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Jessica
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Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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Recommended Reading

[ Edited ]
Recommended Reading

Sense and Sensibility
Jane Austen
Austen’s first published novel. This wonderfully entertaining tale revolves around two starkly different sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. While Elinor is thoughtful, considerate, and calm, her younger sister is emotional and wildly romantic. Both are looking for a husband, but neither Elinor’s reason nor Marianne’s passion can lead them to perfect happiness as Marianne falls for an unscrupulous rascal and Elinor becomes attached to a man who’s already engaged.

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
This is the story of fiercely independent Elizabeth Bennet, one of five sisters who must marry rich, as she confounds the arrogant, wealthy Mr. Darcy. What ensues is one of the most delightful and engrossingly readable courtships known to literature. Humorous and profound, and filled with highly entertaining dialogue, this witty comedy of manners dips and turns through drawing-rooms and plots to reach an immensely satisfying finale.

Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen
Often referred to as Jane Austen’s “Gothic parody,” the ecrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist. The story’s unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions.

Love and Freindship (and Other Early Works)
Jane Austen
Austen wrote these delightfully silly stories in her teenage years to entertain her family. With its endearingly misspelled title, the collection of brief experimental sketches reveals the making of one of the best-loved authors of British literature. Fundamentally, the stories demonstrate the lively mind and ready wit of a teenage girl living in the late eighteenth century.

Lady Susan
Jane Austen
This abruptly finished -- some would say unfinished -- novel is told as a series of letters between the various characters, followed by a brief summary of subsequent events delivered by the author. It recounts the machinations of the corrupt Lady Susan as she schemes to marry off both herself and her young daughter to the greatest financial advantage. Though not as fully developed as Austen's complete novels, it still reflects her use of well-rounded characters as well as her keen eye for the details of nineteenth-century society manners. A must-read for Jane Austen fans!

Sanditon and The Watsons: Two Unfinished Novels
Jane Austen
The beloved author left behind two tantalizing unfinished novels: The Watsons, which revisits Austen's customary milieu of courtship; and her last work, Sanditon, a venture into new territory, amid guests at a seaside resort. More than literary curiosities, these stories are worthy of reading for pleasure as well as for study.

The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
Syrie James
What if, hidden in an old attic chest, Austen's memoirs were discovered after hundreds of years? What if those pages revealed the untold story of a life-changing love affair? Here, Austen has given up her writing when, on a fateful trip to Lyme, she meets the well-read and charming Mr. Ashford. Inspired by the people and places around her, and encouraged by his faith in her, Jane begins revising Sense and Sensibility, a book she began years earlier, hoping to be published at last.

An Assembly Such as This: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman
Pamela Aidan
Aidan reintroduces us to Darcy during his visit to Hertfordshire with his friend Charles Bingley and reveals Darcy's hidden perspective on the events of Pride and Prejudice. As Darcy spends more time at Netherfield supervising Bingley and fending off Miss Bingley's persistent advances, his unwilling attraction to Elizabeth grows -- as does his concern about her relationship with his nemesis, George Wickham.

Becoming Jane Austen: A Life
Jon Spence
Spence's biography of Austen paints an intimate portrait of her, and his meticulous research has uncovered evidence that she and the charming young Irishman, Tom Lefroy, fell in love at the age of twenty -- a relationship that inspired Pride and Prejudice. This is the fullest account we have of the romance, which was more serious and more enduring than previously believed. Seeing this love story in the context of Austen's whole life enables us to appreciate the profound effect the relationship had on her art and on subsequent choices that she made in her life. Full of insight and with an attentive eye for detail, Spence explores Austen's emotional attachments and the personal influences that shaped her as a novelist.

Message Edited by Jessica on 04-29-2008 12:37 PM

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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
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Re: Recommended Reading

I can add another recommended read for those interested in more about Austen. A recent new edition of her letters, edited by Dierdre Le Faye is well done and very interesting.

A shorter biography of her, for those who want to know something of her life but don't want the full treatment Spence gives her is the Penguin Lives biography by Carol Shields.
_______________
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Peppermill
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Re: Recommended Reading

[ Edited ]
In the library yesterday, while looking for a biography of George Sands (unsuccessfully), I pulled down from the shelf the America volume of Boyd's biography of Vladimir Nabokov.  I stumbled across this passage which seemed to "belong" to this board:
 
"In late September 1950, Nabokov launched his new course with Mansfield Park.  He had his students read the works mentioned by the characters in the novel: Scott's "Lay of the Last Ministrel," Cowper's "Task", some of Johnson's Idler essays, Sterne's Sentimental Journey, and of course the play that the young folk rehearse: Lover's Vows. He also injected as much historical information as he could into the text.  All this literary and historical background seems to have been a way of ... instilling in his students ... read{ing} with utmost precision..."
 
