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|MT: Biographical notice of the author
Written by Linden
(3/13/2003 4:49 p.m.)
Some preliminary thoughts of mine to set things going.
Henry must have been deeply grieved by the loss of his sister, and it's something of an obiturary. So it's understandable that he dwelt on her perfections and omitted any faults.
But it's such a humourless portrait: it doesn't do justice either to Jane or to Henry, both of whom were very witty people. Of course you wouldn't want to set people rolling in the aisles about an obituary, but all the same...
I would have thought that the ghost of Jane might have tapped Henry on the shoulder about a truly elastic cheerfulness, especially since it's the preface to NA where Catherine's elastic walk is gently laughed at.
It's also the preface to `Persuasion' and Mrs Musgrove's `large fat sighings': I wonder why Henry didn't notice that when he wrote: She never uttered either a hasty, a silly, or a severe expression.
We've been pointing the finger at sister Cassandra or niece Caroline for presenting the respectable premature-Victorian Jane, but surely this biography of Henry's started the trend: a brighter genius or a sincerer Christian.
Henry probably thought he was making an ambitious claim when he wrote those novels, which by many have been placed on the same shelf as the works of a D'Arblay and an Edgeworth. He couldn't know that he wasn't being ambitious enough.
|Biographical notice of the author|
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