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Love and Friendship

by Jane Austen

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406961,374 (3.46)25
When a noble youth arrives unannounced to request the hand of the matchless Laura, it seems their future is one of contentment and bliss -- that is until his family learn of the marriage and, one by one, they reject the new bride. So begins the series of unspeakable events that Laura must confront and overcome, by way of the occasional fainting fit and bout of delirium. Tragedy and comedy here go hand in hand as a very foolish young heroine is placed at the centre of Jane Austen's early satire on drawing-room society. Written as a series of letters, 'Love and Friendship' is a delicious romp through the highs and lows of a young girl's lot in life and a precursor of Austen's later works of genius. It is accompanied by 'The Three Sisters', another expertly crafted epistolary novel, and the brilliant 'A Collection of Letters' which has been described by Fay Weldon as 'five just about perfect short stories'. Book jacket.… (more)
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» See also 25 mentions

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Tegnapi Austen-értékelésemet Gilmore girls-szel kezdtem, ma meg a közgazdász Pikettyvel nyitok, hisz így szimmetrikus. Hogy jön ide ez az úr? Hát úgy, hogy amikor a XVIII-XIX. század Angliájának gazdaságáról beszél, Piketty egyik legfőbb hivatkozási pontja Austen kisasszony, mert a regényeiben található összegek alapján elképesztően pontosan le lehet képezni a mikrovilág gazdasági viszonyait – tökéletesen ábrázolja, hogy él a tanító évi 20 fontból, és mennyit jelent évi 3000 font évjáradék. Ami kiválóan illusztrálja, milyen mindent látó szemmel elemezte környezetét Austen, és milyen pontosan jelenítette meg azokat regényeiben. Persze ez a „mindent látás” azért viszonylagos, hiszen csak az úriemberek és úriasszonyok világára terjedt ki, az inast már nem látta olyan élesen, a parasztot pedig szinte egyáltalán nem – de így is elmondhatjuk róla, hogy a maga rendkívül széles, sokszínű osztályskáláján (ami a segédlelkésztől a Lordig terjedt) szinte mindent megfigyelt, ami megfigyelésre érdemes. Látta az eladó lányok szinte rezervátumi elzártságát, amiből csak egy jó házassággal lehetett kiszökni, a kérők szimpátiájáért vívott selymes háborúkat, és látta az urakat is, akik bizonytalanul tévelyegnek a romantikus szobabelsőkben, és fejben számolgatják, hogy a szív szerelme megér-e 500 fontnyi hozományt. Látta a szertartásosság komikumát, a hazugságba merevedett formákat, és úgy írta le őket, ahogy talán senki. Ebben a kötetben mindaz, amit észrevett, a groteszk humor görbe tükrében van megtörve: mondhatnánk, a korai Jane Austen a késői Jane Austen paródiája – de nem erről van szó. Inkább arról, ahogy az évek során a kritika eszközei hogyan lesznek körmönfontabbak, mélyebbek, kifinomultabbak – a szem ugyanolyan éles, de az író közben még jobb lett. De ez a kötet is jószerével hibátlan – ha a Catharine közben elismerően bólogattam, a Szerelem és barátság kifejezetten lelkesített, megvett kilóra. Ó, ha Jane kisasszony nem szűk negyven évet töltött volna itt e földön, mily csodásan bölcs regényekkel lennénk gazdagabbak. ( )
  Kuszma | Jul 2, 2022 |
Jane Austen wrote this very funny, relatively short, epistolary tale at the tender age of fourteen or so. The foreword of my edition gives a thorough explanation of the word sensibility as it was understood in Jane Austen's time and that helped my reading of the story immensely. I love Austen's sense of humour and there is plenty on show in Love and Friendship. ( )
  Elizabeth_Foster | Dec 24, 2019 |
A fascinating read, it feels very different from other Austen novels. More sharply, openly satirical, but I got the feeling that Austen herself wasn't sure how she felt about her protagonist. Is she really evil, or simply making the best of the poor hand life has dealt her? I think ultimately, the scales tip toward "evil", but then, she does all right for herself in the end, so what's the message there? ( )
  amydross | Jul 15, 2017 |
Love and Freindship and Other Early Works by Jane Austen, published posthumously , Harmony Books 118 pages
??

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 |
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Contains: Love and friendship -- The three sisters -- A collection of letters
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When a noble youth arrives unannounced to request the hand of the matchless Laura, it seems their future is one of contentment and bliss -- that is until his family learn of the marriage and, one by one, they reject the new bride. So begins the series of unspeakable events that Laura must confront and overcome, by way of the occasional fainting fit and bout of delirium. Tragedy and comedy here go hand in hand as a very foolish young heroine is placed at the centre of Jane Austen's early satire on drawing-room society. Written as a series of letters, 'Love and Friendship' is a delicious romp through the highs and lows of a young girl's lot in life and a precursor of Austen's later works of genius. It is accompanied by 'The Three Sisters', another expertly crafted epistolary novel, and the brilliant 'A Collection of Letters' which has been described by Fay Weldon as 'five just about perfect short stories'. Book jacket.

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