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Written by Tori Marie
(4/1/2003 9:06 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: Biographical Notice, penned by Cheryl
] Does most everyone's copy of Northanger Abbey include this "Biographical Notice of the Author"? As you know, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion were published posthumuously and this notice written by Henry Austen appeared as a forward.
This isn't included in the copy I'm using, so I'm really pleased that you shared it. I'll have to look for it when I come across my other copies while packing for the move.
] I was very moved by her reported last words:
] "Her last voluntary speech conveyed thanks to her medical attendant; and to the final question asked of her, purporting to know her wants, she replied, 'I want nothing but death.' She expired shortly after ... in the arms of her sister."
Oh Cheryl! You're going to make me cry!
] Henry also offers his predictions of Jane's legacy and longevity:
] "... she sent into the world those novels, which by many have been placed on the same shelf as the works of a D'Arblay and an Edgeworth."
] Who?? ;-)
LOL! Who indeed! ;-) I can't decide whether it's impressive that JA became so much more beloved over time than even those who loved her most imagined, or that it's sad that even they never seemed to have fully recognized her potential to bring so much enjoyment to so many. Hmmmm. Question for another board, I guess. ;-)
] Can you imagine the treat of listening to Jane read her books out loud? What fun that would have been!
Oh my, yes! It makes me laugh just to think of it. And I'll tell you a little secret; I sometimes amuse myself by trying to imagine, as I read, just how Dear Jane would have done this. What voice might she have given Mrs. Allen? With what inflection would she have delivered Mr. Thorpe's speeches? What would the instrument of her own voice have added to Henry Tilney's ironic wit and Catherine Moreland's contrasting absolute honesty and taking everything at face value?
It's sad, I think, to realize that Jane never stood with this book--in printed and bound form--in her hand and read it aloud in this way. As they used to say on Ally McBeal, I need to take a moment.
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