Love and Freindship

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This tale, in epistolary form, is one of Jane Austen's Juvenilia. Love and Freindship (which is usually cited in Jane Austen's original spelling) is an exuberant parody of the cult of sensibility, which she later criticized in a more serious way in her novel Sense and Sensibility. For the main characters in Love and Freindship, including the narrator Laura, violent and overt emotion substitutes for morality and common sense. Characters who have this "sensibility" fall into each other's arms weeping the first time they ever meet, and on suffering any misfortune are too preoccupied with indulging their emotions to take any effective action. They use their fine feelings as the excuse for any misdeeds, and despise characters without such feelings.

There are also parodies of such novelistic conventions as unlikely meetings between long-lost relatives, true love thwarted by parental opposition, the low-ranking character who is actually of noble birth, etc. (see also the Plan of a Novel). Probably the most famous quote from Love and Freindship is the last words of the dying Sophia.


A novel
in a series of Letters

"Deceived in Freindship and Betrayed in Love."

To Madame la Comtesse
this Novel is inscribed
by her obliged Humble
The Author.

[I have somewhat arbitrarily split Love and Freindship into three conveniently-sized parts. There are actually two character lists, one of which doesn't reveal the story; links labeled "SPOILER", and any links on Gustavus, Philander, their parents, Matilda, or M'Kenzie, all lead to the second list, which assumes full knowledge of the plot.]

Sunday June 13th 1790.

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