AFTERWORD & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
One of the hardest things about writing for me is ending a story. I always fall so much in love with both the characters and the story that bringing it to a close is always so sad for me as well as hard. I would rather go on and on, but if I do, the story may never have an ending and I do not like having "loose ends" and leaving people-including myself!-hanging. And unfortunately, all good things must come to an end but I really enjoyed and loved bringing Tom and Jane back to life again and sharing my story of their "reunion" with you. One thing that helps me to end a story is by "keeping it open". In other words, if I come up with any new ideas for Tom, Jane and the Lefroy Family, I will most definitely share them with you right here in Fan Fiction because there could very well be some adventures to write about regarding the Lefroys. But this was as far as I had intended to go with them for now, with all of the Lefroy Family being healthy and happy.
When I first came up with my "Becoming Jane" story and started writing it, I had planned on keeping it as close to reality as possible right down to her death. I wasn't even going to have them get married and I certainly did not even dream of them having a child together at the beginning. But then as I continued to write about them, I found myself getting too attached to them (as I always do). And because I am such a sap, I realized that it would be too hard for me to write or maybe I should say, RE-write a sad ending. Plus, why should I re-write their sad ending when I really don't have to? Why not go for it and give them a happy ending...or beginning as I prefer to think of it, as this is FANTASY and FICTION after all! So why NOT give Tom and Jane the life in fantasy/fiction that they never could, never would (but SHOULD in my opinion) have in reality. It was the least I (felt) I could do for them, especially as I had brought them as far as I had with their getting together for Christmas in Ireland.
There were several different ways I could have gone with this story but I chose to go the way that I did. I could have written that Tom's children were un-accepting of Jane and his marriage to her, but I didn't wish to write it that way as this was to be mostly focused on Tom and Jane and their story of how I pictured them ending up together.
There has been much speculation as to what Jane Austen really died from and because of that, I like to believe that there is definitely the possibility that had the circumstances been different, had she and Tom Lefroy really met later in her life as the movie "Becoming Jane" depicts, that perhaps her life could have been prolonged. For example, if her illness and death had been diet-related, maybe moving away to Ireland with Tom and therefore a change in her diet could have prevented her "premature" death. Or perhaps if she had fallen ill at Tom's place in Ireland, Tom's money could have provided her with the treatments, medicines, doctors or hospital care she needed in order to be cured of it. Sadly, we will never know if any of this could have prolonged her life. But I do like to believe that it was possible.
According to the book "Cassandra and Jane" by Jill Pitkeathly written in 2004, Jane would mention Tom Lefroy to her sister Cassandra from time to time years after Tom and Jane parted ways. Some of what she would say to Cassandra OR write in letters to her sister about Tom makes me believe that she still was 'fond' of him. And according to Wikipedia, Tom Lefroy went to England to pay his respects when he learned of Jane's death. Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part, but I like to believe that they both still had feelings for each other, even years later. No disrespect meant to the real Mrs. Tom Lefroy, Mary Paul Lefroy, but I also like to believe that Tom and Jane "found each other" again in spirit.
1). The movie Becoming Jane-which of course without, this story would not, could not be possible.
2). The book "Cassandra and Jane" by Jill Pitkeathly (2004). From which I found invaluable information regarding the REAL Jane Austen, her life and her family and even tidbits about the era and incorporated as much as I could and as best as I could into my story.
3). Wikipedia-Mostly for the information on Tom Lefroy's family, both his siblings and his own children.
4). My own imagination. Where would a writer be without it?
And of course I acknowledge the readers one last time. Thank you all once again for taking the time to stop by and read...and thanks to those of you who added me/my story to your Favourite Author/Favourite Story/Alerts Lists and to those for leaving reviews. Because all of you, you have made my first experience writing for Fan Fiction truly fun and positive. I have really enjoyed writing for the Fan Fiction site and look forward to writing more for you in the future. ;-D