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Jane Austen's Letters by Jane Austen

Jane Austen's Letters

by Jane Austen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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This wonderful volume includes all of Jane Austen's letters that are currently extant and is chock full of delicious goodies. There are tremendous insights into the woman that has become a cultural touchstone. We find Jane trading gossip with her sister Cassandra about the latest fashions, what clothes she bought in town, who she saw at the play, or the latest news about who was married or gave birth. There are letters about small and large family dramas and tragedies. There are letters traded with her publishers about her novels. There are also later letters in which she provides advice to her nieces on their own attempts at writing. While full of small details that are fascinating to scholars and hardcore Janeites, there are flashes of the wit that are in full evidence in her novels that appeal to more casual fans of her works. The third edition has an in-depth introduction, extensive notes, a comprehensive bibliography, and three separate indexes which ought to make it a useful volume for any scholar. And for a more casual reader who is simply fascinated by Jane Austen, the collection provides a brief insight into the woman behind the iconic heroines of her books. ( )
2 vote MickyFine | Mar 28, 2012 |
It's amazing that any of her letters survive! As an earlier reviewer said, you can pick it up on and off or read it straight through. There are copious notes regarding the place each letter was written, who the people are that are mentioned, and much more. I would have loved to read the letters Cassandra sent to Jane, but c'est la vie they aren't included if they survive. ( )
  lizzybeans11 | Apr 12, 2011 |
Very interesting window into her world.
  JenniferForest | Jun 30, 2009 |
Suited to either reading straight through, or dipping in and out of as the fancy takes you, Jane Austen's Letters is nicely arranged and presented and meticulously annotated. Austen's letters are frequently witty and always entertaining, with just enough of a hint of mischief to them to make me regret even more that her sister, Cassandra, burned so many of her letters after her death. As hefty a volume as this is, it really should be so much larger. ( )
2 vote siriaeve | Jul 4, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Austen, Janeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chapman, R.W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Le Faye, DeirdreEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the first place I hope you will live twenty-three years longer.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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collected and edited by Deirdre Le Faye
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0192832972, Paperback)

Jane Austen famously labeled her literary ambit a "little bit (two inches wide) of ivory." Luckily, her personal travels and those of her family were slightly more extensive, otherwise we should be without her letters. Not only should every Janeite possess them, but also every connoisseur of correspondence. Austen's wit is ubiquitous--even though some protest it edges into waspishness. E. M. Forster, for example, described the letters between Austen and her beloved sister, Cassandra, as "the whinnying of harpies."

On September 18, 1796, she tells Cassandra, "What dreadful Hot weather we have!--It keeps one in a continual state of Inelegance.--If Miss Pearson should return with me, pray be careful not to expect too much Beauty..." The dashes and capitalization alone make one long for the days before stylistic rules had so cemented. As for the sentiments! Austen paces her monologues to perfection, making the comic and ironic most out of the smallest incidents. Still, her frustration does occasionally emerge. "I am forced to be abusive," she implodes to Cassandra, "for want of a subject, having nothing really to say." Jane Austen has more than enough to say for lovers of literature and the cultural pinprick.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:22 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

This fourth edition incorporates the findings of new scholarship to enrich our understanding of Austen and give us the fullest and most revealing view yet of her life and family. There is a new preface, the biographical and topographical indexes have been amended and updated, a new subject index has been created, and the contents of the notes added to the general index.… (more)

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