(Some of these are probably available on-line; I haven't checked.  Other on-line sources may provide a bit more about the books here.) 
 
 


Message Edited by Peppermill on 05-13-2008 11:07 AM
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Laurel
Posts: 5,747
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Re: Recommended Reading

[ Edited ]
Great find! (Wouldn't you love to audit that class?)

Here is some information on The Task.

And more, by Harold Child.

The line that Fanny quotes is

"Ye fallen avenues! once more I mourn

Your fate unmerited. . . ."

Her quotation is in chapter 6.

Cowper's poem is here.

The fact that Fanny can recall and quote this on the spur of the moment shows, I think, her quick mind and her deep sensibility to beauty in nature and in literature. Later on, in chapter 45, Fanny quotes from another poem of Cowper's, "Tirocinium."


Peppermill wrote:
In the library yesterday, while looking for a biography of George Sands (unsuccessfully), I pulled down from the shelf the America volume of Boyd's biography of Vladimir Nabokov. I stumbled across this passage which seemed to "belong" to this board:
"In late September 1950, Nabokov launched his new course with Mansfield Park. He had his students read the works mentioned by the characters in the novel: Scott's "Lay of the Last Ministrel," Cowper's "Task", some of Johnson's Idler essays, Sterne's Sentimental Journey, and of course the play that the young folk rehearse: Lover's Vows. He also injected as much historical information as he could into the text. All this literary and historical background seems to have been a way of ... instilling in his students ... read{ing} with utmost precision..."
(Some of these are probably available on-line; I haven't checked. Other on-line sources may provide a bit more about the books here.)


Message Edited by Peppermill on 05-13-2008 11:07 AM



Message Edited by Laurel on 05-13-2008 01:40 PM
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Recommended Reading

[ Edited ]
Laurel -- Yes, I would have loved to audit a Nabokov class!  Although my first choice would have been on Russian literature! I wonder who is comparable in today's classroom.  (I would say the same for Edward Said after just having spent some time with his Orientalism.)

Thanks for all your follow-ups.  Still haven't figured out how you figured out Harold Child is the author of the the article you cite, but in trying to do so, I discovered this by him on Mansfield Park.  [Beware of possible spoiler on character development.]

Answer found!

"Later on, in chapter 45, Fanny quotes from another poem of Cowper's, 'Tirocinium.'"

I wonder whether it was Nabokov or Boyd who overlooked the study of 'Tirocinium'.  My guess is Boyd.  However, the omission of Richardson's Sir Charles Grandison by either Nabokov or Boyd is rather interesting to consider.

Pepper
Laurel wrote:
Great find! (Wouldn't you love to audit that class?)

Here is some information on The Task.

And more, by Harold Child.

The line that Fanny quotes is

"Ye fallen avenues! once more I mourn

Your fate unmerited. . . ."

Her quotation is in chapter 6.

Cowper's poem is here.

The fact that Fanny can recall and quote this on the spur of the moment shows, I think, her quick mind and her deep sensibility to beauty in nature and in literature. Later on, in chapter 45, Fanny quotes from another poem of Cowper's, "Tirocinium."


Peppermill wrote:
In the library yesterday, while looking for a biography of George Sands (unsuccessfully), I pulled down from the shelf the America volume of Boyd's biography of Vladimir Nabokov. I stumbled across this passage which seemed to "belong" to this board:
 
"In late September 1950, Nabokov launched his new course with Mansfield Park. He had his students read the works mentioned by the characters in the novel: Scott's "Lay of the Last Ministrel," Cowper's "Task", some of Johnson's Idler essays, Sterne's Sentimental Journey, and of course the play that the young folk rehearse: Lover's Vows. He also injected as much historical information as he could into the text. All this literary and historical background seems to have been a way of ... instilling in his students ... read{ing} with utmost precision..."
 
(Some of these are probably available on-line; I haven't checked. Other on-line sources may provide a bit more about the books here.)





Message Edited by Peppermill on 05-13-2008 05:51 PM
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
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Cowper

[ Edited ]
Those paragraphs on Mansfield Park by Child are excellent. He brings out another influence on Austen: Richardson, whom we meet in Eugene Onegin.

"Mansfield Park is the book in which Jane Austen most clearly shows the influence of Richardson, whose Sir Charles Grandison was one of her favourite novels; and her genius can scarcely be more happily appreciated than by a study of the manner in which she weaves into material of a Richardsonian fineness the brilliant threads of such witty portraiture of mean or foolish people as that of Lady Bertram, of Mrs. Norris, of Fanny’s own family, of Mr. Yates, Mr. Rushworth and others."

I see I have more reading to do.

I am reading The Task now. Listen to this, leading up to the part that Fanny quotes:

"The folded gates would bar my progress now,

But that the lord of this enclosed demesne,

Communicative of the good he owns,

Admits me to a share: the guiltless eye

Commits no wrong, nor wastes what it enjoys.

Refreshing change! where now the blazing sun?

By short transition we have lost his glare,

And stepp’d at once into a cooler clime.

Ye fallen avenues! once more I mourn

Your fate unmerited, once more rejoice

That yet a remnant of your race survives."

And the company in the parlour has just been talking about Sotherton.





Peppermill wrote:
Laurel -- Yes, I would have loved to audit a Nabokov class! Although my first choice would have been on Russian literature! I wonder who is comparable in today's classroom. (I would say the same for Edward Said after just having spent some time with his Orientalism.)

Thanks for all your follow-ups. Still haven't figured out how you figured out Harold Child is the author of the the article you cite, but in trying to do so, I discovered this by him on Mansfield Park. [Beware of possible spoiler on character development.]

Answer found!

"Later on, in chapter 45, Fanny quotes from another poem of Cowper's, 'Tirocinium.'"

I wonder whether it was Nabokov or Boyd who overlooked the study of 'Tirocinium'. My guess is Boyd. However, the omission of Richardson's Sir Charles Grandison by either Nabokov or Boyd is rather interesting to consider.

Pepper
Laurel wrote:
Great find! (Wouldn't you love to audit that class?)

Here is some information on The Task.

And more, by Harold Child.

The line that Fanny quotes is

"Ye fallen avenues! once more I mourn

Your fate unmerited. . . ."

Her quotation is in chapter 6.

Cowper's poem is here.

The fact that Fanny can recall and quote this on the spur of the moment shows, I think, her quick mind and her deep sensibility to beauty in nature and in literature. Later on, in chapter 45, Fanny quotes from another poem of Cowper's, "Tirocinium."


Peppermill wrote:
In the library yesterday, while looking for a biography of George Sands (unsuccessfully), I pulled down from the shelf the America volume of Boyd's biography of Vladimir Nabokov. I stumbled across this passage which seemed to "belong" to this board:
"In late September 1950, Nabokov launched his new course with Mansfield Park. He had his students read the works mentioned by the characters in the novel: Scott's "Lay of the Last Ministrel," Cowper's "Task", some of Johnson's Idler essays, Sterne's Sentimental Journey, and of course the play that the young folk rehearse: Lover's Vows. He also injected as much historical information as he could into the text. All this literary and historical background seems to have been a way of ... instilling in his students ... read{ing} with utmost precision..."
(Some of these are probably available on-line; I haven't checked. Other on-line sources may provide a bit more about the books here.)





Message Edited by Peppermill on 05-13-2008 05:51 PM



Message Edited by Laurel on 05-13-2008 03:11 PM
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Sotherton/Mansfield Park Link -- BUT BEWARE SPOILERS

Okay -- so you sent me scrambling again. Here is a neat article about Sotherton, but it definitely has Spoilers for anyone not having finished the novel, so be warned!


Laurel wrote:
Those paragraphs on Mansfield Park by Child are excellent. He brings out another influence on Austen: Richardson, whom we meet in Eugene Onegin.

"Mansfield Park is the book in which Jane Austen most clearly shows the influence of Richardson, whose Sir Charles Grandison was one of her favourite novels; and her genius can scarcely be more happily appreciated than by a study of the manner in which she weaves into material of a Richardsonian fineness the brilliant threads of such witty portraiture of mean or foolish people as that of Lady Bertram, of Mrs. Norris, of Fanny’s own family, of Mr. Yates, Mr. Rushworth and others."

I see I have more reading to do.

I am reading The Task now. Listen to this, leading up to the part that Fanny quotes:

"The folded gates would bar my progress now,
But that the lord of this enclosed demesne,
Communicative of the good he owns,
Admits me to a share: the guiltless eye
Commits no wrong, nor wastes what it enjoys.
Refreshing change! where now the blazing sun?

By short transition we have lost his glare,
And stepp’d at once into a cooler clime.
Ye fallen avenues! once more I mourn
Your fate unmerited, once more rejoice
That yet a remnant of your race survives."

And the company in the parlour has just been talking about Sotherton.
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
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Edmund Bertram's Diary

Perhaps we shall know all when we are able to read Edmund Bertram's Diary.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Edmund Bertram's Diary

The reader who wondered when Jane Austen would publish another novel may have a long wait, but those willing to indulge in take-offs certainly do not.


Laurel wrote:
Perhaps we shall know all when we are able to read Edmund Bertram's Diary.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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