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Read e-book online A Memoir of Jane Austen: And Other Family Recollections PDF

By James Edward Austen-Leigh

Jane Austen (as is so cogently famous during this quantity) won little detect or status in the course of her unfortunately brief existence. Likewise, except her six novels and a few letters, little basic facts exists to enlighten her admirers. lamentably, it was once universal within the nineteenth century for households to burn all fabrics believed to be too own or too revealing.

In project to jot down this "memoir" concerning the lifetime of his great aunt, J.E.Austen-Leigh unquestionably the mores of the days in maintaining her privateness. however the little he tells his readers approximately his thoughts of Jane Austen are worthy a cautious perusal, if purely simply because he knew her. those that recognize from her books in regards to the sharpness of her humorousness and satire will take with a grain of salt her portrayal right here as continuously genteel and decorous. yet he does be able to express a feeling of her playfulness, creativity, and inventiveness, and he's justified in bearing on her as a genius.

Written in a now antiquated variety, parts of this slender memoir might be challenging going, however it is well worth the attempt.

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The Earliest Non-Family Life of Jane Austen’, Notes and Queries,  (), –. Kaplan, Deborah, Jane Austen Among Women (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, ). , ). Le Faye, Deirdre, ‘Sanditon: Jane Austen’s Manuscript and her Niece’s Continuation’, Review of English Studies,   (), –. Lynch, Deidre, ‘At Home with Jane Austen’, in Deidre Lynch and William B. ), Cultural Institutions of the Novel (Durham and London: Duke University Press, ). ), Janeites: Austen’s Disciples and Devotees (Princeton: Princeton University Press, ).

Xxxiv Introduction The suppression of such circumstantial facts, it might be argued, is a limitation of frankness rather different from the unwillingness to probe the inner life of the biographical subject. It is evident, for example, from the fragments of correspondence which remain that nephew and nieces did speculate about the extent of Jane Austen’s romantic attachments––to Tom Lefroy in the winter of –, to the Revd Blackall two years later, about the abortive seaside romance, and the proposal from her friends’ brother Harris Bigg-Wither.

But the appended Chapter , consisting of the cancelled chapter of Persuasion, and Chapter , extracts from and a synopsis of Sanditon, still under the title of ‘The Last Work’, are omitted; omitted, too, are Lady Susan and The Watsons, both also published for the first time in  as an appendix to the Memoir. In addition, I have restored some elements which were present in the first edition of  but removed from the second edition: namely, the second postscript, dated  November , defending Jane Austen from the attack in Mary Russell Mitford’s newly published Life, and the set of five illustrations––a portrait of Jane Austen, a facsimile of her handwriting, and family drawings of Steventon Parsonage, Steventon Manor House, and Chawton Church––an important feature of the first and of subsequent editions, but unaccountably left out of the second.

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