Jane Austen's Letters

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OUP Oxford, Oct 20, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 667 pages
3 Reviews
Jane Austen's letters afford a unique insight into the daily life of the novelist: intimate and gossipy, observant and informative--they read much like the novels themselves. They bring alive her family and friends, her surroundings and contemporary events, all with a freshness unparalleled in modern biographies. Most important, we recognize the unmistakable voice of the author of such novels as Pride and Prejudice and Emma. We see the shift in her writing from witty and amusing descriptions of the social life of town and country, to a thoughtful and constructive tone while writing about the business of literary composition.

R.W. Chapman's ground-breaking edition of the collected letters first appeared in 1932, and a second edition followed twenty years later. A third edition, edited Deirdre Le Faye in 1997 added new material, re-ordered the letters into their correct chronological sequence, and provided discreet and full annotation to each letter, including its provenance, and information on the watermarks, postmarks, and other physical details of the manuscripts. This new fourth edition incorporates the findings of recent scholarship to further enrich our understanding of Austen and give us the fullest and most revealing view yet of her life and family. In addition, Le Faye has written a new preface, has amended and updated the biographical and topographical indexes, has introduced a new subject index, and had added the contents of the notes to the general index.

Teachers, students, and fans of Jane Austen, at all levels, will find in these letters remarkable insight into one of the most popular novelists ever.

"These are the letters of our greatest novelist. They give glances and hints at her life from the age of 20 to her death at 41, the years in which she wrote her six imperishable books."
--Claire Tomalin, Independent on Sunday

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Review: Jane Austen's Letters

User Review  - Peter Mcconnell - Goodreads

What else is there to say about Jane Austen's letters? A glimpse of a life, and nothing more. Tantalizing and endearing and faithful to the end. Read full review

Review: Jane Austen's Letters

User Review  - Anne Gray - Goodreads

Wonderful, witty Jane; the content is top notch. However, this edition is poorly organized, the typeface is rudimentary, and there is no editorial context (as to life events, those to whom letters are written, etc.) My advice: pick another edition. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Deirdre Le Faye is now retired and lives in North Somerset; prior to retirement she worked for many years in the Department of Medieval & Later Antiquities at the British Museum. She started researching the life and times of Jane Austen and her family in the 1970s, and since then has written several books about them, the latest being A Chronology of Jane Austen and her Family 1600-2000, as well as numerous articles in literary journals.

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