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|I bought myself an old copy of Love and Freindship - longish
Written by Mary Ellen
(6/22/2006 1:19 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, History of the Juvenilia, penned by Cheryl
I read at Abe Books that this is a printing of her second volume of juvenalia. The volume is dedicated
To Madame la Comtesse
Which makes me laugh about the dedication she put into Emma to the Prince Regent. I think that she sometimes amuses herself "with suggesting and arranging such little elegant compliments as may be adapted to ordinary occasions" and extra-ordinary ones as well, just like Mr. Collins.
The preface goes on to say that reading the Juvenalia highlights the humor in JA's works. Also in J. K. Chesterton's opinion Love and Freindship has much more charm than the unfinished novels.
"I hope I may be allowed to say that I for one would have willingly left "Lady Susan" in the waste paper basket, if I could have pieced together "Love and Freindship" for a private scrap-book; a thing to laugh over again and again as one laughs over the great burlesques of Peacock or Max Beerbohm."
The history of the original manuscript is discussed. There is even a photo included of the handwritten first page of The History of England.
"Jane Austen left everything she possessed to her sister Cassandra, including these and other manuscripts; and the second volume of them containing these, was left by Cassandra to her brother, Admiral Sir Francis Austen. He gave it to his daughter Fanny, who left it in turn to her brother Edward, who was the Rector of Barfrestone in Kent, and the father of Mrs. Sanders, to whose wise decision we owe the publication of these first fancies of her great-aunt..."
The book is copywrited by J. R. Sanders, which seems quite odd to me. She didn't write it, did she?
The writer goes on to discuss various passages that might be hints of future novels. There is also a long passage on the psychological interest of reading the Juvenalia, to understand JA better. Some of this section reminds me of Virginia Wolf's comment that Jane Austen is hard to catch in the act of greatness.
"Jane Austen was not inflamed or inspired or even moved to be a genius; she simply was a genius. Her fire, what there was of it, began with herself; like the fire of the first man who rubbed two dry sticks together. Some would say that they were very dry sticks which she rubbed together. It is certain that she by her own artistic talent made interesting what thousands of superficially similar people would have made dull."
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