The Complete Novels Of Jane Austen
- Wordsworth Editions Ltd
- Publication Date:
- 01 September 2007
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No one can beat Jane Austen when you are looking for a good book to read!
Jane Austen. That name conjures up so many different feelings. For some, the name immediately presents an image of long dresses and gloves and carriages, delicious British accents, and all the fun of social intrigue and careful manners. For others, it represents boredom, interminable miniseries (in which nothing blows up and everyone constantly has long and unintelligible conversations), and stuffy classics without any pictures. To this second group, I warn you... this is pretty much a love letter to her work. Read on at your own peril. I was first introduced to Jane Austen through an old thread on NarniaWeb.com that asked people to list their all-time favorite authors and titles. Somehow I had reached my early twenties without ever having read Austen, or even knowing who she was. (We may have watched the five-hour BBC movie when I was younger, but I don't remember anything clearly.) In this thread, this "Jane Austen" person was mentioned again and again. So several months later when I saw a hardback volume of her complete novels at a library booksale, I picked it up. Hardbacks were three for a dollar that day, and this has to be one of my best booksale purchases ever. I read that volume of six novels in two weeks, in a state of utter astonishment and delight. Jane Austen isn't known for expanding readers' horizons and ideas, being concerned primarily with her characters' inner lives and small social circles, but she certainly enlarged mine. Since that first baptism I have reread the novels many times, immersed myself in the many excellent miniseries and movies based on her works, and converted a great many people to the delights of her society (my husband included; to this day there is nothing we enjoy more than curling up on the couch and visiting Regency England for five hours together). I love Jane Austen because she is just so fun. She explodes all the silly notions we modern readers have about the stuffiness and stodginess of "classic literature," and shows us that <I>we</I> are the stuffy ones for indulging in such chronological snobbery. Just because you lived in a time before photography was invented doesn't mean you couldn't have a wicked sense of humor and an eye for the ridiculous. I love Jane Austen because she and I share many of the same moral and religious convictions, and her heroines learn, grow, and change over the course of their stories. They are the kind of characters I can both identify with and admire. And yet Austen is never preachy. I love Jane Austen because her prose style is so impeccable. She says so much with so little, and inferring her meaning helps the reader enter into the story more deeply. She is humorous, but she knows how to be serious. She is entertaining; she is also compassionate. She never crosses into the realm of bitter satire; her sarcasm is playful rather than pushy. Her sharp wit flavors a warm humor and sensitivity. And people think her books are boring!I love Jane Austen because I can read her stories in so many different moods. She can be a comfort read; she can be a challenging intellectual exercise. You can think about her stories and characters purely from a reader's point of view, reading breathlessly for that happy ending you know is coming, reveling in all the fun along the way—or you can go all scholarly and English-majorly on her and write papers about her views on society, her attitude toward the role of women, her thoughts on the domestic arrangements of the time, her criticism of various social hypocrisies, etc. Her novels are always in season.I love Jane Austen because I can talk about her to readers with whom I have nothing else in common. The things to love about her work are so strong that they overcome objections that contemporary readers may have to her worldview or prose style. So yes, I love Jane Austen. And I can think of no better way to celebrate my 500th review on LibraryThing than to express my enduring affection and respect for this body of work that has given me so many hours of pleasure. Thank you, Jane Austen.
This volume contains the entire works of Jane Austen. The first novel, Sense and Sensibility, is the story of Elinor and Marianne and the men they love. Marianne is headstrong and falls completely for Willoughby, who turns out to be a cad. Elinor falls for Edward, a sensible man who is unfortunately engaged to another. This is an absolutely wonderful novel.
If you want to strengthen your vocabulary and just feel good about a lovely romantic story, this is the book for you.
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