Bridget's Reviews > Lesley Castle

Lesley Castle by Jane Austen
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's review
Jul 02, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2009-reads
Read in June, 2009

This is actually three titles: Lesley Castle The History of England, and,Catherine, or the Bower. They were written by Jane Austen when she was a young girl of sixteen. And I would suggest that you get a copy of this if you like Jane Austen at all.

The first is a novella, Lesley Castle, which is a series of letters, primarily between Miss Margaret Lesley and Miss Charlotte Lutterell. They are friends who do not get to see each other very often, and are comparing notes on what goes on in each of their lives, and the people they meet. The remarks that go back and forth describing people are witty and cutting, and they share their secrets with one another in a way that makes you wish they were writing to you.

The History of England, from the Reign of Henry IV to the Death of Charles I, by a Partial, Prejudiced, and Ignorant Historian, is truly one of the funniest things I've ever read. The author provides a monarch-by-monarch timeline of English history, saying at the beginning that there won't be many dates included, and if you are interested in dates, you should check other sources!

My favorite parts are when speaking about the eloquence of certain kings or queens, for example Henry IV. The author mentions that he made a lot of really beautiful speeches, and that you should consult your Shakespeare if you would like to read them!

Catherine, or The Bower, gives us a protagonist that is most like Austen's later characters. Catherine has a wit and talent for making observations about those around her, particularly her betters in society. Through a series of events, she ends up spending a lot of time with Camilla Stanley, a lovely but rather vapid young woman. Their conversations, and Catherine's thoughts about Camilla, are not just right on target, but written in such a way they are just as ironic and amusing today as they would have been at the time.

This volume is a quick, enjoyable read. Get thee to a library or bookstore!!


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