Selected Letters

ISBN-10: 0199538433
ISBN-13: 9780199538430
Edition: 2009
List price: $12.95
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Description: 'Little Matters they are to be sure, but highly important.'Letter-writing was something of an addiction for young women of Jane Austen's time and social position, and Austen's letters have a freedom and familiarity that only intimate writing can  More...

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Book details

List price: $12.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 3/15/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.550
Language: English

'Little Matters they are to be sure, but highly important.'Letter-writing was something of an addiction for young women of Jane Austen's time and social position, and Austen's letters have a freedom and familiarity that only intimate writing can convey. Wiser than her critics, who were disappointed that her correspondence dwelt on gossip and the minutiae of everyday living, Austen understood the importance of 'Little Matters', of the emotional and material details of individual lives shared with friends and family through the medium of the letter. Ironic, acerbic, always entertaining, Jane Austen's letters are a fascinating record not only of her own day-to-day existence, but of the pleasures and frustrations experienced by women of her social class which are so central to her novels.Vivien Jones's selection includes very nearly two-thirds of Austen's surviving correspondence, and her lively introduction and notes set the novelist's most private writings in their wider cultural context.

Jane Austen's life is striking for the contrast between the great works she wrote in secret and the outward appearance of being quite dull and ordinary. Austen was born in the small English town of Steventon in Hampshire, and educated at home by her clergyman father. She was deeply devoted to her family. For a short time, the Austens lived in the resort city of Bath, but when her father died, they returned to Steventon, where Austen lived until her death at the age of 41. Austen was drawn to literature early, she began writing novels that satirized both the writers and the manners of the 1790's. Her sharp sense of humor and keen eye for the ridiculous in human behavior gave her works lasting appeal. She is at her best in such books as Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1816), in which she examines and often ridicules the behavior of small groups of middle-class characters. Austen relies heavily on conversations among her characters to reveal their personalities, and at times her novels read almost like plays. Several of them have, in fact, been made into films.

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