Letters to Alice: Why Aunt Fay is an Idiot (Part I)

EVIDENCE #1: p147 “You have sold more copies of The Wife’s Revenge in three months than I have of all my novels put together (well, in this country as least. Let me not go too far).

ANALYSIS: “Oh well done on writing them books Alice, but let me remind you that mine were far better.”


EVIDENCE #2: p145 “From their response I imagine they are placing you in 3, [good/bad books,] where most of the bestsellers dwell.”

ANALYSIS: And the 1984 award for the Most Tactless Backhanded Compliment goes to…


EVIDENCE #3: p145 (Upon hearing Alice’s book is to be published) “This is wonderful, astonishing and gratifying news.”

ANALYSIS: “Astonishing”? “ASTONISHING”? Your low expectations of your niece have obviously been far exceeded: pray, do continue to belittle her success by slurring her hard effort as a failure of moral education.


EVIDENCE #4: p104 “For you the world has always trembled on the verge of fictional supra-reality: Dr Who flows in your blood stream. It still, as a phenomenon, leaves me feeling breathless.”

ANALYSIS: This is more of a personal thing than anything else, as insulting Doctor Who does not get you very far in my books.


EVIDENCE #5: p148 “And I have been asked to tea at your house by your mother, and your father has consented to be there too, so long as I don’t talk about novels, writing, feminism, or allied subjects.”

ANALYSIS: She’s rude to Alice about her father in the everlasting form of writing. Cheeky.


EVIDENCE #6: p7 “My dear child! My dear pretty little Alice, now with black and green hair.”

ANALYSIS: Pray, Weldon, teach us your masterful ways of condescension that we mortals are yet to discover! Bestow upon us your knowledge of belittlement to the undeserving, for we are so small in our discovery of this field!


EVIDENCE #7: p 149 The Reading List

ANALYSIS: Even after all that, Aunt Fay’s still sceptical of Alice’s moral development. Know who I think needs to develop her morals? CAN YOU GUESS, AUNT FAY, CAN YOU GUESS?


EVIDENCE #8: p64 “Down in Canberra things are very different. It is a city of astonishing artifice and astonishing beauty…here in Canberra they are young, excitable, impressionable and love to laugh.”

ANALYSIS: She’s just blatantly lying to Alice, now. She obviously NEVER BEEN TO CANBERRA BEFORE IN HER LIFE. The people are excitable and love to laugh?




EVIDENCE #9: p 143 “I am extremely sorry about your exams. Is it my fault? I suppose so.”

ANALYSIS: Fay you made your poor niece fail her exams because you tried shoving culture down her throat it’s all your fault you heartless woman lololol.


EVIDENCE #10: p143 “You did it, I warned you not to, now take the consequences.”

ANALYSIS: DUDE, SERIOUSLY. Alice is heartbroken that her book was rejected by publishers and the only comfort you can offer is “I told you so”? WHAT KIND OF AUNTIE ARE YOU.


EVIDENCE #11: p91 “It is time for me to leave this hotel and return to the care of Quant – Qua – Qantas. (I have had to write that three times before I can manage a ‘Q’ without a following ‘u’.)”

ANAYSIS: Wow, Fay! You can spell the name of one of the largest companies in the world! Would you like a medal?


EVIDENCE #12: p82 “You are, I suspect, too privileged, too bright, too pretty, too secure in your opinions to care much what goes on in your society.”

ANALYSIS: We have just taken to blatant generalisations now. Pretty people can’t care about what goes on in society? REALLY?


EVIDENCE #13: p73 “…and women writers, to their great advantage, are not allowed wives.”

ANALYSIS: What an astounding point, Aunt Unintentionally Homophobic Fay (or as I like to call her, Auntintentionally Homophay).


EVIDENCE #14: p73 “…we were born to pick up stick and scratch away in mud and make our ochre marks on the walls of caves.”

ANALYSIS: What even, man.

#Advanced English #Aunt Fay #Fay Weldon #Letters to Alice #Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen #rant #other


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