“Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings,” said Jane Austen. And yet, the unfolding of these nothings is what makes up the amazing stories of our lives, whether they are the lives of characters in books, or the lives of writers. Few writers are as revered, emulated, and beloved as JaneAusten, her novels holding a secure place in the cannon of English literature. Now, at the bicentennial anniversary of the publication of Sense and Sensibility—Austen’s first novel in print—comes an intimate look into the life of Jane Austen in her own words in JANE AUSTEN’S LETTERS: Fourth Edition(Oxford | December 2011), edited by Deirdre Le Faye.
In these letters—mostly addressed to members of her family, and the majority of those to her sister, Cassandra—Austen shares her personal insight into contemporary events and places in her own turn of phrase. Her observations serve to further our understanding of life in that time, and in so doing, we learn some of her own secrets. Most significantly, the gossip, witty social commentary, humor, and voice found in Austen’s letters echo unmistakably in such novels as Northanger Abbey, Emma, andPride and Prejudice.
The fourth edition of JANE AUSTEN’S LETTERS also includes:
· A new insightful preface by Le Faye
· Reorganization of the letters into their correct chronological sequence
· Complete annotations for each letter as well as a list of the physical details of the manuscripts
· Updated and enhanced biographical and topographical indexes and a new subject index
· Added notes to the general index
Scholars, students, and fans of Jane Austen will relish in this exposure of the novelist’s life as she experienced it. Le Faye’s updates in JANE AUSTEN’S LETTERS: Fourth Edition greatly enhance our understanding of the life and times of one of the most popular writers of all time.
About the Author:
Deirdre Le Faye, now retired, worked for many years in the Department of Medieval & Later Antiquities at the British Museum. She started researching the life and times of Jane Austen and her family in the 1970s, and since then has written several books about them, the latest being A Chronology of Jane Austen and her Family 1600-2000, as well as numerous articles in literary journals.
JANE AUSTEN’S LETTERS: Fourth Edition
edited by Deirdre Le Faye, will be published by Oxford in hardcover on December 15, 2011
($45.00 ׀ 688 pages ׀ ISBN: 9780199576074).
Oxford University Press has kindly granted the readers of My Jane Austen Book Club 2 copies of this precious book. Unfortunately this giveaway is limited to US and Canada readers only. Please leave a comment to enter the contest and don't forget to add your e-mail address. Winners will be announced on November 30th.