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The Beautifull Cassandra

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  2,091 ratings  ·  327 reviews
'She has many rare and charming qualities, but Sobriety is not one of them.'

A selection of Austen's dark and hilarious early writings - featuring murder, drunkenness, perjury, theft, poisoning, women breaking out of prison, men forging wills and babies biting off their mothers' fingers...

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Blac
Paperback, Little Black Classics #33, 55 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Penguin Classics (first published 1793)
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Tedi Ha! I don’t think she actually names him in what I assumed to be his paragraph in Chapter the Seventh “It may now be proper to return to the Hero of t…moreHa! I don’t think she actually names him in what I assumed to be his paragraph in Chapter the Seventh “It may now be proper to return to the Hero of this Novel... and as the effect was Joyfull the Cause could scarcely be lamented.” If he was the hero he must be Jack.(less)

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Average rating 3.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,091 ratings  ·  327 reviews

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Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jane-austen
My dear young Miss Austen,

Comparing your teenage bravado to your later masterpieces is hardly a meaningful task. But as a teacher, working with teenage text production each day, I would like to express my gratitude to you, young aspiring author, for giving me an afternoon of complete delight!

If you knew what we get to read, you would immediately make a witty satire of it. And let me say we are not as ambitious as your characters who are looking for spouses to match them:

"Your daughter, Sir, is
Katie Lumsden
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-stars
Such a delightful read - I love Jane Austen's juvenilia; it is absolutely hilarious.
Sean Barrs
Be warned this is not the Austen we know and love. These little extracts were written when she was very young and were never intended to be published. They were only a means for entertainment for her family and, no doubt, herself. Therefore, I don’t think it is fair to criticise these harshly; they were clearly just written for fun and not a mass readership, so don’t even bother trying to compare these to her later works.


I liked these extracts but they do lack the finesse of the experienced Aust
Joey Woolfardis
Jane Austen was a pre-consumerist writer who cared not for world-building or owning things, but instead of people's countenances, beauty and humour. She lived from the 18th to the 19th Century in England and gained little fame in her lifetime for her works, having published them originally anonymously.

I much prefer her earlier works. The Beautifull Cassandra is taken from Love and Freindship and Other Writings, both of which are examples of her juvenalia: things she wrote as a teenager and young
Give me anything of Austen's and i'll be happy!! This was so much fun reading, but since i worship the woman, i'm probably not the one to judge :P
Dannii Elle
Jack and Alice - 2/5 stars
Henry and Eliza - 3/5 stars
The Beautifull Cassandra - 1/5 stars
From a young Lady in distress'd Circumstances to her friend - 4/5 stars
From a Young Lady very much in love to her Friend - 3/5 stars
A Letter from a Young Lady, whose feelings being too Strong for her Judgement led her into the commission of Errors which her Heart disapproved - 3/5 stars
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classics, 2016
Skimmed through most of this because I found it quite boring to be honest!
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I thought it was very interesting to read something Jane Austen wrote as a teenager. It wasn't anything special, but it was a nice and quick read. I loved how Penguin decided against removing the spelling mistakes that she must've made when she wrote these stories. It also helped me understand why it says "beautifull" in the title instead of "beautiful". All in all, it's a good book with some nice short stories and letters and due to the fact that these books cost $2 each, this book is definitel ...more
Liz Janet
Dec 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
This book was read for the #readwomen month.
This should only be read by hardcore fans of Austen who are okay with being utterly disappointed. I hated everything about it, it is one of the worst things I have ever read, I am extremely glad I will never again read any of her Juvenilia. Thank the heavens this gave me a sample of how bad she was in her younger years at writing. This is a disastrous collection of the works of her younger years, and please, read any of her other works, before attempt
"She has many rare and charming qualities, but Sobriety is not one of them."
- Jane Austin, "Jack and Alice"


Vol N° 33 of my Penguin Little Black Classics Box Set. This volume contains exerpts from Penguin's collection of Austin's early short stories/letters called 'Love and Friendship'. The following are the six writings included in Vol 33:

1. Jack and Alice- ★★★★
2. Henry and Eliza- ★★★
3. The beautifull Cassandra - ★★
4. From A young Lady in distress'd Circumstances to her Friend - ★★★
5. From a You
Michelle Curie
These are the stories are inexperienced and youthful, silly and lyrically awkward. They were written when Jane Austen was a mere teenager, full of ideas but lacking the experience she would have as an adult writer.

It is impossible to raise criticism. These stories were written for the joy of her family only, and allow us a secretive glance and Austen as a young girl. The words feel private and because of that, fun. I wasn't expecting something comparable to the quality of her novels, but I was
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
1. "The Beautifull Cassandra", 2
2. "Frederic and Elfrida", 2
3. "Edgar and Emma", 3
4. "The History of England", 3
5. "Henry and Eliza", 4
6. "The Adventures of Mr. Harley", 3
7. "Sir William Mountague", 3.5
8. "Memoirs of Mr Clifford", 2
9. "Amelia Webster", 4
Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)
Originally posted on A Frolic Through Fiction

How do I write a review for a book that’s just a bit bigger than my hand? Well, I’ll try my best.

