Saturday, June 13, 2009

Lesley Castle, by Jane Austen

Book 24

Lesley Castle is actually three short stories in one book written by Jane Austen at age 16. No kidding, it reads exactly as you think Jane Austen would at age 16.

The first is a story told in letters. It is a satire of appearances and incredibly self-absorbed people - as Austen perfected when she was all growed up. One young lady tells her friend of an accident suffered by her sister's fiance the day before they were to be married:

"Imagine how great the disappointment must be to me, when you consider that after having laboured both by night and by day in order to get the wedding dinner ready by the appointed time..."

So laying it on kind of thick, but funny.

The second part is a short, funny history of England. Under a heading for Mary I:

"This woman had the good luck of being advanced to the throne of England in spite of the superior pretensions, merit and beauty of her cousins, Mary Queen of Scotland and Jane Grey."

It is all like that.

The third is a novella of Catherine, which reads more like the Jane Austen we really know. But sort of lame.

So yeah. Jane Austen as written by a sixteen year old.

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