By James Edward Austen-Leigh
James Edward Austen-Leigh's Memoir of his aunt Jane Austen was once released in 1870, over fifty years after her dying. including the shorter reminiscences of James Edward's sisters, Anna Lefroy and Caroline Austen, the Memoir continues to be the leading authority for her existence and keeps to notify all next money owed. those are relations stories, the checklist of Jane Austen's existence formed and constrained via the loyalties, reserve, and affection of nieces and nephews recuperating in previous age the outlines of the younger aunt they'd each one identified. They nonetheless remembered the form of her bonnet and the tone of her voice, and their first-hand money owed convey her vividly prior to us. Their declared partiality additionally increases interesting concerns pertaining to biographical fact, and the phrases within which all biography functions.
This version brings jointly for the 1st time those 3 memoirs, and in addition contains Jane's brother Henry Austen's "Biographical Notice" of 1818 and his much less identified "Memoir" of 1833.
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Extra info for A Memoir of Jane Austen: And Other Family Recollections (Oxford World's Classics)
Somewhat enlarged’, ‘a few more letters’, and ‘a short specimen of her childish stories’) are retained here. But the appended Chapter , consisting of the cancelled chapter of Persuasion, and Chapter , extracts from and a synopsis of Sanditon, still under the title of ‘The Last Work’, are omitted; omitted, too, are Lady Susan and The Watsons, both also published for the ﬁrst time in as an appendix to the Memoir. In addition, I have restored some elements which were present in the ﬁrst edition of but removed from the second edition: namely, the second postscript, dated November , defending Jane Austen from the attack in Mary Russell Mitford’s newly published Life, and the set of ﬁve illustrations––a portrait of Jane Austen, a facsimile of her handwriting, and family drawings of Steventon Parsonage, Steventon Manor House, and Chawton Church––an important feature of the ﬁrst and of subsequent editions, but unaccountably left out of the second.
It might be that there never was a conﬁding correspondence to hold back; on the other hand, there might have been. Biography is suspicious of gaps and silences; the form has tended to assume a correlation between biology and chronology, to the extent that any break in this ‘natural ﬁt’ supposes the suppression of information. This is all the more so when documentation is not available for periods of obvious psychological interest––love aﬀairs and deaths––when events appear, inexplicably to hindsight, not to have been recognized as ‘eventful’ and therefore simultaneously translated into narrative form.
Chose to destroy them . . ’ A favoured strategy among recent biographers has been to reconstitute empathetically such ‘destroyed’ textual traces. Accordingly, Nokes tells us that ‘Cassandra received the news [of Tom Fowle’s death] with a kind of numbness. Outwardly, she was strangely calm . . ’19 It is the biographer’s duty, in the interests of recording the complete life, to recover not only what must have existed and been destroyed but what only appears to be ‘unacknowledged and unperceived’.
A Memoir of Jane Austen: And Other Family Recollections (Oxford World's Classics) by James Edward Austen-Leigh