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Love and Friendship (Annotated with short biography on the life of Jane… (edition 2010)

by Jane Austen, Golgotha Press (Editor)

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290638,756 (3.44)13
Member:heydor
Title:Love and Friendship (Annotated with short biography on the life of Jane Austen)
Authors:Jane Austen
Other authors:Golgotha Press (Editor)
Info:Golgotha Press (2010), Kindle Edition, 129 pages
Collections:Read in 2013
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Love and Friendship by Jane Austen

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Love and Freindship and Other Early Works by Jane Austen, published posthumously , Harmony Books 118 pages
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This is an example of something written by an otherwise good to great author that was published posthumously, perhaps just to make money. While there are some delightful gems interspersed, some of this was written before Jane was even fifteen. While they show many of her stellar qualities, they are still at a more undeveloped stage. Some of these she called “novels” but nothing in this is longer than a short story length, and they are all comprised solely of letters. They are fictional, and do show how Jane’s insights were already sharp and developing even at such a young age. I picked this up for a challenge because I didn’t see this the year I read every Jane Austen book in my library where I was living at the time and it was long enough, but not long, so that I could squeeze it in for a challenge.
( )
  Karin7 | Jan 20, 2016 |

This collection of Jane Austen's juvenilia incudes the titular story, "Lesley Castle" (both of which are experiments in the epistolary novel form), "The History of England", "First Act of a Comedy" and various fictional letters.

All of the works in the collection are worth reading. "Love and Freindship", with its multiple deaths, illegitimacy and fainting fits, is a very silly satire on the sensibility evident in novels of the period. "Lesley Castle" is rather more confusing because of its multiple writers and recipients of letters, but is also evidence of Austen's gift for poking fun at the ridiculous. "The History of England" is a wonderfully exuberant race through a number of the kings and queens of England ostensibly told to praise Mary, Queen of Scots and to criticise Elizabeth I. I found it laugh-out-loud funny and in some respects it reminded me of the equally silly but very entertaining [b:1066 and All That: A Memorable History of England|825889|1066 and All That A Memorable History of England|W.C. Sellar|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1178724006s/825889.jpg|1411213]). In the various letters, characters appear who have names or characteristics which are recognisably those of characters who figure in Austen's mature works. There is a Lady Greville, for example, who is a clear precursor to Lady Catherine de Burgh. A Willoughby, a Crawford and a Musgrove also make appearances.

Overall, this a quick, undemanding and very entertaining read. For readers who appreciate Jane Austen's novels, it is fascinating to see her gift for wit and satire, her lively mind and her sense of the ridiculous so evident in her teenage writings. It is said that Austen used to read her works aloud to her family and it is easy to imagine how much laughter there must have been in the Austen household when Jane shared some of these very silly, but very funny works with her parents and siblings. ( )
  KimMR | Apr 2, 2013 |
Love and Freindship by Jane Austen was written when she was 14 and 15 (mine has her History of England in it, too). Mainly in the form of letters, outrageous spoofs of the romance genre abound. There is some presaging of what is to come with this author, with discussions of the importance of marriage and wealth, obsessions with appearance, inflated pomposity, and more. The writing is impressive - she has a remarkable sense of flow and timing even at such a young age. The spelling disarmingly needs work, particularly on the "i before e" rule.

And large swatches are really funny. The young, love-obsessed duo of Laura and Sophia regularly faint at unexpected romantic developments:

"She (Sophia) was all Sensibility and Feeling. We flew into each other's arms and after having exchanged vows of mutual Freindship for the rest of our Lives, instantly unfolded to each other the most inward secrets of our Hearts. -- We were interrupted in the delightfull Employment by the entrance of Augustus (Edward's freind), who was just returned from a solitary ramble. Never did I see such an affecting Scene as was the meeting of Edward and Augustus.
"My Life! my Soul!" (exclaimed the former) "My Adorable Angel!" (replied the latter), as they flew into each other's arms. It was too pathetic for the feelings of Sophia and myself -- We fainted alternately on a sofa".

Perhaps as a sign of maturity, Laura begins instead to regularly "shriek and run mad" at dramatic moments in her life. Soon they are comparing the health benefits of the two, with frenzied fits having the benefit of warmth in the blood and exercise. During a quiet moment, an unplanned entry into a dark carriage one night turns out to be a coincidental reunion with most of Laura's relatives (the carriage somehow having tardis-like proportions), two of whom had stolen money from her during one of her fainting fits.

It's believed that Austen would read installments of Love and Freindship aloud at night to entertain her family. One can easily imagine the family's laughter at the wit of this young teen writer, and the exhilaration of her emerging talent.

This would not be the place to start reading Jane Austen (too juvenile in the end), and it's hard to imagine someone choosing to read it who is not already a fan of the author via her novels. But for those who are fans, it's a lucky chance to share in the humorous tales of a hugely talented young girl who became one of the world's most famous authors. ( )
1 vote jnwelch | Aug 27, 2012 |
Exhilarating! It made me smile a lot this tale in which the "sensitivity" is the master, where the Faintings are always lurking and the characters are stereotypical and absurd. Relatives sprouting on every corner and every behavior is justified by the above-mentioned too much sensitivity. Definitely enjoyable, and recommended to all lovers of Jane Austen! ( )
  sarass | Jan 9, 2012 |
TBR
  miketroll | Feb 23, 2007 |
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Contains: Love and friendship -- The three sisters -- A collection of letters
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Two short epistolary novels and five short stories written in letter form.

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