I was reading Jane Austen’s letters and came across this statement at the end of the 2 Dec 1798 letter: “My father is glad to hear so good an account of Edward’s pigs, and desires he may be told, as encouragement to his taste for them, that Lord Bolton is particularly curious in his pigs, has had pigstyes of a most elegant construction built for them, and visits them every morning as soon as he rises.”
It reminded me strongly of the P.G. Wodehouse stories about Clarence Threepwood, the Earl of Emsworth, and his prize pig, the Empress of Blandings, and the rivalry he has with his neighbor over whose pig is the best. I wonder if Jane Austen’s neighbor had that kind of relationship with his pigs, and whether P.G. Wodehouse ever read her letters when her grand-nephew first published this particular one, and whether it inspired him to create the silly Earl and his prize pig.
I don’t have time to write more about this just now, but I hope to add something to it later on. I just couldn’t resist sharing it immediately. Doesn't it cheer you up to find people behaving like that? It does me!