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Jane Austen in Melbourne

Cocktails with Miss Austen author Imogen Armstrong Orr imagines sharing a drink with Jane Austen in the the gardens of Kellynch Hall, in the days before a retrenchment ever needed to be considered.

I would have a Sidecar, Imogen says, tart, smooth and strong. Jane would have a Gimlet, not flashy like a martini, but still with some good British gin and, in the company of Jane, our drinks would come with a twist of acerbic wit!

We would talk of everything from good walks, good books, theatre, poetry and most importantly love!

I’d explain to her that Anne Elliott is my favourite of all her characters because she is kind and sincere, even when she is over looked in a world of the self-absorbed.

If I could get Jane to Australia, I think she would really enjoy the trees and the rivers… she would probably be appalled by the Melbourne heat but she may not mind the snakes - they could present further opportunity for gallantry from the gentlemen.

Imogen Armstrong-Orr is a graduate from The University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in English and Theatre Studies. She is a bookseller and literary event creator and coordinator at Reader’s Feast Bookstore in Melbourne, a UNESCO city of Literature. She is also a life-long lover of Jane Austen. Her favourite Austen quote comes from Persuasion:

Unjust I may have been. Weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant.


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