The Finest Comic Writer of the Present Age

Who did Jane Austen describe as “the finest comic writer of the present age?” The answer is: her older sister Cassandra.

CassandraAustenSilhouette
My dearest Cassandra,
The letter which I have this moment received from you has diverted me beyond moderation. I could die of laughter at it, as they used to say at school. You are indeed the finest comic writer of the present age.

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Wardrobes the Way they Were

Time immemorial…. Has a lovely sound to it, doesn’t it? Like days of yore.

In fact, in British law, time immemorial is defined as everything before the sixth of July 1189. This was decided in 1275, presumably because by that point no one could remember anything before the sixth of July 1189 and it was therefore literally time immemorial – a time that no one living could remember.

Hunterian Psalter c. 1170 feasting
Don’t worry, no one remembers you taking the last piece of pizza in 1170.
It is interesting to consider what time immemorial would be these days. It’s so easy to forget how short a time, relatively speaking, things have been The Way Things Are. Mass transport, antibiotics, Queen Elizabeth II, the Internet… Fast fashion has only been around for a few decades, and yet how strange it now seems to have just a few carefully tended items of clothing, worn for years and infrequently replaced.

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