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Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Jane Austen: Writer in the World

The life of Jane Austen has fascinated the millions of readers around the world who cherish her work. A new collection presents an intimate portrait of Austen through her personal possessions, showing the many details of her life that found echoes in her fiction, especially her keen observations of the “little matters”—the routines of reading, dining and taking tea, paying visits to family and friends, and walking to the shops or to send the post.
           
Brilliantly edited by Kathryn Sutherland, Jane Austen: Writer in the World offers a life story told through the author's personal possessions. In her teenage notebooks, literary jokes give a glimpse of her family’s shared love of reading and satire, which can be seen in the subtler humor of Austen’s published work. Pieces from Austen’s hand-copied collection of sheet music reveal how music was used to create networks far more intricate than the simple pleasures of home recital. A beautiful brown silk pelisse-coat, together with lively letters between Austen and Cassandra, give insight into her views on fashion. All feature in this lavishly illustrated collection, along with homemade booklets in which she composed her novels, portraits made of Austen during her lifetime, and much more. Also included are objects associated with the era in which Austen lived: newspaper articles, naval logbooks, and contemporary political cartoons, shedding light on Austen’s wider social and political worlds.
           
This collection makes a delightful modern-day keepsake from one of the world’s best-loved writers on the two-hundredth anniversary of her death.
 

224 pages | 90 color plates | 9 1/2 x 10 1/4 | © 2017

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature


Table of Contents

Introduction by Kathryn Sutherland
Note on Short Titles and References
 
Georgian Life
1 Teenage Writings: Amusement, Effusion, Nonsense
2 Making Music
3 Jane Austen’s Pelisse-Coat
The Art of the Letter
 
Novelist in the World
Women Writing in Time of War
Making Books: How Jane Austen Wrote
The Novel in 1817
 
Jane Austen Imagined
A Life in Portraits
Jane Austen at 200
 
Suggested Further Reading
List of Contributors
Index
 

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