Jane Austen: Writing at the Speed of Thought

“In composition she was equally rapid and correct.” This is what Jane Austen’s brother Henry had to say about Jane’s writing style in the “Biographical Notice” at the front of the combined Persuasion and Northanger Abbey.  The short biography in the December 1817 publication informed readers that the author, to…
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Sifting Through Austen’s Elusive Allusions

Excellent researchers have divined many, many references and allusions that Jane Austen makes in her novels and letters. In his various editions of her works, R. W. Chapman lists literary mentions along with real people and places. Deirdre Le Faye’s editions of Austen’s letters include actors, artists, writers, books, poems,…
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Survey of Janeites, Thoughts on the Results

In 2008, the Jane Austen Society of North America took a survey of its membership about Austen’s characters. I’ve come across the results several times. I thought I’d recap them here and offer a few thoughts of my own. Fully one-third of Janeites read three or more of Austen’s books…
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Jane Austen and the Casualties of War

Jane Austen had two brothers who served in the navy, Frank and Charles, and two who served in the militia, Edward and Henry. Father George Austen and brother James, as clergymen, were discouraged from bearing arms but recruited soldiers and militiamen from the local population. It was the women in…
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Clarkson, Anning, Austen Ring

  Of Jane Austen’s known jewelry, her topaz cross came from her younger brother, Charles, who bought one each for his sisters with his first navy prize in 1801. Her turquoise bracelet probably came from another brother, Edward, as a memento relating to the death of his beloved wife Elizabeth…
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