Deborah Yaffe

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Scones, redux

By Deborah Yaffe, May 20 2013 01:00PM

Two weeks ago, I pointed out that, despite the Emporia Gazette's claims to the contrary, none of Jane Austen’s characters ever eats a scone.


Recently, I’ve been reading some of the continuations of Jane Austen’s unfinished last novel, Sanditon, including the one (itself unfinished) that Austen’s niece Anna Lefroy began in the 1830s or 1840s, about twenty or twenty-five years after Austen's death.


Imagine my surprise when I came across the following passage: “. . .on arriving, they found Mrs. Parker already seated behind the skone & tea & Bread & Butter handing about in an unusually business-like way.” The editor’s note confirms that “skone” is an alternate spelling for “scone.”


So it’s not quite true that none of Jane Austen’s characters ate scones: they just waited to dig in until Austen herself was out of the way.


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