Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen

by

Fay Weldon

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Enid is Fay’s sister and Alice’s mother. Little is known about her life, except that she stayed with her mother when the sisters’ parents separated. Enid is married to Edward and is worried about their daughter, Alice, whom she feels does not take school seriously. Enid holds a grudge against Fay for encouraging Alice’s rebelliousness and also for writing in one of her novels about the fact that Enid makes bread rolls for Edward, although Fay insists that the character who makes the bread rolls is not based on Enid. Despite the conflict between them, Enid seems to be interested in reconciling with Fay and invites her to tea at the end of the book.

Enid Quotes in Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen

The Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen quotes below are all either spoken by Enid or refer to Enid. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Purpose of Fiction Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Carroll & Graf edition of Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen published in 1984.
Letter 6 Quotes

You are not the model for Chloe in Female Friends. Too many of my friends claim that role, in any case, for you to be able to do so sensibly. Any woman who waits upon her husband as a servant upon a master—and they are legion—all too easily sees herself in Chloe. But I made her up. I promise.

Related Characters: Aunt Fay (speaker), Enid, Edward
Related Symbols: Bread Rolls
Page Number: 87
Explanation and Analysis:
Letter 8 Quotes

As if it were decreed that your mother Enid should put bread rolls to rise every night for your father Edward’s breakfast, in order that a certain paragraph in a certain novel should be written. As if the City of Invention, little by little, using a chapter here, a paragraph there, is waking from its slumber and will eventually be more real than life itself, and we its servants, its outrunners.

Related Characters: Aunt Fay (speaker), Alice, Enid, Edward
Page Number: 106
Explanation and Analysis:
Letter 11 Quotes

Journalists, in particular, who work so cleverly from the real world, understand description, but not invention. It is not surprising. They lose their jobs if they do invent—novelists get sued if they don’t invent. So I, Grace, D’Albier, must go round the world, stared at as a victim of paternal and maternal incest: and though my parents still speak to me, they do so in a rather stiff way. They can comprehend that I made it up, but their friends can’t.

Related Characters: Grace D’Albier (speaker), Aunt Fay, Enid
Page Number: 127
Explanation and Analysis:
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Enid Character Timeline in Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen

The timeline below shows where the character Enid appears in Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Letter 1 
The Purpose of Fiction Theme Icon
Feminism Theme Icon
...since the girl was two, and now hears from Alice’s mother—Fay’s sister, later revealed as Enid—that Alice dyes her hair black and green and is in conflict with her mother. Fay... (full context)
The Author and the Reader Theme Icon
Fay pauses to consider her own childhood with her sister, Alice’s mother (Enid). She tells Alice that their parents separated when the sisters were young, and that Fay... (full context)
Letter 2 
The Purpose of Fiction Theme Icon
The Influence of History Theme Icon
Feminism Theme Icon
...the modern day. She concludes by telling Alice that she has heard from Alice’s mother, Enid, who is concerned that Fay is “un unsettling influence on Alice.” Fay also notes that... (full context)
Letter 6
The Influence of History Theme Icon
Fay writes another letter from Canberra in January, this time to her sister Enid instead of Alice. She notes that she will be leaving for London the next day... (full context)
The Purpose of Fiction Theme Icon
The Author and the Reader Theme Icon
The Influence of History Theme Icon
Fay asks Enid if she remembers when their mother found a copy of a novel Fay wrote and... (full context)
The Purpose of Fiction Theme Icon
The Influence of History Theme Icon
Fay insists that Enid is not the model for a character in one of her own novels, even though... (full context)
The Purpose of Fiction Theme Icon
The Influence of History Theme Icon
...be comfortable borrowing a character from real life, although she worries about the fact that Enid nonetheless sees herself in Fay’s work. (full context)
The Purpose of Fiction Theme Icon
Feminism Theme Icon
Fay concludes by asking Enid to send love to Edward, whom Fay hopes will forgive her for using the couple’s... (full context)
Letter 7
The Purpose of Fiction Theme Icon
The Influence of History Theme Icon
...her trip from Australia to England. She notes that she has been in touch with Enid and Edward and may reconcile with them, which causes her to wonder briefly “why any... (full context)
Letter 8
The Author and the Reader Theme Icon
The Influence of History Theme Icon
...constantly worry that their lives will be turned in to fiction. Fay concludes by bemoaning Enid’s continued belief that the bread rolls in one of Fay’s novels indicate that the story... (full context)
Letter 14
The Purpose of Fiction Theme Icon
...how Alice’s exams went. Fay also says that she will soon be having tea with Enid and Edward. She worries that the tea will be unpleasant, but says, “you never know.”... (full context)
Letter 15
The Influence of History Theme Icon
Feminism Theme Icon
...expresses how excited to she is to hear about Alice’s book deal and wonders what Enid and Edward have to say about the news. (full context)
Letter 16
The Purpose of Fiction Theme Icon
The Influence of History Theme Icon
...more than the future. She notes that Alice has stopped dying her hair, and that Enid has invited Fay to tea again. Fay tells Alice that, in order to placate Edward,... (full context)