Love and Freindship And Other Early Works [A Collection of Juvenile Writings] A Book Review

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Jane Austen

I am not sure if the style of writing is characteristics of the time period or simply Austen’s own but I just did not fancy it at all. Did people seriously spoke in such flowery poetry manner such as “uncommon violence exerted against our unoffending door.”  If she used a mocking tone as a satirical writing style, then my word 18th century Literature was quite in the clouds. Furthermore,I found myself rolling my eyes in disbelief to frequency at the rate of fainting (too frequent) and the secession of death toll. The portrayal of death by fainting seem a mad bad comedy.

The letters between sisters and friends revealed a class of people who I judged as vain and simpleton. Laura says to Sophie or was it vice versa ‘She was very plain and her name Bridget…Nothing therefore could be expected from her.”  How can someone’s so call plain looks be a judge of their ambition and characteristics? In addition, throughout the letters there is some judgement based solely on looks. Whether it was sisters worry about their new step mother  Lady Lesley is handsome enough and in the same breath worry about their fortune because their father new-found love would come soon with a new family. Some of these girls and Mr. Walter Elliot from Persuasion (same author) could be the best of friends.

I must point out that Jane Austen warnings before certain of her juvenile writings were very suitable to her writing style. Take for instance her warning for ‘The History of England,’ she says “by a partial, prejudiced, and ignorant historian” and oh boy she lived up to that description. Her favour for the House of York and the Roman Catholic faith certainly clouded her account.

I tried my uttermost to judge Love and Friendship and other Juvenile Works on the merit of the letters and historical account. I did not juxtapose the stories with any of Austen’s stories or thought about the age of the writer. The last time I read, I did thought of the age of Austen and how it perhaps it impacted on the quality of the material. However, I have not read the letters in three (3) years and I believe with a fresh reading, I take away thought of age because authors write great or bad stories at any age.

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  1. Pingback: The Women’s Classic Literature Event | Yelhispressing

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