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My Dear Cassandra (The Illustrated Letters)

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  81 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Richly illustrated collection of Jane Austens' letters
Paperback, 160 pages
Published 1991 by Collins & Brown (first published December 1952)
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Oct 03, 2012 Miranda rated it it was amazing
Charming, heartwarming, heartbreaking. I have an even greater appreciation now for Austen's scholarship, character, creativity, and talent. My only critique is that the book could not have included more. Voyeuristic, yes--but it's a necessary evil. Her razor sharp wit aimed at herself and any other who dared to act foolishly and the tender love she felt for her family come across in brilliantly crafted epistolary form. Her integrity and her knowledge of her own self-worth come shining through as ...more
Oct 04, 2008 Melody rated it really liked it
I decided to reread the letters of Jane Austen after finding myself thoroughly taken in by Becoming Jane. Afraid that I wasn't completely aware of its inaccuracies, I knew I needed a brief refresher on the life and voice of this greatest literary friend of single girls the world over.

I'm never sorry to have undertaken a rereading. Her letters remain every bit as fresh, caustic, and utterly charming as her novels, welcoming the voyeur reader with both wit and wisdom (which she herself says is th
Apr 20, 2016 Chris rated it really liked it
The late Penelope Hughes-Hallett (she died in 2010) had the great fortune to be brought up in Steventon in Hampshire, Jane Austen's birthplace and where the future novelist herself lived between 1775 and 1801, so it's not a surprise that she maintained a lifelong interest in the Regency author. In 'My Dear Cassandra' she makes a selection from the letters Jane wrote to her older sister, introducing key periods in Jane's life (changing residences in Steventon, Bath, Southampton, Chawton and Winch ...more
Rachel Knowles
Jan 20, 2016 Rachel Knowles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, my-books
This book presents a selection of Jane Austen's letters in a chronological format with some details about her life in each section. The book is illustrated with lots of contemporary prints and pictures. I like the way Hughes-Hallett has given notes of explanation under each letter explaining who different people referred to are and what some of Austen's abbreviations mean. Its main shortfall is that it is only a selection and leaves you wanting more.
Jan 09, 2014 Cherene rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this collection of Jane Austen's letters (mostly written to her sister, Cassandra). I love that the book is filled with drawings and paintings from Austen's day to illustrate what she is writing about. I love Jane's sense of humor, her wit, and her kindness. These traits all shine through in this collection of her letters.
Oct 31, 2015 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Charming. I'm not a Jane Austen fan and initially picked-up this book because I was interested in contrasting her life, as described in her letters to her sister, Cassandra, to the lives of two sisters (also writers) who emigrated to Canada in the 1830s and whose experiences are described in Sisters In The Wilderness: The Lives Of Susanna Moosie And Catharine Parr Traill . I found myself warming to Austen's style of writing within the first few pages, and I enjoyed the many drawings and excerpts ...more
Jan 15, 2009 Meghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've had this one on my shelf for a long time but never really looked at it until I decided to stay up all night last night and read through it. I can't say I read it cover to cover but did enjoy learning a little but more about Jane than I had known before. It isn't a complete history of her life but a good glimpse of her life through a sample of letters to her sister (Cassandra)as well as letters from other family members including Cassandra after Jane's death.
This is a great book to have to p
May 15, 2009 Debye rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge fan of Jane Austen. I really enjoyed reading this selection of her letters to her sister Cassandra and other members of her family. It's also illustrated with contemporary drawings of landscapes, houses, assemblies, fashion etc. They really brought the tiime period to life for me.
Nicely illustrated edition but if you really want to know more about Jane Austen's life it's better to read the complete letters. This is a random overview of her time, little continuity. ...more
May 22, 2009 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: own-copy, non-fiction
It was interesting to see that the voice of Jane Austen the novelist comes across in her everyday writing. A useful insight into the life of Jane Austen.
Nov 28, 2007 Diane rated it really liked it
Great insight into the life & times of Jane Austen. Lots of illustrations & background info for Austen newbies.
Passing it on to another JA fan since I already have an edition of the complete JA letters.
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