sortie:
Jul 31, 2020
ISBN:
9781094412610
Format:
Livre

Description

All Louisa wants is to finish her doctoral dissertation on Jane Austen and find her Colonel Brandon. Or Mr. Darcy. Or Henry Tilney. Or Edward Ferrars. Honestly, at this point, she’s stopped being picky about which Austen hero will (finally) come along and whisk her off to her happily ever after. But she still has someone in mind: for the past five years, she’s sat in the graduate students’ shared office space — twenty PhDs-in-progress to a single desk-packed room — and waited patiently for Daniel to realize that she just might be his own romantic heroine.
But Daniel, a grad student obsessed with male beat poets of the twentieth century, has hardly noticed her since they both arrived in the same cohort five years ago. Louisa is determined to get his attention this year, though, as they enter their final semester of graduate study and prepare to defend their dissertations… If only her office mate Emilio would stop ragging on her about the value of studying Austen and leave her alone.
When Emilio turns out to be Darcy-level dependable when it comes to sorting out her personal life (and even offers to be her “fake date” to try and get Daniel’s attention), however, Louisa starts to wonder what Austen herself would think of this new “hero” she’s encountered, one who seems nothing like the men she’s read about in novels.

Sortie:
Jul 31, 2020
ISBN:
9781094412610
Format:
Livre

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Jane Austen, Ph.D - Miranda Markwell

bryantstreetshorts@scribd.com.

Chapter One

This internet tutorial better have worked, thought Louisa as she lay in the darkness of her tiny bedroom on the first morning of the semester. She had spent the whole night with her hair wrapped up in tiny ringlets with swatches of cloth. The shiny blonde woman with too much eyeliner from the internet promised her that this procedure would ensure beach waves in the morning, but in the tense moments before her 6:15 a.m. alarm sounded, Louisa had her doubts. If this went poorly, she’d have a very limited amount of time to fix any hair glitches before her eight am British literature class. And one thing she’d realized as a teacher — even a graduate student teacher — is that college students pay attention to what their female professors look like. Especially on the first day.

In years past, Louisa had balked at any extra work on her appearance while teaching. But this was her final year of her PhD program, and she had a deep desire to combat the sexist and frustrating comments that kept turning up in her student evaluations: schoolmarmish, frumpy, really nice and a good teacher but, wow, she needs to lay off the cardigans, or (the worst), should consider hiring a personal stylist. On an intellectual level, Louisa understood that these vapid student comments were the unfortunate result of social conditioning that made generations of people overly judgmental of women’s appearances. But they still stung.

This year, Louisa was determined to make a change. Not quite a Sandy in Grease change, mind you—after all, she was a literature professor in-training, not a Pink Lady. Yet she nonetheless wanted to cultivate a look that matched more closely with how she felt inside: like a Jane Austen heroine in-waiting. Obviously, she realized that this feeling was incredibly problematic for her feminist sensibilities. A heroine in-waiting?! Ridiculous. Louisa should wait for no one. She was a strong, independent woman who had worked hard to get to the end of her prestigious PhD program. She did not need a gentleman to affirm her sense of worth.

But… she still felt like modeling herself after the Austen heroines that she loved so much might help a tiny bit with her own sense of self-confidence, especially when it came to her own private loves. So, over the summer, she did the closest thing a poor graduate student could do to hiring a personal stylist—she called her fashionable friend Joan, gave her Louisa’s credit card, and said, Dress me like the classiest regency Barbie doll you can manage. Joan came through, too: tasteful florals, carefully placed ruffles, a few scoop-neck tops, and a pair of lace-up boots that Louisa could easily wear while teaching. Joan’s selections walked a careful line between fashion-forward Austenite and grandma style, so Louisa was pleased. Now, if only her hair would behave, too…

Louisa’s thought was that she would match her hair to her new clothing style. Loose, twirling waves that framed her face like she’d just come back from a constitutional in the English countryside — that was the goal. Of course, the closest thing she could find on the internet was beach waves, so she compromised.

Unfurling the first twist was a moment of incredible anxiety. And the anxiety was warranted, too. The first curl was still damp and emerged from its casing like a wet linguine noodle. Blast, thought Louisa. This was exactly what she was worried about. The limp tendril slopped against her forehead, like the mark of Cain for someone who had not done their hairstyling research in advance. With a rage that possessed her like a rabid dog, she ripped out the remaining curls, only to find herself looking more like one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits than the Austen heroine she saw in her dreams.

This was going to be a bad morning. And she needed to do whatever she could to salvage it… fast. Wielding her hairdryer like a medieval broadsword, she worked through the damp mop of almost-curls and smoothed it out as best as she could. Okay, thought Louisa. This isn’t quite as bad as she anticipated. Her hair had grown over the summer, so the weight of its length loosened some of the more offensive crimps. She didn’t resemble an Austen heroine, but she didn’t look terrible, either. A tiny bit of makeup (another skill she’d acquired over summer break) and she saw herself in the mirror with no small amount of pride. Louisa felt feminine inside; now she looked it on the outside. It was a nice feeling, one that she’d never experimented with before. Not until now.

As she walked out the door, her cat Chuck (short for Charlotte) mewed at her judgmentally. Or, at least, that’s what it sounded like to Louisa. Who are you trying to impress? the cat seemed to say.

Someone who seems to need a little extra help to realize I exist, thought Louisa in reply. She greeted the early autumn morning with a sigh, grabbed her teaching bag, and walked confidently out the door.

The graduate student teachers’ office on the fourth floor of the English building was a giant, windowless room packed with old desks and dysfunctional filing cabinets. It also smelled faintly of Roger, who sometimes slept under the printing station when he was on a tight seminar paper deadline. Louisa had only popped into the office a few times over the summer to search for lost books or coffee mugs, so her reappearance on the first day of the semester would also be the first time her friends and colleagues would get a new taste of her fresh look. Now, English graduate students certainly did not have a reputation for style, but they had eyes. They would notice a change, and Louisa was quite nervous about what that sensation of being noticed would feel like.

She rode the elevator alone to the fourth floor, her heart beating fast as she clutched her hot coffee. When she rounded the corner to enter the office, her heart sank. She was the first one there (as usual). The light wasn’t even turned on yet.

Her anxiety loosened. She unlocked the room, propped the door open with an old volume of the Oxford English Dictionary (letters Aa-At), and sat down at

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Avis des lecteurs

  • (5/5)

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    The author has the creative ability to bring her characters to life and make them seem very familiar. Great read.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • (4/5)

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    Its not bad. But then I truly have an issue with novellas. They are just too short for any kind of character/story development. In this book I led Emilio best .

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • (5/5)

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    Smart and enjoyable. Lovely insight into both main characters’ minds. Characters are relatable with realistic fun banter.

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile