Thankfulness, by Zoe Burton

Thankfulness, by Zoe Burton

As I’m sure everyone knows, November in the USA means Thanksgiving. The holiday is only one day, and it’s nearer to the end of the month, but some of us, myself included, like to spend the entire month reflecting on what we are thankful for.

Jane Austen, in Pride and Prejudice, used the word “thank,” or a variation of it, at least twenty times. Below are some of the quotes:

  • How thankful am I that we never let them know what has been said against him; we must forget it ourselves. (Chapter 46)
  • Poor Lydia’s situation must, at best, be bad enough; but that it was no worse, she had need to be thankful. (Chapter 49)
  • I can never be thankful, Mr. Bennet, for anything about the entail. (Chapter 23)
  • I can no longer help thanking you for your unexampled kindness to my poor sister. (Chapter 58) (This one is my favorite. <3)

Like the characters in many of the above quotes, I am thankful for many things, not the least of which is Austen Authors and the readers here. It’s nice to know I can come here and post every month and get some very nice feedback.

I’m thankful for Jane Austen and for Amazon, too, because without one, I’d never have tried my hand at writing and without the other, I’d never have been able to self-publish affordably.

I’m also thankful for a class I recently took that showed me why I do the things I do and how I can use what I’m good at to write better. It was helpful for me to understand that changes don’t mess up my writing ability because I’m lazy, but because I require a lot of stability in my environment to be creative.

And now, because I am feeling creative, here’s a scene from a Christmas story I’m currently writing. It’s being posted as I write it, on Patreon. I’ll be sharing at once it’s done. I hope to publish it this year, but I can’t make any promises.

To understand this scene, you need to know that Lizzy was not at Longbourn when Bingley took Netherfield and the militia came to Meryton. She returns home the day before it began raining for four days (November 21st). Wickham has been with the militia but was kicked out while Lizzy was in London helping the Gardiners. Lizzy and Darcy will meet for the first time at the Netherfield Ball on the 26th of November.


When the set ended, the Tillet brothers returned the Bennet sisters to their mother’s side. They bowed and moved away to find other partners. Elizabeth turned to Jane and Mary and opened her mouth to ask them their opinions of their partners when Mr. Bingley approached. She smiled in delight, covering with her hand the giggle that arose when Jane instantly became coquettish.

“Oh, Mr. Bingley!” Mrs. Bennet drew her host’s attention. “How well you look tonight. The ballroom is decorated to perfection, as well.”

“Thank you.” Bingley looked around the room. “My sister outdid herself. I will be certain to pass your compliments on to her.”

Mrs. Bennet preened, lifting her chin proudly with a smug smile.

Bingley turned to Elizabeth. “There is someone who wishes to meet you, Miss Elizabeth.” He stepped back half a pace and gestured to someone standing behind and to the side of him. “May I introduce him?”

“Of course.” Elizabeth’s countenance displayed her delight. She loved to meet new people.

“Miss Bennet, please meet Mr. Darcy of Pemberley in Derbyshire. Darcy, this is Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Longbourn.” Elizabeth’s welcoming smile had frozen on her face as she caught sight of the gentleman, who had earlier caught her attention, bowing to her. Bingley’s words seemed to come to her from far away. She curtseyed in automatic response to her new acquaintance’s greeting, her eyes flying up to his as she arose. Her heart pounded as she recognized the interest in his eyes. She could not pull her gaze away from his dark brown orbs. She shivered when his deep voice reached her ears.

“I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss Elizabeth. Would you care to dance the next with me?”

Elizabeth stammered as her mind struggled to catch up with her mouth. “I-, I would. Thank you.” She was fascinated by the tiny lifting of the corners of his lips and the way it softened the expression on his face. She startled when he held his elbow out to her. “Oh.” She swallowed and curved her hand around his forearm. A jolt traveled from her fingers to her heart, and she wondered if he felt it, as well.


Please do feel free to let me know in the comments below, what you think of Our Dear Couple’s first meeting.

Source of quotes:



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November 11, 2020 7:10 PM

I’m thankful for your post and excerpt!

November 10, 2020 1:31 PM

OH!MY! I’m all astonishment!

November 9, 2020 11:04 PM

A delightful scene Ms Burton. Now I am eager for the rest of the story… when did Mr D saw Lizzy before this meeting. Surely Mr D wouldn’t leave the next day after the ball…

Thank you for sharing this excerpt

nikki chicotel
November 9, 2020 3:24 PM

What an interesting beginning! I look forward to seeing how they clash later 🙂

J. W. Garrett
J. W. Garrett
November 9, 2020 9:51 AM

Oh, you stopped… right at the best part. Grrr! I was actually holding my breath. I couldn’t believe it. I gasped when it ended. LOL!! Gosh, I love those instant attractions. Whew! Now you’ve done it. I’m hooked and definitely want to read this. What happens next? What will Caroline do when she sees Darcy with this new person. She hasn’t had time to hate and despise the impertinent Bennet sister yet. Zoe, what have you done? LOL! Looking forward to reading this. Blessings.

cindie snyder
cindie snyder
November 9, 2020 8:16 AM

I think it is a sweet first meeting but I think Liszt is also assessing Mr. Darcy too. But I love the first meeting can’t wait to see what happens next!

Regina Jeffers
November 9, 2020 7:24 AM

You are such a tease, Zoe.

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