Love and Friendship
By Jane Austen
These inventive and entertaining pieces display the early sparkles of wit and imagination of Jane Austen’s mature fiction. Written when she was only in her teens, they are by turns amusing, acerbic and occasionally downright silly.
‘Love and Friendship’ and ‘Lesley Castle’ provide parodies of the gentry and the fashionable idea of sensibility of the time. ‘A History of England’ supplies us with a lively chronicle of English monarchic history. Also included in this collection are ‘The Three Sisters’, ‘Catharine’, the series of vignettes known as ‘A Collection of Letters’ and ‘Lady Susan’, an epistolary story which was recently adapted for the cinema. Taken together, these pieces display all the wry humour, shrewd observation and satirical insight of Emma or Pride and Prejudice.
Jane Austen is one of my favourite writers … very acute, very perceptive, and writing in close and honest detail about the tiny preoccupations of women’s lives – preoccupations which speak of much larger social and human issues.
The witty and sharply satirical novels of Jane Austen have an influence that shows no sign of waning, with continual adaptations and echoes in contemporary culture, and an ever-enthousiastic audience.