So happy birthday to the bloke who totally ruined any chance of me making a living as a Professional Single. I was all set, but then he came along and invited me to stay with him should I ever go to Scotland, etc.
In light of our conversation yesterday, I observe that B.A. is nothing like a hero in a Jane Austen novel. For example:
1. He was born in the late twentieth century
2. in Scotland,
3. a descendant of whalers and millworkers,
4. to quarreling young parents who divorced
5. and was brought up speaking dialect until
6. his accent was scrubbed by the Scottish Episcopalian Church
7. which led to him learning how to be funny
8. so as not to be beaten up by his working-class peers in the school yard although
9. a social window opened long enough for boys like him to go
10. to an old Scottish university where he ended up
11. teaching philosophy until
12. taking a job at the Historical House where he now
13. lives, the Historical House being a bigger than a parsonage but smaller than Pemberley,
14. with his Catholic wife, being himself a convert to Roman Catholicism.
Actually, I suppose if B.A. were like any character in a Jane Austen novel, he might be like Mr Bingley, but only in so far as they share a sweetness of temper. (B.A. is much cleverer and much less easily influenced than Mr Bingley.) He might also be like Mr Bennett in that he prefers to stay shut up in his library than to go out dancing.
I am searching through my mind for a character in a book who enthusiastically and wholeheartedly encouraged his wife to make a career out of writing, but I really can't think of one. However, B.A. is a vast improvement over all men in literature, in part because he is real.