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|Which all calls into question
Written by JulieW
(9/1/2005 2:44 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, The long accepted view., penned by JulieW
Her book was published in 1997: Jo Modert's book in 1989.
Le Faye, in the Introduction to our edition of the letters under discussion here, holds another view entirely.
She thinks Cassandra destroyed entire letters:
Cassandra Austen's wedding out and censoring of her sister letters ,as mentioned by their niece Caroline Austen, shows itself more in the complete destruction of letters rather than in the excision of individual sentences: the portions cut out usually amount to a very few words, and that the subject concerned was physical ailment. this destruction of letters can usually be noticed when the dates of those surviving are compared.When the sisters were apart, they wrote to each other about every three or four days- another letter begun as soon as the previous one had been posted...( she then goes on to describe their usual pattern of correspondence-JW)...Where a series of letters does not contain this pattern and frequency of correspondence, it means that Cassandra destroyed some of the group in later years,whenshe was planning to bequeath a token few to her nieces as souvenirs of their Aunt JAne.Close consideration shows that the destruction was probably because Jane has either described physical symptoms rather too fully...or else she had made some comment about other members of the family which Cassandra did not wish posterity to read. An example of this is in Jane's letter of 11-12 October 1813 (number 91) where she says
" As I wrote of my nephews with a little bitterness in my last....
But "my last" letter does not survive ..and Cassandra did not want the younger generation to come across "little bitterness..."
Which puts a very different light on it all....
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