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Selected Letters

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3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  89 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Vivien Jones presents a selection from the letters of Jane Austen, which includes nearly two thirds of the novelist's surviving correspondence, & contributes an extensive introduction & notes that provide a historical & social context.
Paperback, 294 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Grace Tjan
Many people who read Austen’s letters feel that something is missing; surely the author of Pride and Prejudice and other novels famous for their adroit writing could have produced better letters! There are instances where her sarcastic wit and humor shines through, as when she wryly described a dinner party guest as being ‘at once both expensively and nakedly dressed’, but to get at them we must wade through pages of fabric prices, travel logistics and seemingly random gossipy tidbits about peop ...more
Laurel
“You deserve a longer letter than this; but it is my unhappy fate seldom to treat people so well as they deserve.” Jane Austen, 24 December 1798

Jane Austen’s personal correspondence has stirred up controversy since her untimely death in 1817 at age 41. The next year her brother Henry Austen wrote in the ‘Biographical Notice of the Author’ included with the publication of her novels Northanger Abbey and Persuasion that she ‘never dispatched a note or a letter unworthy of publication’. Years late
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Gina
I found this collection an excellent way of learning about the life of Jane Austen, her relationship with her family and friends, particularly her sister Cassandra and to a certain extent the inspiration for her novels.

It is interesting to note that back in Austen's day, the recipient of the letter actually paid for the letter so it was only right that the sender fill the whole page with as much content as possible, as otherwise the recipient would be payng for empty space.

As this was essentia
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Tracey
I am having a hard time getting through this one.. I love JA but while it is interesting seeing her letters and things about her day to day life, it is just taking me a really long time to read.

Finally finished! I did enjoy reading about Jane's life as she is a most beloved author to me, but did have a hard time getting through it. Since most of the letters are about day to day life, there was nothing spurning me on to get to the end.
Anthea Gupta
The letters are edited by Vivien Jones. Austen is funny, gossipy, and sly. Well worth reading.
 Gigi Ann
Aug 06, 2012 Gigi Ann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jane Austen Fans
I ran across this book at Barnes & Nobles a few years ago and put off reading it until this month. What a pleasant surprise. This is a book of selected letters that Jane Austen wrote to her sister Cassandra.

The letters may not match the idealized view of Jane Austen, but they were anything but uninteresting. In any case the charm of the letters lies in the things Jane wrote to Cassandra. In her letter dated 27 October 1798 we get a glimpse of her dark humorous side. She wrote Cassandra, "Mr
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Ali
I must start off by saying I do love Jane Austen. In July I re-read Northanger Abbey during my first month of re-reading, and it made me want to re-read everything of hers soon. I then bought this book of letters and a collection of her juvenilia. I wanted to love this collection, was fully prepared to be captivated by Jane Austen’s life. So it is with some regret I have to say I was a bit disappointed. I had failed to remember that these are private letters, their intended audience only that pe ...more
Sarah
"Little Matters they are to be sure, but highly important." - Jane Austen, in a letter to her sister Cassandra, Dec 1808

Jane Austen's Selected Letters act as a fascinating insight into her life. She was a gossip, always ready and eager to share the latest news of her acquaintances with others, especially her sister Cassandra. In one letter she even joked how she was so tired of Cassandra "knowing nobody" and having little gossip to provide in return.

Jane Austen's letters reveal a preoccupation w
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Jemma
The Selected Letters of Jane Austen are indeed charming and a joy to read. The reason I abandoned this book is because it is VERY long... There are 161 letters, all of which come with explanatory notes, so it's like reading an in-depth novel. Most of the allusions in the letters, you wouldn't get without reading the explanatory notes.

I love Jane Austen's works, and I felt that this book gave an interesting insight into her life and relationship with Cassandra, her sister, but at the same time I
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Andrea Hickman Walker
This is a collection of some of Jane Austen's letters. It's not all the surviving letters that have ever been found (I wouldn't mind Deirdre Le Faye's volume of those, actually, but I've never yet seen it in South Africa). Most of Austen's letters were destroyed by her sister, Cassandra, as she felt they were too private for public consumption. I don't blame her and I doubt not that it was what Austen herself would have wanted, but I do lament it.

The letters give some insight into Austen's life
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Juan Guzman
good book i read most of what she wrote
Laura
“What fine weather this is! Not very becoming perhaps early in the morning, but very pleasant out of doors at noon, and very wholesome — at least everyone fancies so, and imagination is everything.”

“I have now attained the true art of letter-writing, which we are always told, is to express on paper exactly what one would say to the same person by word of mouth; I have been talking to you almost as fast as I could the whole of this letter.”
Cara Ellison
Loved this but the introduction was awful.
Wendy
May 16, 2007 Wendy marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, austen
Started: May 14, 2007
Finished:
***
Lauren
Sep 30, 2010 Lauren marked it as to-read
This is so pretty. I want it.
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Jane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist whose works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature, her realism and biting social commentary cementing her historical importance among scholars and critics.

Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fr
...more
More about Jane Austen...
Pride and Prejudice Sense and Sensibility Emma Persuasion Northanger Abbey

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