3.73 (591 ratings by Goodreads)
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Jane Austen began writing in her early teens, and filled three notebooks with her fiction. Her earliest work reflects her interest in the novel as a genre; in brilliant short pieces she plays with plots, stock characters, diction and style, developing a sense of form at a remarkably early age. The characters of these stories have a jaunty and never-failing devotion to themselves. They perpetually lie, cheat, steal and occasionally commit murder. Throughout these short or unfinished pieces, Austen exhibits her sense of the preposterous in life and fiction with tough-mindedness and robust humour. Alice, the mock-heroine of "Jack and Alice" has "many rare and charming qualities, but Sobriety is not one of them". In her later published fiction, Austen had learned to take demands for propriety seriously, reining in whatever might be thought boisterous or coarse. Here Jane Austen writes without her inhibitions. In addition to prose fiction and prayers, this collection also contains many of Jane Austen's poems, written to amuse or console friends, and rarely reprinted. The texts have been compared with the manuscripts and edited to give a number of new readings.
The notes recreate the texture of daily life in Jane Austen's age, and demonstrate her knowledge of the fiction of her time. The introduction by Margaret Anne Doody sets the writings within the context of JAne Austen's life and literary career.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 378 pages
  • 114.3 x 182.88 x 20.32mm | 317.51g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Annotated
  • Annotated edition
  • 0192828231
  • 9780192828231

Table of contents

Chronology; Frederic and Elfrida; Jack and Alice; Edgar and Emma; Henry and Eliza; Mr Harley; Sir William Mountague; Mr Clifford; the beautiful Cassandra; Amelia Webster; the visit; the mystery; the three sisters; detached pieces; ode to pity; love and friendship; Lesley Castle; the history of England; a collection of letters; scraps; Evelyn; Catharine; plan of a novel; verses; prayers; textual notes; explanatory notes.
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Rating details

591 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 25% (146)
4 38% (222)
3 27% (158)
2 8% (49)
1 3% (16)
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