Because as short as it was, I loved this book!

I looked at the Goodreads reviews after to see what other people thought, and I’m honestly shocked to see quite a lot of the reviews are bad. Granted, I can understand why . This is a small collection of short stories, all of them written by Jane Austen when she was a teenager for her family’s entertainment.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
Delightful ❤️

These were a collection of short stories written by Jane Austen in her teens for her familie's entertainment and I could literally just see in my head how they'd all laugh. The spelling is slightly problematic (perhaps the time or perhaps her age) but it's just all fun!

My favourite stories were the first two and the last letter. The two letters before were slightly boring but I enjoyed it all really, just some of the stories weren't interesting enough for me to give it the full five stars.

Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This tiny collection of Austen's juvenelia was definitely what I needed: a good laugh. It is incredible to see how Austen had her wit even though these short bits of writing are very much unpolished and in many ways laughably horrible. That is what makes them so good and endearing; they are a starting point and still a lot of fun even though plot and characterisation wise undeveloped and ridiculous. So yes, I definitely enjoyed this one (especially because they were all unread bits of juvenelia ...more
Oct 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Oh what a job to discover a Jane Austen you haven't read yet and even better to have a chance to read it all in one go (even if it is only little over 50 pages). While this is imperfect beauty you can still see her genius at work. Its fun light and hilarious. Everything she will later perfect in her full length novels.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A joy to read, this tiny collection was funny and full of surprises.
Eva S.Ar.
3.5 out of 5 stars

I had almost forgotten what I like most about Jane Austen's writing: her wit. This collection of short stories is a light hearted and amusing read that fans of her work are sure to enjoy.

Happy reading!
Jul 11, 2020 rated it liked it
A collect of some nice little scraps of writing by a young Jane Austen.
Iza Brekilien
Reviewed for Books and livres

As Miranda would say : "Such fun !"
This collection of short stories are impertinent and filled with dark humour, I laughed several times and thought "No, she wouldn't dare !" but she did.
Yes, she was very young when she wrote those, but it felt like a breath of fresh air : people here are not what you expect to read written by a "serious" 19th century author. They are dead drunk people, murderers with absolutely no conscience, Jane Austen made fun with all the stere
Emma L.
*** It may contain some spoilery thoughts or opinions ***

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (3/5 stars).

I honestly have no introduction for this book besides that I want to read almost everything Jane Austen has written and that I personally love these little penguin black classics. So here are my options on this book:

It was nothing really special to be honest.

I did love how Austen didn't show your average female heroines that can be found in classics. Like almost all of these women were either criminals, scammers,
Read all my reviews on

I read Pride and Prejudice but I didn't really like it. I know it's something you're not supposed to say, but still it's how I felt. However, when I started collecting the Little Black Classics over the summer, I decided to give her another chance.

There are a few very short stories collected in this volume. And although they were very short I don't think I would have enjoyed reading a full novel of them. I liked them, not in the least b
Sonja ✧・゚。★*☾
Why did I buy this? Why did I waste 80p on this little black classic, when instead I could have chosen something much better like Circles of Hell by Dante. Well either way; reading The Beautifull Cassandra by the oh so famous Jane Austen felt like being in one of the circles of hell.

The Beautifull Cassandra is a mess. For fans of Austen it might be fun or even brilliant. But I'm not a fan, I've read Pride and Prejudice and it was just okay. So yeah. I guess it is a hit or miss with Penguin's li
Elliot A
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a treat it was to be able to read some of Jane Austen’s work I haven’t read before. And I felt lucky to have finally found this little book in the gift shop at the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, therefore it holds a special place in my heart.
Her little short stories of debauchery, drunkenness, and silly follies were delightful and made the flight back home so much more enjoyable. I just wish there could have been more.
A true treat of delight for every Austen fan and a must read.
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Four stars for the quirky spellings but this is the writings of a twelve year old onwards, before her mature novels. Sorry but if you think it insightful and sparkling then you are wrong and I shall defend this comment with great vigour.

Only recommended to Austen enthusiasts, not material for a proper introduction to her work.
Apr 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Austen's books: awesome! Her short stories: hmm. Her writing style really improved over the years! But I thought that these were special anyway.
May 19, 2015 rated it liked it
A nice quick read. I enjoyed spotting an early Lady Catherine de Burgh prototype in one of the letters ;)
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: physical-copies
The way this book made me smile, laugh and cry is amazing because of how small it is. Jane Austen is just amazing! Never disappoints
Jan 15, 2017 rated it did not like it
Rejoice, for the bottom of the barrel has been reached. 0.1.
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Jane Austen 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 fringes of the English landed gentr

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