Thursday, 18 July 2013

Jane Austen

Jane Austen "My Dear Cassandra"
I almost didn't post about the wonderful author Jane Austen – so many people, much more knowledgeable than I will ever be, have written so much about her and her work!

But I find her life quite inspiring.  She lived what was a pretty ordinary circumscribed life but created a lasting legacy through writing.  An inspiration for all bloggers too.

Like almost everyone, my favourite book is Pride and Prejudice.  I have read the others but I keep coming back to this one.  Not so much for Mr Darcy – more for the wonderful character she created in Elizabeth Bennett.

I found my most available and reliable source about Jane Austen to be a book I've had for a long time – Jane Austen 'My Dear Cassandra'.  It was published by Collins & Brown in 1990 and is quite delightful.  It contains a selection of letters Jane wrote to her sister Cassandra illustrated with drawings from the period.

Here is an extract from a letter she wrote at 20 – you can already see the talent:

"I am very grand indeed; I had the dignity of dropping out my mother's laudanum last night.  I carry about the keys of the wine and closet, and twice since I began this letter have had orders to give in the kitchen.  Our dinner was very good yesterday, and the chicken boiled perfectly tender; therefore I shall not be obliged to dismiss nanny on that account. Mrs Hall, of Sherborne, was brought to bed yesterday fo a dead child, some weeks before she expec6ted, owing to a fright.  I suppose she happened unawares to look at her husband…."

And here's an extract from a letter she wrote towards the end of her life to Fanny Knight:

"You are inimitable, irresistible.  You are the delight of my life.  Such letters, such entertaining letters, as you have lately sent! – such a description of your queer little heart! – such a lovely display of what imagination does.  You are worth your weight in gold, or even in the new silver coinage…"
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  1. I hadn't heard of this book. I love all her books but I think Persuasion is her best. Thanks for youur kind comments the other week. Much appreciated.

  2. I have this book too, and I love it. I so much agree with you - it's a joy to read, and her tone is so funny and recognizable, yet different from the books.

  3. Here's a link you may be interested in. It's a cookbook based on recipes either mentioned in Austen's books or common at the time.

  4. I think it is lovely to read your post about Jane Austen, if we all would go for who knows most, none of us would write a lot. I know I wouldn't write anything, there are so many people out there who have studied literature and know much more than I do.

    But we all love talking about our favourites, don't we? Jane Austen is definitely my favourite, and even though I have read all her novels, this is still on my wishlist.

    Keep blogging because we like to read your posts.

    Marianne from Let's Read


Your comments are most welcome. Cheers