By James Edward Austen-Leigh
Jane Austen (as is so cogently famous during this quantity) won little detect or status in the course of her unfortunately brief lifestyles. Likewise, except her six novels and a few letters, little fundamental facts exists to enlighten her admirers. regrettably, it was once universal within the nineteenth century for households to burn all fabrics believed to be too own or too revealing.
In project to write down this "memoir" concerning the lifetime of his awesome aunt, J.E.Austen-Leigh absolutely the mores of the days in holding her privateness. however the little he tells his readers approximately his stories of Jane Austen are worthy a cautious perusal, if merely simply because he knew her. those that recognize from her books in regards to the sharpness of her humorousness and satire will take with a grain of salt her portrayal right here as consistently genteel and decorous. yet he does be capable of express a feeling of her playfulness, creativity, and inventiveness, and he's justified in bearing on her as a genius.
Written in a now antiquated sort, parts of this narrow memoir could be tough going, however it is well worth the attempt.
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Extra resources for A Memoir of Jane Austen: And Other Family Recollections (Oxford World's Classics)
To her mind Jane Austen the novelist is an altogether harder and more brilliant individual, the author of ‘books so calm and cold and keen’, whose portrayal of human behaviour is ‘cruel in its perfection’. It follows that the sentimentality of her painted domestic environment will not do. 22 But, though she questions the relevance and truth of his portrait, she does not suggest that the biographer should examine deeper into the details of the life. A little over ten years later, in ‘The Ethics of Biography’ (), she warned against ‘that prying curiosity which loves to investigate circumstances, and thrust itself into the See p.
In fact, genealogy seems to have been a favourite Austen family pastime, and the appearance in the novels of names taken from the concealed, maternal line is evidence that Jane shared the pleasure in some degree. The complicated transference and transformation of names within the family––Leigh to Leigh Perrot, Austen to Knight, Austen to Austen-Leigh––would obviously stimulate what was in any case a convention of Victorian biography and a gentle clerical pursuit. Genealogy provides a scaﬀold for and helps plug the gaps in the record of the individual life.
The identity of artistic eﬀort with economic worth, by which Scott laboured so vigorously to give signiﬁcant value to the work of the novelist, is just as vigorously denied in Austen-Leigh’s account of his aunt’s unremarked (and littleremunerated) writings. Instead, what he does emphasize is that, settled in Chawton after the disruptions of the Bath and Southampton years, her habits of composition assumed identity with those he conjectures for the Steventon years, ‘so that the last ﬁve years of her life produced the same number of novels with those which had been written in her early youth’ (p.